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 Post subject: Trip report to Curacao
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 12:27 pm 
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I am writing my report on a trip to Curacao because many of you ask about taking a trip over to the island. My opinion...not worth it.

As a scuba instructor and trip leader I took a group of 15 people (13 divers 2 non-divers) for a trip to Curacao last week. In addition to diving for the week we rented a car and for the most part drove the island. As the plane approached the island first thing you notice is that it is much bigger and has several "mountains". The airport is older but they are working on expanding it. On the bus ride to the resort it pretty much has the feel of Aruba and pretty much looks the same in regard to the houses, roads, brush and cactus. The locals relay mostly on Papiomento to converse and there seems to be less South Americans and Dutch working at the resorts and restaurants. As for the weather it was sunny every day, slight breezes (nothing like Aruba) and the humidity like in Aruba comes and goes. Having never been in Aruba this time of year perhaps it is the same there. Not a drop of rain all week.

They have a Moomba Beach Blvd which has bars and shopping. We did pass a shopping mall but not like the one along Palm Beach. More for the locals as the locals told us.

We went downtown and it is spread out as it is along an inward water way. Pretty beautifully colored building and a long history but the shops are the same as one can find in Aruba.

They have a National Park and a Natural Bridge. Here again think Aruba it's the same look and feel.

Four of the people on the trip had come over from four days on Aruba where they dove, stayed at the Hilton and rented a car. I asked therm their opinion and they said they liked Aruba better. No that there was anything wrong Curacao.

Would I recommend that you take time out of your Aruba vacation, get on a plane, spend a day or more and the money. No. It's a nice place but nothing I found special or worth the trip. You love Aruba? Stay.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Joey, thank you for taking the time to post this informative review. Much appreciated.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 4:32 am 
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Hmmmm...I always thought Bonaire was the scuba/snorkel destination. Curacao is billed as Aruba with less Yankee influence. A popular spot for Euro vacationers I hear.
If we ever get up to a longer stay in Aruba-think 2 weeks+, I think I would still like to go and check things out on the "B" and "C" islands. With just 10 days or so on Aruba it just does not seem worth it to waste a couple days at airports, flying etc.....
Thanks for the report, how was the accommodations,dining, driving etc.....about the same?


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 8:04 am 
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Thanks. We went to Curacao for the first 2 nights of a trip to Aruba back in 2011. We're glad we checked it out, but for the most part, I just felt like we were on a long layover and couldn't wait to get to Aruba to really start vacation.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:53 am 
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happyt1 wrote:
Hmmmm...I always thought Bonaire was the scuba/snorkel destination. Curacao is billed as Aruba with less Yankee influence. A popular spot for Euro vacationers I hear.
If we ever get up to a longer stay in Aruba-think 2 weeks+, I think I would still like to go and check things out on the "B" and "C" islands. With just 10 days or so on Aruba it just does not seem worth it to waste a couple days at airports, flying etc.....
Thanks for the report, how was the accommodations,dining, driving etc.....about the same?


Yes Bonaire is a key diving location but have been there enough. We wanted to try Curacao as they have been pushing their diving. Have to say the diving was less then I would have thought. We stayed at the only true all inclusive resort Sunscape and it was ok. It was an old Breezes resort and many of the rooms were very dated but clean and the beach area was beautiful. If you wanted a very inexpensive place with edible food and drinks then stay there. We only ate at the resort but people we met said that the local restaurants were good. As for driving I found the main roads to be in better condition then Aruba. Didn't run into the more to often crazy Arubian drivers. Yes the island does seem to cater to more Europeans and Canadians.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:16 am 
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I hear you had to use an alias to get into Curacao, because there are not wanted posters of you on the Island!!


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 6:36 am 
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Thanks for the info. I checked prices. Flight + hotel in Curacao about the same as AUA. Maybe some day.


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Hey Joey, I'm one of those Canadians that went to Curacao and spent a week there. But it was more than 10 years ago. So some of the things we really enjoyed may not be the same. We stayed at a resort next to the Sea Aquarium, then called the Princess Resort. The beach is part of a marine sea park (not sure if that is the exact term), which was a protected area. We really enjoyed that beach, including being out in the water and a school of dolphins came along, some of them jumping over my head. That was worth the trip itself. We also enjoyed the Sea Aquarium just up the road and there are Royal Resort timeshares up there as well. We travelled to the other end of the island to snorkel, and saw lots and lots of pink flamingos on the way. Downtown Willemstad was unique because of the bridge that connects the 2 parts of the town and swings open to allow ships and boats to pass up the canal. Downtown is very European and having spent time in parts of Europe (and being of European descent - both parents born in Europe), it felt familiar and very different from Aruba. Loved sitting by the canal drinking a Heineken and drinking up the European atmosphere. No restaurant signs were in English. We found this to be a very different and unique experience in the Caribbean and would highly recommend it


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 4:03 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback. I've always thought I'd like to go for few days. It sounds like I should stay in Aruba. I like the Dutch influences of Aruba.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 10:46 am 
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cynthia wrote:
Hey Joey, I'm one of those Canadians that went to Curacao and spent a week there. But it was more than 10 years ago. So some of the things we really enjoyed may not be the same. We stayed at a resort next to the Sea Aquarium, then called the Princess Resort. The beach is part of a marine sea park (not sure if that is the exact term), which was a protected area. We really enjoyed that beach, including being out in the water and a school of dolphins came along, some of them jumping over my head. That was worth the trip itself. We also enjoyed the Sea Aquarium just up the road and there are Royal Resort timeshares up there as well. We travelled to the other end of the island to snorkel, and saw lots and lots of pink flamingos on the way. Downtown Willemstad was unique because of the bridge that connects the 2 parts of the town and swings open to allow ships and boats to pass up the canal. Downtown is very European and having spent time in parts of Europe (and being of European descent - both parents born in Europe), it felt familiar and very different from Aruba. Loved sitting by the canal drinking a Heineken and drinking up the European atmosphere. No restaurant signs were in English. We found this to be a very different and unique experience in the Caribbean and would highly recommend it


We also enjoyed our time in Curacao. We travel to Europe every year and found Curacao to be very European which we loved. We would definitely go back! We loved the Sea Aquarium and all of the various beach coves we drove to all over the island, saw the wild pink flamingos - also loved downtown.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 4:39 pm 
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Hi Amy - So nice to hear of someone else who loves Europe. Every country is unique and has its own special history. So when I come across another place that reflects European culture, I thoroughly enjoy it. The French side of St. Martin feels European as well, and I am immersed in French culture every summer because I spend it in Quebec, Canada.And I have thoroughly enjoyed all my travels to Europe. I am in Aruba now; hopefully we'll meet up again sometime in Aruba. I guess I feel a strong connection to Europe because of my European heritage (my maiden name goes back 800+ years in Poland), plus I really enjoy the rich history of all European countries. Cheers.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:07 pm 
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We love both islands. My husband and I actually visited Curacao first, then Aruba and have been back to Aruba 6-7 times, and only back to Curacao once....only because we don't have a direct flight to Curacao anymore. We can be in Aruba in less than 4 hours with a direct flight and use my husbands FF miles. So it is a no-brainer for us. I did think the snorkeling was much better in Curacao, but I guess it would depend where you go. Both times, we have seen TONS of different kinds of fish. We had a near-death experience with going in the "Blue Cave" when it was flooded....of course we did not know that at the time, but a great story to tell over drinks. We also love the European feel of Curacao. My husband's family is from Holland and it feels much more "Dutch" than Aruba to us. We had wonderful food on both visits. We absolutely loved Tempo Doloe, and Indonesian Rice Table restaurant, like you can find in Holland. We had great food and drinks at the Governer right along the canal. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could use FF miles and a direct flight. We met lovely friends from Canada in Curacao and many great friends in Aruba. Luckily, we love them both. Is it worth the "hop over" from AUA, not sure I would do that again. I would go for a week along in Curacao, but not take away time from Aruba again.

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