Few pics from our recent St. Maarten visit

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#1
CA
3,879 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Hi,

We visited St. Maarten on the Independence of the Seas on Christmas Day. We booked Bernard island tour and got Mailman as our tour guide.

Yes, there was a lot of destruction everywhere but it’s not as you can’t visit the island. Maho beach is still there with people watching the few planes land but some of the sands have been washed away.

The Dutch side is better off as per the Mailman; they settle insurance claims much faster. The French side is looking at 6 to 9 months for insurance claims to be processed.

Orient Bay is has a lot of damage. Very quiet there. Per Mailman, some sections have been restricted access as they try to rebuild.

I’ve started to write a detailed trip report for the whole cruise over at the Royal Caribbean forum. Our stop at St. Maarten is day 5 of our cruise so it will take few weeks before I get to this part of the cruise. I will come back here and provide a link to let people know where to start reading just the St. Maarten part.

Harry











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#2
CA
3,879 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Few more pics of the tour:









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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (E. Caribbean) December 2017 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Indy: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...1#post54872899
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas (W. Caribbean) December 2016 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Freedom: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post51844460)
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#5
CA
3,879 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Yes, the place was open with people there drinking and eating. They had the usual flight time scheme posted. The tour guide packed the van there at the parking lot.


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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (E. Caribbean) December 2017 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Indy: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...1#post54872899
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#6
CA
3,879 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by rjrpar
Is Picture#6 Orient Beach?


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I assume you are referring to post #1, yes, that last picture is from Orient Beach.

I think there were some umbrellas and beach chairs behind me about 100 yards down. I might have taken a picture of it. Will post that when I get to day 5 of my trip report.
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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (E. Caribbean) December 2017 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Indy: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...1#post54872899
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#7
South Carolina
30,464 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Thanks for the pictures!
We'll be there in a couple of weeks.
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#8
1,934 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by OCruisers
Thanks for the pictures!
We'll be there in a couple of weeks.
Are you going to the very popular nudist beach? On the French side?
Enjoy your cruise.
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#10
Annapolis, USA
858 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Thank you for your photos. While the island does not look great, it does look better than I thought it would look 4 months later. And with the tourists coming back, it will only improve. Thanks for the shots!
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Previous

2010: Carnival Pride (Florida & Bahamas)
2011: Carnival Pride (Florida & Bahamas)
2012: Enchantment of the Seas (Florida & Bahamas)
2013: Carnival Glory (Canada), Carnival Glory (W Caribbean)
2014: Carnival Freedom (W Caribbean), Carnival Glory (E Caribbean)
2015: Carnival Liberty (S Caribbean), Carnival Splendor (Canada), Carnival Splendor (E Caribbean)
2016: Empress of the Seas (Florida & Bahamas), Carnival Conquest (E Caribbean)
2017: MSC Divina (W Caribbean)

#11
CA
3,879 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Here are few more pictures of the beach that Mailman took us to on Christmas day. No crowd from cruise ship.









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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (E. Caribbean) December 2017 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Indy: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...1#post54872899
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas (W. Caribbean) December 2016 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Freedom: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post51844460)
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas (W. Caribbean) December 2014 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Allure: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2146596)
Carnival Glory (NE Canada) June 2013
Carnival Splendor (Mexico) August 2012
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas (Mexico) December 2010
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Celebrity Infinity (Alaska) 2009
Carnival Spirit (Mexico) 2008
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HAL Westerdam (Eastern Caribbean) 2007
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Celebrity Mercury (Western Caribbean) 1998
Carnival Jubilee (Mexico) 1997
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#12
Michigan
331 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
That's beautiful. Do you remember the name of the beach?
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#14
CA
3,879 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by missholly24
That's beautiful. Do you remember the name of the beach?
Friar's Bay.

You can read the reviews from Trip advisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...t_Maarten.html
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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (E. Caribbean) December 2017 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Indy: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...1#post54872899
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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas (W. Caribbean) December 2014 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Allure: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2146596)
Carnival Glory (NE Canada) June 2013
Carnival Splendor (Mexico) August 2012
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas (Mexico) December 2010
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#15
CA
3,879 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Staying Focused
I've heard a little bit about Bernards tours. How much walking is involved? Is this a definitive no go for someone with mobility issues?
That's because they're ranked among the top 3 tours on the island per Trip advisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...t_Maarten.html

Not much walking at all since they basically take you to various spots and you can walk around as far as you want within the allotted period. Think the farthest we walk away from the bus was at the beach stop as we wanted to be more mid beach and that was maybe few hundred feet. If you can walk from one end of the ship to other end, then this should be fine.

But go to their web site and email him your situation to see if he can accommodate you.

Here is the picture where the bus was parked away from the beach



You are given some free time to walk around Marigot but if you don't want to walk far, you can stay nearby the bus





At Maho beach, the bus is parked inside the gates here and if you want to walk to the beach area, you will need to navigate a narrow walk way or walk on the path of on coming traffic as the rocks might be hard for you

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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (E. Caribbean) December 2017 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Indy: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...1#post54872899
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas (W. Caribbean) December 2016 (Cheapo Dad's Trip Report on the Freedom: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post51844460)
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#18
Graham, WA
503 Posts
Joined May 2009
Thanks so much for this! We are scheduled for a Bernard's tour on our Harmony cruise in a few weeks.
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Past Cruises:
Monarch of the Seas Caribbean 1992
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#19
Canton, GA (outside Atlanta)
134 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Thanks for the great pics and info. We will be heading there in Feb on oasis and yours is the first post I’ve seen that shows the condition of island. We also hired a tour guide because she will know better what parts of the island are best to visit now. Spent a week here a few years ago, loved it!!! Did you go to grand case at all? Wondering if anything open. We want to spend our money on this island to help those in need get their lives, businesses, and homes back in order! Thanks again!


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Beth & Brian





Previous Wonderful Vacations
Oasis of the Seas 2017
Majesty of the Seas 2015
Liberty of the Seas Western Caribbean 2010
St. Maarten 2009
Sedona 2008
Brilliance Panamal Canal Cruise 2007
#20
Toronto, Canada
12 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Thanks for sharing. I will be on a cruise going to St. Maarten Feb. 1 and I was wondering how bad it still was. Nice to see that is is improving and they can certainly use the tourist dollars now more than ever. Great pics. Thanks, Kat