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Famof6 January 14th, 2006 04:22 PM

St. Maarten
My husband and I and our four kids ages 13-19 will be sailing on Mariner the first week of May. We will be on the beach at Coco Cay and St. Thomas, but we aren't sure what to do on St. Maarten. We don't mind more beach (we're from Idaho and never get enough!) but I don't want to take teens to a nude beach. We don't care much for shopping, and we do plenty of hiking/ATVing at home. Any ideas?

dlssailor January 14th, 2006 05:28 PM

We have done the America's cup twice and it was fun both times. Would definitely do it again. Also have done the cruise ship's catamaran sail/snorkel and it was a good time. The shopping on the Dutch side is fun, also....wonderful Delft shop and don't miss the chocolate place. Your ship should dock righ near there so only if you have an hour you can still hit a lot of nice stores. We also snorkeled at Pinel Island which was good, but there were a few ladies without suit tops. Have fun!

Donna January 14th, 2006 10:17 PM

I agree with doing the America's Cup REgatta in St. Maarten, its so much fun, even for the kids. YOu can pick an active job or less active and still be part of the race, very thrilling. This one does fill up quickly, so if you want to do it, I'd pre-book it online. We also did the Rhino riders the last trip there and that too was loads of fun, another one thats good for the whole family.

pop66ma January 14th, 2006 11:39 PM

If you just want to do beach,take the ferry off the end of the dock into town and as you get off the ferry there is a beach on each side of the dock.I myself like the beach to the left.If you feel like a beer there are bar along the beach and the beach is free.
As for the ferry the wrist band for as many trips as you want cost $5.00.

Sheffie January 15th, 2006 12:08 AM

The America's Cup Regatta excursion is one of our top 2 favorites! They have jobs for everyone and at all levels of exertion. We were lucky enough to draw the Stars and Stripes. We raced against other cruisers who were on True North and we won! I was so privileged to be able to be at the helm as we came back into the harbor!

Here is a link to our pictures from that excursion:

G-Man January 15th, 2006 11:07 AM

The half-day Divi Beach excursion may be the ticket. Ten of us(including 4 teenagers enjoyed the beach, D.J., jet-skis($),Bar-B-Que, and crab races.
NOTE!!! Cheapest Liquor is in the shop at Divi! [/b]

markh762 January 24th, 2006 07:11 PM

We did Orient beach in St. Maarten and the nudity was minimal, maybe 3 or 4 people the whole day we were there and they were people just walking by. My kids are young and although we didn't want to expose them to that, we also wanted didn't want to act like it was a big deal cause it wasn't. Lot's of other cool beach activites on orient, there's a big water trampoline, couple of bars, parasailing, jet skis, all at an extra charge of course..

PJY January 25th, 2006 03:59 PM

Re: St. Maarten

Originally Posted by Famof6
My husband and I and our four kids ages 13-19 will be sailing on Mariner the first week of May. We will be on the beach at Coco Cay and St. Thomas, but we aren't sure what to do on St. Maarten. We don't mind more beach (we're from Idaho and never get enough!) but I don't want to take teens to a nude beach. We don't care much for shopping, and we do plenty of hiking/ATVing at home. Any ideas?

If you aren't afraid of heights, I'd recommend the Loterie Farm Treetop Adventure. My 12 year old daughter and I did this - zip lines, rope bridges, rope swings...about a 1.5 to 2 hour time to get thru the course. It was the high point of our trip. FWIW, avoiding a nude beach is the reason I chose this for my daughter. It ain't like a's a blast - but you DO sweat a lot during it.

wiscguy2 January 25th, 2006 09:59 PM

Definitely recommend the America's Cup Regatta. It is a great deal of fun and lasts about 2 hours... which will leave you plenty of time to do the beaches and/or shopping.

I also would recommend the beach on the left side of the ferry pier. Lots of watersports activities are available... including wave runners and water trampoline and slide. We rented wave runners for the afternoon and had a blast... and I am sure would be enjoyed by your kids!

Enjoy your cruise

BTW.... when in St thomas... one of the best tours is the tram ride to the highest point on the island. Gives a great view of the harbor in Charlotte Amaille and all of the cruise ships in port. It can be done at your leisure and is in walking distance from the pier

VikingPilot January 26th, 2006 09:14 AM

rent a jeep . .
And drive around the island. Wear beach clothes - spend at least a couple of hours at the inland beach from Orient [NOT orient]. Take the road to orient, but do NOT turn at orient, keep going straight and you come to a hurrianed out wreck of a hotel - drive around to the left and there is a wonderfully protected beach area, great sand and warm water and a great view of the mountainous part of SXM across the bay.

This beach had no name the last time we were there but it was very very pretty and not exposed to the rough atlantic surf, AND had a place to rent windsurfers and boogie boards and a decent restaurant. That, and all the naked 50 year old nudists were not present, but it had lots of trim and fit topless europeans.

The rest of the day - well, in the morning I would go to Marigot shopping, the place is closed from 3-5 every afternoon, maybe that has changed but the last 5 times we went to SXM the place was closed up tight in the late afternoon for siesta.

Next, the best jewelry shopping in the Caribbean is in Phillipsburg. . .

VikingPilot January 26th, 2006 11:40 AM

The beach was Le Galion . . .
I remembered the nameof the beach - and the bay is called Baie L'Embouchere . . .

VERY nice, mostly private - can ride horses too.

Yet, 100 yards away is the craziness of Orient.

My problem with orient is the frenetic pace - people TRYING to have fun and TRYING to look good and be seen. So LA . . . .

estreetbandfan523 January 26th, 2006 07:16 PM

Take it from someone who has spent a week at ST. Maarten~
if you want to go to a beach without nudity go to the beach by the ship, all the others have some nudity, especially Cupe Coy,

if you want to do something out of the ordinary go to the bar by the airport and stand behind the jets as they take off and land, this was totally fun i cant wait to do it agian this year

chipmeister January 27th, 2006 03:36 AM

It's called Maho Beach. It's legendary among aviation buffs. I've been there all 4 times we've stopped in St. Maarten. It's a nice little beach and the Sunset Beach bar (check out their website) has some of the best wood grilled cheesebugers I've ever had. Or maybe it's the atmosphere. Anyway, most the landings take place in the afternoon. It's quite an experience to have a wide body jet fly over you at about 50 feet. As for standing behind during takeoffs, that just strikes me as insane. The distance you are behind the airplane is called the extreme danger jet blast zone in most airplane manuals. Plus, it's blowing sand (can somebody say sand blast paint, removal?) That being said, watching other people do it has been extremely funny. I love the bar, though you might see a few snapshots of topless people on the open door panels if you look up. We're planning to go to island directly instead of by ship so we can hang out at the bar for a few days and see more of the island. Easy cab ride over there. And don't forget to order an Amstel Bright (yes, I meant Bright, not Light). Only available in the islands.

To see what this place is all about, try this link:

In the Country/Airport box, scroll down to Netherlands Antilles, the choose Philipsburg/St. maarten, and take a look. It's crazy.

Have Fun

sal7202 January 27th, 2006 11:04 AM

I was not favorably impressed with Marigot. it was a fairly sloppy little town. The shops were relatively unimpressive and I didn't see any real bargains.

Phillipsburg on the other hand had some great bargains on gold & jewlery. It seemed alot more active and far cleaner than Marigot.

merrimac1 January 28th, 2006 10:41 AM

st. maarten
I also would stay away from orient beach,some of the ugliest asses i've ever seen. would recommend a short tour over to the french side and then come back to the general ship area. the beach near downtown is fine and yes i was getting cold beer from sreet vendors for a dollar. shopping is great downtown.

estreetbandfan523 January 28th, 2006 12:51 PM

call me one of those nuts then, i think i stood behind at least 5 jets as the took off, it was funny, my brother who weight about 90 lb got blown over but he loved it anyway, i also agree Marigot sucks

hookedoncruz January 29th, 2006 02:06 PM

We went to Frayars Bay Beach. The beach was great and their food was excellent. There, however, was one young lady topless. But the food was to die for. Great service too.

We took the bike excursion to the beach. You see ocean views you are not going to get on any other excursion.

estreetbandfan523 January 29th, 2006 04:15 PM

i think you just have to come to realize that there is a pretty good chance that you will see at least one top less/nude person on almost every beach, i have been to 8 different beaches on the island, both sides, and i have seen at least 1 top-less/ nude person on each

* Angela * February 1st, 2006 10:30 AM

I have been to St. Maarten several times and each time I go, I find something new and interesting. I think if you're shopping for gold/jewelry, you can do well in Phillipsburg.

As far as activities go, since you are traveling with kids I'd highly recommend the America's Cup Regatta too. It's a great experience and still one of our favorite excursions ever.

If you're not into that, you could contact Joyce Prince. She's a local tour operator that offers half day island tours and other services. She offers friendly service and is very knowledgeable. While we were on our tour last year, she took us to Maho Bay and we watched the planes take off at Princess Juliana Airport--what an experience. Anyway, if you want to email Joyce, she can at

Angela :D

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