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Home > Member Reviews > xLibLabLady's Port Reviews of Half Moon Cay, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba

xLibLabLady's Port Reviews of Half Moon Cay, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba
Noordam cruise in February 2013
Member Name: xLibLabLady
Cruise Date: February 2013
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: xLibLabLady's Noordam Review
Half Moon Cay
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We agreed beaches do not get any better than on Half Moon Cay. We did our own thing. We explored the island on the nature trails, saw the old ruins, Bonefish Lagoon, the views from the Shipwreck Bar, swimming, walking the smoothest, silkiest sand beach ever with amazingly clear blue water. And did I mention the geocaches we found?

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Curacao
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We mostly did our own thing. We used geocaching to help show us points of interests we would not have seen otherwise. We ate lunch at a local restaurant, walked over to the Maritime Museum, and then went on a local tour with a company called Casper. It was an excellent tour. We saw some of the city, saw the "wedding cake" house, saw one of the cemeteries, toured a rum maker cum museum, had a great viewpoint on the eastern side of the island, and briefly visited a beach.
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Bonaire
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
I know Bonaire is most noted for its snorkeling and diving, but we chose to go on a land tour. In the morning, we went on a truly excellent tour with Bonaire Vista Tours, owned by locals Barbel and Brian. we saw the Salt Flats, the Slave Huts, Kralendijk, Gotomeer Lake/Flamingo Sanctuary,

Rincon, Mangazina di Rei, the second oldest stone building on Bonaire, and the view from Seru Largu. We also learned something about life on the island.

After the tour we enjoyed strolling around Kralendijk. We also looked for a geocaches.

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Aruba
Island Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Ship shore excursion:"Sea and See" (Ship shore excursion)

Quick review: excellent tour guide named Gwen who spoke very clearly, informatively and was entertaining too; a so-so ride on a semi-submersible boat, very fair, equitable way of off-loading the bus (alternate sides getting off first at stops), and good stops. Naturally the stops could have been longer. Too much time for the boat part.

The tour began with a visit to the California lighthouse.

We were readily able to fulfill the requirements of the virtual cache there by taking a picture of me with GPS in hand, and the lighthouse in the background.

Then came the drive to the Palm Beach resort for the first of two boat rides, one to take us to the semi-submersible boat, and of course the ride on the

semi-submersible boat. We were there over an hour. About half that would have been fine, I think. To our surprise, the water was kind of murky, there were not all that many fish. The story about the ship was kind of interesting, it had been brought from Germany with the captain choosing to stay in Aruba rather than go back for the war.

Next came the drive to the Casibari Rocks. Here we were able to "find" the Casibari - Hooiberg earth cache.

We only had 20 minutes here. People were given the option of climbing the stairs to the top of the rocks, or not. Of course Jerry and I did it. Parts of the trail and steps up were uneven, and at one point involved bending and fitting through a short tunnel. It was pretty neat, actually. On top there are fantastic views all around. The way down was definitely down. Long, steep steps, but again really great.

Last stop on the tour was the Natural Bridge. This is where the largest stone arch had collapsed in 2005, and now there is still what they call the Baby Natural Bridge.

We found the location and took a picture of me with GPS in hand, and the bridge in the background.

At both the California Lighthouse and here there had also been caches with containers, but there definitely was not enough time to search for them while on the bus tour.

We got to see in the distance an abandoned gold smelter: the Bushiribana ruins. The tour did not stop there, which was too bad.

Back at the ship, Jerry and I had a late lunch, then eventfully did a little shopping in the souvenir shop. We walked int town a little. We agreed it was too late to go look for a cache.


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