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First time to the ABC's


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10 hours ago, hrhdhd said:

You should check out the ports of call boards.

 

I will mention that Bonaire has great drift snorkeling. We have used Woodwind twice and have been very pleased.

 

https://www.woodwindbonaire.com/

I couldn’t agree more! Woodwind was the BEST experience snorkeling we’ve ever had. We just booking ABC cruise for Bonaire and Woodwind alone!! 

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Another vote for Woodwind snorkeling in Bonaire.  This was our first time snorkeling, and they were great!  They take great care of their "newbies". 

 

There are lots of things to see on Curacao, so don't be afraid to book a tour that takes you out of Orangestad (but do walk around the city...very charming!). 

 

In Aruba we just got out and walked around for a while.  We had a late day in port, so did the Celebrity sunset sail excursion - it was gorgeous!

 

Enjoy!  It is a great cruise!

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12 hours ago, DENIE said:

There are lots of things to see on Curacao, so don't be afraid to book a tour that takes you out of Orangestad (but do walk around the city...very charming!). 

Just to avoid confusion for those who may not be familiar with the ABC's, the capital of Curaçao is Willemstad, not Oranjestad. The latter is the capital of Aruba. 

Edited by Fouremco
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6 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Just to avoid confusion for those who may not be familiar with the ABC's, the capital of Curaçao is Willemstad, not Oranjestad. The latter is the capital of Aruba. 

Oops!  Sorry about that.  Thanks!  Had my cities mixed up... 😞

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2 minutes ago, DENIE said:

Oops!  Sorry about that.  Thanks!  Had my cities mixed up... 😞

LOL, it's easy enough to do, and you were 100% right about getting out and seeing more of Curaçao than just Willemstad, whether by booking a tour or our favourite, by renting a car.

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We did mangrove kayaking on Bonaire. Great experience and not hard work. We drove past some flamingoes on the way. 
Just walking along the quayside you can see hundreds of brightly coloured fish so I’m sure the snorkelling is great. 

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Hi, 

 

further to my my previous post we are now back on the ship after a day in Bonaire having rented a golf cart this time, now having experienced both the golf cart & woodwind I have to say the golf carts win hands down... I mean wow, what a great day we had, 

 

first of all both check in & collecting the cart the cart was very easy and quick, this really does seem a great company with very helpful people, 

 

now I say the golf cart wins but I guess there are a couple of factors to consider... firstly you first need to be completely comfortable driving these carts around, it is very easy and a lot of fun, 

 

secondly, regarding our day and what made it so good was we were able to snorkel at leisure where & when we wanted too, without having to follow someone or stick to a specific area, we stopped at 3 different spots to snorkel and highlighted another 2-3 at least to try next time, now of course you need your own equipment (I think you can rent from the cart company) and you also need to be confident to snorkel without a guild etc, if you are this experience for us wins hands down 👍🏼😎 

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WeCurrently on reflection and just been to the ABCs. This was our first ever cruise & first time to the ABCs.

Aruba - our favourite island and we were there overnight. We had dinner at barefoot beach ( booked in advance) you eat on the beach watching the sunset amazing service, food & views. The second day we did the half day UTV adventure- booked through Aviator and was a small tour (3 UTVs plus guide).it was great fun with some great stops- company called Rockabeach tours.You do need to be a confident driver though as its proper offloading. 

Curacao - we did a jeep tour excursion I booked independently . This was good but the scenery was very much the same...you can only see so many cactus and waves crashing into rocks! We spent a couple of hours walking round the really interesting town after the excursion and enjoyed that more.

Bonaire - we did an eco RIB ride a ship excursion. Again it was good but not what we were expecting. To us a RIB is like a speedboat and we were expecting to go through the mangroves to see the flamingos. What we got was driving past the flamingos quickly in a bus and then an hour on an inflatable boat slowly going through the mangroves whilst the guy explained about mangroves for an hour. A great guide but not what we thought were getting. We did get 40 mins on the beach at the end and got the guy to stop the bus on the way back so we could take flamingo pics.

We dont do snorkelling and dont really enjoy sitting around on the beach all day. So I just picked things I thought we would enjoy 😊

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On 1/27/2020 at 2:33 PM, MR_T said:

 

 

secondly, regarding our day and what made it so good was we were able to snorkel at leisure where & when we wanted too, without having to follow someone or stick to a specific area, we stopped at 3 different spots to snorkel and highlighted another 2-3 at least to try next time, now of course you need your own equipment (I think you can rent from the cart company) and you also need to be confident to snorkel without a guild etc, if you are this experience for us wins hands down 👍🏼😎 

Mr_T - we have the golf carts booked for Bonaire in April. We will be import from 7 AM to 3 PM. Will we have enough time to do both routes or should we just stick to the one that is not one way?  

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1 hour ago, Perky1 said:

Mr_T - we have the golf carts booked for Bonaire in April. We will be import from 7 AM to 3 PM. Will we have enough time to do both routes or should we just stick to the one that is not one way?  

Hi, 

 

thats the same same time we was import,

 

I guess it depends on what you want to do? If you want to just drive around the island stopping for the pictures etc I’d say yes you would have time to see it all, if like us you want to snorkel at a few different locations then I’d say it would be tight, we ended up getting back just before 2pm and did the south section and went up to as far as you can north before it turns into a one way section, if you go past that you need around 2 hrs to get back to their office/town/port I believe, 

 

i would say be ready to get off asap and get to the meeting point as the line builds fast, we were first there and had a very speedy check in and drive away experience, 

 

enjoy 👍🏼

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5 minutes ago, MR_T said:

 

 

i would say be ready to get off asap and get to the meeting point as the line builds fast, we were first there and had a very speedy check in and drive away experience, 

 

enjoy 👍🏼

Thank you!

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Bonaire: Rent a golf cart at Bonaire Cruzers and this will allow you to see the whole island and stop where you want to and snorkel. All of the sites are clearly marked by a rock with yellow lettering. Reserve your golf cart now as they tend to sell out early.

 

Aruba: they also have some great snorkel spots but you will need to get on a organized excursion. We did some scuba diving.

 

Curaçao:  We did the Lion Fish hunt and it was great. The Lion Fish are getting deeper and deeper so you will need tanks to get to them.  We found many at 100 feet deep.

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2 hours ago, Perky1 said:

Mr_T - we have the golf carts booked for Bonaire in April. We will be import from 7 AM to 3 PM. Will we have enough time to do both routes or should we just stick to the one that is not one way?  

No problem to do the whole island. If you just drove and never stop Ed you could do in 2 hours.

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28 minutes ago, Airrace said:

No problem to do the whole island. If you just drove and never stop Ed you could do in 2 hours.

We want to stop and snorkel and relax a bit so we will just do as Mr_T suggested.  Thanks though, next time we can do the other section!

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On 1/27/2020 at 1:33 PM, MR_T said:

Hi, 

 

further to my my previous post we are now back on the ship after a day in Bonaire having rented a golf cart this time, now having experienced both the golf cart & woodwind I have to say the golf carts win hands down... I mean wow, what a great day we had, 

 

first of all both check in & collecting the cart the cart was very easy and quick, this really does seem a great company with very helpful people, 

 

now I say the golf cart wins but I guess there are a couple of factors to consider... firstly you first need to be completely comfortable driving these carts around, it is very easy and a lot of fun, 

 

secondly, regarding our day and what made it so good was we were able to snorkel at leisure where & when we wanted too, without having to follow someone or stick to a specific area, we stopped at 3 different spots to snorkel and highlighted another 2-3 at least to try next time, now of course you need your own equipment (I think you can rent from the cart company) and you also need to be confident to snorkel without a guild etc, if you are this experience for us wins hands down 👍🏼😎 

 

Thank you for taking the time to post this info.  We've been on Woodwind a couple of times and can't say enough about them but after reading this, I reserved a golf cart for September.  We'll be there from 8 AM to 8 PM so there will be plenty of time to explore the island.  What were the best spots for snorkeling and did you need fins?  

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29 minutes ago, Perky1 said:

We want to stop and snorkel and relax a bit so we will just do as Mr_T suggested.  Thanks though, next time we can do the other section!

My recommendation would be to head north-east out of town following the shore, not stopping until you reach the 1000 Steps dive/snorkel site. The road becomes one-way shortly afterwards, so you don't want to go any further. After enjoying your first snorkel there, head back towards town, stopping at Oil Slick Leap, Cliff,  Front Porch or one or two of the other good snorkel sites you'll pass. There's a restaurant 100 metres or so from Oil Slick Leap, or you might want to head into Kralendijk for a bite to eat, then head south to either try some of the snorkel sites found there or simply to see the sights.

 

If I remember correctly, Bonaire Cruzers gives you a map of Bonaire with all of the dive/snorkel sites marked. You can find many variations of the map online for planning purposes, but try to find a newish one as over time some numbers have changed. When you are driving, you will find that all of the sites are marked by a yellow stone with the number painted on it.

 

There are lots of websites that discuss the better snorkel sites, including this one: http://www.skin-diver.com/bonaire/snorkel.html While there are no bad snorkel sites, some are definitely better than others and your time spent researching will be well worthwhile.

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You can be beach bums on all 3 islands - that's what we do now

Snorkel in Bonaire or use the carts to get around

Cabana Beach is great in Curacao but packed! so we use private resorts - yes or walk into town and have nice drinks in the pavement cafes

Aruba is one long great beach - head up to the Rui - Top end of Eagle Beach near the Renaissance hotel and maybe go across to see the flamingos - its cheap on the bus along the coast

 

All three islands are lovely - you will enjoy them all 

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3 hours ago, MartinsCruise said:

 

Thank you for taking the time to post this info.  We've been on Woodwind a couple of times and can't say enough about them but after reading this, I reserved a golf cart for September.  We'll be there from 8 AM to 8 PM so there will be plenty of time to explore the island.  What were the best spots for snorkeling and did you need fins?  

 

Fins are not required but highly recommended.  Fins help you conserve energy and allow you to dive down below the surface to observe things like lobsters, etc. 

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5 hours ago, Perky1 said:

We want to stop and snorkel and relax a bit so we will just do as Mr_T suggested.  Thanks though, next time we can do the other section!

I’ll have a look through some info to let you know where we snorkelled, we did 3 stops and all were great, although one was a little tricky getting in & out of the water, we came across one other we wished we had time for just a little south from the 1000 steps site, so you could start there as suggested by another poster, (there are quite a few steps down to it but don’t worry not quite 1000) 😂, then head south to do the next one... name to follow but it’s literally a few mins south, it has a ladder down to the water which looked amazing, then head to the town & southern section also as suggested before to do that but also 👍🏼 

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Definitely recommend Woodwind in Bonaire. Possibly my favourite shore excursion ever. In fact, I just booked with them for February 2021. They sell out WAY in advance because they are so good. They are already booking well into 2021!

 

You won’t be disappointed! 

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1 hour ago, MR_T said:

it has a ladder down to the water which looked amazing

That's Oil Slick Leap. We've snorkelled there several times and have done a few day and night dives there. It's much easier climbing back up the ladder with just your snorkel gear! 🤿

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