Curacao trip report

Old Apr 8th, 2005, 10:04 AM
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Curacao trip report

We just got back from Curacao last week and had a wonderful time. The wheather was gorgeous(in the 80's and sunny).

We stayed at the Marriott, which is a beautiful resort. It doesn't feel like a huge mega resort. The pool and beach are close together, so it isn't a hike everytine you want to go to the beach. The pool was a perfect temperature, and the beach was great for snorkeling. I have snorkeled in the great Barrier Reef, so I can't compare it to that, but overall we all enjoyed the ease of snorkeling off the beach whenver we wanted to. We all brought our own snorkel gear from home, but I'm sure they rent it there too.
The food at the Marriott we found to be average. The menus never changed, so it is easy to get sick of things. The Italian restaurant was fair, but the room was pretty. We enjoyed the barbecue on the beach. They do a theme night on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The rooms were pretty typical Marriott type rooms. We were not happy that we had requested a higher level non-smoking room, but were given a ground level smoking room. The resort was sold out so we could not change. However, the room turned out to be fine, and it was close to the pool which we liked.
The hotel had some problems the week we were there. The boat was broken!! That meant no water skiing, no tubing, no banana boating. My kids were disappointed. Also, the actities board posted activities that never happened. Jewelry making was posted for 5 days, and when we inquired about it, we were told that the woman who does it had been sick. Also, Volleyball was posted, but never happened. We were told that the ball was broken! There was no bingo, or any other activities for the kids. There was a kids club that people said was good, but our kids were too old for it. The kids still had a nice time because they all swam, and snorkeled and played cards at the pool.
Also, the staff was extremely nice. Everyone was apologetic for the problems.
I forgot to mention that the sea breeze bar has excellent drinks. Happy hour is from 4:30-6:00.

Other restaurants we ate at were: Hook's Hut,(average food, with a limited menu, pretty atmosphere on the beach), Sjallote (excellent food, service, and atmosphere), and Mambo Beach. We ate at Mambo beach on Friday night they have a fishmarket. We really enjoyed that dinner. I recommend all the restaurants except Hook's Hut. We had read from other posters and were excited to go there, but we were really disappointed.

We went into the city once. We took the Marriott shuttle there, but a cab home since we wanted to stay longer. The synagogue was very interesting. The buildings are beautiful, but the shopping isn't great. We did find an awesome hand made jewelry store. It was called "Beads" and something. I forgot the whole name. The prices were very reasonable. We ate at the Governor and watched the boats go by. We enjoyed our lunch there too.

Overall, We loved the island of Curacao. It didn't feel touristy, the people were very friendly, the wheather was perfect, and the snorkeling was fun. I recommend staying at the Marriott, but I would make sure that they fixed some things first. I think it may be a better adult type of trip, or with young kids who would enjoy the kids club. My husband and I liked Curacao more than Aruba, but our kids liked Aruba better.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for the great trip report. Sorry to hear about the activity problems, though. Did you attend the manager's weekly party? We were in Aruba a month ago, and although we kneit would be very different, we didn't feel it came close to comparing to Curacao.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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wetravel2, I was very interested in your trip report. Thanks for taking the time. My husband and I have been thinking of going to Bonaire or Curacao in November. Any idea how snorkeling compares to Bonaire. Also, did you see any organized snorkeling trips? Were the places you ate away from the resort in walking distance? I'm coming from South Dakota and am curious as to how you flew to Curacao. I'm thinking Monteago Bay would be our route. Thanks again. Owa
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 01:52 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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Wetravel2, if you would be so kind as to let me comment on Owa's question on air...
Hi Owa, we too are from the midwest and flew last year to Curacao, if at all possible, try to make your connection while you are still in the states, I am not sure if they still have this option, they did last year, American still might, but last year we had to connect through Aruba, and let me just tell ya, IMHO, going thru customs twice is a pain, if it can be avoided I would try.
With that bring said, it wouldn't stop me from visiting Curacao as we enjoyed it greatly, but I would have loved a connect say through Miami or Charlotte, or anywhere in the states, that way you don't have to claim your bags and go through customs all over again, I did post a trip report, I just mentioned it to another possible Curacao traveler yesterday, when you do a text search, I believe it was like #132, or somewhere around there!

Wetravel2, glad you too had a delightful time on your trip. I am interested to see if anyone responds to Owa's Bonaire question, as we loved that area, and would maybe visit Bonaire next time, it is hard to decide with all the great islands!
Happy travels, T.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Thanks Tiff for your reply. I did go and read your report and appreciate the information. We had planned to go to Bonaire along with a trip to Jamaica. I've been reading "Bonaire Talk" for about a month, and they have had quite a few recent "entry and rob" of tourtist rooms. I know it happens everywhere, and it will probably wil not keep us from going. Thanks again. Owa
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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O.K. I have read everyone's responses, and I would like to answer your questions. Knowing, my husband is Marriott Gold, yet we were not invited to the Manager's reception. We thought it was funny because we travelled with two other families who were not Gold, but one family was invited. However, we decided to all stay together and watch the sunset instead.

OWA: We spoke with a family in Curacao who had just returned from 3 days in Bonaire. They were scuba divers and said that the diving was unbelievable there. However, they said that was the only thing to do in Bonaire. We are planning a trip back to Aruba next year with our friends and plan on taking a a day trip to Bonaire for the kids to go snorkeling. (They all want to get certified now.) We did not take any organized snorkeling tours. We have taken many in the past on other islands, and many times we have gotten sea sick! We truly enjoyed the freedom of just doing from the beach, and not having to take a whole day. I believe the Marriott offers boat trips on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and if you haven't taken a lot of these trips before, they can be a lot of fun.

We really enjoyed eating at Sjallote which was located in the Floris Suites, right across the steet from the Marriott. Hook's Hut was also walking distance, but we really didn't like it much. We really mostly ate at the Marriott. I wish we would have visited The Kula Kuranda, I heard the Asian restaurant was great there.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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I forgot to mention, Mambo Beach was about a 15 minute cab ride and cost about $20.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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wetravel2, A lot of information in this report and in the responses from everyone. I really appreciate it. We just took our four grandchildren to San Francisco over Easter. I had so many good tips from the kind folks on the US forum. I continue to be surprised at how much time and information everyone is willing to give. It must be our love of travel. Thanks again, owa
Old Jun 30th, 2005, 05:30 AM
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About the food at the Marriott. The Portofino resturant was not very good at all and expensive for what turned out to be a pasta dinner.

Eat at Avalon or Tut Hut for equal or less money and you will have a good meal.

For $100US (with some wine and tip) a couple treat yourself to great French/Swiss food at LaRouse. We eat there twice and it cost maybe $25 more than the Portofino.
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