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Just a small slice of the beaches at Avila Beach Hotel

Spend a Day in Port
Part Two

by Linda Coffman

How are the beaches?
Stunning! I'm not one to spend too long in the sun, but I enjoyed some down time at beaches nevertheless. More often than not, I prefer to have facilities close by--whether it's a place to change or grab a cold drink. I'm just not comfortable on a deserted beach and have run across fellow cruise ship passengers who feel the same. One of the beaches with full facilities and a small entrance fee is adjacent to the Sea Aquarium. 

Caribbean resorts are often known to welcome cruise ship visitors by selling a "day pass" to their premises. I checked that out in Curaçao and discovered that some resorts (including Avila Beach Hotel, the Marriott Resort, and Lodge Kura Hulanda) welcome non-resort guests within reason. If cruise passengers want to spend time at their beach properties, all the hoteliers ask is that the cruise ship visitors patronize their restaurants and bars to eat and drink.

Bistro Le Clochard--beneath the "sails" alongside the Riffort

Speaking of food, what's good?
Curacao is a Dutch island, so it stands to reason that you'd find some great, and inventive, dishes featuring cheese. One advantage of spending a few days in Curaçao was that I was able to dine in restaurants that are only open at night.

Blues Restaurant at Avila Beach Hotel is as terrific as its location atop a pier jutting out over the ocean. I tried keshi yená, a chicken and vegetable dish covered with a "crust" of sliced edam cheese.

Cruisers don't even have to go out of their way to eat at Bistro Le Clochard; when going to town from the cruise ship terminal it's built right into the Riffort, the fortress alongside the harbor that protected Curaçao from pirates. Ask for a table outside for the best views of the Willemstad waterfront and order cheese fondue (save room for the chocolate fondue dessert).

Another great view across the bay is from the patio facing the water at Gouverneur de Rouville Restaurant & Café, a Dutch mansion that was once the home of the governor. Try the local dishes--particularly the soups and their version of keshi yená. While there's no view at Grand Café de Heeren, you know the food is good by the number of local patrons. Salads are their specialty and, following my cheese-y theme, I can highly recommend the goat cheese salad. For more restaurants and beach bars, check out The Big Red Restaurant Guide online. 

Lodge Kura Hulanda
 & Beach Club

What were some of my favorite experiences?
Here's a tip for the best mojito on Curaçao--the Emerald Lounge at the Marriott serves them frozen.

Dinner at Jaipur Restaurant beside the Hotel Kura Hulanda's eco-pool and waterfall is romantic and the Indian-influenced food sublime.

Shopping, shopping, shopping. Stop in at Penha for perfume and gifts.

My choice for the best beach and most scenic spot on Curaçao, especially if you are fortunate to be there at sunset... the Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club.

However you decide to spend your day in port, I promise that you'll want to revisit Curaçao. 

Masha danki (thank you very much!) for joining me.

Back to Part One


Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Curaçao

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