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shrek

Curacao-Actief excursion-wonderful

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We just returned from our Jan 23-Feb4 Brilliance of the Seas cruise and I wanted to post a report on an excellent excursion that we booked with a company called Curacao Actief http://www.curacao-actief.com/. We spent a full day with Han Guertsen and Anite exploring some of the best snorkelling sites I have ever been to.

 

Curacao Actief offers a number of different excursions on their website, but we needed a custom made one because of the hours that the cruise ship was in port. I sent an email to Han and asked if they offered excursions for cruise passengers. He responded that they could tailor one to our needs. I asked for a combination snorkel and hiking day that would allow us to see some of the island as well as snorkelling.

 

We visited three snorkel locations, hiked and went for lunch at a local Creole restauraunt far off of the beaten path. We also saw some of the architectural and fortress sites, and Han was very knowledgeable about the these sites and also about the flora and fauna of the area.

 

The first snorkel site was called Director's Bay and it was amazing. The four of us snorkelled for about an hour and we saw every type of fish imaginable. Han gave us a laminated chart of the tropical fish that are in the area and we were able to take it into the water with us to identify the fish we were seeing. We were the only people snorkelling here.

 

Then we went to a snorkel site called the Tugboat and snorkelled over a sunken tugboat. This too was really nice. We saw several scuba divers beneath us. There were other people at this location, but not too many.

 

The final snorkel site was called the Blue Room and involved a hike of about 25 minutes through a forested area. We reached the water and jumped in off of the coral rock face and swam to an outcropping of coral. We had to swim underwater for about 10 feet to get into the Blue Room which is an underwater cave with amazing light features. When the sun shines and you are in the Blue Room with whole room turns blue and it was amazing. We then climbed back up the rock face and hiked back to the car.

 

They drove us back to the ship at 4PM and we had the best time. I would highly recommmend Curacao Actief for those of you who want to experience Curacao off the beaten track. This is definitely an excursion for snorkelling enthusiasts and people who like to get outdoors and see what the island has to offer. Han and Anite were the nicest people, and we felt like we had spent the day with friends.

 

Even if you aren't into snorkelling they offer many other activities including biking, hiking, and water sports.

 

If anyone has any questions please let me know I'd be happy to answer them.

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It was $65.00 US each, but the price goes down if you have more participants.

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Did you snorkel the tug boat from shore or did you get there by boat. I was hoping to spend some time at Baya Beach and just swim to the tug boat to snorkel. Any idea what a cab from the port to Baya Beach would cost per person?

 

Julie

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We snorkelled to the tugboat from shore. It isn't a long swim, probably about a 5-10 minute swim, we did it leisurely because you can see fish as soon as you put your mask in the water. The beach is a little rocky so you might want water socks.

 

I think Han said it is about a $12 cab ride. Apparently cabs are pretty expensive in Curacao.

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Guest rfrenchbaxter
We just returned from our Jan 23-Feb4 Brilliance of the Seas cruise and I wanted to post a report on an excellent excursion that we booked with a company called Curacao Actief http://www.curacao-actief.com/. We spent a full day with Han Guertsen and Anite exploring some of the best snorkelling sites I have ever been to.

 

Curacao Actief offers a number of different excursions on their website, but we needed a custom made one because of the hours that the cruise ship was in port. I sent an email to Han and asked if they offered excursions for cruise passengers. He responded that they could tailor one to our needs. I asked for a combination snorkel and hiking day that would allow us to see some of the island as well as snorkelling.

 

We visited three snorkel locations, hiked and went for lunch at a local Creole restauraunt far off of the beaten path. We also saw some of the architectural and fortress sites, and Han was very knowledgeable about the these sites and also about the flora and fauna of the area.

 

The first snorkel site was called Director's Bay and it was amazing. The four of us snorkelled for about an hour and we saw every type of fish imaginable. Han gave us a laminated chart of the tropical fish that are in the area and we were able to take it into the water with us to identify the fish we were seeing. We were the only people snorkelling here.

 

Then we went to a snorkel site called the Tugboat and snorkelled over a sunken tugboat. This too was really nice. We saw several scuba divers beneath us. There were other people at this location, but not too many.

 

The final snorkel site was called the Blue Room and involved a hike of about 25 minutes through a forested area. We reached the water and jumped in off of the coral rock face and swam to an outcropping of coral. We had to swim underwater for about 10 feet to get into the Blue Room which is an underwater cave with amazing light features. When the sun shines and you are in the Blue Room with whole room turns blue and it was amazing. We then climbed back up the rock face and hiked back to the car.

 

They drove us back to the ship at 4PM and we had the best time. I would highly recommmend Curacao Actief for those of you who want to experience Curacao off the beaten track. This is definitely an excursion for snorkelling enthusiasts and people who like to get outdoors and see what the island has to offer. Han and Anite were the nicest people, and we felt like we had spent the day with friends.

 

Even if you aren't into snorkelling they offer many other activities including biking, hiking, and water sports.

 

If anyone has any questions please let me know I'd be happy to answer them.

 

Hello, your excursion sounds amazing!! Can you tell me what the charge was? Where they met you?

Thank you!

Rfrenchbaxter

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We are going to Curacao in November and emailed Curaco-Actief for more info. The price they quoted us is $80pp and basically the same tour as described above. They meet you in the harbor and bring you back there. It sounds like a great tour for snorkeling!

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Shrek,

 

When you went from the shore to the snorkeling sites, you mentioned it is a bit rocky. I have been in email contact with them and I brought this up. They said it isn't bad and should not be a concern. Their half day trip is three stops and I hesitate because my fins are of the strap variety with an on open heel. My feet are a bit sensitive. Do you think I will have a problem getting from their vehicle into the water?

 

I could go with Bounty Adventures that use a boat but only two sites. About the same price but I have heard good things about Actief.

 

Thanks for the info.

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Ive been comunicating back and forth with them. They are very attentive. Im still planning what we are going to do, but they are being very helpful.

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Thanks for your recommendation. Their website shows many awesome looking tours. Did you have any problems getting picked up at the pier and delivered back on time?

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Hi Jenny-

 

Have you priced cabs yet? I've been told that they're VERY expensive.:(

 

here are some info ive got here and there:

 

Taxis: Passengers should agree on a fare with the driver before the ride. There are taxi stands at both ports. For sightseeing the rate is about $20 per hour. or so i read.

 

Examples of taxi fares:

 

From Hato (airport) to Jan Thiel approx $35

From Hato to Hotel Otrobanda approx $17

From Hato to Punda (e.g. van der Valk hotel) approx $20

 

http://curacao-guide.info/getting.around/taxis/

 

 

(for now) im taking in consideration my friends idea: get a taxi let him now what i want to do and bargain the price. :) If i get to be $80 i will go exactly where i want to go and i save half of what i was gonna pay in the tour. ;)

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DRDADDY: I also used fins with an open strap and it wasn't that difficult. I got a couple of small pebbles stuck in the fin but once we got deep enough Ijust shook them out. The bottom is a bit gravelly, but not sharp.

 

RFRENCHBAXTER: They met us at the shopping area located about 500 meters from the cruise ship dock. They were able to drop us off right by the ship.

 

We are booked with them again this January and I can't wait.

 

SAILORGAL: There was no problem with the pickup or getting back on time. As a matter of fact Han went out of his way to make sure we were back in plenty of time.

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Thanks, Shrek, for that info. Also about the drop off at the ship.

 

BTW, is the phone call to them to fax the info international long distance?

 

And btw, if you only know my last name, your screen name would be funy. Just add an a after the h! (I have also been mistaken for Spock's father!)

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I've been trying to E-mail them, but no reply. If they every respond I'm torn between full day tugboat snorkel and reef or full day land and snorkel. If they don't reply does anyone have any other suggestions.

 

Marlene

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I've been trying to E-mail them, but no reply. If they every respond I'm torn between full day tugboat snorkel and reef or full day land and snorkel. If they don't reply does anyone have any other suggestions.

 

Marlene

 

 

MARLENE --

 

Keep trying. I have been working with them now for a few weeks and this past week something went haywire with their e-mail system. Try sending it again or to a different e-mail addess that you might find on their website. Some addresses seem to work, others have crashed. They are aware of the problem.

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The tour company did get in touch with me. They have been very nice and accomodating. I don't think we'll be able to do the full day tour but I'm considering some of their half day tours. They have so many interesting tours availiable it's difficult to decide which one to do.

 

Marlene

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from this thread and other posts, we decided to book with actief when we are in port in january. they were very accomodating, responded quickly to my e-mails and gave me the precise info. i needed to make my decision. if this works out well, we may use them in feb. when i return with friends for a 4-day stay at the hilton. thanks to all the cc members who contributed info. on this company.

 

steve

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Well, we're all set for the first week in Nov (SOON!). Received confirmation and meeting place directions - which were odd. I'm glad the co. was recommended here cuz they go into great detail about meeting them outside the place where the regular tours operators wait. I'd like to know why. This makes me nervous. Anyway....we booked the north shore snorkeling, south shore snorkeling tour for $80pp. It sounds great. I'll report back here when we return.

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There is nothing odd about it. The regular tour operators you referred to have contracts with the cruise lines. The local gov does not allow non cruise line tour operators in the area that is resevered for the cruise line tour operators.

Many, many islands have this same arrangement. :)

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I was hoping that was it. We found that to be the case in Belize as well and the tour was wonderful. You noticed we booked it anyway.......THX

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I just sent an email request for Wednesday 12/27. Very excited. We are in port from 8am - 5pm on the Adventure of the Seas. It looks like their full days are a bit too long for us to make it back on board so gonna see if they will work with us.

 

I requested just as you did: Blue Room, Tugboat & Director's Bay.

Their website & descriptions of their excursions look awesome.

 

Will let y'all know what they say :D

 

Again... thank you so much for the suggestion! Gotta love cruisecritic!

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We just completed a 6 hour tour with Actief on 11/27 while onboard the Celebrity Summit. They were very flexible with start times and finish times (the ship had a late arrival and an early departure). Cost was $80pp. We were picked up by the pier by a taxi, driven to their business location, and then started the tour. We made two stops on the north shore, had a picnic lunch, then went to a small beach for snorkeling. The first stop was an inlet with a beach and a cliff which we climbed and saw sea turtles swimming beneath. There were also some very good pictures of the landscape (cactus!). The second stop was at a blowhole where waves from the sea beneath the bluff come crashing upwards. Finally, we went snorkeling. Entry into the water from the beach was very easy (did not have to walk on coral). We saw a good variety of fish, including an eel. Our guide snorkeled with us. We asked to be dropped off at the floating bridge to Willemstad instead of being taken back to the ship. I would highly recommend this tour if you have at least 6 hours since the snorkeling locations and scenic points are about 30-45 minutes away from Willemstad.

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