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In search of FAMILY FRIENDLY beaches on St. Maarten
Our family will be cruising Carnival's Eastern Carribean itinerary on the Glory in a few weeks. For our port day on St. Maarten, we are in search of a family friendly beach. My understanding is that clothing is optional at any of St. Maarten's beaches, but we are wondering if there are some beaches that tend to not be affected by it.
Our Past Cruises . . .
04/1992 CCL Carnivale ~ Nassau, Freeport
10/2007 CCL Glory ~ St. Thomas, St. Maarteen, Nassau
08/2008 CCL Holiday ~ Cozumel, Calica
11/2008 CCL Holiday ~ Cozumel
08/2009 CCL Legend ~ Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
04/2010 CCL Inspiration ~ Cozumel
11/2010 CCL Fantasy ~ Freeport, Nassau, Key West
04/2011 CCL Legend ~ Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Belize
10/2011 CCL Fantasy ~ Bermuda
11/2011 CCL Conquest ~ Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay(PLATINUM CRUISE!)
08/2012 CCL Liberty ~ Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, Nassua (diverted from Grand Turk!)
11/2012 CCL Dream ~ St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
11/2013 CCL Sunshine
We've been to St. Maarten twice via ship and twice for week long land based vacations. Our family favorite by far is Pinel Island. It is on the French side, but we didn't see any thongs, topless or similar types there. The boat ride over to Pinel is an experience. We refer to it as the refugee boat - but don't let that scare you. It is just a large boat when benches straight across and they really pack you in. It is a short ride to Pinel (you can see it from shore) and once there you can rent a chair and umbrella if you wish. The water is pretty shallow for quite a distance making it a good choice for small children. It is a good place for younger kids to try snorkeling. My kids also enjoyed getting a fishing net and catching all sorts of fish in knee deep water. We had a fantastic time there.
We have been to other beaches on St. Maarten and my kids still giggle about the pregnant woman in the thong they saw at another beach. My 11 year old son gets a horrified look on his face and says "That's just wrong!"
I'll see if I can dig up some Pinel pictures and come back and post them here. It is truly paradise!
PS - I would still allow some time for shopping on Front Street on your way back to the ship. I'm not a huge shopper, but I really enjoy Front Street. My personal favorite there is the Guavaberry Emporium - island flavored rums. Mmmm-mmmm good!
Last edited by travelingirl70; September 13th, 2007 at 10:29 AM.
While on Disney Magic we took the excursion to Orient Beach. The far end of this beach is the "Naturalist resort Club Orient". But the area we were in was in the "European Tradition" of some women going topless.
Since this was a Disney ship, you can imagine how many kids were on that beach that day. And you know what, my kids didn't even blink at the tolpess women. It didn't faze them. And the family who was with us (they have a boy) he didn't mention it either.
The only one it fazed were the fathers...lol.
At these beaches the topless are few and far between. And it's more like Discovery Channel topless, not Playboy Channel topless...lol.
We are going back in April. Orient beach is beautiful.
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This past March we went to Little Divi Bay and it was fantastic! It was quiet and had great snorkeling. There was a hotel bar that we used for drinks. We walked all the way to the left and the beach wasn't crowded at all.
A couple years ago we went to Orient Beach and saw some folks who were topless or bottomless. My two boys hardly noticed. Like crusinmama wrote, it's not like the playboy mansion, it's more like who you'll see at your local grocery store. Not exactly pleasant to look at!
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We were on the Glory in Sept of 06 with our (then) 19 month old. We spend the day at Le Gallion beach (french side) and had a blast. Le Gallion is about 15-20 minute drive by taxi from the port. The beach was empty, clean and no nudity. We exited the ship took a taxi to the Butterfly Farm first - spend about 30-1 hour there - then our taxi driver took us to the Beach which is a 5 minute drive down the street from the Butterfly farm.
Once we arrived we rented chairs and umbrellas and spend almost the whole day there. While we were there a local family came to enjoy the water and I talked to mom a litte bit, the kids only spoke french and mom spoke a little english very nice lady. There is a a small restaurant at the beach called Chez Pat the owner and his wife are americans and have lived in the island for a couple of years. They have drinks, burgers, hot dogs, etc... and a small bathroom with no shower. While we were there it started to rain the ocean was warmer then the rain!!! Then it poured and we had to take cover and change because our taxi drive was already waiting for us.
I don't know if you have been to St. Marteen before, but they re did the whole port/dock and it is easy to get off the ship and get a taxi. Everthing looks very nice and clean.
Taxi to butterfly garden: $15.00 (2 adults 1 toddler)
butterfly garden: $20.00
chair and umbrella rental: $15.00
Taxi to back to ship: $15.00
Playing in the rain in St. Martin with husband and daughter: priceless
Please note that our taxi driver waited for us while we were visiting the butterlfy garden and offered to take us to the beach (we were going to walk there). We asked him to returned in the afternoon to pick us up with enough time to stop and buy guavaberry at the local supermarket. He was a very very nice gentlemen and was kind enough to do this for us.
Check out this website: www. Sint-maarten.net with links to chez pat website.
Great advice given on family friendly beaches. Couldn't agree more with Pinel, Le Gallion or Divi. Haven't been to Orient in 15 years so I can't comment on that one. I have never seen a topless woman at Divi if that is the question. I have seen topless women at the other two beaches.
Enjoy St. Martin
We were just in St Maarten in August and went to Little Divi Beach. It was a beautiful beach, nice snorkeling and my husband and son rented a jet ski. There was a nice outdoor restaurant for lunch and they let my kids use both of the hotel pools. Also, bathrooms were clean and it was $4 p.p. one way by taxi. I definately recommend it!
For a more exciting kind of beach experience, go to maho beach! We were there last february and my 2 years old never wanted to leave!
Pictures are worth a thousand words!
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We just got back off the Valor a few days ago, Orient Beach was lovely, a few topless, and some nudes but it was no big deal. Tons of kids on the beach, and such a lovely beach, it is one of our favorite beaches.
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The last time we were in St. Maartin was a few years ago, but we just took the water taxi ($5pp) across the bay to the public beach. It's near the shopping and some little bars/restaurants, and we saw no topless women.
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