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St. Maarten Now


BrianAlt
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I agree with @KLA. Great Bay beach is an inexpensive way to do a DIY beach day in St. Maarten.  You can buy a single trip on the water taxi to get over to the dock there or you can buy the wristband for unlimited rides back and forth.  You can also walk there along the main road.  It's about maybe a 15-20 minute walk.  There are restaurants and places that line the main boardwalk that runs along the beach. They all offer different specials and will sell you chairs and umbrellas, drinks and food.  One block up parallel to the main beach front road is where most of the local shopping area is located.

If you go out to Maho Beach you are really stuck with only the Sunset Bar right there and things are priced there because they recognize that.  I don't think they even offers chairs and umbrellas because the blast from the airplanes would send them flying!

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7 hours ago, Shay said:

Do you all have a preference of the two: Maho Beach vs Great Bay Beach? I'm looking for a low cost beach excursion that included a complimentary beach chair and access to purchase local foods 

Thanks

Maho is more about watching the planes, not so much about enjoying the beach. 

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21 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

I agree with @KLA. Great Bay beach is an inexpensive way to do a DIY beach day in St. Maarten.  You can buy a single trip on the water taxi to get over to the dock there or you can buy the wristband for unlimited rides back and forth.  You can also walk there along the main road.  It's about maybe a 15-20 minute walk.  There are restaurants and places that line the main boardwalk that runs along the beach. They all offer different specials and will sell you chairs and umbrellas, drinks and food.  One block up parallel to the main beach front road is where most of the local shopping area is located.

If you go out to Maho Beach you are really stuck with only the Sunset Bar right there and things are priced there because they recognize that.  I don't think they even offers chairs and umbrellas because the blast from the airplanes would send them flying!

My son and I rented beach chairs and an umbrella from SB in May 2019. They set them up next to the bar.

The only thing getting knocked around from the jet blasts are the knuckleheads who grab on to the chain link fence and get slammed onto the road. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I believe the problem had to do with work being done (or needing to be done) at the Antigua pier that was not going to be completed in time.  Although I have heard other ships may be docking, it may be smaller ships.  It was NOT covid related 

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We've been to Maho a couple of times and I agree with all of them ^ - it's a tourist trap and crowded!   The beach in the flight path is tiny and full of people.

When we head to SXM next month, I think we might just hang out in Phillipsburg or grab a taxi - maybe to Orient but it's not the same as it was pre-Irma.

 

BTW - if you're looking for a great, insightful youtube blog about St. Maarten, check out The Travelling Island Girl.  I just found her last month and her vlogs are great.  She also gives guided tours when she's there but I'm afraid she will be too expensive for just the two of us.  

Here's one of her videos:  

 

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Delighted I read through all the posts here as think Captain Bobs tour looks like a real winner for both of us when we are there in March.

 

Regarding Maho beach being a tourist trap, I couldn't care. It's something I always wanted to see and this will probably be my only time there in my life. Some things are inherently touristy but still worth seeing.

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1 hour ago, trueblue83 said:

Regarding Maho beach being a tourist trap, I couldn't care. It's something I always wanted to see and this will probably be my only time there in my life. Some things are inherently touristy but still worth seeing.

If you've never been, it's worth it. It's fun! And the prices at the bar aren't insane.  Sure, higher than other places, but not break the bank expensive.  Have a snack and a couple of drinks.  After all, you're on vacation!  😄 

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3 hours ago, trueblue83 said:

Regarding Maho beach being a tourist trap, I couldn't care. It's something I always wanted to see and this will probably be my only time there in my life. Some things are inherently touristy but still worth seeing.

On our recent Captain Bob's tour, the last stop we made was offshore of Maho Beach.  We watched a couple planes land and one take off.  After seeing how close the jet blast actually is, I was happy to be on the boat.

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:00 AM, trueblue83 said:

Delighted I read through all the posts here as think Captain Bobs tour looks like a real winner for both of us when we are there in March.

 

Regarding Maho beach being a tourist trap, I couldn't care. It's something I always wanted to see and this will probably be my only time there in my life. Some things are inherently touristy but still worth seeing.

Oh, I couldn't agree more - Maho is definitely a must-go place.  Seeing those planes land is absolutely crazy.

I guess my usage of "tourist trap" was a little harsher than I intended.  What I meant was that there is a ton of people jammed on a little

stretch of beach waiting for another landing, and that's okay.  The people at Sunset must make a fortune!

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15 hours ago, Shay said:

Update

Hubby and I had a great time with Bernard’s Tours today. Thanks so much for this recommendation ❤️.

Definitely something to do at least once.  We did it and then did it again the next time we were there with our family.

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On 1/14/2022 at 1:23 PM, KLA said:

Just to add on further - my husband and I really enjoyed the walk from the port to the downtown beach area when we were last there. It's only about a 10 minute walk with a neat little Gouda shop along the way. 

 So, if we want to just skip booking an excursion, we could easily just get off the ship and take a short walk to go to a beach, the restaurants and shops, then walk back to ship at our leisure? 

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On 2/18/2022 at 11:16 PM, kittysoul said:

 So, if we want to just skip booking an excursion, we could easily just get off the ship and take a short walk to go to a beach, the restaurants and shops, then walk back to ship at our leisure? 

Yes! While there's lots to see and do elsewhere on the island, it's also definitely a walkable port with options.

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On 2/18/2022 at 11:16 PM, kittysoul said:

 So, if we want to just skip booking an excursion, we could easily just get off the ship and take a short walk to go to a beach, the restaurants and shops, then walk back to ship at our leisure? 

Absolutely.   Phillipsburg is wonderful for this.  You just grab the water taxi and it takes you straight to town.  There are beaches to the left and right.  Plenty of restaurants and bars.  Beach chairs and umbrellas.  Downtown P'burg is fantastic - not huge, lots of cool shops, etc.  

No need for an RC excursion.

 

Remember - if you buy liquor - they will keep it, package it, and send to the ship for you.  You'll get it on the last night of the cruise to pack.

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