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“Water and Sun”
Review of Great Bay Beach

Great Bay Beach
Book In Advance
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US$65.00*
and up
Philipsburg Jet Ski Rental
Ranked #4 of 24 things to do in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 25 June 2018

We took the water taxi from the Oasis of the Seas, and staged a couple of chairs for 20 bucks for 4 of them. We also had access to bathrooms and the bar right at the beach. The drinks were pretty cheap, but food was on the high side. We only had a couple of drinks, and enjoyed the water and the views. St Martin is still in the re building after the Hurricanes last year, and you can still see a ton of damage but lots of work still going on.

4  Thank Wesley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"water taxi"
in 104 reviews
"an umbrella"
in 50 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 89 reviews
"the nicest beach"
in 8 reviews
"beach chairs"
in 35 reviews
"bucket of beer"
in 18 reviews
"pretty beach"
in 9 reviews
"clean beach"
in 9 reviews
"rent chairs"
in 9 reviews
"board walk"
in 20 reviews
"soft sand"
in 10 reviews
"jet ski"
in 29 reviews
"holland house"
in 9 reviews
"beautiful water"
in 14 reviews
"downtown philipsburg"
in 8 reviews
"lots of shops"
in 13 reviews
"front street"
in 33 reviews
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Reviewed 22 June 2018

My family stopped at Great Bay Beach as an excursion on our cruise. The beach was breath-taking with a long white-sand beach and beautiful crystal clear turquoise waters; for sure the best beach we went to on our cruise! This beach is perfect for families with young children as it does not have strong waves. There is also a great view of the cruise ship port. If you are planning on going to this beach, I would recommend renting beach chairs from The Holland House Beach Hotel because they gave you 5 free drinks per family and you get to change in a clean bathroom along with 2 beach chairs. Overall, it was a great experience and I would definitely go to this beach again!!

7  Thank travele182
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2018

This island was really hit hard by Hurricane Irma, but the people here are proud of their island and what it has to offer. They are working hard to put their island back together. This was our last port stop before the end of our cruise. We had no plans. We thought we'd look around the port and see what they had for shopping. We weren't thrilled about paying $60 or more roundtrip for taxis for the 3 of us to lay out at a beach (which was typical of the other islands). We talked about just hanging around the cruise ship after visiting the pier. BUT...the spa staff on the ship said this was their favorite port. They suggested we take the water taxi to the boardwalk OR take the 10-15 min walk to the boardwalk. The water taxi was only $7 round trip per person! Then they suggested we grab a chair and umbrella at The Blue Bit** Bar for $5 a person.

So this is where it gets interesting. As soon as you get off the water taxi, you have people trying to persuade you to let them escort you to their beach location for chairs and umbrellas. You can't blame them...they have to make a living. Well we knew where we were going, and we could see it from the pier...so no worries. WELL...a nice gentleman decided he would escort us. He was not an employee of The Blue Bitc* Bar...but a "friend" of the guy manning the beach. He wanted to charge us $20 a person. I told him we were told the chairs were $5 per person. He argued a little and tried to convince me. I told him if they were that much, we'd find some place else. Of course he started bargaining. We agreed on $20 for 3 chairs, and 2 umbrellas. (Every other island you were paying $5-10 per chair, per umbrella). About that time, the attendant, Bryan, walked up. He asked if everything was ok. I told him I had given the other guy our money. Later I saw them pass money off. We could have just blown off the helpful gentleman...and paid the $5 per chair that was being paid. No worries.
Blue Bitc* did have WIFI. That was nice. It wasn't crowded. They had buckets of 5 beers for $10 or 4 rum punches for $10. They had food to order, but it was kind of expensive. The water was awesome...perfect temp. The sand and beach were great. The area itself reminded us of Aruba. The hills/mountains were sandy and desert like. It had a constant breeze. The Blue Bitc* had a couple of dogs roaming. They were super friendly, and they LOVED playing with the kids in the water. The water taxi was constantly running every 15 minutes up to 4pm. We had no problems getting back. You could see the port and cruise ship easily from where we were. The boardwalk was probably SUPER NICE before Irma. A lot of work is going back into it, and it was actually still very nice. We decided we needed to check St. Maarten out again in another year or 2. St. Thomas was hit hard also...but the difference is you could tell the folks of St. Maarten were determined to get things cleaned up and repaired. You didn't see piles of trash and junk everywhere like you did in St. Thomas. It was very clean in St. Maarten and even nice to look at considering.

11  Thank ellisak77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2018 via mobile

Even following hurricane Irma, this beach and all shops have been beautifully restored. We're did a jet ski rental, laid out, swam anddid some shopping. Had to walk 2 miles to find an ATM for the jet ski rentals so maybe have cash before hand. The water taxi was only 7 dollars round trip, totally worth it, drops you off right by stuff to do. Real close to cruise ships, recommend this beach for sure.

3  Thank Derek E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 May 2018

beautiful long beach with soft sand water was crystal clear
there was plenty of room for families places to eat were everywhere

1  Thank Basbabru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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