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Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
31 helpful votes
“The best place to vacation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2011

Under construction

Thank dfunza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio USA
Level Contributor
126 reviews
203 helpful votes
“Friendly Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2010

We fell in love with St. Maarten during our week long stay and cannot wait to return again. We rented a villa through FLIPKEY an affiliated reviewer of Tripadvisor, and it did not disappoint! The villa was just as presented. We visited many of the 37 beaches on the island and I can highly recommend for families 2 little known beaches: Friars Bay and Le Gallion on the french side, neither is crowded. There is also Simpson Bay and Phillipsburg 's Great Bay on the dutch side or Grand Case on the french side if you are fortunate to even find parking at any of these 3 beaches, these more famous beaches have calmer waters and many shops and restaurants, but rate poorly in that they are overpopulated and many cruise ship tourists seem to hit these shores. For couples there are several more isolated beaches you can visit, which are virtually child free and tourist free, but many have no facilities or restaurants so you have to pack your own lunch and do a little hiking at times. St. Maarten is known for its famous chefs and incredible cuisine. There are too many restaurants to name but a few excellent ones are: Captain Oliver's (for a romantic evening), Big Fish and Daniels by the Sea also known as Mr. Busby's all in Oyster Pond. Also I can recommend Le Gondola in Cupecoy at the Atlantis Casino. All are excellent restaurants and have a good staff. Drive around the island and you will no doubt come across the wild goats and horses that freely roam the island, as well as pigs and other animals. The drive along the coast and inland is simply beautiful and the views at times breathtaking. Get a car with good brakes and good shocks though as the roads are pretty rough. If you are into kite surfing head to Le Gallion to rent your gear only $60-80 euros for 3 hours, and it is worth it as this is a kite surfers heaven! Stop at the nearby Shell islands and enjoy the views and even take a walk over the shoals at low tide and go shelling. This island has so much to offer and we cannot wait to return to see what more we can discover!

2 Thank Cindy-Milford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes
“Fun in the sun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2010

We arrived on the Carnival Dream, in September 2010. There were 5 of us, my husband, myself, and our 3 children, ages 15, 12, and 10.

When we got off the ship, we headed straight toward the beach, via a water taxi. We rented a couple of lounge chairs and umbrellas and spent a few hours at the beach, which was a lot of fun. I didn't care so much for the almost constant interruption of people trying to sell us something, but I suppose that is just part of the experience. They did move along pretty quickly once we told them no thanks.

Once we were done at the beach, we headed to the shops. The kids wanted everything under the sun of course, so they were told no A LOT. lol. We did get a little something for everyone as well as a few chocolates from a wonderful little store called The Belgian Chocolate Box. They were a little pricey but quite delicious. All of the people in each shop we went in seemed very friendly as well.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to St. Martin and will definitely go back.

2 Thank GaCruisers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
“Amazing little island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2010

We stayed on the Dutch side at a Diamond Resorts facility. It was beautiful and looked right into the ocean. Most of our restaurant experience was on the French side because the food is absolutely amazing. Le Santal was our favorite restaurant! Authetic french food, with an amzing view in the sunset. I would recommend renting a car becasue this island is big and you should take a tour of the whole island. Dont stay in one spot!! Go take an adventure and drive around the island.

1 Thank Erin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
2 reviews
5 helpful votes
“Great Caribbean Tour”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2010

Recently (9/29/2010) we visited St. Maarten/ St. Martin as one of ports of call on an Eastern Caribbean cruise out of Port Canaveral. Fla. with Carnaval Cruise Lines. Our ship was the new Carnval Dream and it was wonderful. A beautiful ship with lots of great food and things to do. We had great weather on our entire trip. I had booked an island tour/ beach break tour ahead of time via the internet with Island Marketing Ltd.. We were very happy with this tour. We were met at a point close to our ship and we were taken around the island in an airconditioned van, complete with plenty of windows for viewing. The tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the island and used an audio system in the van which allowed everyone to hear her very well. She also spoke very good English and was easy for us to understand.
She made several stops around this beautiful island, allowing for photo opportunities, and also a stop on the French side for some quick shopping. Our tour included a stop at a beachside resort for about 3 hours and we had access to all of the resorts non-motorized watersports. We also had a great lunch (with a fabulous view) included as well.
It is amazing how close the airplanes land to the beach and apparently their is a dangerous, exciting pasttime near the airport called Jet Blasting which we wisely did not partake in!
I highly recommend this island as well as this cruise and tour.

1 Thank BoysMomNorthCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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