This was Ken's favorite port because watching the planes land at the airport on the beach was the highlight. A fact so charming, it always has to be mentioned first: The island of Sint Maarten-Saint Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. Only 37 square miles are owned by France and the Netherlands Antilles. The French territory covers about two thirds of the island and is technically a part of Europe and the European Community. The Dutch side is a member island of the Netherlands Antilles and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but not considered European territory. There is no real border, just modest monuments and signs. The island is known as an almost perfect holiday environment; beaches and nightlife are spectacular, shopping and dining the best in the Caribbean. We decided to go to Maho Beach and the Sunset Beach Bar. The airport's 7708' runway, barely enough for heavy jets, requires a low approach over the beach, as shown below, to the delight of plane spotters, some at the adjacent Sunset beach bar. I snorkeled along the rocks next to the bar and saw the usual fishes and some corals. This is the only place I've ever snorkeled while watching jets land above me. We never made it to the French side, which is supposed to be prettier and have nude beaches, like the famous Orient. We did notice that traffic is a problem when 4 ships are in port. Therefore we had to leave before the 747 was due to land. And Tuesday is THE day to be there for that so we missed it by a half hour since we left at 1:30. We should have stayed an extra hour and would have seen it come in and still had plenty extra time to get on the ship. Oh well! All photos were taken with a Cannon PowerShot S90 10MP camera. All Video was shot with a Cannon PowerShot S90 camera and converted to AVI with AWS Video Converter 6
Celebrity Eclipse Entered service Spring 2010 - 2,852 Passengers
NCL Norwegian Epic Entered service Summer 2010 - 4,100 Passengers (insane -- Monster ship)
Fuel time for our ship
First time I saw the back of our ship
Looking back at Philipsburg the largest settlement on Dutch side of island.
Looking towards the airport
Strange monument in a traffic circle - Osborne Kruythoff - The traffic man
Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) time. The warning sign
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Mary and Kevin out for a snorkel in the approach area on Playa Maho beach
Sunset bar and Grill lists the plane arrivals
Disney hell ship.
Oh the crowds
Container ship looks a bit low in the water
Thunderstorm over Saint-Barthélemy (France)
Rainbow during the sunset in the thunderstorm over Saint-Barthélemy (France)
Looking back at (left to right) Celebrity Eclipse, NCL Norwegian Epic and a Disney hell ship.
Last land till The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel 1,718 miles away. The beach / runway area is lit up in red
Around the ship on a perfect evening
Christmas tree in main Dining room
Very long hall
Crazy painting that has squid and boobs !