December 13th, 2009, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
Celebrity Constellation, Part 12
Celebrity Constellation, Part 12
Day 11, Thursday, November 19, Curacao
This morning we woke up in another island we'd never visited before, the beautiful Curacao, with it's pastel coloured buildings with gingerbread fronts, all on a rocky waterfront.
There is an interesting story about how Willemstad, the capital of Curacao came to have such pretty pastel coloured buildings.
An early mayor of the city used to suffer from severe migraines due to the then glaring white of most buildings; therefore, he ordered that all structures in Willemstad be painted pleasing pastels. Today, many of these Colonial buildings are considered to be UNESCO World Heritage monuments.
We were off the ship early for a group boat and beach tour. From the dock, we departed on a double decker boat for a 20 minute run to the beach.
Once again, I stayed up front in the open air, and it was a rough ride against the wind and waves, but I only got wet, not sick.
We learned that all beaches in Curacao are man-made, many with rock walls surrounding them, and beach fronts cleaned to reveal beautiful clean white sand.
The beach we were taken to was in an area of private hotels, but we were assigned lounge chairs with shade from either thatch umbrellas or trees, and given coupons for 1 free soft drink. There was a bar/restaurant nearby for other drink and food purchases, and a quite good and reasonable cheeseburger for $4.
There were also some small clothing and souvenir shops, and I wandered into a swimsuit shop and saw the price on a 2-piece bathing suit at $191. U.S. or $335. Dutch! I wandered right back out again!
We stayed on the beach from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., enjoying the view, the water, the warmth, and the absence of beach vendors.
These wonderful excursions to the beach are never long enough for those of us who come from a colder climate, and it's always hard to drag ourselves away and return to the ship.
Back at the ship's pier, there was a large tented area outside which held a musician's bandstand where a lone musician played some island jazz, and craft and gifts kiosks and a bar. We did a little shopping, then sat and enjoyed the music with a Blue Curacao Margarita from the bar.
Along the rock wall bordering the pier I spotted some colourful folkloric sculptures, and noticed they were also for sale at the craft market.
Returned to the ship by 2 p.m. and fell asleep for a few hours, exhausted from the heat and probably the Margarita!
I woke up in time for my daily ritual, Afternoon Trivia, while James attended a sail away event, a visit to the ship's Heli Pad, hosted by Josh the Cruise Director, the Captain and several of the his crew. He got some great video of this tour, where drinks and h'or d'oeuvres were served, and a bird's eye view of our sail away from Curacao.
This was another island we vowed to return to one day, it really was beautiful, and I took some lovely sunset photos on our departure.
On this evening, it was another Formal Night, featuring the perennial favourite, Lobster and Baked Alaska, but instead we enjoyed an amazing braised beef rib lasagne, which was more delicious pot-roast-flavoured beef than it was lasagne, in layers with cheese and spinach - divine!
We waived the ritual Baked Alaska for dessert and instead chose petit fours and a light sorbet, which was all we needed after that magnificent meal.
The late show big production called "Around the World" with the Celebrity singers and dancers was excellent - a great effort, lots of energy, great dancing and singing, wonderful costumes, simply the best show we'd seen all cruise.
Goodbye Curacao, and tomorrow...our second-to-last sea day.....