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momof4blessings

snorkeling Blue Room & Playa Grandi (turtles)

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We just got back from our ABC island cruise. Our family (husband, myself, 4 kids ages 17, 14, 11, 9) set out on our own each day and had different adventures on each island. Our day in Curacao, we were in port from 7a-4p. Since this was our 3rd day in a row in port, we 'slept in' and got off the ship after 8:30am. I had arranged to rent 2 cars from Advance Car Rentals Curacao, a recommendation I got on this forum. Celestino did not disappoint! He was perhaps the most impressive and professional person we dealt with on any of the islands. Really, he deserves all the praise he gets, his customer service is that good. Anyway, we met him as planned, I paid him $150 cash ($75/car), he gave us the cars, preprogrammed GPS's and cell phones (with his number and the other cell number programmed in) and a map, and some helpful advice, and we were off.

 

First we headed north to Boca Santa Cruz, about 40 min drive. We were the only ones there when we arrived around 10:00. We walked over to the restaurant and met Captain Goodlife. There is plenty to read about him online..."salty" is a pretty accurate description. (He is quite a contrast from Celestino!) Anyway, we rented 3 kayaks from him ($35x3=$105) to go out to the Blue Room cave. You need your own snorkeling equipment, which we had. I had originally wanted to go to the Blue Room on Captain Goodlife's 1:00 boat trip, but I was worried that would cut it too close to get back to town and be on board our ship by 4:00. So, we rented the kayaks instead. It wasn't too hard paddling out there (about 20 minutes) but paddling back against the current was quite difficult! I was sharing a kayak with my 14yo son, and when just I paddled, we didn't go anywhere, I was just canceling the wind/current. But together we made progress, although it still took us probably twice as long to get back. My husband, who was paddling with our 9yo said it was way harder than he was expecting. Anyway, just be aware, it's challenging!

 

The Blue Room itself was really cool. It was not plainly obvious to find...there is a little buoy to tie up to but nothing else to tell you "this is it!" There was a boat there when we arrived so we asked the driver and he confirmed it was the Blue Room (he was waiting on some divers in the cave). We tied up (make sure to tie up well...if your kayak floats off you're in deep trouble!) put on our snorkel gear and swam into the cave. It was fairly intimidating. When we were there, there was about a 6" opening that would open and close with the waves. You had to swim underwater for maybe 10 ft (3-4m). Inside it was very cool. We probably spent an hour there, even though there isn't really very much to see. 5 out of the 6 of us liked it (my 11yo daughter freaked out and minorly scraped her leg swimming in and took a while to calm down). But it was a neat experience that in my opinion is worth doing at least once in your life! It is also a decent snorkel spot around the cave with a good number and variety of fish. 

 

When we got back to the dock around 12:30, Capt Goodlife wasn't around, so we unloaded ourselves and put the kayaks back and headed out. We drove a short distance to Playa Grandi (Playa Piskado) where the big highlight is turtles. We snorkeled for about an hour and saw a dozen turtles, as well as lots of fish including a big puffer fish. It was a very cool experience that I would say is one of the neatest things I've ever done. Remember to be a good tourist though, and look without disturbing the wildlife!!

 

We left a little after 2:00, heading back and stopping for a few minutes at Grote Knip on the way just to see how beautiful it was. Got gas (paid $10US for each car and got a bunch of Curacao-an change...probably $8 would have been enough) and returned to meet Celestino at 3:30. I think it was our favorite port! Very unique, memorable experiences! If we had more time I would have liked to explore the town and go over the walking bridge. We could see it from the ship as we pulled out. Hope to go back again someday!

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Wow!  Thank you for your review.  It sounds like your family had quite an adventure!  We are doing a land-based vacation in Curaçao and I am interested in the Blue Room.  Sounds like it can be quite intimidating.

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