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Hi All,

We will be on the island from 8am-6pm mid-April on a cruise ship, First thing in the morning, we are going on a snorkel boat.  At about 1230, we will be off, and hoping to spend some time on a beach.  This is my snorkel island on the trip, so I want to get the most out of it.  Wife doesn't seem to like the idea of going to Kleine Bonaire due to no facilities, so I'm considering spending the balance of the day at the Plaza Hotel (Is this the same place as Van der Valk Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire?) I'm seeing a lot of names thrown around online.  Anyway, they seem to have a nice day-pass setup. How is the snorkeling there?  Any experience?  Also, if we wanted to do a bit of shopping, where might you suggest we go? Is the cruise port area the best for some souvenirs?  Thanks in advance!

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Hi Red,

I live in Bonaire so happy to help with some suggestions.  Where you go may be influenced by where the snorkel tour drops you off.    Plaza is nice.  If you want to snorkel and your wife wants to hang out at a place with facilities, I would also recommend Spice Beach Club (at Eden Beach Resort) or Coco Beach (next door to Eden Beach)  Both have rest rooms, bar/restaurant, beach chairs and four poster outdoor beach beds.


There is also a water taxi from Eden Beach Resort that goes to Klein Bonaire and gives people the option to either get dropped off on the beach (there are two shade huts, but no facilities) or for snorkelers, after they drop people at the beach, they will go around the island a bit and drop you off and you will snorkel and drift back to the beach, takes about 50 minutes.  The reef surrounds the entire island, so you are snorkeling parallel to shore the whole time.   The water taxi picks up every 2 hours.   The cost is $15 per person roundtrip.   


For shopping, downtown is the place to go, both the street that faces the ocean where your ship will dock, and also the main street of town, Kaya Grandi, which runs just behind it.   Some excellent souvenirs you can find that are unique on Bonaire are handcrafted - elements diochroic jewelry, liquor made from cacti, Bonaire salt gifts.   


Remember that the downtown streets in Bonaire are not pedestrian only, even though they are full of tourists walking in them on cruise days, so watch for vehicles.  



All the best,

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  • 2 weeks later...


Not to hijack this post  (don't know how else to 'talk' with you.) but we have been on 57 cruises about 4 or 5 have been ABC itineraries.  We did the cruisers golf carts last time (wife says not to doing it again) and we have been snorkeling several times; probably don't want to do that again.

Any other suggestions?  We have no problem walking around the town and then going back to the boat but I cannot believe there isn't something interesting to do.

BTW is 'upstate' referring to the upstate of SC?

Thanks for your help my email is edpeeks@jcchiro.com just in case it is easier to 'talk' using that avenue.

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Hello Red. For shopping you should definitely visit the Bonaire Arts and Crafts Cruise Market in Wilhelmina Square. Over 40 vendors with handmade work created on Bonaire. I recommend this to everyone. It's a great atmosphere - there's also food, drink, music and shade. The market is just off the North Pier - if you're docking at the South pier it's a 5 minute walk to your left when you exit the pier onto the street. If it's jewelry you're looking for this is by far the best selection - including a tent of the aforementioned 'Elements', Cactus Liquor & Salt gifts can all be found at the market, as well (for a fraction of what you'll pay at other places). Enjoy.

Edited by rockinnrobyn
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