Holland America ms Zuiderdam: Willemstad, Curacao + Pinnacle Grill

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Willemstad, Curacao.

This morning I woke up around 6:30 as we were docking in Willemstad, Curacao. My first impression of the port was lots of colors and very Dutch like (rightfully so). I was the first one off the ship and headed over to this little sidewalk cafe called Iguana Cafe that I read about. So when you get off the ship, it’s on one side of the port and you have to get to the other side of the port where all the action is. To get there you have to go over this swing bridge, which is very cool. It’s in operation bridge and actually opened about 20-times for the 10 hours we were in port today.

Iguana Cafe is a sidewalk cafe right on the water and serves Dutch breakfast. I went with an egg, ham, and Swiss on a roll. They had free wifi there so I camped out for about two hours total. For some reason I couldn’t get my computer to connect to the wifi so I just used my phone but for most of the stuff I do when I travel, that’s all I really need. After breakfast I walked around the town and it was very cool. This has to be one of the most accessible towns to walk and very quaint. I picked up some postcards from a local vendor (four for a dollar) and went to the post office to mail them. Turns out when you mail a post card from Curacao it’s $1 each. They don’t use USD as their local currency, they use the Guilder. The conversation rate is $1 USD is $1.75 guilder. However, in the town there was a lot of English spoken, but Dutch and French were spoken in some parts. This town has deep slave roots and a lot of the slaves that weren’t sold off, their families still reside there. 

The floating fish market there was really cool too. A bunch of fisherman come into port, tie up next to each other, and sell their daily catches to the locals. There was so many fish there and the locals were lining up to buy them. It was a cool sight to see and something I’ve never experienced before. As I was walking around the Crown Princess pulled into port and let off a flood of people. I went to the internet cafe for two hours since I didn’t have an excursion booked. The cafe was right above a KFC and charged $3 an hour to use their wifi or desktop stations. They let me plug into their hard wire and I was glad because I had to upload a couple of videos before heading back to the ship. 

I didn’t wind up doing an excursion here but they offered: a dolphin encounter, caves and city tours, Jewish heritage tour, a beach day and some other sightseeing adventures. 

On the walk back to the ship I saw a bunch of Princess Cruises passengers, but no Holland America passengers so I’m like …. hmmmm. Made a V-line for the ship and turns out I just made the all-aboard time. For some reason I thought it was going to be 5p but in reality it was 4:30. I’m glad I went to the ship because I was about to stop and get a local beer. 

Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail in Pinnacle Grill.

Back on the ship we had a dinner reservation at the Pinnacle Grill (surcharge venue). The Pinnacle Grill came highly recommended and we booked it early. If you don’t book early you will not get a spot in there. The selections, the atmosphere, and cuts of meat were all very good. I went with the Jumbo shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, and surf and turf (jumbo prawns and a filet). The cuts of meat and the shrimp were huge! I swear one of the shrimps was bigger than the cut of meat. The dessert was three flavor crème brulee. I forgot to mention they had a pretty reasonably priced wine list and we ordered a bottle of Riesling. I just can’t get into the red wines. 

Tomorrow is a day at sea and stacking some interviews up with the Hotel Manager, Captain, Cruise Director, Wine Steward, and other staff members.

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