I had reserved the 11:00 am IRIE bus tour and headed over early to make sure I could find it (their emailed directions were from the other pier). I found a guy with a card with my name on it near the IRIE tour sign so knew I had the right place. While I was waiting I found free wifi inside the Renaissance Resort shopping center. When I came out I made a joke about the IRIE guy's Segway and he asked if I would like to use it. I'd been on one before so took it on a little circle of the courtyard. The bus arrived and the driver said not to worry about where we sat because we wouldn't be very full. We started off and the next thing we knew, the bus was being filled by passengers off another ship (the Grandeur out of Panama). They were a bit raucous for some of the tour and it was harder to take good pictures. That surprise crowd was the only real disappointment.
Other than that, it was a very nice tour, especially for the $20 cost. There were plenty of descriptions and history in both English and Spanish. They had cold water, soda (no diet), and beer. We drove past the pontoon bridge, through the old Jewish quarter, across the Queen Juliana bridge, past more old homes and other famous landmarks, and a stop at the Curacao "factory" (actually store). IMO this was a bit of a waste; they don't manufacture the liquor there so all you really learned was the history and had the chance to try tiny samples of four flavors. It was also theoretically a bathroom break but the ladies room had TWO STALLS. You can imagine the line.
Back on the bus to the new housing developments, a view of Spanish Water, and down to Seaquarium Beach where we got free admission for a 45 minute stop. We could opt to stay longer and have a later bus pick us up, which fortunately was the choice for the Grandeur passengers. It was a lovely beach with warm water; I just left my stuff on a chair and floated for most of the time. Then back on the bus, back across the bridge, and finished where we started by the pontoon bridge.
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