The Traveling Steve's

Mariner of the Seas: Curacao and Aruba

Continuing on with our 8 night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas (Mariner OTS) ,we had two port days after being at sea for two days. Our first stop was in Curacao, followed by yesterday’s port stop in Aruba. We are having a wonderful time, and as I said in the last post, “It’s so good to be cruising again!”

We’ve been to both Curacao and Aruba before, so we didn’t do any tours or excursions at either port. Instead, we had a relaxing and leisurely time strolling thru town, and having a drink at a scenic spot along the waterfront.

One of the unique things about Curacao, is the large and floating rotational pedestrian drawbridge, which opens in a circular motion rather traditional draw bridges which open in the center and point vertically to allow ships to pass thru.

The bridge is a wide pedestrian pontoon-type bridge, and offers great photo opportunities from it, including the waterfront cafes and colorful buildings for which Curacao is also known. Below is a 9 second time-lapse video DOS took of the bridge opening, which actually takes several minutes to complete.

Time-lapse video of the Queen Emma pontoon bridge opening.

Here are some photos from our day in Curacao, including photos taken from our water/bridge cafe view of the bridge, and others.

The Steve’s on the Queen Emma Bridge with the colorful Curacao buildings in the background. We had a brewski at Igauna’s, one of the outdoor cafes long the waterside with the white awning above.

After returning to the ship from Curacao, we had dinner at Jamie’s Italian specialty restaurant aboard the Mariner of the Seas. We have the unlimited specialty dining package, which is an incredible deal as you can use it not only for dinners at any of the specialty restaurant venues, but for lunches on non-sea days as well. I didn’t post it earlier, but here was our lunch at Jamie’s on the second day of the cruise. Our waiter saw that we had never eaten at Jaime’s before, and literally showed us around the menu, first with a trio of appetizers, then a meat plank, then pasta, then a half entree size portion of lasagna, followed by an entree chicken caesar salad! (Although I requested olive oil and balsamic instead of caesar dressing.)

And oh yes, Tiramisu for dessert, but of course! I had the delicious Tiramisu, while DOS had vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

We quickly learned from that first lunch experience not to order so much food at Jaime’s on our next visit, so when we went back to Jamie’s after our day in Curacao, we toned down the appetizers and pasta just a bit, but still had a quite large meal, with DOS getting the rack-of-lamb, and myself having the salmon. Both with just a little bit of past of course!

Prior to dinner we went to the Suite Lounge for pre-dinner drinks and the Curacao night time sail-away. It’s a bit blurry as it was taken in the Viking Crown Lounge as we sailed away, but here is a photo of the Queen Emma pontoon bridge lit up at night.

Yesterday the ship stopped in Aruba, which along with Curacao, we always enjoy visiting. It was quite hot and humid in Aruba, even for us Floridians, so we avoided the beach this visit. In Aruba there were two ships in when we were there; The Mariner OTS, and Carnival’s Horizon.

Prior to getting off the ship we had breakfast in Chop’s, and later took a couple photos from our balcony. The water was the most beautiful color of blues and greens, with some sandbars visible along the channel. While waiting to get off the ship, we saw a huge oil tanker pull up beside us, 10 decks below from our balcony. I guess with two full days at sea, the ship needed to be refueled heading next to Coco Cay, which is also two days at sea. Anyway, the tanker was refueling the ship for several hours and still there when we returned from out outing into Aruba.

We then got off the ship around 10am, for our trip into Aruba.

Aruba has some gorgeous beaches, and we normally enjoy going to Eagle Beach, taking the local bus or a taxi, but on this visit we stayed around the port and downtown areas, as my foot/ankle were still bothering me a bit from my recent physical therapy, and I didn’t want to overdo my walking.

We wandered past some of the bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops along the downtown Main Street in Aruba, taking a couple photos along the way.

After walking around a bit, we had a pool-side drink at the fancy Renaissance Hotel, which overlooks the cruise port. The Renaissance complex is attached to the casino and a glitzy mall with a plethora of luxury stores; i.e. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Rolex etc.

Later we took the complimentary tram which goes around the downtown shopping area, but only took it for the last 3 stops back to the cruise terminal.

After we got back on the ship, Steve (DOS) and I headed up to Johnny Rocket’s for lunch. This time instead of their famous burgers, we both had (HUGE) salads, although we did have some onion rings and no-salt fries as an appetizer. (So much for eating light!)

The evening called for Caribbean attire, and we had dinner once again in Chop’s Grille, which was awesome as always.

After dinner we went outside for the deck and dance party which was still going on by the pool.

DOS and I finished up the evening watching the Karaoke in one of the lounges, which is always “interesting”, and tonight one of the crew bartenders even sang. (Who was much better than most of the passengers!)

We finished up the night with a nightcap at our favorite pub bar, Ellington’s on the 5th floor atrium level.

So long Aruba, and good night from The Mariner of the Seas!

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