The Royal Caribbean Cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean cruise stops at Willemstad, Curacao. This city was named after one of two Williams, no one is sure which but the second possibility became the King of England. This city dates back to the Dutch West India Company and traded with the Spanish Colonies of the era of the Spanish Main as well as with French and British possessions.
Curacao is one of three islands in the Netherlands Antilles. Willemstad is a historic city with hundred of buildings that date back to the 1600’s. The city is divided in two parts, Punda and Otrobanda, connected by the Queen Emma pontoon bridge.
An important point for tourists is that both parts of the city offer duty free shopping so bring your credit card and a large bag to carry your loot.
Willemstad has thrived for nearly 400 years as a trade center as, unlike Cartagena, Old Havana, or Casco Viejo in Panama City it is a small island and does not have an “interior” from which to draw products.
For a midday snack try Asia de Cuba, a Cuban-Asian fusion restaurant in the Zuidertuintje Shopping Center.
Another great choice is La Casa Argentina on Santa Rosa Weg 40. The fact is that wherever you stroll or shop you will probably find a restaurant in Willemstad, Curacao with excellent food and reasonable prices.
In this city take a time just to walk around and appreciate the mixture of cultures that evolved in this trade center of the Caribbean. Just don’t to involved and forget return to the Enchantment of the Seas for the next stop on this great cruise.