Freedom of the Seas Live Blog - Day Five - St Martin

In:
30Jul2015

Toay we are visiting one of my favorite spots in the Caribbean, St Martin.

We set our alarm for 7:30am to get ready but getting ready seemed to take longer than we anticipated so we decided to skip breakfast on the ship and have it on the island.

For our tour of the island, we hired a local driver that we have used 3 or 4 times now, Leo Brown.  Leo is a taxi driver we found by chance one cruise to St Martin and he has proven to be extremely nice, reliable and knowledgeable.

We met up with him right at 9am and he was waiting for us where we had planned.  We told him about our breakfast "problem" and he asked if we wanted local cuisine or American food.  Knowing my daughter and wife, I said American food and off we went.

After a 5 minute car ride, Leo brought us to the Devis Resort, which is a time share resort on the Dutch side right on the ocean.  Leo brought us to the restaurant and we had a fabulous breakfast buffet.

There was fruit, omelette station, hot foods, yogurts, juice, cereal and some bread to choose from.  I was impressed by the variety and the quality of the buffet.  

The price was $18 per person and I thought it was a great choice.

We packed into his van and off we went to our next stop, Le Galion beach on the French side.

Le Galion beach is an ideal beach for kids because it is a small bay that has rocks that not only protect the bay from waves but it is extremely shallow too.  

My 4 year old spent the entire time in the ocean and my 6 month old fared better today than yesterday (thanks to a long nap on mommy).

The beach has no fee but it is $5 per chair or umbrella.  You can also rent things like kayaks or wind surf for an additional fee.

New since our last visit is a large floating platform that allows swimmers a spot to jump.  The locals tell us it was built for kids to learn to swim but it's there if you want to use as well.

Here's an example of why we love having Leo as our guide.  At the beach my wife realized as the baby was screaming her head off that she had forgotten the bottles back on the ship.  Instantly Leo shot up from his chair and without accepting any money from me, drove to a nearby pharmacy and got us a bottle.  

We spent a few hours here and as lunch approached, we decided that we would get my 4 year old daughter a burger at the beach and then venture further into the French side for something else to eat for us.

Once the burger was eaten, we drove to the town of Grand Case and Leo brought us to a place that offered fresh Caribbean food.

I had the Mahi Mahi and my wife opted for chicken.  Both tasted great and it was right on the beach too!

I wish we had a little more time but we had to get back to the ship, so Leo brought us to the port with a small tour of the French side along the way.

We said goodbye to Leo, hoping to see him again soon, and got back on Freedom of the Seas.

My wife took the baby back to the room for a nap while I took my 4 year old daughter to the H2O Zone for a quick swim.

Afterwards, it was back to the room for showers and getting dressed for dinner.

Tonight we have our "big night out", or at least we hope for a big night out.  We reserved time for both kids to stay until midnight at their respective clubs while my wife and I enjoy dinner at Sabor and some time  around the ship.

Quick tip, we had a reservation at Sabor at 8 but wanted to eat earlier.  If you are in a similar situation, feel free to go to the restaurant and ask if you can be seated now.  It never fails to work, especially since there seems to be open tables.   Granted, this tip probably works best with smaller tables.

Sabor tonight was quite impressive and I really enjoyed my meal there. Tonight's experience re-affirmed my love of this specialty restaurant.

As may you recall, we had Sabor for lunch earlier this cruise while it was really good, it was not quite what I remembered on Navigator.  Clearly, I did not order the right food.

This time around I asked for extra guac with extra lime juice (let's call this the Matt special) and opted for the ahi tuna tacos and red snapper.  The good was amazing and I wish I had just ordered the tacos a few times.

We asked for our same waiter, Juan, and when he saw us he commented, "Are you the guy that posted a photo of me on Instagram?".  Busted!

I also tried the horizontal tequila flight, which was phenomenal.   Add some hand crafted margaritas and you have a really, really good experience.

Essentially the food at Sabor is really good and if you try their drinks, I think you will find one of the better Mexican meals out there.   My wife and I really enjoyed our time there.

Following Sabor, we did a bit of bar hopping between Schooner Bar, R-Bar, Pub and Viking Crown Lounge.  

Proving we are older than we think, we got to about 10:30pm and decided to call it a night early.  The drinking caught up with us and we wanted to be rested for a full day tomorrow.

I am hoping to get a lot done tomorrow on our second to last day, so hoping for a great day!

Stray Observations

  • Someone asked about the new staterooms on deck 12. I stopped by and took some photos.  There is a door that lets out directly on deck 12 and there is access to the elevator lobby.

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