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What to Do at the Gorgeous Cruise Port of Curaçao

What to Do at the Gorgeous Cruise Port of Curaçao

Have you ever dreamed of visiting the enchanting island or cruise port of Curaçao? I had the opportunity to explore this stunning destination during a Southern Caribbean cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines.

My husband, Eddie, and I ventured off independently and skipped the organized ship excursions. We wanted to discover the hidden gems and capture some fantastic photos on this small Dutch Caribbean island.


Curaçao’s History and Fun Facts

Curaçao is the largest of the ABC islands, home to around 150,000 residents. The crystal-clear blue waters, which remain a warm 30 degrees Celsius all year round, are breathtaking. While the primary language is Papiamento, most residents also speak Spanish, Dutch, and English, making it easy to communicate with the friendly locals.


Exploring Willemstad

Upon docking our Carnival Vista cruise ship at the Mega Pier, we couldn’t contain our excitement to explore the beauty we had already glimpsed from our cabin balcony. We strolled through the nearby shopping complex, but our main destination was the capital city of Willemstad.

As we wandered the streets of Willemstad, we snapped countless pictures, indulged in some local souvenir shopping, and soaked up the glorious sunshine. Little did we know that we were about to stumble upon a true marvel of engineering – the famous Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge, also known as the swinging bridge.


Just as we crossed the bridge, the gates came down, and the bridge started moving. We were utterly surprised, as we had no idea it was a floating bridge. We glided across the river on this unique structure with a handful of other amazed tourists. The experience took about 45 minutes, giving way to a passing boat, and was truly unforgettable.


Curaçao: Pretty as a Picture

Willemstad is divided into two areas – Punda and Otrobanda. Punda is where you’ll find the vibrant colored houses, while Otrobanda is where most locals reside. The picturesque row of brightly painted houses along the waterfront, known as Handelskade, is a sight to behold. This charming area is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trust me, it’s a photographer’s paradise.


Take advantage of the Floating Market, where small fishing boats dock and sell an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. And let’s not forget about the iconic Blue Curaçao, a liqueur made from the laraha (Curaçao orange) fruit. Free tours are available at the Blue Curaçao Factory (Landhuis Chobolobo), where samples are a given at the end.

Pro Tip: My favorite drink that has Blue Curaçao is the Blue Hawaii. 

Photo from Curacao Liqueur IG page.

Of course, we had to take a break and indulge in local cuisine. We enjoyed chips & salsa, nachos, and other traditional dishes like Pastechi cheese, conch, Kabritu (goat stew), curry chicken, rice, and Ayaka (meat pies wrapped in banana leaves). And if you’re a seafood lover, you’ll be in heaven with the day’s fresh catch.


Another Day, Another Port

Our visit to the cruise port of Curaçao was an absolute dream come true. We savored every moment and created memories that will last a lifetime. So, what Caribbean islands are on your travel bucket list? Curaçao should be at the top!


Check out our other cruise posts:

15 Things Adults Can Enjoy on a Disney Cruise

Cruising with Holland America: My First Experience

What to Expect: The Food on Windstar Cruises

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Saturday 25th of May 2019

I saw a picture of the color houses and knew I must go. I found an itinerary and researched each port falling more in love w Curacao and booked it. I can’t wait to go. I’m also looking forward to Bonaire. Thank you for a great post.


Sunday 26th of May 2019

Wonderful! Oh, two awesome places. I love Bonaire, too. Get ready for some of the most amazing photographs ever. ;)


Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

I would like to take a Carribean cruise but I am struggling to choose between all the options. The ABC islands sound quite interesting, I've to say. I love the colourful buildings on the waterside and the idea of a floating market sounds great, I'd love to try the fresh seafood here!


Thursday 24th of January 2019

So many great places. If it helps any, my favorites for the beauty are St. Thomas (USVI), St. John (through USVI by boat), Grand Cayman, and Belize. Curacao was a great choice, too, though the others still top my list. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

I love all the bright, colorful buildings along the shoreline. I can't believe the Queen Emma bridge is floating and you didn't even notice as crossing it. This looks like an awesome stop!


Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

I was wondering if Blue Curaçao had anything to do with Curaçao itself, and now I know :) It's not my favourite drink but a tour of the factory could be fun! I love the colourful houses of Handelskade, I didn't realise it was UNESCO listed, that is good to know.


Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

Awesome! ;) I know us travel bloggers are nuts for UNESCO sites.

Sara McCleary

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

I had no idea that you could go off and explore on your own. Such a great way to discover the islands and not be part of the cruise group tours.

I would love to visit the floating market in Willemstad, very very cool.

Cruising really is a great way to effortlessly visits many ports. Thanks for sharing Curacao


Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

My pleasure. Cruising is our bag so if you ever have any questions, we are glad to help. ;)

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