When I think of Curacao I think about its incredible macro life. Unfortunately, I also think about some of the rudest, most indifferent locals and even some guests that I have met in the all my travels. The resort Melissa and I stayed at was Habitat Resort. It is set in a secluded section of the island. We picked this resort because the house reef came highly recommended. Indeed, the house reef remains the best resort shore dive (house reef) that we have dove. It easily rivaled any dive site we did on the island. Complimenting that, the tank room was always open 24/7. They also had a rope running from shore to the wall, and then down the wall. Finding your way home was never an issue.
The accommodations were ok. The rooms were nice, clean, and had a great view. The resort had a great infinity pool and a good bar. The restaurant was mediocre at best. Except for one bar tender, most employees in the restaurant-bar made us feel like we were intruding in their lives. There were only two employees in the entire resort who truly were nice and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. One was the massage therapist. While she could barely speak English, we did have a good time trying to understand one another and she did give a good massage. I highly recommend visiting the spa. The second person was a dive master. He went that extra mile and took me on a personal tour of the house reef, finding the Frogfish for me to photograph.
The dive operation in general was the most careless we have seen when it came dive safety issues. Things like giving instructions for safety stops and slow assents that we take for granted, were needed for some divers on our boat. (They were rookies out for their first dive in 6 years). After witnessing many fast assents directly to the surface, Melissa and I finally stopped them and coached them into diving safer. On one dive, we moored at a dive site where the mooring ball was 3 feet underwater when we tied up. Instead of calling the dive or preplanning a drift dive, the dive master changed her mind 60ft underwater and swam out with the current. Half the people followed her, the other half swam up current. Melissa and I were the only ones to make it back to the boat. It took us a 1/2-3/4 of an hour to gather everyone up.
Curacao is in the Dutch Caribbean; therefore, a lot of the guests were European. It became painfully obvious to us that some Europeans don't really like Americans. One group was obnoxious enough to hide some of Melissa's stuff on a few different occasions. They took great joy in laughing at her as she would have to ask everyone if they saw her ______ (whatever was missing). Yes, these were grown adults!
Bottom line: We can't wait to go back!!!! The diving is well worth it. I would really love to go back in coral spawning season. For inexperienced, or out of practiced, divers warning: "diving freedom" means know what the hell your doing before going there. Any inexperienced diver should tell your dive master you want to stick close (just hope they don't swim the wrong way). As for non-divers, don't bother going there. You will likely irritate some locals and amuse some Europeans.
Click on the link bellow to enter the Curacao Gallery.
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This site was last updated 07/09/07