We booked a rental car for Aruba before we left home. It was either Hertz or Budget. The lot was located right at the pier and it was very easy to pick up and drop off the car. As the others have said, it is a very easy island to drive around. I don't remember the name of the beach, but their is a long gorgeous beach that all of the big hotels are on. As it is a rather small island, it is easy to find.
I mentioned that Driftwood has great seafood and they do, but forgot about Rumba, as suggested by Duchess. They too have a great seafood menu. Mmmm, I can taste the Caribbean lobster now! I envy you the visit - let us know what you decide.
You can reserve a jeep in advance but it isn't necessary and the prices seem to be better right from the pier.
You might want to consider making dinner reservations ahead of time, however. That is the one thing I would have done differently on my last trip. As for seafood places, I vote for Rumba if you want to eat great seafood in town. But, for a really special experience - consider the Flying Fishbone. It is outside of town, but dining is at candle lit tables on the beach - great at sunset (but is definitely a place that reservations for a sunset meal are absolutely mandatory). Also a bit pricey, but really romantic (if that's what you are looking for).
Thanks for all the suggestions - now I just have to decide which of the options to choose. Does anyone know if any of these places have websites to do some additional research or to make reservations? Thanks again for everyone's assistance.
We were just in Aruba a few weeks ago. It was our first time there and I definately booked the wrong excursion. We went to "Isle da Palm" Though the snorkeling was very colorful and excellent for those not secure in the water, the whole "island atmosphere" was a bit over rated. One side of the "island" were the lounge chairs which enabled us to view the water treatment plant on the city's water edge. The other side, no chairs available to lounge, was the snorkling and it went out into the ocean a ways. The staff was excellent and the meal provided was outstanding for the price we paid.. not to mention an open bar for those who drank. But in comparison to some other "islands" I've been on....this wasn't even close. Next time I'm going to have to venture to the other side of aruba and see what all the fuss is about.
I would like to thank everyone for all of their suggestions. I recently returned from my cruise and wanted to share my decisions and experience. First, we did rent a jeep at the port, but I would caution anyone who chooses this route to be aware that there are no names on the roads once you leave the main tourist area and forget using a map (they are useless). On the other hand, getting thoroughly lost and just exploring allowed us to discover a great non-touristy beach (The Havanna Beach Club).