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Copper10-8

Koningsdam in the Caribbean

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We too will be boarding the Koningsdam on Wednesday for our second trip on the ship. I will be interested to see the changes made during the first drydock. Thanks to your posts, I have a good idea of what to expect. Sorry that our paths won't cross! 

 

We still have snow on the ground in Minnesota; it will be wonderful to see white sand instead! 

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Posted (edited)

The museum in Bonaire looks nice. Unfortunately, it was closed when we were there a few years ago. But I do remember Gios! Chocolate so dark it was almost black. Yum!!

 

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Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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I enjoyed your coverage of Curacao. on of my favorite stops on a cruise.  I saw your ship this AM on the Aruba camera. I am sure you will have more pictures and cogent comments on Aruba!

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More than any other island in the former Netherlands Antilles, Curacao is reminiscent of Holland. Charming Willemstad is filled with verandahs, porches, slatted shutters, and pastel colors to accommodate the warm Caribbean climate, but the overall style is distinctly Dutch.

 

The first thing that one will notice about Willemstad is the pastel skyline created by the painted Dutch architecture that lines the waterfront. Locals say it was the 19th century Governor-General Albert Kikkert who is responsible for this colorful architecture. Legend has it that he suffered from migraine headaches that he attributed to the harsh reflection of the sun on the white buildings of Willemstad. Thus, a decree was issued to paint the structures any color other than white. Thus, buildings became Caribbean hues of blues, greens, yellows, and reds. The result is a vibrant introduction to the city as the ship navigates the slim passage of the Sint Annabaai channel. The city itself is a blend of cultures, from the languages spoken to the cuisine that can be found in this bustling port

 

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Bon Bini! 🖐️ Lunch with a view on the outside terrace at the Iguana Cafe across the water of the Sint Anna Baai; Can't beat it!

 

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The Koningin Emma Brug / Queen Emma Bridge, named after HRH Queen Emma of the Netherlands (1890–1898) is a floating pedestrian bridge, also known as the "Swinging Old Lady," that spans Willemstad's Sint Anna Baai / St. Anna Bay. The bridge connects the Willemstad districts of Punda and Otrobanda. Built in 1888, the "pontoon bridge" is supported by 16 floating pontoon boats and swings opens using two powerful ship motors, allowing ships to access the bay and the large natural harbor which includes the Royal Netherlands Navy base Parera
 
From 1901 to 1934, people had to pay a toll to cross the bridge, with the exception of pedestrians going barefoot. When the bridge is open to let ships to or from the harbor pass, pedestrians are transported free of charge by the ponchi, two small "Havendienst" (harbor service) ferries
 
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Some of the "stuff" for sale at the Rif Fort as well as Mega Pier shops. Yeah, we did some damage at the Delft Blue store; had to get a couple of "Delft Blauw" cats 😜

 

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Back on board, we had an unexpected and pleasant surprise when one of two Kustwacht Caribisch Gebied (KWCARIB) / Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) Bombardier Dash 8 maritime patrol aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Hato (part of Curacao Int'l Airport) performed a low fly-by on K-dam's starboard side

 

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Last thing we did on Saturday evening was to take a two and a half hour shorex entitled "Willemstad by night & folkloric performance." It was a panoramic drive through some of Willemstad's neighborhoods (Otrabanda, Punda, Salina and Scharloo), a crossing of the big Queen Juliana Bridge, and a stop atop Fort Nassau. It was followed by a ride to Mambo Beach for an outside multi-cultural performance by a local dance group. Nice!

 

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Oranjestad, Aruba; The island of Aruba, generally flat and riverless is located only 18 miles north of the coast of Venezuela, measures 20 miles long from its northwestern to its southeastern end and 6 miles across at its widest point. Together with Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba forms a group commonly referred to as the ABC islands. Aruba is one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curacao and Sint Maarten. The citizens of these countries all share a single nationality: Dutch. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad (Orange City), our destination today.

 

Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of 69.1 square miles and is densely populated, with a total of 102,484 inhabitants at the 2010 Census. It lies outside “Hurricane Alley”. Small, sunny and very much itself, Aruba has emerged as a major tourist attraction in the last ten years.

 

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Aruba's national flag was adopted on March 18, 1976. The design consists of a field of light blue (called "Larkspur"), two narrow parallel horizontal yellow ("Bunting Yellow") stripes in the bottom half, and a four-pointed white-fimbriated red ("Union Flag red") star in the canton. The blue field represents the sky, the sea, peace, hope, Aruba's future and its ties to the past.

The red star represents the four points of the compass, with the island having drawn people from around the world. The star also represents the island itself, surrounded by the blue sea. The horizontal yellow stripes denote the free and separate position Aruba enjoys in the Kingdom of the Netherlands

 

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So, we did something strange for cruise ship passengers and that was taking a taxi cab to 'Noord,' ('North'), the area north of Oranjestad,about a fifteen minute ride. Our destination? A really big Dutch supermarket by the name of 'Super Food' We just wanted to take a look at what type of Dutch "stuff" they carried. The answer; pretty much everything! I saw a lot of stuff from my childhood that I haven't seen in many, many years. We didn't buy much since we have to log it with us on the two plane rides back home, but we did buy some stroopwafels, Verkade chocolate bar and a jumbo bag of 'Engelse Drop' 1f609.png?_nc_eui2=AeHa98E3GHjOAxHHKnngj😉

 

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From Super Food, another cabbie took us past the cruise terminal to the Renaissance Marketplace where we found a nice place with outside/shaded seating for lunch; Cafe the Plaza. We received company for a short time from a Troupial, the national bird of Venezuela

 

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I finally caught up with this thread. We love the K'dam and you are doing an awesome job of relaying facts and thoughts. Thank you. We did the evening tour in Curacao a couple of years ago....it was near/on St. Nicholas Day, so St. Nick and company joined us. It was very enjoyable!

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1 hour ago, Copper10-8 said:

we did buy some stroopwafels,

 

YUM!! I let mine sit for a minute or so atop a cup of tea or chai latte.

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Enjoying all the wonderful pictures  John , great camera work ,and all the special  information you are sharing with us , you have done your home work ! 

Curacao is one of our favorite Islands in the Caribbean , we spend 10 days there in January and went home with a bag full of "Dutch Goodies " and half a wheel of cheese . Everyday about 28 degrees and we only had 5 drops of rain plus there are many nice places to enjoy and some great restaurants to visit ! 

I saw many familliar places in your pics , Thanks ! 

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K-dam was berthed at Oranjestad's Dock C and her crew held a fire/general emergency/abandon ship drill this morning at 1030 hrs. with the "little tree that could" located on the reef that lays in front of the cruise terminal, looking on

 

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Departure from Oranjestad, passing the Seaport Village Marina, the Renaissance Marketplace and finally, Queen Beatrix International Airport. The local harbor pilot who took us out was long on his way back to mothers by then for some "snert"

 

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Just finished catching up on your excellent Koningsdam review.  There is so much to look at as of late, what with the Prinsendam finishing her last Grand Voyage and the Viking Sky excitement.  

Thanks for your beautiful postings complete with great pics.

 

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So, upon departure from Oranjestad, cruise ships will sail by the lone 8,999 ft. runway (11/29) of Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix aka Queen Beatrix International Airport. The airport is named after HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the now-retired Queen and former head of state of Aruba

 

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4 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

bag of 'Engelse Drop' 1f609.png?_nc_eui2=AeHa98E3GHjOAxHHKnngj😉

 

Yum!  Love them!

In your photos of your lunch at Aruba, the third photo:  what was that?

Interesting that a Venezuelan bird has left its country.  (I realize how close Venezuela is to Aruba, but my first thought to your post was "even the birds are trying to get out"!)

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28 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Yum!  Love them!

In your photos of your lunch at Aruba, the third photo:  what was that?

Interesting that a Venezuelan bird has left its country.  (I realize how close Venezuela is to Aruba, but my first thought to your post was "even the birds are trying to get out"!)

 

That third pic are the famous Dutch "bitterballen" with mustard (you can eat them "plain" also) 😋Yeah, that Venezuelan "national bird" is also not a "socialism lover," it so appears and left its native country for much happier Aruba, a sad story! 😔

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3 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

hat third pic are the famous Dutch "bitterballen" with mustard (you can eat them "plain" also)

 

That's not the one to which I was referring.  I recognized bitterballen.  The photo had a picture of an elongated item, maybe a sandwich?  Maybe a dessert?  I recognized the ham and cheese grilled sandwich.

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