The one on the island of two countries

on
Saturday, November 2, 2013


Tuesday, October 22nd. Island of St Maarten.

We woke up to this view from our balcony. Paradise! (Warning - I took a lot of pictures)

We were it a little bit of a hurry because we needed to meet our tour group on the island at 8:45. We were absolutely amazed at how easy it was to get on and off the ship when in port. We are accustomed to there being hoards of people lined up in the stairwells trying to get off. No...we literally just walked down stairs and off the boat with no wait...within minutes of the "all ashore" call. We got some photos of our home away from home from the pier.





We spent the day in beautiful St. Maarten. Both Andrew and I have been to St. Maarten before a couple of times but we love it. There is so much to see and do. And you can experience two different countries and cultures all on one tiny 37 sq mile island.

We took a private Bernards bus tour that had been arranged by a lovely lady from the UK that we met on the DisBoards (and accompanying cruise facebook group). 70+ of us all booked this trip that was built to be very kid friendly and make lots of fun stops. We got to see both sides of the island and our tour guide was great. He even pointed out his house as we drove by and we all waved at his mom on the porch. It was also really fun getting to hang out with and get better acquainted with our new cruise friends.


We all met up on the pier and waited for our tour guides and buses. And yes, that is the bottom half of Donald Duck on P's shortall. :)



The first stop was at an iguana farm. It was exactly like it sounds. We got to see a bunch of iguanas running around, and a random monkey. We learned that Perry hates hats. Despite the photo below, we could not get him to keep a hat on his head the entire trip. Shortly after this picture I ran back to the bus to grab an umbrella that I happened to have in the bag so that we could use that to keep the sun off of P. After all the iguana excitement, Perry fell fast asleep on the bus.





We passed some goats on the side of the road. On the way to the next stop which was a really pretty overlook area as well as a place that you can see and handle sea urchins and other assorted sea creatures. Essentially a local guy stays there all day waiting on bus tours to come by and he gets the critters out of the ocean for you to see...for a tip of course. Andrew and Perry stayed on the bus for this stop since P was napping. I got off just to snap a few photos.



   

Perry woke up in time for our next stop which was at the French capitol at an open air market for lunch. We had about an hour to eat somewhere, do any shopping we wanted and get back to the bus. Given the sun and heat we made a bee-line for the air conditioned shopping mall nearby for lunch.


Then it was off to the best stop of the day, Maho beach. White sandy beaches, umbrellas and chairs and airplanes flying directly overhead. Super fun! The "danger" sign below pretty much sums it up. Ok, we were no where near about to be blown off our feet...but that sign makes it look like we were taking our lives into our hands. They had a sign up that listed all the big plane arrivals of the day. We were there for the American Airlines and the West Jet landings. And saw several big planes take off as well.



A KLM plane taking off, yeah the runway was literally right there.

Seeing the planes come in was awesome. Just look at the next series of photographs.






While waiting on planes to land we played in the sand and surf. Perry loved it. The tour was great because we were only at Maho for about 1.5 hours...not so long that we got too much sun or got tired of the beach.






     



Perry took another nap on the bus ride back to the boat. Such a trooper. We were gone from 8:45 until about 2 pm. Back on board the boat, it was time to get ready for Pirate Night! Perry had a little pirate mickey shortall made for the occasion. Some folks went all out in pirate garbs...we went the more subtle route.

This is one of my (if not the) favorite photos of the trip. It is just so precious. Honestly P was not in the best mood before these photos were taken (and we almost didn't attempt them...but boy am I glad we did), but he knows what to do when a camera starts flashing in front of him.





All the characters were dressed up for Pirate Night too



















There was a Pirates in the Caribbean Party up on the pool deck where Mickey and friends banished the evil Captain Hook.





Later that night, Jack Sparrow made an appearance (you have to look closely). Followed by fireworks at sea.
    

We had our very own gold coins (of the chocolate variety) waiting for us in our room. And we had a towel monkey waiting for us as well. Perry loved it! It was an awesomely full day on St. Maarten. And Perry officially left the USA for the very first time. It was time for bed because we had another fun day planned in St. Thomas when we woke up.


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