Current input of cruisers to this port?

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#41
195 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Okay, back from Sint Martin on Grandeur, December 17. I scheduled a private tour before the hurricane with OC4 Island based at LeGalion Beach (near Orient Beach). I scheduled to be picked up at the Greenhouse in Phillipsburg. We had the options to do canoe surfing or an eco tour if the weather was too rough. I dealt with Fabien, and I cannot say enough good things about him. Please consider contacting him, but his tours are for more active people.

We arrived early, and, yes, the weather was cloudy and raining off and on. Fabien was a bit surprised, I think, that we were there, given the weather and the fact that we were the first major ship to be there. Since the weather was bad, canoe surfing was out. The eco tour was out as well, because Fabien had been there, and there was too much damage, and the wildlife has not yet returned.

His facilities on LeGalion had been wiped clean, so we went to his house and launched an outrigger canoe to go to Pinel Island. The weather got worse, and we had on again, off again thunderstorms. It was tough paddling to get to Pinel Island. The restaurant on the island and the vendor shops were heavily damaged and not usable. We walked on the island. Some storm damage, and due to the weather, we decided against swimming and snorkeling. Good news, the restaurant will be open before Christmas. OC4's facilities will probably be open in three months time. The delay is due to the shortage of building supplies. We had really bad weather on the way back from Pinel Island.

Yes, there was a lot of damage still, we saw sailboats in houses, but talking to locals, they are confident that eventually it will be better than before, but there will be a rough patch. These are not my words, this is what people told be on both the French and Dutch sides of the island.

Back to the ship to clean up and get back out to Phillipsburg. We missed the ceremony on the ship from the local officials, but we wanted to get back out there. Walked to downtown, but the water taxi was running. Shops and bars on both the boardwalk and Front Street were open, I would say about half. Higher end shops were more aggressive, but generally most shops were not. We did some shopping and storms came and went, some very strong. There were dancers and performers there, but again, the weather was against us. So we walked some more and talked to locals. Again, there were upbeat about the future, but realize it will be tough near time. The shops and bars at the port were mostly up and running, and the ones that were not, were in the process of rebuilding. We did not go to Back Street, but it was because of the weather.

I know some people are worried about safety. We walked back and forth to downtown several times, went to the French side, and did not feel unsafe at any time. Everywhere we went, the people were friendly as they have always been Bottom line, it was a good port visit. Not great, but that had more due to the weather than anything else. Oddly enough, this was the only port that had bad weather.

Hope this helps, and if anyone wants more specific information, maybe I can answer, but we were limited to those two areas.

Regards,
Mike
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#42
123 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by mikebz
Okay, back from Sint Martin on Grandeur, December 17. I scheduled a private tour before the hurricane with OC4 Island based at LeGalion Beach (near Orient Beach). I scheduled to be picked up at the Greenhouse in Phillipsburg. We had the options to do canoe surfing or an eco tour if the weather was too rough. I dealt with Fabien, and I cannot say enough good things about him. Please consider contacting him, but his tours are for more active people.

We arrived early, and, yes, the weather was cloudy and raining off and on. Fabien was a bit surprised, I think, that we were there, given the weather and the fact that we were the first major ship to be there. Since the weather was bad, canoe surfing was out. The eco tour was out as well, because Fabien had been there, and there was too much damage, and the wildlife has not yet returned.

His facilities on LeGalion had been wiped clean, so we went to his house and launched an outrigger canoe to go to Pinel Island. The weather got worse, and we had on again, off again thunderstorms. It was tough paddling to get to Pinel Island. The restaurant on the island and the vendor shops were heavily damaged and not usable. We walked on the island. Some storm damage, and due to the weather, we decided against swimming and snorkeling. Good news, the restaurant will be open before Christmas. OC4's facilities will probably be open in three months time. The delay is due to the shortage of building supplies. We had really bad weather on the way back from Pinel Island.

Yes, there was a lot of damage still, we saw sailboats in houses, but talking to locals, they are confident that eventually it will be better than before, but there will be a rough patch. These are not my words, this is what people told be on both the French and Dutch sides of the island.

Back to the ship to clean up and get back out to Phillipsburg. We missed the ceremony on the ship from the local officials, but we wanted to get back out there. Walked to downtown, but the water taxi was running. Shops and bars on both the boardwalk and Front Street were open, I would say about half. Higher end shops were more aggressive, but generally most shops were not. We did some shopping and storms came and went, some very strong. There were dancers and performers there, but again, the weather was against us. So we walked some more and talked to locals. Again, there were upbeat about the future, but realize it will be tough near time. The shops and bars at the port were mostly up and running, and the ones that were not, were in the process of rebuilding. We did not go to Back Street, but it was because of the weather.

I know some people are worried about safety. We walked back and forth to downtown several times, went to the French side, and did not feel unsafe at any time. Everywhere we went, the people were friendly as they have always been Bottom line, it was a good port visit. Not great, but that had more due to the weather than anything else. Oddly enough, this was the only port that had bad weather.

Hope this helps, and if anyone wants more specific information, maybe I can answer, but we were limited to those two areas.

Regards,
Mike
Thank you Mike for the detailed info. Interestingly every time we went to Marigot (early 2-3 weeks in Dec), we had short showers no longer than 10 mins max. No exceptions but sunny before and after the showers and never had bad weather. Hoping to be able to go to Marigot in February.
#43
11,694 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by shipgeeks
Karysa, What kind of safety are you wondering about?
.

Personal saftey such as being robbed mostly. That's the most important thing to me. I can get by with less activities and restaurants open but I want to feel safe in the places where I go.
#44
Montana
78 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Has anyone been to Marigot, lately? We will be there the week of the 21st of January. We didn't visit Marigot in January of 2017 & really want to this time. How much is open/rebuilt? Thanks in advance for any info!
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#45
212 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
I have a question about Mullet Beach. From what I read this beach just had a porta potty prior to the hurricanes, do they have this today?

We are trying to figure out what beaches are available that have bathrooms, eating & drinks available. Thanks for your help!


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#46
195 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by Karysa
.

Personal saftey such as being robbed mostly. That's the most important thing to me. I can get by with less activities and restaurants open but I want to feel safe in the places where I go.
I did not walk around Margot, but walked multiple times between the pier and downtown Phillipsburg, and felt safe all the time. The water taxi was running, but we did not use it. We went on the boardwalk, and Front st without any problems. We did not venture further only because the weather was bad. All the people we talked to were as friendly as always, and were interested in repairing and moving on. Shops, bars and restaraunts that were not open were being worked on. Safety was never an issue for us.

Regards,
Mike
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#47
Stanwood, Wa
1,410 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Princess is still showing Orient Beach for their beach excursions. I called them today and they said nothing has changed. That it is still Orient Beach. I am worried we will book this, and then find out at the last minute they changed the beach. Bait and Switch. We will be in port towards the end of this month. If they just go to Simpson Bay. I can to that on my own, much cheaper.
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#48
11,694 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by LovetheSea
Princess is still showing Orient Beach for their beach excursions. I called them today and they said nothing has changed. That it is still Orient Beach. I am worried we will book this, and then find out at the last minute they changed the beach. Bait and Switch. We will be in port towards the end of this month. If they just go to Simpson Bay. I can to that on my own, much cheaper.
I did hear from a very reliable source that in January Le String beach bar will have a temporary facility up and running at Orient.
#49
Colorado Springs
491 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by RMH
We will be on the Independence docking in St Maarten on Dec 25. We plan to hit Mullet Bay and Maho Beach. Same offer of any specific questions that Mike made above.
Just returned from our cruise and St Maarten was a great stop. There is a lot of damage from the hurricane evident on the drive to Mullet Bay, but the beach itself is gorgeous and it was our best beach day of the entire cruise.

Maho still has some work to get back to where it was as there are a lot of rocks just outside the Sunset Bar area. But the planes are still landing as close to your head as they always did and it is fun to watch them. There were not nearly as many people when we were there - likely because there were just two ships in port that day. Both restaurants were open (Sunset and Driftwood) and there was no valid reason not to visit. There were a ton of taxis and busses to take you to and from Mullet/Maho.
#50
Tennessee
463 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I just wanted to take the time to tell all of you Thank You!

I am so grateful you took the time to let us going soon know how the island is!

Thanks again,

Kathy
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#51
Upstate NY
1,063 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Do you know how much it was to take a taxi from the port to get to Maho? We were there about a year ago and noticed that at least some of them were charging according to how many were in your group, so if we said there was only two of us, the charge per person was more than if there was a larger group of people.
#52
CANADA
1,491 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by mikebz
I did not walk around Margot, but walked multiple times between the pier and downtown Phillipsburg, and felt safe all the time. The water taxi was running, but we did not use it. We went on the boardwalk, and Front st without any problems. We did not venture further only because the weather was bad. All the people we talked to were as friendly as always, and were interested in repairing and moving on. Shops, bars and restaraunts that were not open were being worked on. Safety was never an issue for us.

Regards,
Mike
When walking instead of the water taxi, is there vendors, shopping along the way?
Thanks
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#53
260 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by merinski
When walking instead of the water taxi, is there vendors, shopping along the way?
Thanks
The original post you quoted was not from me, however, we did walk to the boardwalk area from the ship. There were no vendors or shopping along the road. On the way THERE we didn't see the turnoff to get easily to the beach. We just walked into town. There WERE shops open in town. On the way BACK, we could more easily find our way with less time on the road. I'm pretty sure there was an area around the little bridge that had vendors.

There were women selling things along the beach also. They asked, but were not aggressive. They had hats and cover-ups mostly.

Hope this helps. Others might have a different perspective. We had never done this.

Renee
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#54
Colorado Springs
491 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by Sun Lover
Do you know how much it was to take a taxi from the port to get to Maho? We were there about a year ago and noticed that at least some of them were charging according to how many were in your group, so if we said there was only two of us, the charge per person was more than if there was a larger group of people.
The taxi rate is based on 4 people per taxi, so if there are two people in your group, the rate will be more than if there are four. And taxi drivers will not create groups, so two groups of two will each pay a higher rate than one group of four.

We took the bus ($2 per person each way), so I can't give a definitive answer on how much the taxi rate is, but I did talk to someone who said they paid $8 per person (group of 4) from the pier to Maho Beach. If you walk into town and catch a taxi there, I think the rate drops to $7 or $6 per person. But ask the driver ahead of time just to confirm.
#55
CANADA
1,491 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by let's go cruising
The original post you quoted was not from me, however, we did walk to the boardwalk area from the ship. There were no vendors or shopping along the road. On the way THERE we didn't see the turnoff to get easily to the beach. We just walked into town. There WERE shops open in town. On the way BACK, we could more easily find our way with less time on the road. I'm pretty sure there was an area around the little bridge that had vendors.

There were women selling things along the beach also. They asked, but were not aggressive. They had hats and cover-ups mostly.

Hope this helps. Others might have a different perspective. We had never done this.

Renee
Thank you , that helps, we will probably do the water taxi.
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#56
canada
175 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by RMH
The taxi rate is based on 4 people per taxi, so if there are two people in your group, the rate will be more than if there are four. And taxi drivers will not create groups, so two groups of two will each pay a higher rate than one group of four.

We took the bus ($2 per person each way), so I can't give a definitive answer on how much the taxi rate is, but I did talk to someone who said they paid $8 per person (group of 4) from the pier to Maho Beach. If you walk into town and catch a taxi there, I think the rate drops to $7 or $6 per person. But ask the driver ahead of time just to confirm.
We will be in St maarten at the end of the month and we're planning to go to maho beach. We will have a 10 mos old, 7, 8 yr old. The 2 older kids won't need carseats but the baby does. We are bringing our own carseat, Wondering if the taxis have seat belts? We are a family of 5, Will we fit in a cab? And how far is the drive?
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#57
11,694 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by bfamily4
We will be in St maarten at the end of the month and we're planning to go to maho beach. We will have a 10 mos old, 7, 8 yr old. The 2 older kids won't need carseats but the baby does. We are bringing our own carseat, Wondering if the taxis have seat belts? We are a family of 5, Will we fit in a cab? And how far is the drive?
Taxi’s are vans and they have seatbelts.

The ride is traffic dependent. It should be less than 30 minutes.
#58
canada
175 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by Karysa
Taxi’s are vans and they have seatbelts.

The ride is traffic dependent. It should be less than 30 minutes.
Thanks!
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#59
St. Louis, MO, USA
4,530 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
bfamily4, not sure what day you will be there but on certain days there are some huge planes. If you are there when an exceptionally large air France plane or other very large plane passes overhead, you had better have your things WELL secured. I have seen from a boat just off the beach what happens. Towels, hats, sunglasses, even chairs sometimes go flying! The local and experienced beachgoers know this will happen so are prepared but newbies don’t realize just how powerful the jet wash can be from the largest planes that pass over this beach.
#60
canada
175 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by mlbcruiser
bfamily4, not sure what day you will be there but on certain days there are some huge planes. If you are there when an exceptionally large air France plane or other very large plane passes overhead, you had better have your things WELL secured. I have seen from a boat just off the beach what happens. Towels, hats, sunglasses, even chairs sometimes go flying! The local and experienced beachgoers know this will happen so are prepared but newbies don’t realize just how powerful the jet wash can be from the largest planes that pass over this beach.
thanks for the tip. We are planning to be there Jan. 31 so hopefully there will be a couple of huge planes for us to see.
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