Our travels finally begin again. Yes, I know it’s been over a year since I have graced you with my presence. We decided to leave out of Orlando at the super early hour of 6:35am. This enabled us to get to St Maarten around 1pm. We were lucky enough to sit in first class from Charlotte to St Maarten. We had breakfast and probably dozed off several times because we had been up since 1:45am. Our flight out of Orlando for Charlotte left at 6:35 and it’s almost a 2 hour drive to Orlando and we had to be there at least an hour ahead of time. We then took a flight from Charlotte to St Maarten. Getting up early was well worth it to be in St Maarten early enough to enjoy the day there.
Here is a video of the landing St. Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport.
We landed at the airport and caught a cab to the hotel. Sometimes when you go places people ask you if you need a cab and you are weary. Let me tell you we were approached and said yes and we were taken out of the airport and they picked a cab for us once we told them where we were going and told us how much it was going to be. It was great knowing the amount up front from someone other than the cab driver.
We were taken to Simpson Bay Resort & Marina. I picked this hotel from Expedia and was very pleased with it. Just a note this is June 2016 and they are doing construction on this resort. They were working on one of the pools and they were adding a building. There is another pool so you won’t miss out on this and also, the construction wasn’t bad and didn’t bother us at all. This resort has a lot of things going on beach parties, pool parties or just nothing at all. Depending on what you want. We met with Frances who was with the Concierge Department and she answered our questions. The room we had (which I didn’t take a photo of but should have) did not have a beach view but it had a full kitchen and was huge (we were upgraded when we got there).
After getting to our room we changed into our bathing suits and went to the beach. We got towels and one of the guys there put out chairs for us. We relaxed on the beach for a few trying to figure out how to plan our days there. We arrived on Sunday and were leaving on Wednesday so we were not there that long. We decided to rent a scooter. I had emailed a scooter place before we left but we had no idea where it was. We went to the concierge desk and Frances came to the rescue again. The one we had sent an email to was the same one they recommended. Frances called the scooter place and found out how late they were open. The place was called Johnny’s Scooter Rental we had great service with him. He had a scooter for us, just know that you have to give him your credit card and you pay in cash for the scooter. We did not have cash on us so he let us take the scooter to the nearest ATM and returned with the cash. He gave us a map and told us areas to avoid and also told us when the big KLM plane was coming in so that we could go to Maho Beach and watch it.
After getting the scooter we took a ride to Phillipsburg (which was basically closed) just to get a feel for where it is. This was a scary ride for me being on the back of the scooter. The hills up and down are fairly steep and turns were crazy. Also, the fact that people don’t know how to drive and are trying to pass on a curve. But we survived there and back. After we got back we went to dinner at Buccaneer Beach Bar. The atmosphere was great we shared a table with two Dutch girls and we were able to watch the sunset over the bay.
At this bar on Friday and Sunday evenings they have a fireball. We were completely unaware of this but now we know. Here are photos of the fireball. It was pretty cool you can read about the myth of the fireball.
On Monday we went to the Maho Beach and a brief visit to the French side of the island. I will cover that with a later post.