If you are looking for a luxury yacht, this is not the boat for you. If you want to spend maximum time in the water exploring the various reefs around Curacao and Klein Curacao and having relaxing alfresco meals on the covered deck of a vintage vessel (and you don’t want to sell a family member to afford it) you’ve come to the right place!
The three night, four day trip is just the right length and can be turned into a two day, one night trip for those with limited time. The operators, Rob and Henriette were very flexible and allowed me to stay on board the first night after my flight’s late arrival into Curacao. They even met me at the airport for a small fee and brought me to the vessel.
The cost ...
The price for the three-night, four-day trip was about $485, including all meals and non-alcoholic beverages with plenty of snacks after every dive/snorkeling swim. The price includes snorkeling equipment, but if you need a BC and regulator set, you’ll need to rent them. I brought my own equipment, but I believe the cost is comparable to renting from a dive shop.
What you get for your money ...
In the four days onboard, I had 10 opportunities to dive and snorkelers had plenty of opportunity to snorkel. Locations were varied and the wildlife was abundant. Eagle rays, turtles, barracuda, a very large moray eel and a wide variety of tropical fish/corals were spotted during the cruise.
Almost All Inclusive…..
Fresh coffee was available each morning upon waking, followed by a leisurely breakfast, cooked to order. On the menu were pancakes, eggs, toast, bacon and sausage in addition to juice and cereals, etc. Most lunches, except while we were underway, were hot lunches and were excellent. Dinner was a treat every evening. The food was all prepared by Henriette and Rob, who catered to several dietary differences in passengers. One of the passengers was a vegetarian and another had peanut allergies, but Rob and Henriette managed to cope even without advance notice. I would recommend that anyone booking this cruise make dietary concerns known well before arrival. The meals exceeded my expectations for the entire cruise and given that I spend a large part of my life at sea on much larger vessels with professional catering I was pleasantly surprised. There is a wonderful open-air bar on the main deck. The bar functions as a cash bar, all your drinks are recorded and then you settle the bill at the end of the cruise. It was surprisingly inexpensive.
The Dive Master, Monique, held a certification class for a couple of the other passengers during the cruise, but managed to give plenty of advice to the divers and joined us on two snorkeling expeditions and a night dive. In the four-day period I managed 10 dives and three snorkeling swims.
The ship accommodates 18 guests below deck. The cabins on board were very much what I expected, seven rooms with over/under bunk beds and another room with 2 over/under bunk beds. Each room has a connecting bathroom with shower sink and toilet. These rooms are not really places to hang out and while there is AC, it’s limited to the hallway between the cabins and only turned on at night. To feel the full effect of the AC you really need to leave your cabin door ajar. There is a very nice covered lounge deck where you can hang out, read, sleep, watch a movie, study for your scuba certification etc…. Not that I ever felt there was time for a movie. Overall, I was there for the diving, not for hotel-style accommodations.
I enjoyed it so much that I’m already setting up a cruise for a group of my co-workers next March 2012. The crew was great, the food was great, the diving and snorkeling were spectacular, and I didn’t have to take out a mortgage or sell any body parts to pay for it all.
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