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harryfat1

Few pics from our recent St. Maarten visit

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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

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4641/39419531041_2a433ed9bf_k.jpg[/IMG]

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[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4686/24553500757_911518c3c0_k.jpg[/IMG]

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Few more pics of the tour:

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4732/39419512311_37fcd4a49f_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4681/39419513221_dc5b992875_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4680/39419532591_9370b90bb0_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4738/39419529071_2c955f5968_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4597/38541059265_6b6877fd13_k.jpg[/IMG]

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[quote name='harryfat1']Few more pics of the tour:

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4732/39419512311_37fcd4a49f_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4681/39419513221_dc5b992875_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4680/39419532591_9370b90bb0_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4738/39419529071_2c955f5968_k.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4597/38541059265_6b6877fd13_k.jpg[/IMG][/quote]
Was the sunset bar & restaurant opened at Maho beach?

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Is Picture#6 Orient Beach?


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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.
[IMG]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180104/52ea7a424fe7ea9cb5112a02d092a0e2.jpg[/IMG]

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[quote name='rjrpar']Is Picture#6 Orient Beach?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]

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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Thanks for the pictures! :)
We'll be there in a couple of weeks.

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[quote name='OCruisers']Thanks for the pictures! :)
We'll be there in a couple of weeks.[/quote]

Are you going to the very popular nudist beach? On the French side?
Enjoy your cruise.

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Thank you for sharing both good and bad, best pictures I have seen so far.


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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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Here are few more pictures of the beach that Mailman took us to on Christmas day. No crowd from cruise ship.

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675466509/large/1515315453/enhance[/IMG]

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675466451/large/1515315436/enhance[/IMG]

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675466389/large/1515315412/enhance[/IMG]

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[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677773066/large/1515396207/enhance[/IMG]

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[quote name='missholly24']That's beautiful. Do you remember the name of the beach?[/quote]

Friar's Bay.

You can read the reviews from Trip advisor:

[URL]https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1606589-d538323-Reviews-Friar_s_Bay-Saint_Martin_St_Martin_St_Maarten.html[/URL]

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[quote name='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?[/quote]

That's because they're ranked among the top 3 tours on the island per Trip advisor:

[URL]https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1606589-d1840452-Reviews-Bernard_s_Tours-Saint_Martin_St_Martin_St_Maarten.html[/URL]

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

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677769467/large/1515396165/enhance[/IMG]

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

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677777830/large/1515396406/enhance[/IMG]

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677777234/large/1515396346/enhance[/IMG]

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

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677778602/large/1515396529/enhance[/IMG]

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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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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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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

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[quote name='harryfat1']That's because they're ranked among the top 3 tours on the island per Trip advisor:

[URL]https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1606589-d1840452-Reviews-Bernard_s_Tours-Saint_Martin_St_Martin_St_Maarten.html[/URL]

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

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677769467/large/1515396165/enhance[/IMG]

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

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677777830/large/1515396406/enhance[/IMG]

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677777234/large/1515396346/enhance[/IMG]

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

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73677778602/large/1515396529/enhance[/IMG][/QUOTE]
Thanks for the info 👍

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Thanks to those that have commented on the pictures and the info. Appreciate the kind words. Glad the info is helpful.

Our sailing on the Indy was the second Royal ship to visit St. Maarten after the hurricane so there wasn't much info when I was researching on what to do when we arrive. I emailed Bernard and he himself wasn't really sure how much the tour would alter going forward post hurricane.

So I figure I just drop in and provide some quick info for people that might be going there soon to have some basic idea on what the island looks like now. I am only up to day 2 on my trip report over at the Royal board so it'll take me another couple weeks before I get to day 5 (Christmas day) when we were in St. Maarten. But I looked through some of the trip pictures to share:

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675465016/large/1515315060/enhance[/IMG]

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675464557/large/1515314897/enhance[/IMG]



[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675464584/large/1515314909/enhance[/IMG]

This was taken from the back of the tour bus of a fairly large boat being pushed all the way inland by the hurricane to be next to the freeway

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675466991/large/1515315573/enhance[/IMG]

[IMG]https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/001098569502/media/73675467785/large/1515315779/enhance[/IMG]

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Thank you for the pictures by OP and harry.
We will be at St. Maarten on March 28 from 7:30 am to 2 pm on the Viking Sea. Will be doing the ship's included shore excursion which will go to Marigot during the tour.

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Sorry, I’m a little confused. Did you go to friars bay or maho beach. ?


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[quote name='cjmx']Sorry, I’m a little confused. Did you go to friars bay or maho beach. ?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums[/quote]

We went to both beaches as part of the island tour package. Actually, if you count Orient bay, we stopped at 3 beaches.

Friars beach is the actual longer 1.5 hour stop. The Maho beach stop was only 30 minutes, which was too bad as we were getting back to the bus, a larger Delta plane flew in. Would have been cool to have taken a picture of that instead of the smaller planes we saw during our 30 minute stop.

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