Saturday, February 9
We were due to dock in Willemstad, Curacao this morning at 8:00, and I kept getting up and looking out to see if we were getting close. Every time I looked out our window I didn’t see anything but ocean so I would go back to bed. Finally at a little after 8:00, there was an announcement about getting off the ship, but I still could only see ocean outside our window. It turned out the town was on the other side of the ship and there was no real port except the pier where we docked so that's why we only saw ocean out our window. Not a problem, I do like to watch us dock at each new port, but it really didn’t matter.
Curacao is one of the ABC Islands (the others are Aruba and Bonaire) and located just 40 miles off the Venezuelan Coast. It is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but is an independent country within the Kingdom. The island's size is 171 square miles and has a population of 160,000. Willemstad, where we are docked today, is the capital of Curacao and has a populations of 150,000 so you can see most everyone on the island lives here.
Today we were scheduled to go on a snorkeling excursion, but as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, it was cancelled. We hadn’t found any other tours that caught our fancy so we decided just to walk around the town today. Since most thing didn’t open until 10:00, we were in no rush to get off the ship so we waited until just after 10:00.
As we walked off the ship, we immediately noticed the humidity and heat. It really wasn’t too hot, but standing in the sun it sure seemed like it was. After a stop at the information center on the pier, we walked along the waterfront and into town. There was another ship in port today so things were really bustling with the cruise ship passengers adding to the other tourists. We wandered around the town enjoying the sights of a new place. We visited a few shops, but mostly just walked around. We did run into Roy and Garbriella (our trivia friends) and sat and talked to them a while.
As I have mentioned, Val is a little less than six months out of her knee replacement surgery so it is still somewhat painful for her to walk so we have to be careful not to push it too much. With that in mind, we decided we should head back to the ship, but before we did, we wanted to pick up some bottled water as it is pretty expensive on the ship. Someone had told us they found a good price on bottled water at a Seven Even store (much like our own 7-11 stores). When we found the store and went to purchase a case of water, we found it not to be the case as it was actually more expensive than on the ship. We passed on the water and headed back to the ship.
The walk around town was actually pleasant as there was shade and a breeze blowing, but as we walked back and got into full sun we felt the heat again. We were very glad to get back on the ship and into the air conditioning. After cooling off for a bit, we were getting hungry and decided to have a late lunch in the Lido. We opted for our first pizza of the cruise today along with a caprese salad. As I said on my blog from our last cruise, the pizzas are surprisingly good on the ship.
Since it was a port day, Val’s team trivia was late in the afternoon so she was off to that. I just relaxed while she was gone. When she got back it was time to go to the Neptune Lounge to meet up with Bob and Carol, who we will be sharing a box with in the Sambadrome at Carnival in Rio. They are involved in the Cruise Critic Roll Call and we all got tickets from the same tour company in Rio, so we wanted to meet them before we got there. We had a nice chat with them and enjoyed meeting them. We still have a ways to go before Rio, but it was good to meet them early. They also are in a suite so the Neptune Lounge was a good place to meet.
By the time we finished talking to Bob and Carol, it was getting near time for trivia and dinner so we were off to that. For a while we thought we were the only ones on our team there for trivia, but at the last minute Wally and Nancy showed up. We didn’t do very well without Roy and Gabriella. Since we are in port until 11:00 PM, the casino was not open tonight so after a stroll on the Lido Deck, Val and I returned to our room, where we spent the rest of the evening relaxing. The extra time this evening allowed me to finish this blog post so the extra time was nice. Tomorrow our port will be on the island of Bonaire, which is another of the ABC Islands and very close to Curacao.