April 18, 2024

April 17 Aruba

We go past the port and then back into the channel to our pier. I looks like the the other end of the channel is too narrow for a ship our size to easily navigate. 

After a leisurely breakfast we head off the ship. We actually have a mission. More toothpaste. We probably do not have enough to last for another 39 days.  Again being the only ship in port, it is not overly busy. The first stop is to wait for the trolley which makes a round trip to the city center. It has been many years since I have ridden this trolley as usually there are too many people waiting. Today less than a dozen.  

The trolley was completely rebuilt with new cars and new track within the past 5 or 7 years. An enjoyable 45 minute trip with a good conductor and tour guide.

For years I have always gone to Pirrana Joe's for lunch and an adult beverage when visiting Aruba. Not going to happen this year, and maybe never again. The complex, which was the first shopping plaza in Aruba, has been sold and is being converted into Rental condos.

After completing our shopping mission we head back to the ship. Tacos again for lunch. Often an overpacked venue, on port days it is not crowded.

After lunch it is time to check on "my tree" on the sandbar along side the channel. It has seen better days. Probably 20% the size it was when I first saw it about 12 or 13 years ago. I was unable to discern any "green". It just might be dead, but I won't give up. I already have a cruise scheduled in December to check on her. 

Surprisingly we were able to make a reservation for Lynn on IFly for later this afternoon.  She did this for the first time in her life on our last voyage on the Odyssey and decided to do it again.

The winds were blowing in excess of 30 mph on deck 15 when we arrived for checkin. Rock wall climbing and the bungee jump were closed because of the wind. When the staff attempted to open the sliding doors to the checkin counter for IFly, the wind blew one of the doors off its track. 3 workers and 20 minutes to get it back in place.  Lynn had a blast, I watched and took pictures.

IFly made us a few minutes late for dinner, but I had told them at breakfast that this may happen. The roasted chicken was excellent, but as always the portions are too large.

The headliner entertainment tonight is Randy Cabral. Part comedian plus talented juggler resulted in a fabulous show. One on the best headliner performers I have seen. Unfortunately with a boarding time of 10:30 PM very few passengers were on board and the theater was mostly empty.

The weather remains great, the seas slight. Tonight we start a 2 day passage to CoCo Cay, our next port.

April 16 - Curacao

As usual I sleep like a rock. I will admit to 9 hours, but it may have been longer. Corn flakes and a glass of juice for breakfast. Exactly what I have most days,

We are secure at the dock and cleared by local authorities by 8:30. We elect to head to town early to avoid the worst of the heat.  We are moored at the new pier built especially for the mega cruise ships. I would say we are the only ship here, but I need to be more precise. We are the only cruise ship tied up at the cruise terminal. There is an empty oil tanker tied up at the other cruise ship terminal. Something I have never seen before.

As we are walking towards town the oil tanker leaves and heads to sea. I haven't the slighest guess as to why she was tied up where she was. Maybe to transfer some crew members? Or someone taking a freighter cruise?

I really can't drink early in the morning so I forgo my usual watering hole and instead settle for a few pictures and then we head back to the ship. It is warm and humid, but not as hot as predicted. Probably being on the coast so close to the water helped keep the temperatures down.

After a quick shower, we are able to make reservations on the North Star, free while in port, and take some aerial pictures of Curacao.  Pictures are being posted on my facebook page "Steve Raiford" at the request of my children.

The coastal kitchen is getting busier each evening. I learn this is the usual pattern. Few reservations early in the cruise, getting busier as the cruise progresses.

All aboard isn't until 7:30 this evening, so there is no show in the theater tonight, but plenty of music in various venues. Boleros usually has good music. The accustics are so poor in the music hall that none of the groups sound very good.

Our next port is Aruba, about 70 miles away.