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Home > Member Reviews > MtnBikerFallDown's Port Reviews of Aruba, Curacao, Princess Cays

MtnBikerFallDown's Port Reviews of Aruba, Curacao, Princess Cays
Crown Princess cruise in February 2014
Member Name: MtnBikerFallDown
Cruise Date: February 2014
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: MtnBikerFallDown's Crown Princess Review
Aruba
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

We hadn’t really found an excursion that suited us, so we declared it to be our shopping day! And, shop we did! I wound up with a Pandora bracelet (I had one that got stolen when our house was robbed several years ago, so it was nice to get around to replacing that) and some great charms, and DH wound up with a great deal on a Skagen watch. We also ate lunch near the Renaissance Aruba resort and casino at Hung Paradise. Quit giggling kids! Despite the name, it was wonderful. Some of the best Chinese food I have ever had. Their hot and sour soup is different than I’ve ever had and I could have eaten a vat of it all on my own. We sat outside and had the perfect ocean breeze. Down from there was a sidewalk that ran along the beach. It was covered with iguanas, so of course we had to take pictures. They were very obliging and posed. We followed the sidewalk down to the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino’s wonderful lagoon. Took some really great pictures of our ship from there. We popped in and out of a ton of shops, stopped for Gelato and drinks. Just pretty much killed the day in a great way. Much like Curacao, we didn’t have anyone approaching us to hawk t-shirts or tours every 3 minutes. I loved that! Much more relaxing!



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Curacao
Buggy Tour Rating: Not Rated

At 2:30, we met up with our ATV buggy group. We’d booked thru the ship, but the group that does the tour is Curacao Buggy Adventures aka Scooby’s Tours. They were great. They had 2 vans to get us to the site. We got to cross the tallest bridge in the Caribbean on our way. The driver told us a lot about the areas we were driving thru. We met up with the actual ATV guys, signed the usual waivers, let them gander at our drivers licenses and away we went. The crazy thing is, the ATVs are also street legal, so here we are on Razr Buggies, tearing down the roads. The guide that brought up the rear would zoom ahead to intersections and block them so we didn’t get separated. Locals were very friendly waving and smiling. There is a LOT of restoration of the old houses going on. Nice to see! We got to the actual ATV trails and they signaled us to put our goggles on. Thankfully, they provided those. It kicked up a ton of dust and sand. Next time I’ll know to bring a bandana to cover my mouth, too! I think I swallowed/inhaled a lot of Curacao! The trails were a blast, and the guides did not baby us! It was pedal to the metal and we loved it. You wind up popping off the trail to a beautiful stretch of ocean with a blow-hole. You also wind up skirting some gorgeous shoreline, and even hiking up to a small cave that spits out out on top of a cliff with amazing views. The guides were really great to make sure we all go pictures. I can’t say enough wonderful about these guys!!! The tour ended at an ostrich farm that was pretty much a let-down. They had a handful of rough-looking ostriches, a tapir-looking animal, and some really mean geese. One bit me, but I’ve fought with geese before, so I won that round. We loaded back up in the vans and they dropped us off right across from the pier. I knew we had gotten dirty, but when they handed us the little cool, moist cloth, I wiped my face and came back with pure mud on it! Ick! But, again, totally worth it! We had planned to go into the shopping district, but had played a little too hard, so we stayed onboard after showering and just took a nap!




Ostrich Farm Rating: 1.0 out of 5+

The tour ended at an ostrich farm that was pretty much a let-down. They had a handful of rough-looking ostriches, a tapir-looking animal, and some really mean geese. One bit me, but I’ve fought with geese before, so I won that round.




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Princess Cays
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

Our first “real” day was Princess Cays, and also DH’s 41st birthday. I got him this cruise as a surprise and to say the least, I got some major good-wife-points! He had a blast! I think this was his favorite or 2nd favorite day. He’s been wanting to try a stand-up paddleboard, so I’d pre-reserved him one. He loved it. Paddled all around for about 45 minutes, I think. I see one of those being purchased for home soon! We also got a 2 person kayak. It was my first time kayaking, but hubby does it all the time, so he paddled most of the time while I was geeking out and taking pictures (BTW, if you are an iPhone user, I cannot say enough how awesome our LifeProof case was. We used the phone to take underwater pictures without a hitch. AWESOME). We then paddled back in, and hung out in our clamshell for a while, then had some of the BBQ (I seriously think I ate the equivalent of an entire chicken. That was the best roasted chicken I’ve had in ages. Between that and the fresh pineapple… I was in heaven). We headed back at about 2, with the ship leaving at about 4pm. I’d used spray sunscreen before going on shore and reapplied a couple of times. When we got home I did some research and have found that many have the same issue with it that I did. As in… it didn’t work AT ALL. I looked like a lobster. I had been SO careful, because I know I am fair skinned. Sigh. Oh, well. I spent the rest of the cruise glopping on aloe gel and moisturizers. It helped a lot, but was really frustrating to have done the right thing and not gotten the right results.
A hint on Princess Cays. As you exit the tenders, to your left is the water sports rentals, the musicians, kids area, lots of shops and the Cabanas. Dead ahead and lockers and bathrooms. To the right, over a bridge and around is an area that has the loungers, clamshells and another roped off swimming area. It is MUCH less crowded. For the first 2 hours there, I had a whole corner of that beach to myself, while DH went paddle boarding and such. It’s a little harder to hear the band, but other than that, it’s a great area! It has a BBQ area and bathrooms and a bar of its own, so you aren’t really missing anything on that side besides noise and crowds!



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