Day Five on Carnival Sunshine – Curacao
We were scheduled to port in Curacao at 8:00 am ship’s time, so we got up early. It was actually a pretty restful night, the ship was moving slower and not rocking as much as she had earlier. We grabbed a quick breakfast in the Marketplace before we left the ship. Again we sat in the Havana bar area and walked over to the Marketplace to get our food. I love the french toast.
Before the cruise I had vowed that I would not gain any weight during the cruise. I vowed I’d stay away from sugar and carbs. Well…it’s not working. There is far too much delicious food to not try it all. Back to the 21 day fix when I get home. For now, I’m going to enjoy!
Getting off the ship
We ran back to the room to get our water bottles, sunglasses, and hats. And we always take our passports off ship just in case we need them later. If something should happen that you miss the ship on your way back, you would need them. But remember, the ship will leave without you if you’re not on a ship’s excursion and you’re not back on time. ALWAYS keep your watch on ship’s time. I also took a salt pill, not a good idea I guess.
Since we’re on deck one, the gangplank is just one deck down for us. This time the gangplank was mid-ship. I saw Mikey, the cruise director, and asked him if he’d looked at my blog since the last time we spoke. He admitted that he hadn’t, but wrote down the name so he could check it out. Then we showed our sail and sign card to the crew, and then walked off the ship. They have a lot of small shops as you walk towards town. Also, there is a really good view of the ship as you get off. Very good photo op, so I got my picture taken with the ship in the background.
Fort and shops
I really liked the walkway to the Casino and shops. It’s so peaceful and green. At the end of the walkway there is the Carnaval (not Carnival) casino, and a number of the normal ship shops, like Diamonds International. Also a couple of small souvenir shops. I particularly liked the Dutch ceramics gift shop. And the prices weren’t that bad. You’ll see a dutch clog at the entrance. Also, this area is the best place to find a public restroom in Curacao. There is also the Rif fort. You can climb to the top. I decided to try that on the way back. I’m sure there would be a wonderful view of Curacao from the top.
Market… and heat!
Just past the fort is a small straw market. They were just setting up when we walked by so we decided to shop there later also. There was also a man selling cold bottled water for $1. Not a bad idea. I need to say that it was extremely hot and humid in Curacao when we were there. Aruba wasn’t nearly as humid and miserable. Be sure to stay hydrated when you go. And bring extra water. We got packets of Gatorade to add to the water for electrolytes.
Curacao…ships and ferry
Next up for us was the floating bridge, I think I saw signs that it was the Queen Emma bridge. The bridge floats on pontoons, and when a boat or ship comes through the bay, it opens up sideways. Kind of cool, but also kind of bad if you’re in a hurry to get back to the ship side of Curacao. Keep this in mind when it’s time to get back to the ship. You don’t want to get stuck on the wrong side watching the ship sail away. There is a ferry, but it’s slow to fill up and slow to cross the bay.
The town and shopping
I have to say that we liked the part of Curacao on the other side of the bridge much better than we liked Aruba. It’s cuter with more of the dutch architecture that I wanted to see. It’s also very colorful. There are quite a few souvenir stands over there, with lots of different items. Along the waterfront they sell their fish from the fishing boat, which was kind of fascinating to see. After that there is a small straw market. All of the people seemed so nice. They weren’t pushy like they are in some straw markets. And after that there is a produce market with all kinds of fruit. We couldn’t bring anything back to the ship, so we skipped that.
We were looking for the Blue Curacao Liquer. You can find it in almost any shop in town, but the prices do vary. We found it for $8 a bottle. We could not find out what kind of liquer is in it, I’ll have to look that up, I guess. No one seemed to know what it was made of.
If you’ll look down some of the alleys in the area, you’ll see beautiful artwork on the buildings themselves. I saw butterflies on one, and birds on another. There are also interesting statues and sculptures. Be sure to check them out. We felt completely safe in Curacao, so explore a bit. The hardest part of exploring for me was the heat and humidity. Try to stay hydrated and walk in the shade. We also saw some government buildings with great architecture. There was a fort of some sort behind them, but I don’t think it was open. Nice view from over there though. There were also a couple of nice play areas for the kids.
If you have kids you’ll want to know where you can find a restroom in Curacao. Let me tell you, it isn’t easy. Across the bridge we found one restroom, and it cost a dollar to use. It’s right at the ferry station on the waterfront. It was clean enough, but I really thing that a tourist area needs to have public restrooms somewhere. Also, you can find them on the ship side of the bay in the fort. None of the shops had public restrooms. I saw no malls like they had in Aruba.
The other side of the bridge
We decided to walk around town on the ship side of the bridge. We really didn’t find anything over there. The shops were just normal shops, and it was a bit rundown. I walked into a Catholic church. It was really pretty inside. I didn’t want to disturb those praying by taking pictures though. Other than that, nothing special. He thought he saw a Straw Market down the road a bit, but I was hot and didn’t want to keep walking. I don’t think it was a straw market.
Back for lunch
We decided to head back to the ship to grab some lunch, and then come back into town to shop some more. And for some reason my left fingers had swollen pretty badly. This doesn’t normally happen to me, so I figured that maybe I shouldn’t have taken the salt pill in the morning. That, on top of the Gatorade, may have been too much for my system. And it was so hot out also.
The walk back to the ship seemed to take forever. We showed our ship’s card to the guard, she didn’t need to see our passport. We got back onto the ship and I was so red from the heat that our steward decided to get us some ice. I need to say again, Myat has been such a good steward. I drank about three glasses of ice water, combed my dripping wet hair, and we went to the buffet to grab some lunch. The swelling went down a bit and I felt better after lunch.
I ended up at the Cantina and got a taco bowl. Pretty good, but I put too much spicy salsa on it. At the Blue Iguana you can add the ingredients that you want to your burrito or taco bowl. They had chicken, shrimp and beef, I think. I ended up with lettuce, salsa, green peppers, corn, pinto beans, chicken and beef. Very good and fresh. He got Guys Burgers. They are the best! And the fries are carnival style, really good. And I Nyoman, our dinner waiter, saw us and talked a bit. I just love the way that the crew remembers your name. I could not do that. Nice guy!
Back into Curacao
After we cooled down we headed back into town. I wanted to pick up a few things, and he wanted to find dominoes. All the market shops had dominoes. They must play a lot. We actually did see a couple of gentlemen playing in town. He found some hand carved ones at the market alongside the water. They were hand carved. Remember that you can bargain with the shop owners. I don’t like to do that, I normally pay what they’re asking…although I have bargained on occasion. The shop owner wanted $20 for the dominoes, but took $15.
When we got to the floating bridge, it was open, so we couldn’t cross. We stood there a while and then decided to head to the ferry. We stood in line waiting for it to come back. When it did it was taking forever for the people to debark. Meanwhile, the bridge closed again so we decided to head back there. In the end, I think that we beat the ferry across because it took so long to load and unload the people. Remember that when it’s time to get back to the ship. You don’t want to get stuck on the wrong side of the bridge.
I found what I wanted, and then we decided to head back to the ship. My hand was starting to swell again. I grabbed a small souvenir from the straw market and then we went through the Rif fort towards the ship. It was kind of funny because when we got to the guard she was sleeping. It’s just too hot for her to be sitting there, I guess. She did wake up as we passed by and asked what ship we were on…Well..since the Sunshine was the only ship in port… And then we got back aboard. I got some more water, and went to write my blog before dinner. Internet speed was a bit better because a lot of people were still in port.
After we’d showered and changed clothing, we got in line for Your Time Dining around 5:00. There already was a line for it in the Ocean Plaza. And I saw Santa Claus again. Hope he’s enjoying his cruise. We requested I Nyoman again, he’s really good. And he’s so friendly. His assistant waiter is I Made. Also very good, and remembers our name. We sat once again with Jean and David and had a nice conversation about the ports.
I had rabbit in a pastry shell and some spring rolls for appetizers. Pretty good. And I had the flatiron steak for dinner. The flatiron is a staple on the menu. You can get it any night, and it’s very tender. I got it with mashed potatoes and carrots. He had the same. For dessert I didn’t see anything I wanted on the menu, so I asked for a banana split. It was small, but very good. I wouldn’t have known I could get that, but someone on a previous cruise has told me about it. He had the sugar free chocolate cake, but I can’t remember what they called it.
Then something odd happened. The Maitre d’, Marcin, came up to our table and told me he wanted to speak to me. It ended up that we were invited to a private tasting in the galley for the next day at 5:00 pm. Wow. That sounds really cool. I have no idea on what it will be like, but it does sound interesting. So, I said that I’d be honored, and thanked him. He’s a really nice guy. I’m not sure exactly why he asked us, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll post more on that tomorrow.
We walked around a while, then watched part of The Incredibles on deck. It was so windy outside, so we got a mixed drink and relaxed on deck three outside. They have smoking on one side of the ship, and non-smoking on the other. We went back to our cabin for a bit and talked to Myat, our steward. He’s from Myanmar and supports a number of his family by working on the ship. He’s been working for Carnival for ten years already, and he’s really good. He makes great towel animals too! I have a collection now. A monkey, a platypus, a pig, and something that looks like Alf. He was on the ship when it listed, but didn’t seem concerned. He said it happens every once in a while to any ship.
At 9 pm was the comedy show with Just June. It used to be on Carnival that the early shows were family friendly shows, but I’ve yet to see a family friendly comedy show on this ship. I’m not really a fan of crude language, so I haven’t enjoyed the comedy shows on this ship as much. Most others seemed to like it though, so I guess it depends on what you’re comfortable with.
The end of the day
After the comedy show we went back to the cabin to relax. The smell seemed a bit better today. Someone knocked on the door and had a tray for us with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries….and bet of all…a Ship on a Stick! And this was all thanks to John Heald, the Carnival Ambassador! What a nice guy! I definitely sent him a thank you note.
And then it was time to rest up for our next day at sea. I have to admit, I’m tired! But the swelling went down in my hand, thankfully.