Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sint Maarten/Saint Martin

Oyster Bay, St Maarten
One 37 square mile island with two very different faces and, I am told, 37 beaches. Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is Dutch and French both as the same time, but separate. 

We spent a fun and busy day exploring the island, both sides, visiting both capital cities, Philipsburg and Marigot, as well as a couple of beaches. 

The highlight of the day was standing on Maho Beach and watching the airplanes land nearly on top of us. The planes are landing at Princess Juliana Airport and the approach end of the runway is only a few yards from the beach. 

It was a beautiful day. We visited another beach, where we needed to ensure we went the correct direction. One direction along the beach was a normal public beach, the other was clothing optional. We went to the normal beach and had a very enjoyable, albeit too brief, time.

Lunch in Marigot, the capital of the French part of the island was a fun experience at Chez Coco. The food was good and the exchange rate was favorable. Euros are the currency of the French side, while dollars and guilders as well as euros are used on the Dutch side. 

Oasis of the Seas
St Maarten
July 5, 2017
The afternoon was spent driving around and going to Maho beach to watch the airplanes arrive. We made a brief stop on Philipsburg and then it was back to the ship, which ended our adventure for the day.

I have visited a few islands in or ringing the Caribbean and St Maarten/Saint Martin is definitely one that I would like to revisit and spend more time exploring.

-- Bob Doan, writing aboard Oasis of the Seas as it docks in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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