I went on a cruise with friends two weeks ago and if you have read previous posts, you know I love cruises! They are so much fun! I also think they are a great way to see numerous islands in one trip and it’s not expensive. Well, this cruise went to St. Maarten (also known as Sint Maarten), St. Thomas and Nassau, Bahamas.
For this post, I will focus on St. Maarten.
This island is split in two, a French side and a Dutch side. This was actually my second time to St. Maarten and last time we took a tour on both sides but this time we stayed on the Dutch side and walked around the shops and then went to an amazing beach bar that’s one of the top ten bars in the world.
When we got off the boat we took a water taxi from the port to the shopping center. It was only $7 and you can use it as many times as you want throughout the day. From the shopping center, we then took a cab ride to the Sunset Beach Bar. Ports always have a lot of cabs too, so you can easily take one anywhere in the island and they are pretty cheap! We got all the way to the other island for only $8 a person.
I love the Caribbean, they are these huge mountains that come out of the ocean with houses nestled into the mountainside and the water is the most beautiful water I have ever seen. It is a turquoise that is so clear you can see your toes even if you are up to your chest in the ocean. In the summer, their water temperature can get extremely warm and feel almost like bath water!
The bar was called Sunset Beach Bar and sat right on the beach but was also right next to the Princess Juliana airport. They had a surfboard that had all the times of the airplanes landing because they get so close to you! (You can see in the pictures below) Small planes came in every 15 minutes or so but there are only a few 747’s that fly in a day. *Tip: the big planes tend to come in between 11-2 so try to go then!
When the planes took off the propellers were so strong that they blew people into the water! Don’t worry it doesn’t hit the whole beach so you will only get hit by the jet stream if you choose to.
This bar was also voted the #3 sexiest beach bar in the world!
We stayed there for hours and it didn’t get old at all and it wasn’t scary in any way. It was so much fun!
St. Maarten is also known as “The Friendly Island” and it’s true! It is a beautiful island, where everyone is so nice and accommodating.
Here is some more information about St. Maarten (taken from Wikipedia):
The northern, French side of the island is known as Saint-Martin, and is 54 km²/21 square miles. The southern, “Dutch side” of the island is known as Sint Maarten, and is 41 km²/16 square miles. The Dutch side has recently formed its own government and legal system, with its relations with the “French side” to remain unchanged. To avoid confusion between the three variations on the name, the two regions are commonly referred to as “the French side” and “the Dutch side”.
Although this island is controlled by two different countries, there is no real border. There are only monuments and signs that delineate the border. Over 350 years ago the two countries decided that residents of either country could travel across both sides of the border without worrying about any trouble. The two countries live peacefully without difficulties, which helps tourism considerably. Any separation is more from separate and dissimilar utilities systems, e.g., power on French side is 250V 50 Hz, while the Netherlands side is 110/120 60 Hz. In addition, one must take special care when dialling from the French to Dutch or Dutch to French side as it is, in effect, an international call and requires special dialing instructions. These instructions are typically posted at hotels and tourist locations.