Visa for Sint Maarten?

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#1
Belize
41 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
*First of all, please don't say "contact the embassy" because that does not answer any question, & does not help. I have already contacted the Netherlands embassy, the French embassy, Royal Caribbean, & the St. Martin tourism board.

There is very little info for non-US citizens out there.....
This is for a person who is a citizen of Belize.

Netherlands embassy says: no visa required for Belizeans on Dutch side for less than 30 day stay, & no visa required for cruise ship passengers staying for less than 24 hours.

French embassy says:visa required for French side for short stay, but doesn't say anything about cruiseship passengers.

Royal Caribbean says: find out for yourself (although they have to know because they are the ones that decide if you can get on the ship if your paperwork is correct)

St. Martin tourism board: out of office till June 1

I just want to know if the ship is docking in Philipsburg, which is on the Netherland side, then do I need to go by what the Netherlands embassy says? But, if there is no "real" border between the two sides, how can they require a visa for only 1 side? It's very confusing.....and I can't seem to get a straight answer.
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#2
11,454 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
If it were me I would go by what the cruise company said. My biggest concern would be getting on and off of the ship. Once they let me off of the ship in St. Maarten I would have the best day possible and make sure that I was back on board before the ship sailed to its next port. Can't think that this would be the biggest issue for police or immigration on the island. This is of course just MHO and since you do not want to be directed to any official immigration offices I guess that opinions is all that you want.
#3
Belize
41 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Well the thing is, the cruise company basically said, find out for yourself, it's not our problem. I'm not concerned about being let off the ship in St. Maarten, I'm concerned about not being let ON the ship in Miami where the cruise begins.

And it's not that I 'don't want to be directed to the official offices', it's that I have already done that, and now am more confused as to WHICH official immigration office is the one that has the jurisdiction in this case of 2 countries ruling 1 island split in half with no real border.....AAHH!!!
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#4
11,454 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Only other suggestion that I would have is to ask the question on the Ask a Question Board and on the Belize board because an avid cruiser may be on that board helping visitors to Belize but if they cruise they would know the answers to your visa questions. Honestly in St. Maarten/St. Martin I really can't see you having a problem. There are no manned borders only signs welcoming you to either the French or Dutch side of the island. You are going to be docking on the Dutch side so there really should be nothing to worry about. Just make sure that you don't miss the ship.
#5
Belize
41 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Thanks Karysa, I really hope so too....It's really hard to get info for non-US, or non-UK, especially for a tiny 'not so popular' country like Belize that needs visas for almost everywhere
According to my reasoning, the Dutch embassy's answer should be the right one, but I'm really paranoid about being denied boarding, I have nightmares about it. Plus it's my (new) husband that is the Belizean (I am a US citizen), and this is our honeymoon so it would really be HORRIBLE for that to happen (or miss the ship, lol)
I hope the St. Martin Tourist board has an answer for me.....I just really want something that's definite and in writing.
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#6
Sacramento, CA
8,274 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
VisaHQ.com says:

Saint Martin tourist visa is not required
for citizens of Belize for a stay up to 90 days.

Good news if tourist visa is the correct choice for the purpose of your trip to Saint Martin.

gary
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#7
Belize
41 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Thanks Gtaylor, I saw that too! but then the French Embassy started to scare me....LOL I hope it's right!!
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2010 Liberty of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
2006 Discovery Cruise Line - 1 day Bahamas (cruise from HELL!!)
2003 Voyager of the Seas - Western Caribbean
2001 Carnival Triumph - Eastern Caribbean
2000 Carnival Fantasy - Nassau
2000 Carnival Paradise - Western Caribbean (Azipod broke! Had to turn around!)
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1998 Vision of the Seas - Mediterranean
#8
Belize
41 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
UGH! What do I have to do to get good answers ??
This is what I wrote to the French embassy in Miami:

"Hello,

I am trying to find out if a citizen of Belize, Central America, would need a visa to travel on a cruise that stops for 1 day in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. According to the Netherland Embassy website, The Netherlands Antilles does not require a visa for Belizeans staying less than 30 days, or for cruise ship passengers leaving the same day. However, the French West Indies does require a visa for Belizeans for a short stay, but does not say anything about cruise passengers. I am unsure of which country's entry requirements we must comply with in this case, or if we must comply with both, as many of the tours take passengers over to the French side. I know that the consulate in Miami is not responsible for the country of Belize, but I am unable to find any contact information for our consulate, as that website appears to be out of order. The cruise embarks from Miami. I would appreciate any information that you can give me, or any referral to the correct consul. Thank you very much for your time."

and then today they wrote back:

"Good day,

you'll need a visa for the french part if you're not an holder of the us green card.

regards,
visa section"

DUUHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Thanks a lot for telling me what I already told you....
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2010 Liberty of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
2006 Discovery Cruise Line - 1 day Bahamas (cruise from HELL!!)
2003 Voyager of the Seas - Western Caribbean
2001 Carnival Triumph - Eastern Caribbean
2000 Carnival Fantasy - Nassau
2000 Carnival Paradise - Western Caribbean (Azipod broke! Had to turn around!)
1999 Grand Princess - Mediterranean
1998 Vision of the Seas - Mediterranean
#9
11,454 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I have only been asked to show my passport when at the airport or when I was going on a day excursion by boat to another island say Anguilla, Saba or St. Bart's. Other than on those occasions no one has ever asked me for passport ID on either side of the island. You can easily spend a lovely day on the Dutch side of the island and maybe that would be less stressful for you. I would suggest spending the morning at Maho beach walking through the Maho entertainment area and having lunch and then seeing the planes land at Maho and heading back to either Philipsburg to do some shopping if you have time or go right back to the ship.
#10
11,454 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Sorry that was suppose to read Mullet Bay beach in the morning. It is a lovely beach and very close to Maho where the planes fly just feet above you to land.
#11
404 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
TBN Hubby here

I think I would not worry about the reply from the French Embassy. You got the 'canned' answer, not the reality that I have seen at St Martin. You will be landing on the DUTCH side and, as several people have noted, there is absolutely NO border inspection when going back and forth. The French will have no idea whether you go to the French side or not and the residents and the cab drivers will not care either.

BTW, If you go to Club Orient on the French side it is very unlikely anyone will ask you for ID while you are walking the beach
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#12
1,029 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
As has been mentioned, you will not be asked for papers once you are on the island. The only thing I would prepare for is when you check in with the cruise line. Have a copy of their policy regarding the Visa with you so that you can show that to them if a question comes up. Comply with their policy and you will be fine.
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#13
Sacramento, CA
8,274 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Hey guys, she's already back from her scheduled cruise.

I'd hope that she would have posted here if there were any problems.

gary
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#14
4 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
hello friend.even i have same question. i am from pakistan and i will also cruise on royal Caribbean to st.marten. would i need visa to dock or voard the ship from san juan puerto Rico?? please help. even i have emailed to embassy and royal Caribbean buy no reply. my ship will be there from morning till evening.
#15
4 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by Karysa
I have only been asked to show my passport when at the airport or when I was going on a day excursion by boat to another island say Anguilla, Saba or St. Bart's. Other than on those occasions no one has ever asked me for passport ID on either side of the island. You can easily spend a lovely day on the Dutch side of the island and maybe that would be less stressful for you. I would suggest spending the morning at Maho beach walking through the Maho entertainment area and having lunch and then seeing the planes land at Maho and heading back to either Philipsburg to do some shopping if you have time or go right back to the ship.
hello friend
are you back from ur trip. did u faced any problem. please share as i am also looking for same problem
#16
Southern Ontario Canada
781 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I don't hold a US green card I just have a Canadian Passport and I've never had any trouble in any port that I have been to in the Caribbean. I clear customs in the states and that's all I worry about. I do carry my drivers license and passport when off the ship
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#17
700 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Response to Tangi3

With regard to Sint Maarten, you should not need a visa to enter Sint Maarten off a cruise ship for a one day port of call.

From the Government of Sint Maarten's Travel Guide (Last updated May 2015 and on the Government Website):

General Visa Exemptions
All visitors are exempted from the visa requirement when in possession of the following;
. . .
• Passengers of cruise ships visiting the island for less than 48 hours.

You presumably understand your need for documentation to enter and/or be in USA to board ship in San Juan, PR.
#18
4 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by SnorkelAway
Response to Tangi3

With regard to Sint Maarten, you should not need a visa to enter Sint Maarten off a cruise ship for a one day port of call.

From the Government of Sint Maarten's Travel Guide (Last updated May 2015 and on the Government Website):

General Visa Exemptions
All visitors are exempted from the visa requirement when in possession of the following;
. . .
• Passengers of cruise ships visiting the island for less than 48 hours.

You presumably understand your need for documentation to enter and/or be in USA to board ship in San Juan, PR.
Thankyou my friend