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Just Back from Curacao - Any questions?

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My husband & I just returned from a week's stay at the The Princess Beach Resort & Casino in beautiful and friendly Curacao ... since this was our 1st Caribbean vacation, can't compare 'other island' stories, but will be happy to answer any questions about Curacao, as seen thru our eyes.

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    My husband are considering Curacao for a vacation. We've been to several other caribbean islands and would like info about it. For instance, is it hard to get there (We live near Phila). Are the beaches nice? What resorts are nice. We always read the travel books but I've found that the info isn't always accurate.

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    Hi Diane - We booked our Curacao trip using AA Fly-Away vacations, who, in turn uses GoGo Tours to arrange the trip, as such, we didn't have a charter flight, but rather flew via American Airlines, connecting in Miami. Miami Customs & Immigration is quite chaotic-we just barely made our connecting flight home to Cleveland !! Miami was just about the half way point from Cleveland to Curacao-the flight over the other islands is quite lovely in inself !! Curacao has constant tradewinds, which nicely does away with the humidity, although when we were there, the weather was always in the mid-90's.

    I know Travel Impressions has charter flights to Curacao, but I'm not sure if Phila would be a origin city for this trip. I know Baltimore is, and possible Boston. Apple Vacations uses scheduled air service, not a charter.

    We visited in off-season, so the (topless optional) beaches weren't crowded at all, which was nice. The PBH has a very nice, white sand beach and has a Peter Hughes PADI operation on site. Believe the boat departed about 9am daily. There were 2 nice restaurants at the hotel, and 4 other restaurants all within a 10 minute walk of the hotel. Hotel was safe, clean and the staff very friendly and helpful. Their are actually 7 different buildings that make up PBH, the newest, called the Ambassador Wing, is the only highrise (5 floors). The other buildings are older, more motel like in nature. The hotel offers free shuttle service to Willemstad (about a 10 minute drive) about 3 times/day. We didn't rent a car, so the taxi to/from the hotel to Willemstad was $10.00/each way. We took an all day site seeing bus trip (thru Taber Tours) which we found (at $25/each) to be a good value. We stopped at Knipp Beach (near Westpunt), which was absolutely stunning.

    The Marriott Resort (formerly the Sonesta Beach hotel) looked like a nice property, but somewhat remote. It was also considerably more expensive than PBH.

    If you haven't already done so, check out the official Curacao web site at www.curacao.com. It's quite extensive. We booked on-line our dinner reservations for Restaruant Fort Nassau, which was a highlight of our trip. The service, setting, and most importantly the food were all first rate. I would definitely recommend eating dinner here.

    One nice thing about Curacao is that employement is high, comparatively speaking, so while tourism is most definitely important, it's not the most important thing. This may explain why we weren't approached once by either a beach vendor and/or time share seller while there.

    There are more Europeans (Dutch/German), followed by Venezuelans, visiting Curacao than Americans. Curacao does offer day trips to neighboring Aruba, Bonaire and Caracus Venezuela if that's of any interest.

    We found everyone on the island to be friendly and the island quite safe. Surprisingly, there is alot to do and see on the island.

    If you have other questions, please feel free to e-mail directly.

    Just curious, what other islands have you visited? We may be thinking about either St Martin or Barbados for a future trip.

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