Went to Curacao for the day on a cruise ship. The ship’s more local excursions were costly, as usual. Instead, we walked down the cement docks where we were overrun by locals offering to drive us on tours. We hired a guy, stood by his explorer, and got 6 other ‘starry-eyed’ tourists just like us to come along.
Our driver was wonderful and his rate was cheap (at least 1/3 less than the same tour offered by the ship). He took us to the Curacao Liquer Factory, his sister’s out-of-the-way, very nice souvenier shop, and guided us all around the hills of Curacao; which otherwise we would have remembered as little more than a big sand dune. After the great driving tour we explored the usual tourist shops on foot and had drinks at a more local bar.
You can’t generally go on a ‘Pirate Ship’ excursion sans the cruiseline, but for touring an island’s countryside the Local Drivers throughout the Carribean are knowledgable, they are registered as island drivers, super friendly, and they are a much more moderate alternative to several of the expensive cruise ship tours.