Hi Snick's Guy,
You will actually just see a few topless people unless you venture over to the "nude" beach and then you'll see them, they don't really walk over to the other side, but you may see a few, its just like a regular beach, no big deal.
I went there last October with people from my singles cruise. I had planned to experience toplessness but didn't want to do it with my group so I moved further down the beach and saw another topless woman so I didn't feel alone. There didn't seem to be a lot of topless women but I really enjoyed doing it. Felt free and a little adventurous! Don't be surprised if a local or two comes over to sell you something like painted goards or music cds. Don't know if he got a thrill but he didn't do anything inappropriate (probably sees boobs constantly anyway).
Carnival Fascination: June 2004
Carnival Triumph: Halloween 2003
We were there in January, and we strolled to the less nude end. While sunning there, we saw one woman sunning topless. She was obviously a tourist, because her breasts were as white as headlights! Then two older men walked by totally nude, but totally tan from top to bottom, so they were obviously natives. That's all we saw, and it was really no big deal. Even children playing in the sand nearby never even looked up when they walked by.
I go to St. Martin every year and visit Orient Beach. You will see nude people, don't stare at them it is considered rude. If you feel the need to take off your top, go ahead. The far end of the beach is were you will see alot more nude sun worshippers but that is probably because they are staying at that resort. I have seen completely naked men strolling the beach, completely tanned also and they don't seem to have a care in the world. It is a beautiful beach and there is alot to do there. You can parasail, jet ski, get a massage, each at one of the restaurants. It is usual crowded and you will have to pay for a chair and umbrella if you want to use one.
They have a less crowded beach called Friar's Bay which is where I go, calm waters, stilll have eating and drinking, chairs and umbrellas but the water is calm. Orient is a bit harder to get in and out of, more waves. But then again, I am older.
enjoy your trip.
The whole beach is clothing optional. On the south end almost all will be nude. On the north end it will be 50-50. In the middle most people wear suits especially cruise ship passengers. On a day when there are a few cruise ships in port the overwhelming majority of the people will be in the middle and be dressed. But the whole beach is clothing optional and people of all dress will walk by at anytime. The atmosphere is very relaxed about it.
Actually LN this is not true. Legally and officially only the area in front of Club Orient (the extreme south end) is clothing optional. (My source btw is the St Martin tourist board).
HOWEVER you are correct that nudity MAY be found on all parts of the beach - since it is mostly tolerated (although occasionally the gendarmes will request that nude persons go to the beach in front of Club Orient.) Toplessness is legal everywhere.
I can assure you Zeno that what you are hearing from the Tourist Board is not true. My source of information is the Gendarmes and the French government. There is no law against nudity on any part of Orient and no one has ever been fined. There is a long standing tradition of C/O use on Orient.
It is true that some cruise companies have tried to influence the Gendarmes to restrict use to both the the south and north ends. This happens about one hour each year.
Whether or not you believe me is not relevant. What is important is that people know what to expect when they get there. On this we agree. Be prepared to see nudity everywhere on the beach, and feel free to wear what you want anywhere on the beach.
Gummy Bear we went there when there was a Disney ship in port and there was still some nudity.
Personally I think the nude thing is over rated, we only saw a tiny bit of nudity and it was not a big deal. It isn't all hot young babes strolling down the beach buck naked you know! We saw a really old wrinkly shriveled up guy in a g string, and trust me it wasn 't a turn on at all!!!!
Kids don't need to think of nudity as something" dirty' especially as it is not presented in a sexual way at all.The few kids we saw either didn't notice the nudity or didn't care. We were not at the " complete" nude end of the beach,so if Disney is worried they should just tell their patrons to go left at the taxi drop off( less nude part)
there is also nudity in martinique and st lucia. orient is best known because some people are totally nude (of all ages). there is no pressure to disrobe. its a fun beach, try the bushwacker its a great drink.