Welcome everyone Dutch, French or Whomever!
I’m very excited to be starting the island series from the last cruise that I was on with all of you. I’m going to be starting with the Island of Saint Maarten. I chose to use the Dutch version since the port (Philipsburg) and Maho Beach where I visited were on this side. A little history/folklore of the island says that in the 1600s there was a French man and a Dutch man that were selected to walk from one side of the island until they met in the middle to decide the boarder. Supposedly the Frenchman decided to hydrate with wine while the Dutchman hydrated with Dutch Gin. These leads to the “logical” conclusion that the wine is lighter beverage which is why the French have the larger side of the island. However, if you ask a Dutchman, they have the larger side because the Frenchman ran instead of walked.
With all that fun history behind us, I think it is safe to say that we will never know. I was personally delighted to open my balcony curtain and door to a beautiful rainbow outside over the island. As you disembark the ship you come into a port that has little shops, restaurants, bars and taxi services. I have included the map photo with the pricing for the different beaches below.
My group decided to be complete tourists and go to Maho Beach. Maho is famous for being next to the Princess Juliana Airport with the big planes flying overhead. It is just something that we had to see, a bucket list item if you may! Keep in mind, Maho is a very small beach and with the planes, the seas can be very rough for swimming and visibility is next to nothing for shore snorkeling. People are not here for the swimming/watersports, they are there for the planes.
The Sunset Bar & Grill is situated right next to the beach with beach access from the one side. The restaurant features a variety of food as well as a small oasis type swimming pool in the middle with lounge chairs. The Lounge chairs on the beach and by the pool were a $5 rental. For $9, you could get a pool lounger and pool access for the entire day. They end up giving you a bracelet which is how they check. There was a server going around taking food and drink orders as well.
This port was my last day of my cruise as well as the day after being sick (seperate post to follow). I think the $9 was well spent for the chair and pool access. I took a little nap in my chair, got in the pool, ate chips and guacamole poolside, it was the perfect easy day. Keep in mind this place is normally more swamped from what you will see in the video. We happened to be the only cruise in port that day so it wasn’t as busy.
The taxi ride over to Maho beach was about 30 minutes with traffic. Our cruise was set to leave at 4:30pm so we left by 3pm to give us some buffer time. You get packed in a taxi with other people for a cheaper rate. The “Holy Train” taxi on the way back (bright red van) was amazing. He had music videos going so we created our own carpool karaoke sessions!
Once arriving back to the port, we stopped over to get a Guavaberry Colada. One of the friends we made on the ship said her server suggested this drink. Let me tell you, that drink was AMAZING!!!!!!!!! You can buy the guavaberry rum there with the recipe to make your own at home. This is a place that you don’t want to miss!
Saint Maarten is a beautiful island. Compared to other islands, I think it is very clean and the blue water there is my favorite. With that being said, it does come with a price. Saint Maarten was the most expensive island food/beverage/souvenir wise out of all of them as well.
I hope this was helpful to all of you. Don’t forget to follow me on instagram, twitter, periscope and snapchat @haleewithaflair.