Sint Maarten is a popular port for cruises. Sint Maarten
is a constituent country of the Netherlands and shares this
small Caribbean island with the French Saint-Martin. The
capital, Philipsburg is where the big cruise ships dock. It is
a very quick and affordable water taxi ride from the dock to
the town. We were told to be sure to have the taxi drop us at
the Police Station but we didn't have a choice, we were just
told to get on the taxi and were dropped off at another dock.
It is not terribly far away from the shops and restaurants
This is what you see when you leave the taxi dock,
it is a very clean, shaded area and you can see why
the locals would want visitors to see this area first
as it is very inviting.
The palm shaded area is flanked by these colorful buildings
that house many shops. Unfortunately these shops were not
open on a Sunday morning. We considered taking a taxi to
the French side of the islands but were told most places are
closed there on Sundays.
We strolled along the cobblestone streets toward the more
populated area of the town. We passed by local homes
near the quieter end of town.
Many of the locals were in church since it was a Sunday
morning when we first arrived.
The capital's courthouse is a beautiful old building.
There are many colorfully painted building selling
jewelry, alcohol, souvenirs and quite a few selling
Delft since this is a Dutch holding. We purchased
some sea salt since this island was once named the
Land of Salt, we also purchased some local spice
mix and vanilla extract. We love to buy local food
products and then cook with them back home, it is
a way to bring your vacation home with you.
After a nice walk and some shopping we walked to the
beach and rented a few chairs and an umbrella for the
day. The prices can vary from one vendor to another
but all the prices were quite reasonable. The people
working on the beach will bring you drinks if you wish
or you can just walk up to one of the bars on the street
that runs alongside the beach.
When you have had enough surf and sand, just walk
over to the police station and hop a water taxi for the
short ride back to the ship.
We had a nice relaxing day in Sint Maarten. It was easy
and affordable to get to a beach, bars and shopping. The
locals were friendly and nice though a few people in the
shops seemed very bored and they did not get any of our
money. The guy who rented us our chairs and umbrella
was very friendly and he had a deal for chairs, umbrella
and 6 beers for a decent price. When I told him I don't
drink beer, he reduced the price and said he would get
me anything I would want to drink from a local bar, it
was all very simple, relaxing and easy.