Anyone ever been to St. Maarten?

Hey guys,

So last night my gf and I were talking about planning a vacation and I threw out St. Maarten and she agreed - sort of. She’s actually all for it, as they have gambling and that sealed the deal for her. From a spectator standpoint though, I’m not sure if I want to burn an entire vacation there. Don’t get me wrong - I’ve dreamed of Maho Beach for years, but now that it might become a reality, I’m thinking of other idea’s and don’t want to go all in, only to look back and regret the thousands of dollars we spent and all I have to show for it is some cool pics. So, are there any fellow members that have been? How was it? Recommendations of where to stay, things to do/see? Anywhere else that you’d recommend? She doesn’t really care where we go, but wants to go somewhere tropical (and that preferably allows gambling). We’re still a ways off - this probably won’t happen until this time a year from now, but we’re going to go ahead and start planning. Thanks for any suggestions.


Here’s a thought…given the requirements of the trip; tropical locations, gambling, copius amounts of sex, partying (includes drinking, eating and whatever else) romantic type of atmosphere…etc…take a cruise that visits those locations as in, St Maarten and the surrounding area islands. That way your not stuck in one place, if it turns out to be less than what your expectations where of the place. Again, just a thought. :wink:

Oh…and no I have not been there. Have freinds that have and raved about it. Down side…they said it was a little pricey. They did the all-inclusive thing with a resort several years ago.

You must not know my girlfriend! haha - actually that’s not a bad idea. I’m not much for spending a week+ stuck on a boat, but I’ve never been on a cruise either and I’ve heard that it’s not what I would expect. I’ll look into that - it would give me the chance to explore several islands, while still getting to see Maho and the scenery (both kinds of scenery). I still wouldn’t mind spending a week or so at S.M., provided it’s not a caribbean version of Myrtle Beach, which, living on the coast of SC, I’ve had more than my share of.

If you’re not into just getting away, snorkeling and lying on some pretty rad beaches, there’s little else to do other than shop and hit the nightclub scene, which is pretty hectic.

The island is divided in two parts, one Dutch and the other French. Each has its attractions. (Been years since I’ve been and I visited by yacht.)

The cruise is excellent advice for an Island newbie, and there’s lots more to do on board than you could imagine. You spend your days exploring a new island every day and your nights partying aboard.

Coming from SC, have you considered Nassau or Paradise Island? Your girlfriend can get her fill of the casinos there and you can probably find dirt cheap airfare and accommodations.

Landed there several times but I never leave the airport

I spent a few nights there. I stayed at the Sonesta for the first night - a bit expensive for my blood. I spent the rest of my time at the “Travel Inn Lodge” which is on the north side of the airport which was a bit more reasonable in price. A 10-minute taxi ride to Maho Beach cost $10 one way (can’t remember if that included a tip or not). While I did in fact spend most of my time on Maho Beach, the rest of my time was much like any other island getaway (shopping, gambling, dining, etc.), except I did not go swimming at all. Any time at the beach was spent at the Sunset Beach Bar.

PM me if you want more specifics.

I forgot that I will be there in April for a wedding.

Thanks for the input guys. We’ve looked at a couple of different options, but being that this is “my vacation”, I think I’m going to suggest something a little different. My gf proposed that we should do 2 vacations, a “my vacation” and a “her vacation”. She will go wherever I like for my vacay, but I have to follow her wherever she chooses for her’s. As soon as she recommended this, I told her that I want her to choose first and I will make my decision based on what she chooses. If she chooses somewhere tropical, I’ll burn my decision on something else (Alaska, Vancouver, Vegas, etc.). If she ends up picking Branson, Missouri or something hokey like that - I’ll be camped out, basking in the sand infused jet blast on Maho Beach, with her handcuffed to my arm for an entire week. :laughing: I want to see her cards before I fold, I guess you could say. I thought Sunset Bar had been shut down needle? And is it your wedding in S.M. fly? I can only imagine reciting vows over the deafening roar of a jet engine spooling up! (my kind of heaven)

I was there back in February or March (2009). It was open then. Their Web site doesn’t say anything about its closure.

It was closed for renovation. I heard it opened back up a month or so ago.

I haven’t been there for a couple of years, but I stayed at the Sonesta, and got the all-inclusive deal. I wouldn’t recommend going there just to gamble, the casino on Maho Beach isn’t that great. Some of the best snorkeling I’ve done was there.

We sailed out of St. Maarten and visited 5 other destinations, including St. Barts. The ship was a replica of a 1910 vintage clipper ship.

This wasn’t one of those cruises where you had to sail the ship, but you could do nautical stuff if you wanted to.

Most of the passengers were European or Retired US Military.

It was the best of both worlds–beach and fine dining at St. Maarten, exploring ports of call that the big cruise ships can’t get into, and on days when we didn’t go on the shore tours, we practically had the entire boat to ourselves.

Awesome, Romantic , unforgettable!

if you’re talking about windjammer I think they went out of business

No this company is called Star Clippers, and it is a luxury cruise line

Windjammer is for people who want to sail the ship themselves. Way too crunchy for me! People stagger off Windjammer ships looking like extras from “Dead Calm” :slight_smile:

Not to be a party-pooper, but the plane watching at SXM is rather overrated. Yes, you can get some amazing photos (as thousands of others have done) but there are long periods where nothing happens at all. Apart from the local third-level arilines the traffic is quite unremarkable. A single day there was enough for me, YMMV.

I agree, you need to sit there for a week to get some good shots as during different times of the year, you may only see one KLM 747, or AF A340, ect during the entire week


Wow- way to dig up an old post- but it also coincides with the fact that I will be taking a mini vacation in St Maarten stating this friday!

I just started to check out this site in detail… some interesting posts on here,

I was down on St Maarten in Feb of 2009. Nice place to visit!

You lucky SOB! Actually, the Blue Angels are performing over the Charleston harbor this Sat/Sun, so it’s not a bad weekend here either!

one of Becky’s girlfriends is getting married and this “trip” cost me a cool $1k. that was money that could have been spent on OUR wedding!

Damn man, I know the feeling - in the next 6 months, I’ve got 3 coming up - 2 of them that we’re in. And for me, in addition to costing, it puts the heat on me to make the move too.