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1 day cruise stop in St. Maarten

Springfield...
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1 day cruise stop in St. Maarten

My husband & I will be stopping in St. Maarten for a day during a cruise for thanksgiving week. We will be in port from 8am-5:30pm. I would like to check out Orient beach in the morning (probably from 9am to noon) & then head over to Maho beach to see the planes (I'm thinking of staying until around 2:30p). Is this doable if our cruise is only in port until 5:30? I've read that there is a lot of traffic so it's best to leave Maho earlier. Is there a bar (the sunset bar?) at Maho still?

Is there any shopping within walking distance to the pier in case we get back to the ship earlier than expected?

Any other thoughts are welcome!!

Thanks!

Buffalo, New York
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1. Re: 1 day cruise stop in St. Maarten

Your plan is doable, the bridge openings are the biggest pain for traffic but they are on a set schedule. There may be some construction going on and that may also have an effect, but leaving Maho at 2:30 you should have no problem getting back to Philipsburg in time.

The are hundreds of shops in Philipsburg, where the cruise ships dock, selling everything you can imagine at duty free prices, and you can negotiate on the prices for a lot of things.

Orient Beach IMO is highly overrated, picture beach chairs and umbrellas 4-5 rows deep as far as the eye can see. The most popular nude beach is there if that is of interest to you. They do have a lot of beach bars and restaurants, and that is probably why it is so popular.

Springfield...
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2. Re: 1 day cruise stop in St. Maarten

I was thinking that Orient is overrated as well & I haven't even been there yet!! Is there another beach you could suggest that isn't as crowded, but still has chair rentals & facilities??

St Martin / St...
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for St Martin / St Maarten, Philipsburg
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3. Re: 1 day cruise stop in St. Maarten

I don't think Orient Beach is over rated at all. it is a gorgeous beach and there are many areas that are less crowded.

Trying to get to and from Sunset Bar and Grill during Thanksgiving week may be difficult..the traffic can be horrendous.

Another beach not far from the cruise ship dock (20 minutes) is Dawn Beach.

it too is a nice beach but can be crowded on cruise ship days

4. Re: 1 day cruise stop in St. Maarten

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