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SXM Airport Departure Celebrity Millennium


Jason26
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Some have asked that I list my post cruise experience debarking the ship and the airport arrival.  We debarked at 9:30 where Aline from D & A taxi was waiting for us outside the cruise terminal.  We opted for a private tour for 5 due to the issues many had arriving at the airport too early to enter the terminal.  We’ve visited Orient Beach, shopped at Marigot for an hour or so and have just arrived at Sunset Beach bar for lunch. I’m sorry to say there is currently a torrential downpour.  I hope those that are at the airport have been able to enter the building.

 

The private tour has been wonderful.  We were notified by Delta that our flight was delayed by 45 mins.  Aline called the airport to see when they would allow us to enter and extended our tour.  Highly recommend her.  Anyway,  we’re about to each lunch.  Hopefully the airport will not be too crazy when we arrive, around 1:30 PM.

 

Jason

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Thank you Jason, it appears the past cruisers threads have helped you so far avoid the crowds.  Have a great flight home.   ✌️

 

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59 minutes ago, Jason26 said:

Some have asked that I list my post cruise experience debarking the ship and the airport arrival.  We debarked at 9:30 where Aline from D & A taxi was waiting for us outside the cruise terminal.  We opted for a private tour for 5 due to the issues many had arriving at the airport too early to enter the terminal.  We’ve visited Orient Beach, shopped at Marigot for an hour or so and have just arrived at Sunset Beach bar for lunch. I’m sorry to say there is currently a torrential downpour.  I hope those that are at the airport have been able to enter the building.

 

The private tour has been wonderful.  We were notified by Delta that our flight was delayed by 45 mins.  Aline called the airport to see when they would allow us to enter and extended our tour.  Highly recommend her.  Anyway,  we’re about to each lunch.  Hopefully the airport will not be too crazy when we arrive, around 1:30 PM.

 

Jason

Hey Jason,

 

Have you contact info for Aline?

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17 hours ago, marieps said:

Hey Jason,

 

Have you contact info for Aline?

Yes.  info@dandataxiservice.com or via their website at dandataxiservice.com.

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Posted (edited)

We arrived at the airport around 1:30.  There was a line around the building for those that had later flights.  Aline directed us to the airport entrance where reps wearing a yellow vest asked about our flight details and directed us inside the airport.  We waited in line to check in with Delta for about 20 mins.  It appeared most on our flight had already checked in.  Security was about what I had expected.  It took about 30 mins or so to complete.
 

To our disappointment, our flight was delayed.  In part due to the flight from Atlanta being behind schedule.  Additionally, Delta held the flight longer due to some passengers not having all of the documents needed for travel.  I’m sympathetic to them, however, that caused many on our flight to have little to no time to make their connection.

 

Now that my trip is complete, no question; arrange a private tour.  The airport experience in St. Maarten was not pleasurable.  The staff at the airport was fine, it’s just too many people trying to fly in a short amount of time.  Security wasn’t too bad.  Frankly, it was better than security it Atlanta where we had to recheck our bag for our connecting flight.  There was not really enough space at the gates, restroom facilities were mediocre and food options were all but non existent.  Imagine eating breakfast on the cruise at say 7 AM and not really having any viable food options until you complete customs and security back in the states.  That assumes you have time to grab something.  I’m not sure if the restaurants at the Atlanta airport didn’t have enough staff or not.  8:30 PM on Saturday and they only food options were Wendy’s and a local spot.  Both had lines that were longer than security in St. Maarten, so the only option were chips from the newsstand.  
 

So the main question, was the cruise worth the hassle factor?  Absolutely.  Expect some inconveniences, do not arrive at the airport too early and have a plan for food and you will be fine.  The only caveat is this.  If you have any stamina issues, you may rethink.  I’m in my late 40s and it was a long day.  Remember that any carryon bags you have leaving SXM, you will have to carry up the stairs boarding the plane.

 

Jason

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Glad to hear you had a successful experience.  Not sure everyone else can say the same.  I'm a little older than you are and I do have the stamina to deal with these issues, but I've been to all these ports several times, but don't think I have the mindset right now to deal with these issues, SO we opted to cancel our July 31 trip and switch to the Edge, especially since I live 30 minutes from Port Everglades.  

 

Hope you are home safely!!!

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Our experience Saturday, 6/26 departure from XSM St. Maarten.  

Our 9:15am Celebrity bus ride from Millennium to XSM arrived at the airport around 10am. ($35per person) The driver was entertaining and pointed out the sights along the route. You can see the Celebrity Summit at anchor, waiting to take over from the Millennium next Saturday.

Straight into the air conditioned terminal airline check-in area. No waiting. Airport staff checks your passport and hard copy of antigen test Celebrity gives Friday. (No positives for anyone on our cruise) Keep your passport and antigen tests handy. You will need them many times. You enter a rope line for the Airline desk. We flew American and they had several desks open and were moving customers at a good clip We checked bags, $70 per bag.

Next, a maze of checkpoints, St. Maarten immigration, customs, and finally carryon and metal detector scans. (shoes off) The process took maybe 35 minutes or so. We were glad we were not rushing to make a flight.

Into the passenger waiting area. Simple food options, personal size pizzas, hot dogs. hamburgers. Several large drink coolers with bottled water, sodas and Corona beer. A small Duty Free shop.  A larger bar/barstools is in the terminal with limited table seating.

It’s true about the limited restrooms. Limited stalls for the women and always a short line of women waiting. The line moves quickly. Guys, no problem for you.

Standard airport seating in the terminal. Some folks and families chose to sit on the floor, as flights boarded for departure seating opened up.  Everyone seemed to be in holiday spirits.

Rain squalls blew through around noon. In the passenger terminal you can’t see people who’ve arrived late and wait in the long lines so I can’t report on that disaster. But it was coming down hard.

One benefit of being older is patience with delays and waiting. I would rather be early for a flight than stressing out rushing. And how can you enjoy a last-minute sightseeing taxi ride when you don’t know what drama awaits you at the airport.

Two quick side notes:  On the outbound flight from Miami, the flight attendants give the standard safety instructions along with FAA requirements to wear mask in flight. “If you’re not willing to comply please get off the plane now.” Sure enough, we back away from the terminal and some fifty year old guy takes his mask off and despite pleas from flight attendants, refuses to put it back on. A little old lady in front of me was reaching for her cane to whack the guy and all the passengers were yelling at him to comply. Finally, the Captain comes on the address system and says. “Put your mask on or will taxi back to the gate. You will be met by Dade County Sheriff deputies who will give you a room at the crossbar resort for the weekend.” The guy put his mask on.

Returning to Miami and passing through Customs, imagine my joy when I’m directed by a Customs agent to wait for additional screening. He says there is a flag on my name. I have a common first and last name. A serious stern officer escorts me, grandpa geezer, to the naughty box. A grim sterile room surrounded by two-way mirrored glass. After several minutes they figure I’m not John Dillinger’s younger brother and kick me loose. Turning this into my most memorable shore excursion of the trip.

Bon Voyage!

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Hi, 

 

Thanks for your posts. I am booked on the Celebrity Summit's cruise that departs from St. Maarten on July 10. After the cruise, I have reservations for the American Airlines flight that is scheduled to depart from SXM to Miami at 12:45 pm. I purchased the transfer to the airport from Celebrity. I have a three hour layover in Miami prior to my flight to Chicago.

 

I'm glad to hear that there weren't any positive test results on the most recent cruise. Celebrity's procedures regarding COVID seem to be successful. 

 

Chuck

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We were also on the Millenium and just disembarked yesterday. We decided to take the ships bus which included a tour of the island. It was very reasonably priced & a nice tour. Our flight was not until 3:10. We get to the airport around 12:30 in a rain storm. Had to get our luggage off the bus in a slight rain. Then stood outside in the long line for about 30 minutes. Delta flights were told finally to check in. To our surprise our flight was delayed one hour and twenty minutes. The massive crowd at this very small airport was incredible. Due to this our last flight of the night to Tampa left about 10 minutes before we got to the gate. Now another long line. The Delta rep. got us on the first flight out this morning at 7:15 am. Provided us a hotel room that we arrived at near midnight. Then had to wake up at 5:30 this morning for the long trek back to the Delta terminal. We were told by another stranded passenger that the airport was destroyed by Irma four years ago & this is why SXM cannot handle all the traffic yet.

We cannot say enough wonderful things about the cruise, but our flights to and from were all nightmarish.

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We flew out on Saturday after the June 19th sailing and didn’t really have any issues. We too the celebrity transfer to the airport, it was sprinkling lightly when we arrived at around 9am. Got in line at American after the girl checked that we had all our documents, waited for about twenty minutes as they worked through the line, checked our bag, then through security and into the terminal. The food options were limited but we had eaten breakfast on the boat so weren’t hungry. Grabbed seats at the hurricane bar which was almost empty and had a few local beers. Met up with some others from the cruise as the place filled up around 11. Our flight was at 12:45 and there were about 20 minutes of downpours right around boarding time which delayed things a bit. The worst part was everyone crowding the gate instead of waiting for their boarding group to be called. Had to navigate through all the group 8 people to get to the front in the earlier groups. We did have one older dude and his wife who refused to wear masks and she seemed quite inebriated. They were seated behind us so we heard some of the reminders to put on the mask. The poor other man who was forced to sit with them had to remind them constantly to put their masks on, the flight attendant had to as well, and the captain made announcements. The woman apparently started crying at one point because she didn’t want to wear a mask. Thanks to Bose noise canceling technology and a penchant for loud music, I didn’t hear most of this but my husband heard it and told me after the flight. I think the timing of our transfer and flight made this a much easier process for us plus it didn’t hurt to have a couple beers to chill out and be patient with. 

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Hi 76Jaguar,

 

Thanks for your post. As I noted above, I am booked on the Celebrity Summit's cruise from St. Maarten that departs on July 10. I am on the same American Airlines flight that departs from SXM at 12:45 pm. It sounds like the timing of this flight is good. I changed to this flight in an effort to minimize my time at the airport.

 

Chuck

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