Aruba is beautiful and safe. I don't mean to downplay the Holloway situation, but you can't compare the disappearance of an 18 year old drinking heavily in a bar at night with a cruise ship tourist roaming the island. I did a two tank dive in Aruba; fabulous! Afterwards I met up with the family and we cruised the downtown area. Dunkin' Donuts was very popular! As was the ATM on the way back to the ship. Dispensed American dollars; it was either free or extremely cheap, especially compared to the ATM on the ship. My daughter had her hair braided near the ship. Her entire head for $15. The cheapest I'd seen on any of the islands. I'd go back to Aruba in a heartbeat. Safer than staying home really! Their crime rate is almost non-existent.
I also dove in St. Thomas; I wasn't that crazy about that dive. Beach diving is not my favorite. It was the same beach that most people on the ship go to for snorkeling and swimming. Fun place. And the shopping near the ship is great too; walking distance if you don't want to take a ride.
Martinique was the first time I ever encountered pubic pay toilets on the streets. The beach we ended up at was small and rocky.
Barbados - gorgeous. Make sure you drive around the entire island and see the shoreline. Amazing.
The ship leaving late allows you time to embark and then go off to see the island if you want to. We just got on and relaxed... we had to stand in line outside, in alternating sun and rain for a few hours before we could board. Seriously. There were locals on board who had decided they had paid for their rooms for the day and did not want to leave. Local law enforcement was required to remove them and clear the ship for embarkation. We probably would have gotten off before we sailed if we'd had something to wear. We came from a snowstorm to San Juan, and arrived dressed a little too lightly for the snow but way too warm for the tropics. Our luggage did not make it to our suite until the next morning, so changing wasn't an option, and wandering around San Juan dressed for winter was not too appealing.