Caribbean Cruise: St. Maarten Beach Day
In planning for our 7-day 5-island adventure, we decided to pick two of the islands for driving tours, two of the islands for beach days, and one island for an “adventure.” I posted on the CruiseCritic boards seeking advice on which islands to do a beach day. Hands down, St. Maarten was a top pick.
We booked a beach day excursion directly through the cruise ship to avoid the hassle of planning. Here’s the description of the St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous shore excursion:
Travel through the Dutch side of beautiful St. Maarten during this unforgettable day of fun, sun, and relaxation. Sit back and enjoy the narration given by the guide during your journey to Kim Sha Beach. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with rum or fruit punch, as well as a lounge chair. Enjoy ample time to participate in a water sport, sunbathe or explore the stretch of beautiful white sand before heading to the beach restaurant for a delicious seaside lunch. On the way back into town, you will have the option to stop in Philipsburg for some leisurely shopping. Duration: 4.5 hrs.
After about a 20 minute shuttle bus ride, we arrived at Kim Sha Beach on Simpson Bay. Chairs were included. We also purchased a shared umbrella for our two chairs for $4.
The beach was not crowded at all. We all had front row seats. Kim Sha Beach on Simpson Bay is calm and has a very gradual drop-off. The first few feet in the water has sand/shell bits that are rough, but then it smooths right out and is quite nice!
Lunch and a complimentary drink were included in the excursion at the Greenhouse beach bar. Choices were a bang-bang shrimp baguette, chicken breast, or grouper. Wifi was included as well.
Even though this was a Celebrity Cruises excursion, I didn’t feel rushed. We had ample time to enjoy the beach. The first few minutes we got there, we kept getting interrupted by vendors (foot massages, back rubs, jewelry, dresses)…but after the first 5-10 minutes they all left.
On the way back on the shuttle bus, you had the option of being dropped off near downtown Philipsburg, or being taken back to the port shopping area.
It was a relaxing and sun-filled day!
Here are some pics from St. Maarten. Check out my Flickr album for more from our Caribbean cruise.