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Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
149 posts
1 review
Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Hello, we(10 of us) are scheduled to cruise out of St. Maarten in early February. A few of us were hoping to stay 6 nights on the island before our departure, but since our Airbnb had to cancel we are not sure what to do. "Sail Windjammer" is still cruising the same itinerary and we are looking forward to this, just not sure what to do before. We need to depart a couple days early so as not to run into bad New England weather. Would hate to not be able to leave because of a blizzard.

Some thoughts we had are to try and find a place to stay on island and just relax. Maybe only 3 days prior to departure. We are fine and obviously don't expect luxury, but we would like water, electricity, air conditioning and plumbing. I assume if hotels are taking reservations they can provide this.

A few questions:

Is the water safe to swim in?

What choices for transportation to and from airport as well as to dining. Don't think rentals are available.

Flights are very inexpensive right now from Boston, just worried if the will actually depart.

Another thought was to visit Curaçao before and fly from there into st Maarten to depart on trip. Looks like Winair flys between islands.

Sorry for the long post. Just really confused as to what we should do.

Any suggestions??

14 replies to this topic
Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
887 posts
16 reviews
1. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Is the water safe to swim in? This is copy and pasted from the St Maarten Nature Foundation website. Mind you...this is the current report. February is 3 months off.

"On the 6th of September powerful category five storm Hurricane Irma struck Sint Maarten with 185 MPH winds, causing widespread damage to the island and its infrastructure. The storm also caused significant damage to the island’s nature and environment. Beaches were also significantly damaged and water quality was strongly diminished, therefore the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation conducted initial beach assessments to determine the level of impact. Beach assessments were carried out from the 3rd to the 8th of October 2017 and will continue for some time.

St Maarten beaches were mainly patrolled for damage assessments and possible sharp objects at the shoreline. If the visibility was sufficient the water was also surveyed up to three meters in depth to check for hurricane debris. In general beaches experienced significant erosion due to the storm surge; large rock formations are now exposed on many beaches. Beach erosion has a significant negative impact on sea turtle nesting habitat and all sea turtle nests are undoubtedly destroyed.

Many beaches are still covered with hurricane debris including zinc plates, wood and boat parts. Wave action and currents are still causing hurricane debris to wash up ashore. Large clean-up campaigns will need to be organized for all beaches, but especially for Simpson Bay Beach and Great Bay Beach, in order to remove hurricane debris such as zinc, wood and building material. Assistance of the Dutch Marines including heavy equipment for transporting the debris has been requested by the Nature Foundation. Also volunteers are welcome to help and as soon as dates are set the public will be informed.

So far the following beaches are considered safe to swim: Mullet Bay Beach, Cupe Coy Beach, Maho Beach and in front of the Westin Hotel on Dawn Beach. However, beach visitors need to be cautious for sharp objects and exposed rock formations in the water and on the beach. Wave action, surge and current can still be strong in the water, therefore it is recommended to have advanced swimming skills. The Nature Foundation advises to wear protective footwear or water shoes when visiting the beach or going in the water, hurricane debris is still washing up ashore and could be potentially harmful."

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
887 posts
16 reviews
2. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Rental cars?

One of the posters here is from the island and says a friend of his returned to the island about a week ago and could not find a rental car. Once again...February is 3 months away.

As for your flight...the airlines have proven to be very, very unreliable during the whole post-Caribbean hurricane season. I personally wouldn't trust them. They will sell you a ticket, and then tell you there is a problem with the flight a week before, and offer you a re-book or credit. Anything to get your money in their coffers.

While the airport has been re-opened on a limited basis, only time will tell if airlines can reliably male promises they can keep come next February.

Staying on the island is problematic. At this point I would only trust a large, name brand facility. Unfortunately, most of those received extensive damage and are not expected to re-open in time for your trip. There may be some that I'm not aware of, you'd have to do your own investigating on that.

Your Curacao option sounds like a good one. IMHO.

New Jersey
Level Contributor
2,421 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

I agree with Surf C. Curacao is a better option prior to your trip if affordable. Feb. is3 mos. away but the damage was extensive and who knows when it will be back up and running? So much to consider regarding repairs, etc.

Boston
Level Contributor
457 posts
127 reviews
4. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

I'm guessing that Saint Martin will be much better by February. Since you're saying up front that you're not fussy I'd definitely consider stalling until December and then making a reservation at whatever makes sense at that time.

Or, keep in mind that St Barths is only a short ferry ride away and although hit hard by the hurricane, their forum is reporting getting back into shape relatively quickly. So a few days there, while more expensive for sure might be good for your extra time.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
149 posts
1 review
5. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Thanks everyone for you prospective. Flights from home to curaçao are very fair and we did find reasonable accommodations. My main concern with going there is that we still have to fly from curaçao to st Martin to leave on our sailing trip on a Sunday. Only 1 flight flys that route on Saturdays(which would be great) but I'm afraid it would cancel and we'd have no way to get to st Martin. decisions, decisions..... just want what's best for all of us.

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
887 posts
16 reviews
6. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

I don’t think you’ll have any problem with your flight to SXM come February.

Just my opinion.

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
887 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

I don’t think you’ll have any problem with your flight to SXM come February.

The island hoppers should be operating very smoothly by that time.

Just my opinion.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
149 posts
1 review
8. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Thank you

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
149 posts
1 review
9. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Well, we decided to continue with our sxm trip before our sail. Because our Airbnb cancelled in Cul de Sac, we found another place to stay at the Rainbow Club. Looks like a nice place and they seemed to have faired with Irma.

Now the issue is flights from Boston. One day all airlines are posted, the next they are not. JetBlue does seem to always have them. Guess we will wait a bit before we book them. Hopefully the airlines will get it together and we will be able to find something.

Any info on Rainbow Club, as well as, what to do and where to go appreciated. (I remember the lobster thermadore at Pinapple Petes was to die for so hoping that hasn't changed!! Lol)

We have been to St Maarten before and we know it won't be the same. Just want to relax by pool and beach with a cocktail in hand, soaking up the sun and warmth com February!!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
181 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: Sail Windjammer from St Maarten

Jetblue starts flying from JFK mondays and Thursday's direct starting nov 2 . After Jan 1 full schedule they said . My family and I are booked jfk to sxm dec 21 and the plane has only 5 seats left ! Wouldn't wait too long if it's feb break.As far as things to do you have mullet beach not to far from rainbow and also karkaters beach . Pineapple petes still known for their lobster thermoder , other good restaurants on the strip there and open are sal and Pepe ,avantica (Asian fusion real good ), Luna rosa all home made pasta , izzi, buccinner bar. And geleto at carousel !

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