So I was browsing on instagram one day and came across a photo of what appeared to be underwater scooters. I instantly got excited and added Curaçao to my bucket list. After researching the price of flights, I moved it farther down my list. The flights were an average of $600, and that is not within my price range. I have purchased flights and reserved hotels for less than $600, and all of the hotels where I make reservations are swanky! Anyways, I settled for the Dominican Republic because that flight was only around $250. Still not 100% satisfied with the cards I had been dealt, I proceeded to purchase my flight to the DR. I decided to check The Flight Deal one last time before I pulled the trigger, and to my surprise, there was a flight deal to Curaçao from Miami for only $95!!!!!!! My prayers had been answered!! I rounded up the troops and we all purchased our ticket. I guess good things do come to those that wait…sometimes.
We made reservations for four (4) nights at Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort and Emerald Casino, but we only paid for two (2). Those rewards programs really pay off! The hotel was very posh and the views were breathtaking. Since it was situated on the beach and it was my birthday, it was only right for me to have a beachfront ocean view room. The beach would see a lot of us during this trip. Yeah, I have access to beaches in Florida, but they are no comparison to the beaches in Curaçao. And for whatever reason, Marriott upgraded me to a Gold member. Gold member = free breakfast = happy me! And I’m not just talking any ol’ breakfast! It was a buffet that was refreshed frequently with items cooked to order! We were spoiled for five days. Once my vacation was over, I was still expecting special treatment! Lol.
The day after our arrival, we caught a taxi downtown. I immediately fell in love with the colorful buildings. This view was postcard worthy. Downtown Willemstad is divided into two districts – Punda and Otrobanda. The two districts are separated by the Queen Emma Bridge, a floating bridge that swings open to allow the passage of vessels. Note: It is cheaper to catch the taxi to Otrobanda and cross the Queen Emma Bridge into Punda. While downtown, we explored the Rif Fort and floating market. While exploring the market, I tried yellow passion fruit with coconut water. It was actually quite tasty, but I was warned to be careful because the seeds could make me sick. Another noteworthy bridge is the Queen Juliana Bridge. This bridge is an estimated 185ft and crossing it definitely made me nervous. One of our taxi drivers had the audacity to speed across it. The faster he sped, the faster my stomach rose to my chest. That night, our taxi driver took us on a bar crawl. We jumped from spot to spot and danced the night away.
The next morning, we prepared for Aquafari!! I was amped, but when it was time to get on the scooter, I panicked! Lol. I had to get off! This is when I discovered I have a mild claustrophobia. I gave myself a pep talk and tried it again. By this time, my scooter was being pulled farther and farther into the ocean, so it was too late to turn back. Below the surface was another world!! We had close encounters with a variety of fish while posing for the camera. As I glared into the distance, I noticed a large, black hole. As my scooter drifted closer and closer towards the abyss, I prayed that a ginormous animal did not emerge and swallow me whole. We were down there for what seemed like forever. Though the views were beautiful, I was ready to get from under there while I still had a chance. I failed to disclose this bit of information, but I have a small phobia of large bodies of water. I just feel like there is marine life that has yet to be discovered, and it will be discovered at my expense. Crazy I know.
Over the next few days, we toured the Hato Caves, took a dip in Jan Thiel Bai, and received pedicures courtesy of Dr. Fish. I am the least bit ticklish, but these little fish had me screaming and squirming! For those of you that may not be familiar with the process, your feet are submerged in a tub of water and little fishies feast on your feet, removing the dead skin. The end result is soft feet without a pumice stone.
To say I love Curaçao is an understatement!! Some people say I’m bias because Curaçao was the first country to decorate my passport, but I beg to differ. Did I mention that Curaçao is outside of the hurricane belt?? This means I can visit at any time and won’t have to be concerned with a hurricane. I plan to return soon, and when I do, I will visit the ostrich farm, eat at Plasa Bieu, visit the museums, and make a chichi. These are all activities I added to my to-do list but did not have the opportunity to complete. What activities would you suggest to someone visiting Curaçao?
update: It is with regret that I inform you that the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort and Emerald Casino is now closed. After conducting some research, I found conflicting stories. I’m just glad I was able to experience it all before it was sold/closed for renovations :(.
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