Long Planned Journey To Curacao And Aruba

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#1
Adams, Tennessee
5 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Will be traveling to Curacao and Aruba on Caribbean Princess on 4/13/13.
What can I expect from this travel experience? What are the best beaches to visit? How does the dining on this ship rate vs the dining on Carnival and Royal Caribbean Ships? Is the Adult Serenity Area a quiet and relaxing place on this ship to spend during Sea Days? How do previous cruisers on this ship rate their overall experience during this itinerary to Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba?
#2
Flower Mound Texas
592 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by BLONDEDUDE59
Will be traveling to Curacao and Aruba on Caribbean Princess on 4/13/13.
What can I expect from this travel experience? What are the best beaches to visit? How does the dining on this ship rate vs the dining on Carnival and Royal Caribbean Ships? Is the Adult Serenity Area a quiet and relaxing place on this ship to spend during Sea Days? How do previous cruisers on this ship rate their overall experience during this itinerary to Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba?
Check out the member reviews for caribbean princess.
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#3
Vancouver, BC
588 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
We loved this itinerary as it is so easy and laid back. You can walk off the ship at each port and spend just a few dollars for a great time. In Aruba you can take the local bus (across the street form the port there is the bus station) to Palm Beach for around $2.50 return. Curacao, walk around the town and check out the spice market. Princess Cays, it can't get easier for a beach/snorkel day.
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#4
Berkeley Lake, GA
504 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
We were late into Curacao due to strong winds, so daylight time was limited. We toured the synagogue and walked around town. In Aruba we did the ship's snorkel excursion on the wooden "pirate" ship (Jolly Pirates). Three sites that were popular with quite a few trips. The nice thing was that our boat was the first one at each of the snorkel sites. Returned to dock with enough time to re-board and grab some pizza, clean up, and head back to explore the shopping near the port.

Enjoy your trip. The sea days were so relaxing.
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Gert
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#5
League City, TX
40,116 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Texas Realtor
Check out the member reviews for caribbean princess.
This is the OP's first post to Cruise Critic.

If you can point to any specific reviews, it would be helpful to the OP.
#6
League City, TX
40,116 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by BLONDEDUDE59
Will be traveling to Curacao and Aruba on Caribbean Princess on 4/13/13.
What can I expect from this travel experience? What are the best beaches to visit? How does the dining on this ship rate vs the dining on Carnival and Royal Caribbean Ships? Is the Adult Serenity Area a quiet and relaxing place on this ship to spend during Sea Days? How do previous cruisers on this ship rate their overall experience during this itinerary to Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba?
There is a Cruise Critic roll call for your cruise at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1614316

On the roll call you can meet others who will be on your cruise and who can answer many of your questions. You will make friends before the cruise and get a chance to meet them in person once on board.
#7
Florida
2,113 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by caribill
There is a Cruise Critic roll call for your cruise at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1614316

On the roll call you can meet others who will be on your cruise and who can answer many of your questions. You will make friends before the cruise and get a chance to meet them in person once on board.
Thanks Caribill!

Blondedude59 - Come on over to our roll call and be part of the fun! Hopefully you can get some of your questions answered here or maybe some of us on your roll call can help out! The members on all these boards are full of wonderful information!

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1614316

Ken
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#8
South Carolina
948 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by BLONDEDUDE59
Will be traveling to Curacao and Aruba on Caribbean Princess on 4/13/13.
What can I expect from this travel experience? What are the best beaches to visit? How does the dining on this ship rate vs the dining on Carnival and Royal Caribbean Ships? Is the Adult Serenity Area a quiet and relaxing place on this ship to spend during Sea Days? How do previous cruisers on this ship rate their overall experience during this itinerary to Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba?
We just did this itinerary so let me see if I can help you out.

1. Princess Cays is a tender port. You will go down at a certain time to get a number to board a boat to take you over to the beach. We went to the designated area, got a number and actually boarded a tender immediately. We thought the beach here was very nice, although a lot of people....especially those that have been a lot....wish Princess would skip this stop and stay on the ship. DH thought that the snorkeling from shore here was pretty good.

2. Curacao.....We did not do a beach here, just got off the ship and walked around. Arrival at 2pm in the non-summer months does not give a lot of beach time.

3. Aruba....Did a ship's tour of the island that included a trip out to a semi-submersible for underwater views. Afterwards, we had time to walk around and do lunch in a local restaurant that was straight down the main street from the cruise pier in an area called Marketplace. The name of the restaurant was Spanglish. It would be very easy here to grab a cab and go to one of the beaches, though, and the ship will also have tours.

4. We thought the food was comparable to Carnival.

5. The ship does not have a free Adult Serenity Area like many of the Carnival ships do. There is a fee area called The Sanctuary that you can book for the entire week if you get onboard early enough before all the spaces are taken. It can also be reserved for a single half or full day.....also for a fee. However, there are adult pools on the Caribbean Princess that truly seemed to be adult only areas.

My biggest complaint was the hard bed......very much NOT to my liking.

We enjoyed spending time in the Piazza and eating at the International Cafe in that area.

Overall, I would rate my cruise experience for the Caribbean Princess on this itinerary as an 8.5 to 9.0 out of 10. We had a great cabin steward and it was a very relaxing trip which was what we were looking for.
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#9
In Michigan's thumb
921 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
In Curacua you can watch folks walking back on board with cases on their shoulder. We couldn't figure it out until we went to the cheese shop right across the pier. Dutch gouda cheese wheels. Folks were buying them, 4 to a case. Can't imagine getting them home. That said, my DH tasted the cheese and had to have it. A small pack would have been good but he felt the 8-lb wheel was more economical. That sure weighted our suitcase down. Grilled cheese anyone?
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#10
Great White North, Eh!
4,796 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by libtrek
In Curacua you can watch folks walking back on board with cases on their shoulder. We couldn't figure it out until we went to the cheese shop right across the pier. Dutch gouda cheese wheels. Folks were buying them, 4 to a case. Can't imagine getting them home. That said, my DH tasted the cheese and had to have it. A small pack would have been good but he felt the 8-lb wheel was more economical. That sure weighted our suitcase down. Grilled cheese anyone?
Wow...that is a great idea, thanks for posting it! I'll pass that one on to DH, he LOVES his Gouda and we are going to Curacao next April. And yes to the grilled cheese.
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#11
166 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
It has very rocky shores. Honestly, of all the places we've been in the Caribbean it was by far my least favorite. We rented a car and had a nice itinerary scoped out but the island is somewhat difficult to navigate for foreigners. For example, they supposedly have a nice maritime museum there only good luck finding it, many of these kinds of attractions have no signage of any kind on the building and in some cases they had no physical address either.

Aruba is kind of meh as well but has some nice beaches.
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#12
United States
314 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
For those who have been to Curaceo. Where is the best place to see a good sunset? We are going in April. May do Irie Tours. They end up at Sea Aquairium Beach. So that might have to be where we see the sunset.
The catermeran trip Princess offers to see the sunset is too expensive.
Plus no food is offered. The boat appears to crowded and not enough seats.
#13
Georgia, USA
344 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by BLONDEDUDE59
Will be traveling to Curacao and Aruba on Caribbean Princess on 4/13/13.
What can I expect from this travel experience? What are the best beaches to visit? How does the dining on this ship rate vs the dining on Carnival and Royal Caribbean Ships? Is the Adult Serenity Area a quiet and relaxing place on this ship to spend during Sea Days? How do previous cruisers on this ship rate their overall experience during this itinerary to Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba?

You will find lots of helpful information on the Ports of Call Boards for Curacao and Aruba.

Curacao: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=81
Aruba: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=168

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#14
Erial, New Jersey
1,899 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by 58Piano
For those who have been to Curaceo. Where is the best place to see a good sunset? We are going in April. May do Irie Tours. They end up at Sea Aquairium Beach. So that might have to be where we see the sunset.
The catermeran trip Princess offers to see the sunset is too expensive.
Plus no food is offered. The boat appears to crowded and not enough seats.
We got into Curacao at 4 pm, 3 hours late, on our recent cruise on the CB. Our tour was cancelled due to the late arrival, so we walked around town. We dd catch the sunset:

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#15
Suburb of Buffalo, NY
665 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by Doug R.
We got into Curacao at 4 pm, 3 hours late, on our recent cruise on the CB. Our tour was cancelled due to the late arrival, so we walked around town. We dd catch the sunset:

What date was that cruise? Our itinerary for the 2/23 sailing is now showing a 2pm arrival at Curacao.

Getting in at 4pm must not have left much time for people to shop and look around. Hopefully some of thre stores sayed open later. Was it safe to walk around after dark?
#16
Erial, New Jersey
1,899 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by Roce48
What date was that cruise? Our itinerary for the 2/23 sailing is now showing a 2pm arrival at Curacao.

Getting in at 4pm must not have left much time for people to shop and look around. Hopefully some of thre stores sayed open later. Was it safe to walk around after dark?

That was on the 11/24/2012 sailing. Some, but not all of the stores stayed open. Although we returned to the ship for dinner shortly after sunset, the town seemed safe enough. They may have adjusted the arrival time from 1 pm to 2 pm based on past experienc.
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Doug



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#17
Canada
232 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Yes, Curacao does not have the best beaches, but there are still some decent one (Mambo Beach is pretty good).

In Aruba, on the advice of a shopkeeper, we took the bus to Eagle Beach and quite liked it. Quieter than Palm Beach where we had gone on previous 3 trips by taxi. Bus was fine and very safe and much cheaper than taxi and really didnt take long. Beach bar service available at Eagle Beach too.

Food on Princess is better than RCCL IMHO.
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#18
1,304 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by RunnerGirl26.2
We were late into Curacao due to strong winds, so daylight time was limited. We toured the synagogue and walked around town. In Aruba we did the ship's snorkel excursion on the wooden "pirate" ship (Jolly Pirates). Three sites that were popular with quite a few trips. The nice thing was that our boat was the first one at each of the snorkel sites. Returned to dock with enough time to re-board and grab some pizza, clean up, and head back to explore the shopping near the port.

Enjoy your trip. The sea days were so relaxing.
We did exactly the same tours! Loved Jolly Pirates! Did you go off the rope swing? At 50+, I did and it was a real trip!

I very much enjoyed this itinerary and cruise. We were in a cabin for 3, and one of us had to sleep on the "drop down" bunk, which really wasn't bad at all.
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