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Home > Member Reviews > rosegrower's Port Reviews of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Colon (Cristobal), Puerto Limon

rosegrower's Port Reviews of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Colon (Cristobal), Puerto Limon
Zuiderdam cruise in February 2012
Member Name: rosegrower
Cruise Date: February 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: rosegrower's Zuiderdam Review
Aruba
Sunset Cruise Rating: Not Rated
When were arrived to the pier building, we were directed to a table and were given a green paper to sign, most just signed it and went to wait for the tour. My husband DID read it and was upset that we we had to sign this form releasing everyone including HAL from any responsibility if anything happened to you. We chose to lose our money and hurried back on the ship to go to dinner. It would have better if HAL had been upfront about this in the excursion description and we would have not chosen it. We did not have to sign any other forms on any of our other HAL excursions which were on boats also.


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Bonaire
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Our favorite port! We did the glass bottom boat excursion and it was great! There is a step down to get into the boat but they help you if needed. William and the boat driver went out of their way to help us see coral, 2 sea turtles and many fish. At Kleine Bonaire, the fish come right up to the boat and you get to see them up close. Williams commentary was very informative and witty and we just had a wonderful time. The boat is covered so we really did not get sun pouring down on us. The only cautionary note is that you do have to really bend your knees to fit in the space in front of the glass bottom. I have had knee replacement surgery and my knee got a little stiff but otherwise okay.

The port itself has a craft market right at the pier where items have to be from Bonaire. I got a small water color of the type of sea turtle we had just seen and some other artwork with flamingos.

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Curacao
Port Rating: Not Rated
We just walked across the floating bridge and did some shopping, took some good photos of the colorful buildings and used some free wifi at a cafe. We had to return by ferry but no problems. We had been here previously and did extensive excursions so just relaxed here for the most part.

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Colon (Cristobal)
Port Rating: Not Rated
We stayed on the ship for the Panama Canal since we had lived in that country for 3 years. The process of going thru the locks was fascinating and we spent most of the day on our veranda watching. We did get off the ship in Colon for a short while but did not purchase anything.

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Puerto Limon
The Tortuguero Canals Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Bus was well air conditioned and seats comfy. Our guide Anna Maria was very knowledgeable and spoke English very well. She talked to us on the way to the canals about the country and what we would see. There are restrooms to use before getting on the boat. The boat ride itself was fun, it was covered and the boat driver and Anna Maria went out of their way to help us see birds, sloths. monkeys. After the boat, you got about 20 minutes or so to listen to the band , eat fresh fruit and have a drink. There was a small gift area and I bought a necklace and bracelet made out of the local woods. I was sorry that I did not purchase more since the same items were being sold at the pier for $3 and $4 more. The stop at the banana plantation was short but interesting. On the way back, the driver stopped and purchased some small ladyfinger bananas at a roadside stand which we all got to sample. We enjoyed this excursion. We were a little concerned when we saw that we had to leave at 6:45 am, but it was not bad, the LIDO opened early and our guide told us the morning was the best time to see wildlife, etc.


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