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      03-02-2012, 07:05 AM   #1
Timothy J
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Anyone been to St. Maarten?

Going in late May for my birthday with friends. Anything in particular to do or tips of the island?
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      03-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #2
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      03-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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the beach looks relaxing there
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      03-02-2012, 10:41 AM   #4
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One of my uncles lived there in the nineties for a few years. It's ok but I prefer the other side:Aruba.
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      03-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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wow that sand must really hurt when it hits you at that speed lol
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      03-02-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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Going in late May for my birthday with friends. Anything in particular to do or tips of the island?
Yes, I didn't get to spend as much time there as I would have liked. Compared to some of the other Islands I visited St. Maarten is nicer, cleaner, you do not get harassed like you do on other islands (taxi and van drivers etc).

I would definitely go back.
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      03-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #7
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Grab a drink at the cafe right by the airport. It's pretty cool seeing how close the planes get.

There are two sides to the island. One side is French and the other is Dutch I believe. Both sides are nice, especially the beaches. But I think we enjoyed the French side more when it came to walking around and dining. There was one restaurant I can't remember the name of, but it was the best food I have ever had. Upscale French place on the beach...

The water can be cold early in the morning but it's like a warm bath in the middle of the day. There's not really any kind of Shark problem there, but watch out for sea urchins. If you step on one you will regret it for days haha.

I recommend going on a Catamaran scuba diving adventure. They take you and a group out for the day to all the best scuba diving spots and serve you drinks. Equipment was included I believe.
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      03-02-2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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how expensive is food/drinks and shopping, im thinking of going in august with a few friends!
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      03-03-2012, 06:07 AM   #9
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how expensive is food/drinks and shopping, im thinking of going in august with a few friends!
Depending on where you end up it can be quite expensive by our standards. Ended up paying 8 euros for a bottle of flat water and 12 euros for a shrimp appetizer at a beach restaurant. Don't make the same mistake as me and sit before seeing the menu.
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      03-03-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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      03-03-2012, 11:38 AM   #11
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Bring your passports and take a day trip to Virgin Gorda, it is a British Virgin Island just north west of St. Maarten. There is a cafe at the top of the island with great food and even better views. Then spend a day exploring Devils Bay Trail at the Baths. At the end of the trail is Devils Bay beach, some of the best snorkeling I experienced in any of the VIs.

Another very entertaining place to visit in the BVIs is on Tortola, a little place called the Bamba Shack.
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      03-05-2012, 01:04 AM   #12
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I'm very excited! More feedback the merrier!
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      03-05-2012, 12:48 PM   #13
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One of the prettier caribbean islands. Very nice beach and relaxing. Very clean and everyone is nice. The main strip is along the beach about 100 yards from sand. Lots of shops and restaurants. Enjoy.
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      03-07-2012, 12:59 AM   #14
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One of the prettier caribbean islands. Very nice beach and relaxing. Very clean and everyone is nice. The main strip is along the beach about 100 yards from sand. Lots of shops and restaurants. Enjoy.
Thank you.

The place we're staying at is right on the beach (literally), and has a balcony overlooking the ocean. Should be great. I don't want to only be on the beach and in our "house" the whole time. Currently compiling a list of things to do. I really want this trip to be special.
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      03-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #15
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Thank you.

The place we're staying at is right on the beach (literally), and has a balcony overlooking the ocean. Should be great. I don't want to only be on the beach and in our "house" the whole time. Currently compiling a list of things to do. I really want this trip to be special.
Make sure u update the thread when u come back and tell us how it was, I'm thinking of going.. Just need to know how expensive everything is down there
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      03-07-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
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You can look up most menu prices on the internet and hotel rates are public as well. I'm not sure what else you would really need to know. I've been on $2,000 vacations and $20,000 vacations and both can be had at the same destinations. You can look up private homes on vrbo.com or airbnb.com and save money vs a hotel but you'll miss out on many amenities and have to worry about taking care of every meal on your own. You can also try to find an all inclusive where you feel like your saving money but end up paying a premium for what is essentially cafeteria food and watered down well drinks.

I will say that the best balance of bargain and enjoyment was on Turks & Caicos. Stayed right on Grace Bay and walked to all restaurants. We ate five star cuisine and still only spent about $2,000 for a week. I have friends who stayed on Parrot Cay at T&C and spent $15k for essentially the same type of vacation, albeit with a much nicer room. It's also a quick 3hr flight from JFK for us tri-staters.
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      03-08-2012, 12:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Make sure u update the thread when u come back and tell us how it was, I'm thinking of going.. Just need to know how expensive everything is down there
I certainly will.

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You can look up most menu prices on the internet and hotel rates are public as well. I'm not sure what else you would really need to know. I've been on $2,000 vacations and $20,000 vacations and both can be had at the same destinations. You can look up private homes on vrbo.com or airbnb.com and save money vs a hotel but you'll miss out on many amenities and have to worry about taking care of every meal on your own. You can also try to find an all inclusive where you feel like your saving money but end up paying a premium for what is essentially cafeteria food and watered down well drinks.

I will say that the best balance of bargain and enjoyment was on Turks & Caicos. Stayed right on Grace Bay and walked to all restaurants. We ate five star cuisine and still only spent about $2,000 for a week. I have friends who stayed on Parrot Cay at T&C and spent $15k for essentially the same type of vacation, albeit with a much nicer room. It's also a quick 3hr flight from JFK for us tri-staters.
Very helpful. Thank you. We're staying right on Bay Beach. Do you perhaps mean Great Bay instead of Grace Bay?


Also, is there any hiking or sights or anything spectacularly beautiful that is a must see? I'm eager to take pictures.
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      03-08-2012, 09:26 PM   #18
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Definitely good information here and most I would recommend myself. Some other note worthy things to do or try:

If you like outdoors and athletic activities, I'd recommend trying some of the zip lining on the French side. It's a pretty fun obstacle course then zip lining from tree to tree.

French side has some great restaurants ranging in pricing.

I'm not sure if you're into clubbing and casinos. There are quite a few over there to have a good time at.

Depending on how long you stay and your budget, I'd recommend you taking a day trip to Anguilla and/or St. Bart's. Anguilla is a really nice remote island with better beaches than St. Maarten. You feel like you're in a private island away from civilization, pretty nice a peaceful. If you fly to St. Bart's it's quite an adventure to say the least. It's a pretty short flight in a small plane and landing on the short strip is pretty cool. The island itself is very upscale and expensive. You feel like you're in Europe, except in the Caribbean.
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      03-08-2012, 09:30 PM   #19
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Grab a drink at the cafe right by the airport. It's pretty cool seeing how close the planes get.
Yea it's like 12$ for a mixed drink and for a CC charge there was like a 30$ minimum.

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Depending on where you end up it can be quite expensive by our standards. Ended up paying 8 euros for a bottle of flat water and 12 euros for a shrimp appetizer at a beach restaurant. Don't make the same mistake as me and sit before seeing the menu.
This


A better place ot go is st thomas/st john. St martin lost the memo that said you need to be nice to the tourists who your livelihood is solely dependent on, not charge them an arm and a leg for everything. St kits also lost that memo.
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      03-08-2012, 10:10 PM   #20
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Definitely good information here and most I would recommend myself. Some other note worthy things to do or try:

If you like outdoors and athletic activities, I'd recommend trying some of the zip lining on the French side. It's a pretty fun obstacle course then zip lining from tree to tree.

French side has some great restaurants ranging in pricing.

I'm not sure if you're into clubbing and casinos. There are quite a few over there to have a good time at.

Depending on how long you stay and your budget, I'd recommend you taking a day trip to Anguilla and/or St. Bart's. Anguilla is a really nice remote island with better beaches than St. Maarten. You feel like you're in a private island away from civilization, pretty nice a peaceful. If you fly to St. Bart's it's quite an adventure to say the least. It's a pretty short flight in a small plane and landing on the short strip is pretty cool. The island itself is very upscale and expensive. You feel like you're in Europe, except in the Caribbean.
Zip lining sounds great and a lot of fun. I'm more into casinos rather than clubbing. We're there for only a week so I plan on packing every day to the brim. Probably can't swing a flight to another island unfortunately.

Really looking for some good hiking and sights as well if anyone has any input.
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      03-09-2012, 08:22 AM   #21
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Very helpful. Thank you. We're staying right on Bay Beach. Do you perhaps mean Great Bay instead of Grace Bay?


Also, is there any hiking or sights or anything spectacularly beautiful that is a must see? I'm eager to take pictures.
I was actually talking about Turks & Caicos. I've never been to St.Maarten but the insight should be the same, save the specifics.
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      03-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Zip lining sounds great and a lot of fun. I'm more into casinos rather than clubbing. We're there for only a week so I plan on packing every day to the brim. Probably can't swing a flight to another island unfortunately.

Really looking for some good hiking and sights as well if anyone has any input.
Definitely look into zip lining then! It's a ton of fun, just make sure to do an "advanced" course since the beginner ones are pretty easy and you don't go as high.

There are a few casino's around the area on the dutch side. The name is honestly escaping me right now, but it's right in front of The Maho Hotel.

There are flights and ferries to those respective islands and they literally take 20-45 minutes. So if somehow you can squeeze it in, I'd definitely do so. I know the ferries to Anguilla are much cheaper and they have rides every 30minutes or so.

Have fun!
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