Delightful Curaçao, Grenada Close our Atlantic, Caribbean Adventure

Days 18 & 20, 2024 Grand World Voyage

Saturday and Monday, Jan. 20 & 22, 2024; St Georges, Granada, and Willemstad, Curaçao.

Proving once again that sometimes my best experiences ashore involve food and drink, I had the best ceviche ever in Curaçao’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill. With a name like that, any Parrothead would give it a try! My sister Elaine joined me and declared her Bahama Mama among her top two (perhaps because of the addition of yellow Curaçao liquor).

It was our second stop in Curaçao in less than a month, as we visited here in December on our holiday cruise. It is a favorite stop, particularly when on a Holland America ship. The country is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and in the past has marked nighttime departures with fireworks.

Today instead of docking on the channel leading to Curaçao’s large bay, we were a bit farther away on the coast. The ship’s officers spent the day using the engines and thrusters to counteract the wind, waves and swells. It’s a relatively short walk to the Queen Emma pontoon bridge, passing through a resort and shopping district built in an old fort.

My goal today was the Maritime Museum, which I had overlooked on previous visits. I’m partial to maritime museums in port cities, whose histories are intertwined with the sea. Depending on the location, they tell the stories of early sea exploration, colonization, piracy, naval battles, fishing and trade. Some of my favorites have been in Hong Kong, Auckland, Sydney, Halifax, Liverpool, Fremantle and Reykjavik. The only one that disappointed was in Kobe, Japan, where it consisted mainly of models of ships that had no obvious connection to Kobe.

Today I learned about the various journeys of European explorers, the history of the Dutch in this area and the effect of cruise tourism. I even saw memorabilia from early Holland America ships.

One room is dedicated to the oil refinery here, built to process oil from Venezuela. I was amazed to read that the oil refineries on Curaçao and Aruba provided 70 percent of the fuel used by the Allied Forces in World War II.

It wasn’t hard to find different street art from my previous visit, including beautiful murals, before I took refuge from a quick but intense rain storm at a local market.

Two days ago, we docked in St. Georges, Grenada. I knew I had been here before, but the picture I had in mind must have been somewhere else, because nothing looked familiar – until later when I looked back over my travels and found photos from a 2006 cruise of this exact port.

Eloise stayed behind to nurse a head cold, while Elaine and I walked through the tunnels, around the inner harbor and over and down steep hills, exploring the city.

We looked into a couple of supermarkets for our favorite candy from the U.K. – Maltesers – but struck out. Grenada may be a former British colony, but obviously the locals don’t have a taste for these malted milk balls.

Now it is on to transit the Panama Canal (my fourth visit in a year!) and finally to the Pacific Ocean.