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11 Hours In St. Maarten... Help!  
User currently offlineGusNYC From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 143 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5827 times:

Hi Everybody!

I've been reading these posts for the last three years, and finally I feel confident enough (with my English) to subscribe and make my first posting.

I am taking a cruise from NYC to San Juan de Puerto Rico in a week, and the ship will stop on Thursday Nov 17th for 11 hours at Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Of course, I want to go to Maho Beach! I want to make my dream come true. I am very excited about that, but I won't be alone and I don't want to alienate my partner with this experience. Remember, I have just 11 hours in the island.

So, I need your help to take advantage of the 2 or 3 hours that I could be there, at the beach. I tried to find information about schedules or about how to get there from the port, but I couldn't find anything useful on the internet. The website for the airport looks incomplete.

Could anybody who has been there share some info/suggestions/xtras about Maho beach? What is the best way to get there? What time of the day?

Thank you very much in advance.

Gustavo
PS, I am excited to post my first message here!  

[Edited 2005-11-01 22:29:24]

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAhlfors From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 1339 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5740 times:

Best way to get there would be Taxi. I doubt there are buses, and if there were, I doubt you could get your hands on schedules. The best time for arrivals at the beach is 1pm-4pm (US airlines 1pm-3pm, AF A340 is at 2:55pm, KL B747 at 3:25pm).

User currently offlineWestWing From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2125 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5684 times:

The "bus" is one of several well-worn passenger mini-vans with no markings. They do have a sign, usually inside the windshield on the passenger side, indicating their destination and operate quite frequently.

To get to Maho Beach, flag a van heading towards "Mullet Bay". For your first trip suggest to tell the driver or a co-passenger when you get on that you want to go to Maho Beach. You'll figure out the system and become an expert in how it works when you're on the bus. You pay the driver (usually less than $2 US) when you get off.

To get back to the pier, flag a van headed towards "Philipsburg".

Don't be shy in asking locals for help in where (on which street) to catch the bus.

Enjoy your trip.

[Edited 2005-11-01 23:43:49]


The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
User currently offlineA350 From Germany, joined Nov 2004, 1100 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5675 times:

Don't forget to write a trip report after coming home  bigthumbsup 

A350



Photography - the art of observing, not the art of arranging
User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5652 times:

My next carribean destination is definitely St. Maarten. Ah, I wish I were there now!!

User currently offlineDarthRandall From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 302 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5597 times:

Quoting WestWing (Reply 2):
To get to Maho Beach, flag a van heading towards "Mullet Bay".

Sounds like a rokkin' place! Yo, I stole my dad's Camero and bought a six pack of Pabst! Let's hit the beach and get us some highschool 'tang!



Ninjas can kill anyone they want! Ninjas cut off heads all the time and don't even think twice about it.
User currently offlineGusNYC From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 143 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5523 times:

Thanks for the suggestions. I am very, very excited about going there. I saw all those pictures and they look amazing. The closest thing I have ever done was to stand in one of the "cabezeras" of Aeroparque, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I used to stay there for hours.

Coming back to St. Maartin, I guess the beach is public, right? There is anything around there to do while I am waiting for the next flight to arrive? Is it possible to stand next to the fence and take pictures?

I bought a digital movie camera (Sanyo C5) and I am planning to take videos and still pictures like crazy.

Gus


User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5425 times:

When I was there I rented a "Jeep". It wasn't really a Jeep but the locals called it a jeep and it looked just like a real Jeep. You can circle the entire island in like 40 minutes. It cost me about $50 American but it was well worth it. You can also get a Taxi. You can get both these at the pier. You don't even have to look for them. As soon as you touch dry land you will have like 100 locals trying to get you to take a "tour" in their taxi. I counted the number of time people asked me if I wanted a Taxi. I reached 15 before I even reached the main road. There is also an old jet on the side of the road you can have lunch in. I would recommend renting a "jeep" I saw the whole island in 11 hours and drove myself. Also don't forget to visit the nude beach.

User currently offlineFishe388 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5348 times:

I was in St. Marteen over the summer, it is about a 20 min bus ride to the beach but well worth it the bus is only 1.50 $ to cross the island so it is by far the most cost efficient means of getting to the beach. Hope you enjoy.

User currently offlineVivavegas From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 505 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5276 times:

Did this just a few weeks ago (we arrived on RCCL Navigator of the Seas). In the morning I needed to do a shore excursion with my niece before have some time for myself before hooking back up with my family for a bit of shopping.

So I really only had about 1-1/2 hours. From the cruise pier I proceeded to the taxi stand where they had published rates of $16 to Maho Beach. They hooked me up with a driver in a Chevy Astro van (wide range a vehicles are used as cabs in SXM).

On the way to Maho Beach I enquired on how hard it would be to get a cab back, he said "very hard mon" all the cabs are over in Orient Beach picking cruise passengers going back to the ship. So I asked how much for the round trip, he stated $30 I asked if he would wait for a bit while I caught some video and pics and perhaps a beer. Stated "no problem mon". Upon arrival to the Sunset Beach Bar he dropped me off and stated he would be parked up the road under a tree and I should take my time.

Ordered up a Heinekein (sp?) $3!!!!, bought a few shirts, caught a American 757 and a DC-3 arrival, all told about 15-20 minutes.

Made my way up the road, found my driver and sure enough he was taking a little snooze.

We proceeded back towards Phillipsburg, it took about 20 minutes and we were back in town and dropped off with my family for some shopping and MUCH cheaper $1.00 beers! ** He stated if you try to get back to the pier any time after 3pm it can take upwards of 2 HOURS to get back through the traffic in Simpson Bay and Phillipsburg. BE WARNED!

My driver was very happy with the trip and the $30, he said no tip was required (good as my wife forgot to give me much money).

I have a few videos uploaded of the new SXM terminal project, a few of the Maho Area and one arrival. Let's see if you can kill my server!

http://www.wiscomm.com/skyone/

Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to help!

Craig
MKE



MKE / EYW / LAS - The true trifecta of aviation!
User currently offlineVivavegas From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 505 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5095 times:

Also, to add....

Sunset Beach Bar has a live arrival feed online -

http://www.sunsetbeachbar.com/airport_radio

Let's you plan ahead... Enjoy!

Craig
MKE



MKE / EYW / LAS - The true trifecta of aviation!
User currently offlineGusNYC From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 143 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5000 times:

Hey Guys!

Thank you very much for the suggestions. They are very helpful indeed.

Any tip about what time of the day, in your experience, is better to spot the arrivals? The ship will be docked from 7AM to 6PM. I guess I could take 2 or 3 hours in between. Oh! And this will be on Thursday (the 17th).

What time of the day do you suggest to go?
Do you agree with Ahlfors on 1-to 4 PM?

Thanks!

Gus


User currently offlineRatypus From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4924 times:

By the way - welcome and congrats on your first post!

enjoy your trip!


User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1183 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4895 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 7):
When I was there I rented a "Jeep". It wasn't really a Jeep but the locals called it a jeep and it looked just like a real Jeep. You can circle the entire island in like 40 minutes. It cost me about $50 American but it was well worth it. You can also get a Taxi. You can get both these at the pier. You don't even have to look for them. As soon as you touch dry land you will have like 100 locals trying to get you to take a "tour" in their taxi. I counted the number of time people asked me if I wanted a Taxi. I reached 15 before I even reached the main road. There is also an old jet on the side of the road you can have lunch in. I would recommend renting a "jeep" I saw the whole island in 11 hours and drove myself. Also don't forget to visit the nude beach.

I did a posting on my first trip to SXM back in August. I suppose I could go find it and link you, but I'm too darn lazy.  Smile

I just did this with my family in the middle of August, on the 18th to be exact, and I arrived on the Carnival Valor. Since we were a family of four, we rented a real "jeep" (made by Chrysler) as opposed to a mini jeep (made by Suzuki, usually). We paid a little more and we got A/C and other amenities. We got off the port, walked outside the gate, and turned to the right to the car rental companies. They SWARMED us because this is low season for cruises, so there isn't much business. We rented the jeep for $50, paid insurance and the whole bit, but they were offering us cars for much cheaper. You figure a taxi is no less than $30 so a car for $35 is a bargain for 11 hours. We rented ours for six and it was a DEAL. From the port, we went CLOCKWISE around the island, stopping first at Maho. My girls had a blast at Maho. It's a public beach and it's gorgeous, only it's limited in size. I caught about 10 planes that landed, starting with an AA 757, and everything else was an island hopper, mainly. From there we went to Belle Rouge beach, up the coast, past Philipsburg and into the French side (Marigot). After that, we kept driving and went to Orient, the popular beach in SXM, although we were disappointed.
By the way, the "nude beach" doesn't really exist. European women and men are more comfortable with their body and will take their bathing suits off freely, as opposed to being in designated nude areas like in the US. There is, however, a clothing optional resort at Orient, although we just drove past the entrance.
The trip takes you about 45-60 mins to complete. Traffic is fairly heavy in the two main cities, but after Orient Beach (following the clockwise pattern) there is little traffic on your return to the port.
Very easy to get around, very fun place. I want to go back to stay there for a few nights.

Quoting Vivavegas (Reply 9):
We proceeded back towards Phillipsburg, it took about 20 minutes and we were back in town and dropped off with my family for some shopping and MUCH cheaper $1.00 beers! ** He stated if you try to get back to the pier any time after 3pm it can take upwards of 2 HOURS to get back through the traffic in Simpson Bay and Phillipsburg. BE WARNED!

Again, this is if you come from Philipsburg in the counterclockwise direction.

FLY2LIM



Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4876 times:

Don't worry about the nude beach, there were plenty of topless hotties right on Maho. I rented a car and drove out there, the rental cost me about $50, well worth it. The large commercial arrivals are always in the afternoon after about 1, so enjoy!


This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineDanpio From United States of America, joined May 2004, 131 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4279 times:

Thursdays:

AA: 12:10 & 2:18.
US: 2:44
France: 1:00 (no longer 2:30- this is a recent change!)
KLM: 3:45

You can stand by the fence, Sunset beach bar, Maho Beach, the road. Anywhere you want. Nobody will say anything because everyone is taking photos with you! Be sure to get some topless hotties in your shots. I was there 3 weeks ago and there were plenty to see! I have one special photo to upload, we'll see it soon!



I'd kill everyone in this room for one drop of sweet, sweet beer.- Homer J. Simpson
User currently offlineSFOerik From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4057 times:

Gustavo:

Just jump in a cab and tell them "Maho Beach". Also, tell the driver when to come back and pick you up so you don't miss your boat. Or, the bartenders at the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill can call a cab for you. It takes a good 45min-1hr cab ride each way.

I have done the same thing for a couple of years and it will be the best stop of your cruise! Maho Beach is great for swimming, eating, drinking and watching the planes!!!!!

els



I will no longer stress about upgrades!
User currently offlinePumaknight From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4023 times:

Did I read right. You only just feel confident enough in your English skills to post?? And that is basic English for you? i am humbled and seriously impressed!

I only wish I could write in another language even half as well as you do (have trouble with English sometimes Smile

Enjoy St Maartins and let us know how you get on.

Michael H



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1183 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

Quoting SFOerik (Reply 16):
Just jump in a cab and tell them "Maho Beach". Also, tell the driver when to come back and pick you up so you don't miss your boat. Or, the bartenders at the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill can call a cab for you. It takes a good 45min-1hr cab ride each way.

Errr, took me about 10 minutes to get from the port to Maho, but the cabs will still charge you too much. Rent the car.
FLY2LIM



Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

I'll be there on November 21 - coming in on a cruise ship. So do I understand most of the big jet arrivals are after 1 p.m.?

User currently offlineVivavegas From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 505 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3431 times:

Quoting Danpio (Reply 15):
France: 1:00 (no longer 2:30 - this is a recent change!)

I can indeed confirm this change as there was a A340 on the ground when I was there around 1:45, unknown departure time.

I would suggest a say a 12:30p arrival and head back around 3:00p, have a little lunch at Sunset Beach. Not a bad life...

(thinking I have the spouses blessing for a return trip in the coming months  Smile )

Craig
MKE



MKE / EYW / LAS - The true trifecta of aviation!
User currently offlineAhlfors From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 1339 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

For the winter schedule in effect from Oct. 30, AF lands at SXM at 2:55. This is due to the shift to winter time in France, whereas there is no time change in SXM.

User currently offlineAA61Hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3406 times:

Enjoy SXM, and your English is just fine!


Go big or go home
User currently offlineDALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2503 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3304 times:

When I stopped there with a cruise I forgot all about airplanes. I went sailing on one of the 12M racing boats. Sure it was expensive, but how often do you get to sail on an old Americas Cup racing boat. We had a blast and still had time to go shopping in town. Wife bought some jewlery, I bought some cuban cigars and some booze.

User currently offlineGusNYC From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 143 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3184 times:

Wow! I can't thank you enough for all the information guys!

Pumaknight and AA61Hvy, thank you very much for your words. They are very encouraging. I am still making a lot of mistakes when I write in English. I never had formal education on this language and I feel not very confident about my grammar. But I am learning!

: )

GoingBoing, I hope you enjoy your trip.

Gus


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