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What to do in Bonaire.....if anything


SCLGFam2008
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Going to be sailing in 23 days with 13 other people. Will have 8 children age ranged from 5yo to 11yo. I've noticed alot of people like to do the Klein Beach; however, i can't see spending that kind of money to go to a beach with no amenities, food or drink service. So, what else is there to do in Bonaire without breaking the bank - if anything? Would it be wiser to spend the day on the ship and take advantage of less crowds? But then again, pool is closed when in port as are bars etc. - correct?

 

Thanks

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Really not a whole lot except scuba and snorkeling. We went there one-time several years ago, and it was evident they weren't quite ready for cruise traffic. We were only off the ship for about 30 minutes. Quite a let down for us.

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I've noticed alot of people like to do the Klein Beach; however, i can't see spending that kind of money to go to a beach with no amenities, food or drink service.

 

 

White, powdery sand...crystal clear blue water...stunning reef with lots of fish which make for great snorkeling...you’re right. Absolutely no reason to go there.

 

 

 

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Actually, with kids, there's not a lot to do in Bonaire. We went a couple of years ago. Wound up doing an excursion that went to a little resort with a pool and a bar. The kids enjoyed the pool. There was a beach, but it was literally a 4ft drop from the resort onto the rather rocky beach. We stayed away. The food was good, and the drinks were decent. I can't remember the name of the resort, though.

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You can snorkel about anywhere on Bonaire for free ... although you would need snorkeling gear. It is one of our favorite islands but for little ones, probably not a lot to do. A few adults could go on a tour and I would recommend Twizzy Cars. They are little electric cars and Hans will give you a great tour of the island.

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"But then again, pool is closed when in port as are bars etc. - correct?"

 

The bars are definitely open and so have the pools been open as far as I remember. Good luck on what ever you decide to do. We have stayed on the ship on occasions when an island was not appealing to us and have really enjoyed having the pool area to ourselves. I may be jaded, but many of the Caribbean islands are pretty much alike.

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We were only off the ship for about 30 minutes. Quite a let down for us.

 

 

I have to shake my head when I read things like this. But then again, I’m not that surprised considering what the cruise lines have conditioned passengers to expect when they go ashore in the Caribbean.

 

 

 

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When we were in Bonaire, we just walked off the ship and chose a tour guide with an air-conditioned vehicle, offering 3 hour tours. As soon as she had her 8 passengers, we were off. As one woman drove, the other gave us the history and of the island, identified various plants and animals and talked about the ecosystem. They stopped periodically for pics, we saw a flamingo preserve, salt flats, slave huts and we stopped in a village to sample cactus liquor. Bonaire is a gorgeously clean dessert island. On the way back to the ship, we had the choice of stopping at the local Sunday craft market, where there were many reasonable priced, unique items. It was an easy, short walk back to the ship. I think the tour was about $30/per person.

 

Bonaire isn't your typical touristy stop. It's not over run with pushy street vendors and souvenir shops. It would really be a shame to miss out. We have booked an ABC and Cayman islands cruise and are happy to go back to Bonaire. Will we walk off the ship and book a tour, like last time, or head to a beach? I'm not sure yet, but I'm sure we will enjoy it.

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We were there in Nov., love it. We rented a golf cart for the day which came with a map. We drove the complete island. Loved the salt flats, went to donkey sanctuary, swimming for a couple hours, just wonderful. Bonaire cruisers is the company.

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I can't wait to get back to Bonaire for the snorkelling. Some of the best we have done so far. We did the morning tour with Woodwind, and found them very knowledgeable and helpful. Masks, snorkels, rash guards, full suits, head coverings, and socks all available if needed. We went to two sites off Klein Bonaire and were in three small groups with a guide. Bonaire is not to be missed.

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We have been there twice. The first time we took a ship excursion to the Plaza resort. Very nice pool but beach has piles of dead coral and the dock to go out to the water is a floating one. The second time we took a Tuk Tuk tour that lasted one hour of the town then went to Gios for gelato. This would be fine for the adults but boring for children. (except for the gelato which was awesome).

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I would say one person stays on the ship with the younger kids, the rest of you go on a snorkeling trip :D

 

Actually there are some snorkeling outfits that do a great job working with young kids and non-swimmers, although they generally need to be booked months in advance. It is too late for you, but someone reading this should consider booking a trip with Woodwind if you have younger kids who have never been snorkeling before.

 

For your group I would suggest a beach day at Sorobon Beach / Lac Bay. There are a couple of beach clubs where you can hang out. Calm shallow water. Taxi is only $2.50 per person each way. About a 15 minute drive.

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Really not a whole lot except scuba and snorkeling. We went there one-time several years ago, and it was evident they weren't quite ready for cruise traffic. We were only off the ship for about 30 minutes. Quite a let down for us.

 

 

We sometimes wonder why some folks even bother going on a Caribbean Cruise. Personally we would rate Bonaire as one of our favorite islands (and we have been to several dozen in the Caribbean). Like many islands in these waters, the main attraction is the sun, water, and sand (Bonaire lacks in this department). The snorkeling and diving are among the best in the Western Hemisphere. For those that have no interest is the water related things (but why even go to the Caribbean) renting a golf cart and spending the day driving around the island is a lot of fun.

 

Hank

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Stopped on Bonaire several years ago while on a cruise. Loved it so much have now gone back for vacation every January for several years. Rent a car(s) and explore the island. There is a beach directly across from the airport that has an easy in and out that would be ok for kids. The salt flats are amazing to see and you will certainly see flamingos as you drive out the road to LacBay. Jibe City is a great place for kids to play in the water while the adults sit and enjoy a beverage. We visited the donkey sanctuary just to fill in some time and it was really cool. The donkeys swarm your vehicle and would probably be enjoyable for kids. The lady that runs the sanctuary will sell you carrots for a reasonable price and you get some great pics and videos.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Going to be sailing in 23 days with 13 other people. Will have 8 children age ranged from 5yo to 11yo. I've noticed alot of people like to do the Klein Beach; however, i can't see spending that kind of money to go to a beach with no amenities, food or drink service. So, what else is there to do in Bonaire without breaking the bank - if anything? Would it be wiser to spend the day on the ship and take advantage of less crowds? But then again, pool is closed when in port as are bars etc. - correct?

 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

 

Bonaire is an amazing island. Lots to see and to do! Explore by golfcart is a great way to see the island. Also the kids will love to see the island by golfcart.

Drive around on your own pace and stop where you want to stop!

The company is called Bonaire Cruisers

Email: info@bonairecruisers.com

Highly recommended on TripAdvisor, Facebook and cruisecritic.

They reserve the carts via email without payment. You pay on the rental day.

 

 

 

 

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Given your dismay at the pool possibly being closed, I will take the liberty of assuming the kids can swim?

If so, from the reviews I've read, Bonaire should be the highlight of your trip.

Get off the boat and into the Ocean. If you're worried about that many in the water, book an excursion that oversees groups in the water.

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  • 1 month later...

My son is getting married and one of our ports is Bonaire. I am trying to find a group excursion for 40+ people ranging in ages of 2-70. Would prefer a snorkelling trip but looked at Woodwind pics although highly recommended it does not look safe for toddlers........ any other suggestions?

 

 

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