Day 10 – Saturday, March 9 (Philipsburg, St. Maarten)

This morning, we arrived back at the port where we started. It’s a little bittersweet as we met some wonderful friends and had such a great time. We are already talking about getting together again for another cruise; I hope it happens.

Marguerite and Joe were leaving from the ship straight to the airport and Catherine and Scott were staying two extra days before returning to Bristol. Since John and I were staying another night, we decided to hang out for the day. We got a taxi to the hotel we were staying at, which was the same one we stayed at prior to the cruise. We were all able to drop off our luggage and John and I headed to the jewelry store to have an alteration done on my ring and then we were all going to meet up for drinks afterwards. Sam, the owner of the jewelry store offered to have a friend of his take us for a tour of the island if we were interested, which we were. John and I had only been on the Dutch side of the island, so a tour sounded wonderful.

We met up with Catherine and Scott, had a drink and then waited for our driver. His name was Roy, and he was a native of St. Maarten (from the Dutch side). He told us he’d do a complete loop around the island and point out some of the interesting spots. The first place of interest was Oyster Bay, which is a resort area. We crossed over the “border” into the French side where the scenery was gorgeous, with the road skirting along the water! We stopped at Orient Beach, which is one of the longest beaches on the island. There is also a clothing optional/nude beach on one side and we ummmm saw some, lol! Roy took us back to the regular side and we stopped for a quick lunch at Coco Beach restaurant and then continued our tour. On our way to Marigot (the main town and capital on the French side), we stopped at a roadside stand where there are lots of iguanas. You can feed them foliage from a stick and it’s wild to see them all come out because there is food. Roy says they won’t leave the area as they have all their needs met and are fed daily by the locals. In Marigot, we stopped at Fort St. Louis, which is a historic French military fort. It was built in the 18th century to defend Marigot’s harbor and its warehouses. It has spectacular views of St. Maarten, the surrounding sea, and the islands around it. Great for panoramic photos! After leaving the fort, we headed back, crossed back over on the Dutch side, and dropped Catherine and Scott off at their hotel. We again promised we would all try to get together for another cruise! Roy then proceeded to take us back to the hotel with two more stops along the way, the first being the infamous Maho Beach, where the airplanes come in real close to the beach as they land. We took a couple of videos of the planes coming in and saw one leaving. The plan that took off blew sand on those crazy people that were standing in the line of fire. All the bigger planes had already arrived as they have a schedule posted in the little bar by the beach of all of the arrivals for the day. The last stop was a lookout point where again, you had spectacular views of the coast and the surrounding islands.

After being dropped off at the hotel, we checked in, took a long shower in the BIG shower (the one on the boat is postage stamp size, lol!) and then headed down for a nice dinner on our last night. Our flight is at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow so there is no hurry to check out in the morning. Going to miss St. Maarten!

During the cruise we traveled the following distances:

St. Maarten – Nevis                                Nautical Miles 59.5

Nevis – Dominica                                   Nautical Miles 117

Dominica – Iles de Saintes                     Nautical Miles 38.5

Iles de Saintes – Guadeloupe                 Nautical Miles 33

Guadeloupe – Antigua                           Nautical Miles 43

Antigua – St. Barthelemy                        Nautical Miles 87

St. Barthelemy – St. Maarten                 Nautical Miles 12.5

Part of Oyster Bay, a resort area.
Views around Oyster Bay.
There are wild goats and sheep roaming around.
This is the non-nude side, lol!
The roadside stand where you could feed the iguanas. Roy said they won’t go past the orange line, not true!
Views from Fort St. Louis in Marigot
These guys were EVERYWHERE!
At Maho Beach, famous for the low flying planes. We got some video, but I can’t load it on here.
This is the plane that was taking off and blowing sand on everyone beside us. We were smart and moved out of the way!
A final lookout point with awesome views of the coast and islands.
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