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SPACECOWBOY July 14th, 2008 06:30 PM

Martinique As Bad As They Say?
My wife and I are doing a southern caribbean cruise in Jan. "09". I would like to know if Martinique is as bad as I have read. I have read that the people are rude and not very friendly. Should we just take a ship excursion and return to the ship or is it worth it to do some shopping in town? I would apresciate any feedback. Thanks.

Ron July 14th, 2008 11:23 PM

Everyone is different. I have been to Martinique 3-4 times and never had a problem. There are good tours to be had through the ship that would let you see some of the beautiful island that it is and still have time to be dropped off downtown Fort De France for shopping, etc.
To some, if the official language isn't English and there isn't a jewelry store every 12 feet, it's a bad stop, but as I said, everyone's different. I wouldn't mind at all going back and wouldn't be afraid in any way to go back.
Martinique is a beautiful island and to appreciate it you need to get out and see the countryside.
Go to their official website for a lot of useful info.
In 1902 a volcano erupted and wiped out a town called St. Pierre--almost 30, 000 people were dead in only a few minutes. One survived, a town drunk who was in the jail and was protected by the thick walls, etc. There is a museum, etc. at St. Pierre and the ruins and town itself are worth visiting.
I would go with a ships tour that showed you some of the island, stopped at St. Pierre and then if you want, drop off in Fort De France for some shopping.
But, this is just my opinion which isn't worth a nickel except to me.
Have a good trip regardless of whatever you decide .

Trip July 15th, 2008 07:15 AM

I have to agree with Ron, we enjoyed Martinique. It's a beautiful island, and, yes, I did find the people a bit reserved, but that was not troublesome at all.

All the cabs were Mercedes, we had a wonderful English speaking driver and it was a nice tour.

I think you should go and enjoy, be a traveler, not a tourist, as we all should, and make memories, in an intersting island.

Donna July 15th, 2008 08:41 AM

I actually haven't heard of cruise ships stopping there for a few years. Was there once, no problems.

I would always suggest some kind of excursion, only way to see anything, other than the dock area.

seadog2 July 15th, 2008 07:21 PM

DW and I have been to Martinique twice both times we had a wonderful time no problems at all. As Donna stated haven't seen cruise ships there in some time. What cruise line and ship are you on? When you do get there you must try the flying fish sandwich, it's really very good.

Trip July 15th, 2008 07:44 PM

The Vision of the Seas is doing the southern itinerary with Martinique....
What a nice cruise! Roundtrip Santo Domingo.

Ship Name: Vision Of The Seas...

Departure Port: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Ports of Call: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Pointe A Pitre, Guadaloupe; Fort De France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

THOBRI September 4th, 2008 11:43 PM

My wife and I went to martinique years ago the people HATE Americans that is why the cruise lines stopped going there. We went on a snorkeling that had something to do with caves and it was very good what a shame the towns people would ask you Parles vou france (pardon the spelling) if you said no they used that as an excuse to be rude

subtropic September 8th, 2008 11:13 PM

Never had a problem in Martinique (been there twice). Did not experience any hatred toward Americans. You want hate ? Try being of French ancestry, having a very French hyphenated first name like I do, be in France, and having people find out that you are not fluent in their language. Had the same problem in Quebec. But NOT in Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. martin, or even St. Barts. maybe a bit of Carib hospitality.

michelenorton September 10th, 2008 10:56 PM

We actually hit Martinique a few years ago..

We ended up disembarking.. paying a taxi driver on the pier $40 (for 2 adults and our 4 year old) and he gave us a 2 hour sightseeing trip around the island...and we were back on the ship with 4 hours before departure..

I remember the port being just...Blah.......not as pretty as most..

Hope you have a great cruise!

dlenscoe October 5th, 2008 10:45 AM

Hi, I have been there twice. The first time did not enjoy it so much ,but I think that it was because it felt intimidating due to the french language. What I learned is that if you at least try the people are more friendly. Say Bonjour instead of hello. They usually know that you don't speak french and will speak english, but at least it shows an attempt at their culture.
The second time we had a great time. We walked around town and then caught the ferry over to Pointe du Bout ( sounds like pointa day boo). A local told us about it. It is a short ferry ride 10-15 minutes. It is a beautiful pennisula with beaches, shops ,restaurants,etc. We spent the rest of the day there and it was great. The ferry dock is right in town. Be friendly and people will be friendly back. Have fun!!

colorcrazie October 5th, 2008 03:43 PM

Martinique has the highest crime rate in the Caribbean. That said, I loved it. Just made sure to do a ship's tour. Their Botanical Gardens were fabulous, as was the church built by nuns out of lava rock.
As said, the people are reserved, but can also be quite charming if you take the time to extend some courtesy, such as saying "Bonjour". Like people everywhere, they respond to respect. I actually liked the area right off the ship. Instead of jewelry stores and cheap t-shirts, there was a small flea market with a lot of craft items. Still have a seed pod necklace that was so creatively designed that it blew me away. Also, the people can be a tad shy. Took a photo of the young lady who was making the necklaces and she ducked her head and blushed heavily. But, we had a nice chat too.

dlenscoe October 5th, 2008 06:12 PM

Hi Colorcrazie, Can you tell me what you source was for your statement as to Martinique has the highest crime rate in the caribbean? I was unable to find anything that listed the anywhere near the top. I checked serveral sources including the U.S. state department listing as well as several sources that list crime statistics for the caribbean. I like to stay well informed of possible problems while traveling, so your source would be much appreciated. Thanks

vrob1 November 1st, 2008 08:43 PM

Martinique is a wonderful stop!
1) Avoid just "going into town"..unlike many of caribbean islands, the town is actually a town. It isn't a series of tourist trap shops.
2) Hire a driver or rent a car...reserve early, there are only a few agencies there..take a drive! The scenery rivals California's- parts look like napa valley- gorgous
3) The beaches are amongst the best in the world. Clean, expansive, picturesque, with facilities nearby. Oh, and French, so tops optional.
4) There is a ferry that leaves the port area to a nice beach & restaurant area- many enjoy that.
We spent a full day there, including some time "in town" signs of crime- in contrast from what another writer thought, we've been told by ship personnel that the clearly the most dangerous port in the entire caribbean is St. Thomas. Rapes, robberies, even murders within a few miles of the ship- be very, very careful!! In St. Thomas, pass on looking for that $3 bottle of rum & simply stay on the ship and relax in comfort and safety...

colorcrazie November 2nd, 2008 12:34 PM

Sorry I didn't see your post until now. And it was the cruise director, I believe, who said that about their crime. Riding around on the tour, I have to say that we saw a lot of extreme poverty, graffitti, vandalism, etc., which led me to believe that it was the truth. I had wanted to see the interior of the island so had already chosen a ship's tour anyway.
I'm finding it hard to believe that St. Thomas is high crime. Have been there on cruises and to stay in a bed and breakfast and never saw anything that put me on high alert. Nor did I ever hear anything about crime. Maybe the ship wants you to buy their rum, instead?

WSEA November 9th, 2008 10:02 PM

Martinique was always an OK cruise stop for us! Would be quite happy to go back! 8)

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