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My daughter has found a charter package to Curacao for the end of February. The price is $599 for seven nights and includes air. Can't complain about the money. She is 24 and she mainly wants to sit at the beach, and socialize in the evening. She is going with a friend. I've read some comments about Curacao that were not very positive. I get the impression that of all the islands, it's the least favorite. Her reservations are at the Princess beach Hotel (something like that). How does this sound to a concerned mother??!! Thanks for your input!!!

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    Hi Ann-We stayed at the PBH last June-it's a very nice hotel right on the beach. There's a newer high rise, plus older, motel like 2-story buildings. She might want to find out just where she'll be staying. The grounds are lovely, and the hotel itself is quite nice. There's an on-site small casino, a lounge, 2 restuarants, 2 pools, and a small shopping arcade. Within walking distance is Mombo beach, and just beyond that is the Seaquarium, which is a pleasant way to spend 1/2 day or some. One of the best gift shops on the island is at the Seaquarium. Across from PBH is a great place to eat called Garten of Eaten-don't let the name fool you, the food (and setting) is excellent. The PBH offers a free shuttle into downtown Willemstad and back a number of times a day (cab would cost about $10US). Small shopping area, mostly imported items. For local crafts, cross the Pontoon Bridge and head toward the gift shop adjacent to the cruise terminal. Back in Willemstad, head towards Waterfort Arches (maybe a 10 minute walk)-you can find some nice places for lunch that not only have great food, but great views of the Caribbean. The Grille King was our favorite.

    Overall, we found Curacao very safe and everyone-especially at the hotel-all very friendly. The beaches on the island tend to move cove like rather than long, straight beaches other islands have. Curacao won't be as lush or tropical as some other islands. In fact, the interior of the island is very desert like in appearance-don't be surprised to see a goat wandering around now and then. In general, the atmosphere is more laid back and quieter than say on Aruba. Glittering night life is pretty non-existent.

    $600 for the package sounds like a good deal, especially since it's an 'in season' rate. If it hasn't changed, put aside $20US for the departure tax. You didn't mention if the package includes transfers to/from Hato airport to PBH-if it does, even a better deal.

    Opinions vary, but from this poster, you don't have anything to worry about. E-mail directly if you care to.

    Hope she has fun!

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