I am not worldly and I know nothing of geography. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a geography course, or it may be possible that I slept through it in school. So on my last Carnival Cruise aboard the Freedom, I didn’t know what would be in store for me as we pulled into Curacao. Blue drinks? Up until that point, the only time I had ever heard the word Curacao was in a bar.
Before we debarked the ship I was told to be on the lookout for overuse of the word Douchey. Wait! What?! Like douchebag douchey?
In America, you might get smacked for calling someone douchey. In Curacao, you might get a kiss on the lips for calling someone dushi. “Dushi = sweetheart” in the Dutch Antilles and Curacao is an island in the southern Caribbean , off the Venezuelan coast, that forms part of the Dutch Caribbean.
After getting over my five-year-old humor, it was time to explore this new-to-me island.
We knew that we wanted to head from the port into the capitol of Curacao, Willemstad. I wanted to check out the floating market. I didn’t know it at the time but I was also going to be blown away by a massive floating bridge unlike anything I had ever seen before.
We grabbed a map and set out of foot. Our destination was only a 15 minute walk. Cruise passengers are directed from the port, through Rif Fort and on to bus transportation, ferry or a quick walk over the massive floating bridge into Willemstad.
After exiting Rif Fort you come upon a very unique piece of Curacao…The Queen Emma Bridge. On a pontoon. Several of them. (Insert Little Big Town lyrics here) It’s how you travel from the port into the capitol.
This massive floating bridge uses two powerful ship motors to propel it open and closed to let ships pass. The “Swinging Old Lady” sets atop 16 floating pontoon boats.
Touring the capitol of Curacao was like stepping into a big box of Crayola Crayons.
Everything was bursting with color and symmetry which appealed to my OCD tendencies.
Once we made it over to the capitol we headed straight for the “Floating Market”. If we hadn’t been on a Cruise Ship I would have snatched up some of the local Caribbean fare to take home.
After a quick tour of the market we leisurely strolled through the streets of town. Even the alleys are beautiful here.
Curacao in July is HOT. I’m not much of a shopper and after an hour I was ready to head back to the boat to get in the air conditioning.
We made our way back across the Queen Emma Bridge and in to Rif Fort. This time we discovered a set of carved out stairs leading up to the roof of the old coral fort. How could we resist?
The roof of the fort offered a sweeping view of our ship, the Carnival Freedom, just beyond the massive Infinity Beach at the Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino. I totally need to get back here to stay at this Marriott resort!
We made our way down from the fort’s roof and decided to go check out the casino. Once inside, my daughter discovered a Starbucks, my husband discovered free wi-fi and I discovered Brion, a locally brewed beer.
I like to experience travel through my taste buds. And speaking of taste buds, we were starting to get hungry. Time to head back to the ship.
Curacao has moved up on my list of “Must Return To” cruise destinations. That’s the great thing about cruising. You get a little preview into what it would be like to vacation at different destinations before committing fully with airfare and lodging. It’s fantastic!
This port was one of four that we visited on our recent 8-night cruise on the Carnival Freedom.
Ready to book your own cruise? Visit Carnival.com or call 1-800-764-7419.
Special thanks goes out to Carnival for hosting me and my family on the Carnival Freedom. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.