Friday, April 2, 2010

Selected Pics (49)

Curacao seems to be another shopping port, but we certainly weren't intending to spend our time shopping. We arrived in port at about 8am and met our Cruise Critic message board friends. Deb and Ken decided not to go, as did Heather and Emil but Barb brought her family along and shared a cab with us to The Dive Bus. This dive shop was highly recommended by travelers on Cruise Critic and they were quite helpful in making arrangements to complete our certification. We paid $50 per person per dive for the instruction and $30 per person for the processing of our certification cards.

We were suited up and in the water for our first dive by 9:30am. Once again, our dive instructor was very friendly and this time our dives were incredible. For 49 minutes, we enjoyed the beautiful underwater wildlife - coral, eels, a lobster, rockfish, and a sea cucumber, in addition to all sorts of beautiful Caribbean fish. We even saw the elusive frogfish much to the elation of our instructor. Other than being a beautiful orange color it seemed similar to the rockfish and yet he was so excited to show his buddy when we got back. His buddy was not easily convinced but the pictures are proof positive. On this shore dive we reached a maximum depth of 70ft and the minimum water temperature was 79F.

After a one hour surface interval, we returned to the water for more diving and skills demonstration. This dive was about 50 minutes with a maximum depth of only 45ft. Again, the miminum water temperature was 79F. On this dive we saw more eels and rockfish as well as a blowfish, flounder, and a cute little turtle. What's more... Martha did great. She told our dive instructor about her prior experience before the first dive and he did a great job helping her feel comfortable by taking it slowly working at her pace. The only thing he forgot was our temporary certification cards. I think he was still distracted by the frogfish sighting when he went off to talk to another buddy. There was also some mishap with the certification and it was the end of May before we got our cards. Suzy was extremely apologetic and offered a free day of diving should we ever return to The Dive Bus.

Anyway, by 1pm we were in our taxi with Barb and family and headed back to the ship. By 2pm we were on the balcony of our stateroom enjoying the fantastic view of the shoreline. There was a really neat hotel with its own raised beach on the rocky shore. The water spilled like a waterfall over the outer wall of the enclosure. It was really beautiful.

We had plenty of time to clean up and rest before Emil and Heather joined us for a 6pm sailaway happy hour. We ordered a cheese plate and a fruit plate via room service to go with our wine. It was quite delightful. Shortly after 7:30pm we headed to dinner by way of the casino. After dinner, we enjoyed the Dessert Extravaganza in the Cosmos Lounge. They had all kinds of fantastic ice sculptures, fruit carvings, bread baskets, and of course wonderful desserts. I could easily have a made an entire meal of it. It was a good thing we were just coming from dinner and I had very little room left over for (additional) sweets. If I recall correctly, we didn't even stay for the feast. We just took some pictures and called it a night.


Curacao Web Sites ( Lonely Planet Review, Frommers Reviews, Cruise Critic Review, Destination360 Review )

The Dive Bus
    Suzy, Manager
    Tel: (+599 9) 693 8305

From their web site...
If you're looking for a fun, relaxed scuba diving experience with friendly, safe dive professionals, in a small group in one of the TOP Caribbean shore-diving destinations - you're in the right place. You'll find The Dive Bus right on the beach next to Breezes Curacao Resort, close to the Curacao Seaquarium, with the world famous Car Pile dive site and beautiful Pierbaai Reef right on our doorstep.