About This Page: This is a discussion on St. Maarten within the Planning Your Disney Cruise Voyage, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Hi everyone,
Wondering who has done shore excursions on St. Maarten? It's just DH and I and a friend might ...
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Wondering who has done shore excursions on St. Maarten? It's just DH and I and a friend might meet up with us. We're already doing snorkeling on St. Thomas so we're just looking to chill at the beach. Someone mentioned "airport beach", has anyone been there, have any advice or insight and is it far from the port?
I've never done official shore excursions - my family had a house there for about 35 years. Here are links to two discussions where I discuss Maho ("airport beach"), and also cover some of the other beaches and attractions.
Overall, for a casual beach day, just walk from the ship over to the beach in Philipsburg. There's plenty of sun and sand, it's family-friendly, very easy to get to, lots of food, shopping, water sports, etc. As soon as you head out to the beaches on the western end of the island (out towards the airport) you can get caught in monster traffic. There's this drawbridge... Still, all my favorite beaches are out that way. None are as beautiful as the best St. Thomas and St. John have to offer, though, but they have their charms. Just expect Euro-style beach attire.
We did the French Riviera Beach Rendezvous and thought it was great. The beach is really lovely (it looks just like the photos on the Disney Cruise line web site) but be aware that there was a lot of surf that could be pretty strong. It was great for my DH and DS to body surf, but occasionally a wave might really dump you. And I almost lost my bathing suit bottoms coming back in. The lunch was really tasty (the local Claro beer was marvelous). And don't be afraid of the "European Beach" aspect. We only saw one guy (about 60) in a thong type bathing suit, and one granny (about 80) with no top (fortunately that was BEFORE lunch). I would recommend it and we would do it again.
Thanks Dave. I knew your family had a lot of experience there but of course I couldn't find the posts when I was searching for them!
We have a friend who works onboard and has been hearing about Airport Beach and really wants to go but I had read in my Passporter that traffic was a nightmare so I'm worried he won't make it back in time. I suppose it will depend on his work schedule that day. I'm doing my favorite excursion in St. Thomas so i really don't mind what we do in St. Maarten but airport beach isn't offered by the Cruise Line so we'd be on our own. I'll have to remind myself to mind my manners with the "European" clothing policy because i'll probably laugh out loud if I see old people missing strategic parts of their bathing suits!
I took a tour using Bernard's tours last time I was there and had a fantastic time with all the other dis boarders on the cruise. I know you weren't asking about a tour, but they do stop at Maho beach (by the airport) and we got back with plenty of time to spare. Plus the driver had a cooler with fruit punch, beer, water, and rum punch in it, complimentary.
I can't wait for my next cruise - going on my first Western itinerary in December 2013!
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We did the Rhino Rider Boats and had a blast. They take you out on a tour of the Island from the water view than a stop at a private beach for a swim. The beach was awesome ! The tour was run well and can be for anyone. I rode with my 11 year old daughter and we both had a blast.