Edit Blog Post
Published: December 28th 2007
We woke up this morning and we were docked in St. Maarten which is an island where one half belongs to the Dutch and the other half belongs to the French. Therefore, the currency used here is the Euro. Depending on which side you are on, the island is spelled differently. Sint Maarten on the Dutch side and Saint Martin on the French side. We docked in the town of Phillipsburg which is on the Dutch side. The first thing we noticed this morning was that there was another cruise ship docked alongside us. The other ship appeared to be a European liner and was named Oceania. We knew immediately that it was going to be a crowded day in the port. Just like St. Thomas, there was a bunch of duty-free shops right outside of the dock where people can do their shopping. These duty-free shops are really convenient for their close proximity to the ship but to me they have a downside. These shops really isolate the visitor from interracting with local people like you would if you did your shopping in the town. Anyways, once we entered the duty free shops the first thing I wanted to
Phillipsburg, St. Maarten
Arriving at the port of Phillipsburg, on the Dutch side of St. Maarten
do was find out if I was able to get my passport stamped. I found a tourist information kiosk and inquired but was told that I had to go all the way to the cargo docks. Due to our limited time, this would have been inconvenient.
St. Maarten was the only port that we decided not to do a ship sponsored excursion. Since we had not done any prior research on the island, we really did not know what to do. We had initially thought we would take a taxi and ask for a full island tour but settled on just hiring a taxi to Marigot on the French side. A very friendly tourist information worker must have noticed the confused looks on our faces and immediately gave us directions on how to get to Marigot. We managed to get our taxi and along with an older British couple made our way to Marigot.
The taxi driver dropped us off into the main commercial area of Marigot and I immediately felt the humidity. Today was not a good day for me to be wearing jeans and a black T-shirt. Not knowing where to go, we just
The town of Marigot
Marigot, on the French side of St. Maarten
wandered the streets looking for something to check out. Shea really needed to use the restroom so we stopped at an outdoor cafe to use their facilities. While I was ordering an Orangina in French with the cashier, Shea asked me to request the key for the restroom. Without even thinking, I asked the "Puis j'avoir la clef pour la salle de bain". After that came out of my mouth, Shea and I both looked at each other in amazement. I couldn't believe that I had said that without even thinking. It's amazing how much French I could recall when I need to. We continued walking and turned a corner towards the corner. Here we found some stalls where locals were selling tourist trinkets and other handicrafts. We looked around and bought a few things but Shea was really looking for a hat to cover her head. The sun was really beating down on us today! There wasn't really much else to see and do here in Marigot. We took a few photos of the harbor, the fortress on the hill, and some silly photos of ourselves with a canon. Still looking for a hat, we went into the West
Enjoying an Orangina
Hanging out at a French Cafe
Indies Shopping Mall. This was a really small indoor mall by California standards but the air conditioning was a nice escape from the heat. After finally purchasing herself a hat we both came to the conclusion that Marigot was a pretty boring place. Shea and I walked back to find a taxi to take us back to Phillipsburg on the Dutch side.
We caught a taxi and requested the driver to take us over to Phillipsburg, back on the Dutch side, to do more exploring. During the drive, we began to get really sleepy and tired. The heat and humidity from walking around Marigot began taking a toll on our energy level. At the last minute, we asked the driver to just take us back to the port instead of going into Phillipsburg. Back at the port, we just explored the shops at the terminal before heading back to the ship. I wasn't too impressed with St. Maarten. There just didn't seem like a lot to do there. Perhaps it was because we didn't know where to go. We decided for the remaining stops that we were just going to sign up for one of cruise sponsored excursions.
Marigot, St. Maarten
Statue dedicated to the market women of St. Maarten
This would be a lot more hassle free and we would cut down on the huge amount of money we were spending on taxi fare.
Back on the ship, we just lounged around and relaxed. While Shea was sleeping, I spent a lot of time just lounging and drinking beers on the upper deck. Around the time the ship was about to leave port, the skies on the horizon turned an amazing orange and red color, giving everyone a view of one of the most awesome sunsets I had ever seen. Everybody was busy snapping photos and just taking in this amazing sight. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by a bunch of lesbians who instead of admiring the sunset, were looking back in excitement towards the island. I turned around a saw a beautiful rainbow above the highest point in Phillipsburg. No wonder the lesbians were going crazy. The beautiful rainbow and the awesome sunset more than compensated for the boring time we had on St. Maarten.
We skipped dinner in the formal dining room this evening in order to check out the Abba cover band that was performing. After the show, we made
our way up to the Vortex nightclub for 70's night. They were playing the top hits from the 70's but the highlight of the evening was a Village People performance by members of the ship's staff. It was pretty hysterical to see these guys come out in a sailor's outfit, a cowboy, a leather daddy, and a guy in a very revealing Indian costume. They performed popular Village People hits like YMCA and In the Navy. Following the Village People performance, the cruise director led and taught everyone John Travolta's Staying Alive dance. It was a good time to just sit back and just watch everyone make fools of themselves.
Tot: 1.338s; Tpl: 0.106s; cc: 7; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0208s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb