DEPALM ISLAND 2018

Sometimes you just need to escape the routine of the hotel scene. Switch it up with unlimited food and beverage, boundless activities, and unrestricted relaxation on a unique coral island just off the shore of Aruba. Have a blast with limitless banana boat rides or become one with the elements at one of the beaches that offer snorkeling in waters teeming with Blue Parrotfish. De Palm Island, Aruba’s premiere and only all-inclusive attraction, accommodates visitors of all kinds from those looking for family-oriented fun to those seeking out romance and privacy.

 

De Palm Island is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, also on public holidays.

 

DePalm is an All Inclusive island, which includes a lot of things (with some activities being an additional cost).

Pricing is: $104.00/adults $79.00/children. These are "all day" pricing (which I can't imagine anyone wanting to stay only a half day).

This price includes a breakfast buffet from 9am-11am, lunch buffet from 11:30am-3pm and the grill is open from 12-4pm. There is also an open bar from 9-5pm and a soda fountain that you can get your own drinks any time of the day.

 

We came here last time we were in Aruba and absolutely loved it. So, we decided we would come again for the day.

 

Of course since we were staying on the island, we drove there. Upon arrival there are 2 lines: 1 for those needing to buy a ticket and the other for those that already did and needs to turn their ticket in for a wrist band. I was quite happy to see that our line was fairly short and the other lines were outrageously long. However, we must have waited for over an hour to make it up to the counter to purchase our wristbands while loads and loads of DePalm buses came and left, unloading people from them and them getting in line and getting a wristband and leaving. Our line barely moved. By the time we got up there, we were almost the last people to buy a ticket (2 people behind us that came after us) and the last one's to the ferry to get over to the island). It was a little crazy how slow they are! At that point, I vowed to never come here again. (LOL)

 

Once you get to the island, they give you this long speach about what all they offer there, the food and drinks available, and all I could do was look at my watch and sigh. We had been standing in line for so long and waiting on a ferry ride to the island for so long that breakfast was almost over. 

 

They finally released us and like someone in a race, we headed to the breakfast area for food. We were starving. The food they serve is AWESOME and there's a lot of it.

 

 

 

 

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This price also includes the best snorkeling (equipment provided to everyone free of charge) with some of the biggest Parrot Fish I have seen. There's a little dock that you go down the steps to get into the water and you are immediately greeted by fish of all kinds and coral.

 

Sakari and I snorkeled around for awhile and she decided to head back and I kept going.

 

From Palmetto fish to parrot fish to blue head wrasse and spotted trunk fish to four eyed butterfly fish and blue tang surgeon fish...they were all coming out to check out my little mermaid.

 

 

 

 

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After breakfast, Sakari wanted to try out the trampoline jumping thingys and I wanted to try out a sex on the beach.

 

 

 

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Then this little guy was spotted...Some people were frantically screaming at their friends and bobbing up and down and scaring him that he took off...without them knowing. But, I knew and followed.

 

 

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When I was done snorkeling, I found Sakari on the beach creating a new sand sculpture. A sea turtle

 

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This would be our first visit (by land or by cruise) that we were unable to book a scuba diving excursion so I had thought about wanting to try the snuba here.

 

Sakari started asking to do the helmet walk, which was another possibility that I had thought about as well. I have never really considered doing a helmet walk and thought "how fun can this possibly be???"   I mean that couldn't compare to snorkeling or diving at all right? I would imagine there wasn't much to see and couldn't imagine there being many fish...I mean wouldn't these big gawky alien looking creatures walking around them scare them?

 

But I was willing to give it a shot. I went to the booking desk and was so happy to hear that they still had room to take us.

 

We headed over to the area (which is behind one of the cove beaches) that they do the SeaTrek.  We seen the fairly large group go into the water before us, but one lady came out (adult) and said she just couldn't do it. It was too freaky for her and had to get out. Another smaller child also couldn't do it...he was crying and freaking out as well. Oh boy....

 

So then it was our turn and my anxiety started to kick in a little...just like it does when we dive. Except this time, I didn't know what to expect. They told us that the helmets weigh around 75 pounds and extremely heavy above water. So the goal is to walk down the water, until you get to your shoulders, they would put the helmet on you and you need to immediately go into the water so that it's not heavy. Now that part scared me...immediately go into the water? No getting used to this? No trying it out? Ugh!

 

However, we did it...and there were no problems at all. Zero anxiety and this was very very easy to do.

 

One thing I want to mention is that they do NOT allow camera on this excursion "for safety reasons".... RIGHT!!! They just want to sell you THEIR pictures is what it is. There's no safety reason that would happen under there that would cause you to have a prolem by taking pictures. 

 

So about their pictures...I'm not sure what type of camera they use, but it's a camera with an underwater housing on it. AND THE QUALITY SUCKS!!! They weren't very sharp and clear and the brightness of it was terrible. So the pictures I'm about to show you are VERY doctored up to make them a lot better!

 

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There was a sunken airplane under there...it was pretty cool

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Then they put some sea cucumbers in our hands to hold

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We came to a table and chairs and sat down. They handed us some bottles to "drink". It was hilarious and fun.  The only problem is, we never knew when they were taking pictures or a video. LOL So sometimes the videos look funny with us not really moving a lot because we think they are just taking pictures.

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While we were sitting there, they handed us a brittle starfish and a crab in a conch shell to hold.

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We moved on to a sunken bus. The hubby was in the lead and then Sakari and then me. I seen the hubby look at me and then started pointing. As I came around to the front I seen hundreds of big fish, inside the bus, all in formation lined up, staring at us. It was amazing and hilarious the way they looked. I really wish that the person taking the pictures would have taken some of just those fish. 

 

They handed us all sea urchins to hold as we stood in front of the bus.

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Then we went over to a jeep...this should be interesting. They told the hubby to get in the back of the jeep, me in the passenger seat and Sakari in the drivers seat. Then handed us all bottles to drink and drive. LOL

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Then it was all over. We had made a complete circle and was heading back. Boo! I hated that it was ending.

 

When we all got out, we all agreed it was AMAZING! It was so much fun! We will definitely be doing this again and any other place that may offer it as well. We had a blast!

 

After we were done, we grabbed a bite to eat. I wasn't really hungry so just had some fries from the burger and hotdog station by the beach.

 

After that, it was time for one last snorkeling adventure for me.

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This time around, there were A LOT of the huge blue and red parrot fish. They were everywhere. They don't seem to be too scared of people either. 

 

There were also a lot of smooth spotted trunkfish in the area too. They are so cute! They remind me of the dogface puffer fish.

 

I also seensome bandedand four eyed butterfly fish, needlefish, trigger fish, palmeto fish,  and schools of blue tangs/surgeon fish. 

After finishing my last snorkeling adventure of the day, we hung out at the beach for a little bit (since most of the people had left  for the day, there were plenty of chairs now).

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It was getting late and I mentioned to Sakari that she hasn't even played at the water park and if she wanted to play there, we should probably head over that way. So off we went....

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While she was playing in the water, I headed over to the building to take a few pictures and I also went over to the buffet area to see if the food there was different (and it was). There is a bigger selection, including a lot of different hot foods, fruits, salads and so on.

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Around 4:30pm, we decided to pack up and head to the ferry to get in line to leave. Last time we were there until the very end of closing and the lines were huge.

 

We headed down and was able to get on the next ferry that arrived.

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We absolutely had the best time ever here and would highly recommend it to everyone young and old. Food was good, drinks were good and the snorkeling was amazing. All the activities that you can do here make it such a great day.