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To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

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To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Gillzajoker » 20 Dec 2019 11:07

Been across the bridge a few times, but on one occasion it was opened up so we had to use the ferry. :D
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Dave » 20 Dec 2019 11:58

Gillzajoker wrote:Been across the bridge a few times, but on one occasion it was opened up so we had to use the ferry. :D
We've had the bridge open for us as we sailed out of Willemstad on Black Watch - a small ship advantage!

Today we're in Aruba. Looks similar to Bonaire and Curacao. :-)

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We're doing a full beach day at a resort. :-)

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Dave » 20 Dec 2019 22:15

We found Aruba a bit disappointing after the previous two Dutch islands. The capital, Oranjestad, has lots of duty-free diamonds and watch shops but little of the charm of Willemstad.

It's obviously a wealthy island but the landscape beyond the city is flat, industrial and bleak, with (it seems) one variety of scrubby tree and one type of cactus. We could see hills in the distance though, so perhaps Aruba has some scenic areas as well.

Our beach resort turned out to be an island called De Palm. We weren't impressed at first (there was noisy construction work close by) but it grew on us. It wasn't cheap at £60pp but the included food and drink were very good and the small beach was perfectly adequate. :-)

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There were lots of pelicans, peacocks and... flamingos!

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After getting back to the ship we had an hour or so to look around Oranjestad. We didn't buy any diamonds or watches.

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Finally, we returned to the ship for cakes and coffee! :-)

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby rdw123 » 21 Dec 2019 08:16

Aruba was my least favourite Island. It was somewhere I had always wanted to see but like you I was disappointed when I got there. Wouldn’t have minded one of the beach front apartments though or the money that is needed to buy it.
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Dave » 21 Dec 2019 17:00

Today is a sea day as we head back to Barbados, but we're not finished just yet.

We don't need to leave for the airport until Sunday afternoon so we've booked a 'late checkout cabin', just along the corridor from us, which means we can spend the morning at the beach. :-)

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Dave » 21 Dec 2019 20:31

We've done it again... :-)

We've just booked a Caribbean cruise for next December. It's on the same ship - Marella Explorer 2 - and the cabin is very close to the one we're in now.

The itinerary looks great: Barbados, Tobago, Grenada, Bequia (the Genadines), Dominica, Guadalupe, St Lucia and back to Barbados. Guadalupe will be new to us and was an important reason for choosing this itinerary.

(Booking on board saved us £150.)

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby rdw123 » 22 Dec 2019 08:55

Nice one Dave and Fred.
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To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Gillzajoker » 22 Dec 2019 11:55

Well done - it's good to have something to look forward to! :D
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Dave » 22 Dec 2019 18:18

We're at the airport with a couple of hours to kill, so there's plenty of time for a final update. :-)

One of the great things about TUI 7-night Caribbean cruises is getting what is in effect an extra half day in Barbados at the end which we use to go to the amazing beach at Pirate's Cove. We transferred from our cabin to another one nearby after breakfast then set off on the 2km stroll to the beach.

Despite it being fairly close to the cruise terminal, Pirate's Cove is always quiet and the sand and sea are as good as it gets anywhere - perfect silky white sand and warm crystal-clear water.

Me just after we arrived...

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Fred going for a dip...

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Me in the sea:

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Then it was back to the ship, a shower and a change, lunch on board, then ashore to the bus. We're already looking forward to next year! :-)

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
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Re: To the Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2

Postby Camela » 22 Dec 2019 19:28

Once a cruiser, always a cruiser. Glad you've succumbed again Dave!! Late checkout is a great option. We did it once on Silversea in Athens. We usually book cruise only and later flights from the arrival port are always cheaper as the cruise lines book out the earlier ones, so staying on board was great. Next cruise we did with them it wasn't available. Maybe it helps that your trip is a complete package, cruise and flights with TUI.
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