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SXMFOX
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Joined: 03/04/09
Posts: 38
Loc: Eastern NC, N Topsail Beach
Trip report from Curacao
      #1751170 - 11/05/17 05:42 PM (172.220.209.243)

Our Curacao vacation 10/27/17 -11/04/17

When traveling to Curacao, we highly recommend that you go on line and get ED forms so you do not have to spend a long time in the airport. (Passport Readers) We were very surprised that the airport looked as if it had not been renovated in many years. The bathrooms reminded me of the first time we travelled to St. Maarten back in the 90ís, when most sinks and soap units did not work. (Reminds us of the old SXM airport)
We rented our car from D&D, you walk out of the airport and walk about a block to the right and one of his staff will be waiting for you. He will drive you about 2 minuets to their office. The car was nice, Daniel was very nice and the car came with a free phone to use and a gps that had all points of interest for the island. This was very useful during our vacation.
The most popular grocery store is called Centrum, about 10 minutes from the airport. It has many meats, fruits, wines, liquor and more.
We stayed on the north side of the island in an estate called Coral Bay in a villa on the ocean. We rented here because the sight we rented the villa; said you could walk to Karakterís restaurants. We could of walked but it would of taken us about 10 to 15 minutes, so we chose to drive 2 minutes. The food and atmosphere is great. We ate there at least 3 dinners and 2 lunches. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food on the island we thought was expensive.
We went to Blue Bay resort where we told the security at the guard shack we were eating lunch and they let us right in. (No charge) We had an amazing hamburger with sautťed onions and my husband had a pull pork sandwich for lunch and then went and easily laid in the many beach chairs they had and swam in the bay. All the waters are rocky so I do recommend Beach shoes. We never did have to pay extra to go to any resort but many of the man made beaches did have algae in them that made me somewhat concerned. We went to the Lions Dive resort, it is very big with two or more bays but was very crowded. We also went to Paypagaya Beach and Mambo beach on the South of the island. One of the reasons we went to this island was for the man made beaches. The videos we saw looked amazing. Up close and personal I thought the waters looked dark and not sure about sanitation.
We loved downtown, it looks just like the pictures. The swing bridge was great many places to shop and eat. We ate at the Rif Fort at Steaks and Ribs that looks over the ocean and had a great breeze. We do have to say that everyone was very friendly and we always felt very safe no matter where we went.
The roads are good and it is easy to get around if you know where you are going. We did think their churches and grave sights were impressive.
I do not recommend Dina Veraís herb garden, we drove an hour to see a run down garden, and Dina was not there. There was a building with serums in bottles on site.
The island is large and we only saw a small portion, many of you have always been able to find that shack off the side of the road and tell us how wonderful the food was. We are not that couple to do that, so sorry. You will love this place if you like very hot weather and many resorts to look at. This island was just not something we are dying to go back to. (Just our opinion) I just can not wait to get back to St. Maarten. We have many pictures in an I phone but do not know how to put them in on the form. If anyone wants pictures send me your email and we will be happy to send them. These are just our thoughts alone. We know there are many who love Curacao, itís just not our cup of tea. We are a couple that has been married for 25 years and still stay active, but Curacao is extremely hot, and not a lush tropical island. We really do not need a lot of amenities, just things that make us comfortable! So please donít beat us up on the report, but I guess the search continues until SXM is somewhat back to normal, in a sense.

Gary & Catherine


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irish1223
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Joined: 01/02/07
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Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: SXMFOX]
      #1751183 - 11/05/17 10:59 PM (190.88.53.198)

Thanks for your trip report! No one should ever be beaten up for a trip report, regardless of whether one agrees with it or not. We appreciate your honest input and the time you took to write it. As you know, we are still in CuraÁao (also our first trip here) and will return to the States on Tuesday. We do agree with some of your report, but in other areas are having a much different experience. We donít care for the man-made beaches either ó they mostly resemble large lagoons in our minds and do tend to look a bit 'cloudy' and silty. Did you drive further north than Coral Bay Estates resort? To Cas Abou or Playa Kenepa (Knip)? Those two natural beaches are stunning (in our opinion), not man-made, but open to the sea and just crystal clear waters. Very, very nice for swimming and/or snorkeling. Daaibooi was another nice one, but we liked Knip the best. We spent the most time there.

We visited Coral Bay Estates briefly the day you left, but were not impressed. Karakter was nice (we didnít eat there), but too crowded by the time we got there; we could not find loungers in the shade, so didnít stay too long. The lack of a sand beach was a surprise to us, though the view was wonderful. Coral Bay Estates was a little too 'sterile' for us. Hard to explain what we mean by that, but while very nice houses, it just isnít the type of place we like to stay. Did you only have a/c in the bedrooms? I need to have a/c throughout. The a/c at Avila worked so well that sometimes the room felt too cold. LOL! CuraÁao is indeed hot (being near the equator), but we were really quite comfortable most of the time with the gentle breezes blowing. It didnít feel any worse than SXM in our opinion.

We didnít really like any of the 'resort beaches' all that much, including Avila's (where we stayed) or the Mango Beach strand beaches. They are all 'man-made' and had that lagoon-like appearance. Avila's in particular looked very cloudy. We much preferred the natural beaches mentioned above. Avila Resort was otherwise a very nice place to stay, however, with some very good food in 3 different restaurants and a beach bar. Will go into more detail when we wrote our trip report upon arriving home in a few days. This was not SXM, but we found it a decent place in its own right while waiting for our favorite island to heal.

Again, thanks for your trip report. Wish we had been able to connect while we were all here.

--------------------
Robin & Ed


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Loc: Central Florida!
Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: SXMFOX]
      #1751187 - 11/06/17 07:52 AM (107.77.253.5)

Thanks for the report. I am somewhat curious as to why man made beaches would be something appealing to you? I guess you just meant that those beaches looked beautiful in the videos you saw? Did Karakter have a similar menu to the one in SXM? Was Jorrit there? Curacao and Aruba are both very arid, as compared to SXM, that is for sure.

As far as pictures, you can upload them to the SXM photos forum, if you shrink them in size.


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SXMFOX
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Joined: 03/04/09
Posts: 38
Loc: Eastern NC, N Topsail Beach
Re: Trip report from Curacao
      #1751191 - 11/06/17 08:13 AM (172.220.209.243)

Thanks Robin and Ed,thanks for taking the time to respond while yíall are on vacation! LOL! We did go all the way to the north end, but not to any beaches, we were not impressed. We probably should have hit a few beaches but thatís our own fault. (And we had a gps, LOL) And your right about the man made beaches, a lot stuff can grow in those hot lagoons! In one of them, we canít remember, on the rocks were thousands of crabs eating the algae!
Yes, we only had a/c in the bedrooms, which was fine for us. The rest of the villa was open air, which meant at night with any lights on, everything that could fly would find its way into the house. That really didnít bother us, as we have traveled the Caribbean quite extensively, and have had the same setup before.
And yes the beach at Karakter was not all that impressive to us either. And yes we understand what you mean by the sterile atmosphere of the neighborhood. Same here.
On a quirky note, when departing the island, after you go through security and are waiting to board your plan, we bought water as we always did. Funny thing is, I made a comment to my wife wounding why everyone was drinking and eating as if it was there last meal. (Fast) LOL! Well there is a hall with tables just after you leave the ticket agent when she scans your tickets, and then everyone and everything gets searched again, and you cannot take any food or water on board the plane! So we had to leave our $9.00 water behind! And us dumb hicks, just sitting there sipping on water, like we were in third grade eating the chalk! LOL! But really we were fine with that, just a bit strange, at least post a sign.
Well yíall have fun on your last day, and think of all of us who have to return to work today! Safe travels!

Gary & Catherine


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SXMFOX
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Joined: 03/04/09
Posts: 38
Loc: Eastern NC, N Topsail Beach
Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1751223 - 11/06/17 01:08 PM (172.220.209.243)

Hello Carol, yes we saw the videos and they looked very attractive as well as the natural beaches. Unfortunately they are very well maintained! We really have no desire to swim in a lagoon, itís just the island has quite a lot of them. And yes, we think the food is better at this Karaters and the menu is very similar. There are actually two restaurants there. Karaters is on the lower level and another just above it. They say that there not related, but we found out that their one in same, but different names. The owner was not there during our stay. We did find out that about 5 years they split their partnership with the Karaters in SXM, as this one was becoming so large. (As was told to us by the guy in charge) But your right, it was hotter than we expected!

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: SXMFOX]
      #1751227 - 11/06/17 01:24 PM (73.255.141.246)

OK, thanks. Karakter in SXM used to have much better food than they do now.. Not sure if it's because Jorrit is no longer there or not. I had heard the one in Curacao was very nice.

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SXMFOX
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Joined: 03/04/09
Posts: 38
Loc: Eastern NC, N Topsail Beach
Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1751241 - 11/06/17 02:45 PM (172.220.209.243)

Yes, we thought the food at Karaters in CUR was a lot better than in SXM. We would always walk down the beach in SXM to Karaters. It was always a fun walk back!LOL

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: SXMFOX]
      #1751249 - 11/06/17 03:54 PM (73.255.141.246)

Where do you normally stay on SXM?

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SXMFOX
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Joined: 03/04/09
Posts: 38
Loc: Eastern NC, N Topsail Beach
Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1751267 - 11/06/17 06:23 PM (172.220.209.243)

Since 1995 we were staying in a villas overlooking oyster bay, and had tons of fun there. They have some really nice villas up there on the mountain, and the views are spectacular. BUT after years of reading your gleaming trip reports about BSV, I finally convinced my to wife to give it a try! We both love it there, and have not looked back once, itís like a glove! So thanks to you and your husband, BSV has two more loyal customers! It is one of the best places on the island! So Iíll give YOU a big shout out, THANKS CAROL!!!!! We will be back as soon they put all back together!

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Trip report from Curacao [Re: SXMFOX]
      #1751269 - 11/06/17 06:55 PM (107.77.253.9)

OK, can't disagree with you at all. BSV is all that we want or need. My only problem is that we promote it too much and have trouble getting a reservation! BSV is hoping to be back in business by January. They are making good progress there.

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