Last updated: 09-JAN-2011

Day 09, DEC 07, Philipsburg - St. Maarten

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 

These videos are large and may take a few minutes to load depending on your connection speed

  • AVI MOVIE 48 meg - Departing large jet (Jetwash GOOD)
  • AVI MOVIE 6 meg - Arriving prop (VERY LOW)
  • AVI MOVIE 12 meg - Arriving Jet (LOW and good)
  • AVI MOVIE 10 meg - Arriving jet (off to side to show height)
  • AVI MOVIE 7 meg - Arriving small jet (off to side to show height)
  • AVI MOVIE 46 meg - Departing large jet (VERY CLOSE - People waving)
  • Mary and Kevin out for a snorkel in the approach area on Playa Maho beach
    

    Incoming jet
    

    Sunset bar and Grill lists the plane arrivals
    

    Disney hell ship.
    

    Saba ??
    

    Oh the crowds
    

    Container ship looks a bit low in the water
    

    Thunderstorm over Saint-Barthélemy (France) 
    

    Sunset
    

    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 !
    


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