For those who've done Orient Beach on St Martins, I need some clarification.
From what I understand, you can get off the ship and take a cab to Orient Beach. One end of the beach is more "clothing optional" than the other. At Orient beach there are a number of bars/restaurants fronting the water. These places allow you to rent a couple chairs and an umbrella for a price which usually includes a couple drinks. They also have waiters that can bring you food from the bars at an additonal costs. Am I right?
We're going to be there in December and need clarification on a few things:
1. Cab cost from the pier to Orient Beach and return
2. Good choice of bar location for a couple of "50 somethings" who aren't into headbanging rock music and loud boozing. (beach music, tropical drinks and mild nudity not a problem)
3. Cost of renting chairs & umbrella--is a drink included in the price?
4. How is food served? Delivered to your chair, or must you go the the restaurant?
5. Cost for a meal at these places.
Appreciate any tips on making our trip to Orient Beach easy, fun and affordable.
Here is one suggestion. Skip Orient Beach altogether. Go to Dawn Beach instead.
Dawn attracts a local crowd as well as renters from the upscale condos and villas that are around it. You will see a dozen or so cruisers from each ship in port .
There is a beach bar and restaurant. In addition there is a concession that rents umbrellas and chairs (free rum punch with each and it is GOOD). The same concession sells snacks and cold drinks very cheaply. At lunch time he cooks hot dogs and unbelievably excellent ribs.
Very friendly vendors along the beach. Not pushy and priced similarly to those in town.
Dawn is a very good alternative to Orient .
Cab is about $15, Lounge chairs were about $12 for two with umbrella and two drinks.
Restaurant/bar had a menu posted, sorry we did not eat there. Concession was selling soda (coca cola etc) for $1.00 , hot dogs were a dollar or so and ribs were about $ 5 or $6 for a plate. Chips and stuff were also cheap.
There was no loud or bothersome music on the beach , but , if someone was playing some, you can always move away from it down the beach.
The concession guy will come by once in a while to see if you need food or drink or you can walk up and get served , it's no big distance.
Orient Bay is beautiful! The cab was $6.00 each way. When you get off the ship there is an area close by where you can get the taxis...right off the pier. On your return trip, there are many taxis/vans waiting. You can come back anytime.
Most taxis drop you at Bikini beach on Orient Bay. Open air beach bars and restaurants ,mild nudity....a few topless women( although there is a couple that seems to be there everytime we go that does the morning walk nude down the beach). If you face the ocean and walk to your right...way down...this is where the nude resort is.
You can rent two chairs and umbrellas for abourt $15. Drinks are not included with those.
Yes, they will deliver food and drinks to you. They will bring a plastic table and set it up for you. There are waiters on the beach who will bring you drinks anytime and are pretty fast about doing it. I get the rib platter, which includes ribs, rolls, salad, and rice for about $15. It is very good and will be enough for two!
LOVED Orient Beach, we took a taxi( 6 $ per person each way) Rented two chairs and umbrella for 14$ (no drink included) A bit farther down they DO include a drink. We "parked ourselves right out in front of something called the Tiki Hut. No loud music, a cold fresh water shower and bathrooms availble.( they are operational but not fancy at all, think camp) We ordered one beer there, but it was $ 3.50 so I walked down the beach about 50 yds and found a beach bar selling the same beer( Hienkens) for 2 bucks!
We only saw a few topless and g string types, nothing to sit up and look at ,
Really wished we had shopped less in town and spent more time at beach, it was wonderful!!!
This was on our Golden Princess cruise in April this year, and we are are in our early forties, and not at all " party types".
Boatsie, will be going there in a couple of weeks, we're going to try Orient Beach unless we get talked out of it by someone we meet on the boat. I'll try to keep those questions in mind, will write back when we return. Paul
I have to agree with PapaBill about Dawn Beach. My husband and I spent a week on Sint Maarten a few years ago and checked out most of the beaches. Orient Beach is wide with lots of things to do - snorkeling, parasailing, etc but it gets too crowded. Because of its fame as the nudist beach, I think it attracts a lot of voyeuristic tourists so there is a constanty stream of people walking around. They aren't necessarily noisy or rude, just plenty of them. Also, people on the cruises with only one day to spend in St. Maarten/St. Martin only hear about Orient Beach (and Maho too because of the planes)so it has the reputation as the beach to visit.
I thought Dawn Beach and Mullet Bay were the best beaches on the island. Dawn Beach seems to be a more quiet area since it is away from the main tourist areas. It has all the amenities needed for a relaxing day. If I am remembering correctly, Dawn Beach has a strong undertow when the tide is going out so watch out if you have younger swimmers. Mullet Bay is more picturesque. It has the shady palm trees growning near the beach as well as having a bar/restaurant and changing areas. It is more well-known with the tourist set so it has some crowds although nothing to the extent that Orient Beach does.