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Spotting At St Maarten  
User currently offlineMcr From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 143 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3540 times:
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I'm going to be visiting St Maarten next January (one port of call on a cruise). The itinerary has us arriving at 8am and departing at 11pm, so I will have most of the day there. Obviously there's only one thing to do with a day on St Maarten and that's to visit the beach at the end of the runway to take pictures!

Can anybody fill me in with some practical details? Looking on Google Earth, I can see the beach is some way from the cruise terminal - does anybody know if there's a bus service or are local taxis readily available? What facilities are there at the beach? What can I expect to see there - are there a lot of air movements or are all those fantastic pictures in the database of "once a week" events? Just how wide a lens will I need to get great pictures? How big a risk is it that on any particular day planes will be departing rather than arriving at the beach end of the runway?

Of course, if any other a.netters are planning to be on the Atlantis "Freedom of the Seas" cruise in January, let me know and we could meet up over there!

(Yes, I've checked the archives, and while some of this has been discussed before, it hasn't been recently, things may have changed!)

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineN501US From United States of America, joined May 2005, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3489 times:
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I was there in December on a Princess cruise with a shoreter Window than you have. We got off of the ship and grabbeda cab to the Sunset Beach Bar. THe cab drivers have seen thsi drill before so be too worried. Opened a tab at the bar, sat right there and soaked up the sun and watched planes.

We were there on a Tues or Weds so there wasn't as much traffic as on the weekend. Nevertheless it was a thrill to stand on the beach as MD-80s and 757s came right over my head. Just as enjoyable, was speaking with all of the other aviation enthusiasts. In my case there were a couple of retired AA and CO pilots.

I think we spent $100 on beer and $50.00 on the cab. There are a million ways to skin this cat, but this worked for me.


Fools and thieves are well disguised in the temple and the marketplace.....
User currently offlineYULYMX From Canada, joined May 2006, 977 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3485 times:

You can take a Cab $$$ faster, but the local Bus would do the Job be like 2$ but longer... CAB ride should be 20-30 minutes... Sunset Beach Bar is GREAT can hear the Tower and Pilot...

User currently offlineMiamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3433 times:

Quoting Mcr (Thread starter):
things may have changed!)

Like filling Maho Bay to extend the runway to the west.

User currently offlineVS773ER From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3399 times:

I was lucky enough to go over christmas.

all very accessible, only just off one of the main roads and well sign posted.

they have a board listing all the larger movements of the day, i still noted a few surprises. amongst it all there are plenty of commuters whizzing in and out (at least every half hour).

word of caution; even if standing behind a 74 7at t/o thrust looks fun, do yourself a favor and wear a body suit!!!!

Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations...
User currently offlineIndio66 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3378 times:

There are very few stop lights in St. Maartin, as such traffic can be tough, and it can take a long time to cab from the Cruise port to the airport (and there is a drawbridge crossing in between). Allow yourself plenty of time (45 mins each way). It is very much worth the trip.

User currently offlineYULYMX From Canada, joined May 2006, 977 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3369 times:

it is worth every beer you will drink at SSBB  Smile

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