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In general- do you recommend Aruba/Bonaire/Curaco


HowardK
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Hello, as I've done Eastern Caribbean/Bermuda/Florida/Nassau/Canada-New England NCL has a 9 day in May,2021 on the Breakaway that caught my attention as I have never been to the ABC islands - it also stops at Puerto Plata.

 

Can people offer me a opinion of this route? Highlights and things you didn't care for as much. I'm asking as much because I am as enthralled that NCL is offering a 9 in May which I haven't seen much of and I'd like to go on the Breakaway again anyway. (Haven't been on in 2014).

 

Any really good excursions, etc... museums?

Thanks in advance

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Been to the ABCs twice wouldn't hesitate to go back.

 

We did a 4 wheel drive tour of Aruba the first time. It takes you to the more barren side of the island. It was great. Went scuba diving the second time. Did the Woodwind snorkel tour both times on Bonaire.  Went snorkeling then diving on Curacao.  I'd go back again in a heartbeat.

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We have booked this cruise also (5/14/21).  We have been to the ABC islands before.  Bonaire is wonderful and Woodwinds is a great company if you like to snorkel ---  DH snorkels and I just lounge on their boat.   Aruba we have done a tour, an all inclusive and a beach day before ... I would just do the beach day again.  We have also spent time in the casinos there.  The all-inclusive wasn't worth the money (IMHO).  Curacao is just great fun walking around the town ... and sitting outside (with a drink) watching everyone run when the bridge opens.  We've done a tour in Curacao a few times and it was ok, but not amazing ... 

 

We haven't been to Puerto Plata before, so I too am looking for ideas for that port.  Jan

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  • 2 weeks later...

We love the ABC islands, especially Bonaire for the absolute best snorkeling! We’ve snorkeled in many, many locations, but no place comes close to the beauty of Bonaire. The sea was alive with bright colors of coral and countless kinds and colors of fish.

 

We went with Woodwind and had an unbelievably great experience. It’s like swimming in an aquarium - gorgeous! 

Edited by ciera123
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The Southern Caribbean route is our favorite!  We've yet to hit the "B" (bucket list, bucket list, bucket list - right along with the other BB - Bora Bora - but realistically I know I'll probably see Bonaire in my lifetime and Bora Bora is, hahaha, not gonna happen unless I hit the lottery - but I digress), but "A" and "C" are just terrific!  

 

Oddly, Aruba isn't very lush and "Caribbean" feeling.  It is more like Arizona.  Desert surrounded by amazing ocean!  If you are a snorkeler, there are some amazing options and some spectacular underwater scenery!  The shopping downtown - right around the port area is pretty good and I'm not a shopper in real life.  Sorry I can't fill you in on more places to tour but we spent most of our time underwater!

 

Curacao is a good place to spend a day walking across the floating bridge and wandering around the downtown area.  Cafe's hidden down alleyways, interesting art and a floating market are some of the highlights.  The RIF Fort is interesting/historic and you will pass through it on the way to the bridge.  There is a casino (hint, they don't allow backpacks and require proper dress after like 7pm - no shorts).  We actually enjoyed a dinner in a specialty restaurant on our ship that was facing the port and had a wonderful view and a good dinner!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love all the ABCs, especially for their Dutch architecture and character.  We had visited them many times before we visited the Netherlands.  I also like to snorkel and those are all great places to do that.  Curacao is my favorite.  On our earlier stops there when cruise ships were smaller, we docked in the canal so super convenient plus a interesting marine traffic passing by (lot of refineries in the lagoon at the end of that canal).  The first time we stopped there (1999), we were on the Celebrity Zenith, a small ship by today's standards.  I remember seeing the Carnival Destiny, the largest ship at that time, docked in the barren distance because it couldn't fit in the canal.  That location has since been greatly developed and is now where all ships dock, but the downtown shopping area still retains its Dutch charm.

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(cont.)

I also like the way these islands honor 3 of their queens:  Queen Emma swing bridge over the canal and Queen Juliana highway bridge high over that canal in Curacao; Queen Wilhelmina statue and park in Aruba, a few blocks to the right of the dock.

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:57 PM, vamartha said:

The Southern Caribbean route is our favorite!  We've yet to hit the "B" (bucket list, bucket list, bucket list - right along with the other BB - Bora Bora - but realistically I know I'll probably see Bonaire in my lifetime and Bora Bora is, hahaha, not gonna happen unless I hit the lottery - but I digress), but "A" and "C" are just terrific!  

 

Oddly, Aruba isn't very lush and "Caribbean" feeling.  It is more like Arizona.  Desert surrounded by amazing ocean!  If you are a snorkeler, there are some amazing options and some spectacular underwater scenery!  The shopping downtown - right around the port area is pretty good and I'm not a shopper in real life.  Sorry I can't fill you in on more places to tour but we spent most of our time underwater!

 

Curacao is a good place to spend a day walking across the floating bridge and wandering around the downtown area.  Cafe's hidden down alleyways, interesting art and a floating market are some of the highlights.  The RIF Fort is interesting/historic and you will pass through it on the way to the bridge.  There is a casino (hint, they don't allow backpacks and require proper dress after like 7pm - no shorts).  We actually enjoyed a dinner in a specialty restaurant on our ship that was facing the port and had a wonderful view and a good dinner!

 

Thank you for this...we are heading down there in October and I love to snorkel so I was trying to figure out where to snorkel.  It seems that since Curacao is great for walking around, Aruba may be the better snorkeling option.  While I would love to snorkel at both islands, the wife would prefer only one snorkeling excursion.

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On 6/5/2019 at 5:18 PM, jean87510 said:

So much nicer than the st. Islands. And much cleaner. Better snorkeling. Beautiful landscapes to explore. Easy to drive. I'll be back there in all 3 in January and cant wait.

easy to drive?  going in sept. to ABC and rented a car in curacao, a little nervous about driving.  would love to go to playa grandi early to snorkel as i heard it gets crowded.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Amazing islands! We had a private guide in Curaçao and it was the absolute best. I think we spent 10 hours and didn’t even make it to the city.  So happy we are going back in October... my favorite: Boca Pistol. Will have to add pics later and look it up. Amazing! 

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