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St. Maarten Cruise Port

Popular Caribbean Destination

St. Maarten. An increasingly important departure/ embarkation port, St. Maarten is a most popular destination port, and its capital, Philipsburg, has become a competitor to St. Thomas as the Caribbean’s best duty-free shopping destination.

Great Bay, Philipsburg

Philipsburg shops are an easy 15 minute palm-shaded walk from the cruise ship pier (photo: Cruise Timetables). Taxis and a water taxi are also available. icon

Philipsburg. Somewhat congested when the cruise ships are in port at Great Bay, Philipsburg is known for its narrow, cobblestoned Front Street with world-class jewelry and other duty-free shops and cafes connected by steejes (little lanes) to less congested Back Street, with more local and eclectic shopping.

Along Great Bay beach, the Boardwalk promenade stretches a mile, lined with casual beach bars and fine restaurants.

Philipsburg has many interesting restaurants, including French, Creole, Chinese and Indian.


On the Boardwalk, Oualichi (for the Arawak name for the island, meaning "land of women" for its curvaceous hills) is a French-owned brasserie with beach service and dishes such as tuna sashimi and chicken breast in coconut curry (photo: The Montrealer).

Chez Delphine

At the Boardwalk with tables under palm trees, Chez Delphine offers French-Caribbean cuisine, with excellent home-made Quiche and croque monsieur as well as lobster barbecue and smoothies made from fresh fruit.
With excellent views of the harbour, Taloula Mango’s Caribbean Cafe is on the Boardwalk near the St. Rose Arcade in a colonial building.

Seafood Pasta

The affordable, wide ranging menu includes island specialties, such as Seafood Scampi and Blackened Mahi Mahi (photo: Jodci527).
Upstairs is the Blue Bitch Bar, with its signature. "Blue Bitch" blue margarita on an outdoor deck.

A Caribbean beach grill on the Boardwalk, Islan Flavia has a variety of grilled meat and fish specialties.

Black Pearl Bar

A Boardwalk bar, the Black Pearl, with a kitsch look worthy of Hollywood, is a place for a quick drink and snack–and to decide whether to shop and eat or to eat and shop (photo:carols-cruise-port).
Jewelers. Jewelers include Majesty Jewelers with the perfectly cut Hearts on Fire diamond, Effy Jewelers with its Pave Rose brilliant white diamonds hand-set into rose gold, Kay’s with its exclusive, rare Dream in Color gemstone, Little Switzerland with its Tiffany and Co. pieces, its fine Italian Roberto Coin gold jewelry and its stunning Tahiti pearls by Yvel, AMA Jewelers, with its THOMAS SABO Charm Club Collection and Diamonds International with its distinctive MarahLago Larimar.

Front Street

Narrow Front Street is filled with jewelry, electronics and other shops (photo: GammonLife)


Larimar & White
Topaz Marina Earrings
in Sterling Silver
by MarahLago, the first name in Larimar jewelry

Sparkle like the Caribbean Sea!

Marah Lago tries to showcase the rare beauty of Larimar to infuse a sense of
uniqueness and rarity into each piece, and imbue each woman with a natural sense of style and elegance.

In St. Maarteen, MarahLago is carried by Majesty Jewelers (46 Front Street, Philipsburg) and and Diamonds International. (at the airport, Wathey Square and 68 Front Street, Philipsburg)


Tahitian Pearl Golden Brown Earrings

Tahitian pearls
dangle from the gleaming 18k
yellow gold
links of these
golden brown
–by Yvel

Exotic Fire for Her Eyes!

Yvel is a leading fashion pearl designer.

Pearls are at the heart of all Yvel jewelry, combined with 18k yellow, white or rose gold set with white or natural cognac diamonds, featuring a fresh and exotic look that appeals to all women, including their lustrous black Tahitian pearl and diamond earrings in 18k white gold.

In St. Maarten, Yvel is carried by Majesty Jewelers, Art of Time, Diamonds International, Little Switzerland and Pearl Gems.

All of Effy Jewelers’ fine collection of diamond, tanzanite, and gemstone jewelry is designed by founder Effy Hematian, an acclaimed jeweler for 30 years. He opened his first store in Aruba.

Effy’s unique stylish jewelry is imported directly from mines and hand-set in their New York workshops at significant savings.

In St. Maarten, Effy Jewelers is located at 28 A Front Street, Philipsburg.

Pave Rose Earrings

Exquisite Effy Quality!

Diamonds trim the petals of 14k rose gold flower (see info and price). Pave means the jewels are set so tightly to form a "pavement."

Sterling Silver Diamond & Amethyst Interchangeable Earrings
(see info and price)

DiVersa® Earrings

Exquisite Effy Quality!

Embarkation Cruises from St. Maarten. Seabourn’s Spirit (see info and rates) departs from St. Maarten for exotic Caribbean cruises. Lavishly-appointed, these all-suite Seabourn ships offer ultra-luxury cruises limited to 104 couples for the ultimate in romance.
Destination Cruises to St. Maarten. St. Maarten is one of the Caribbean’s busiest destination ports, receiving cruises originating from San Juan (see ‘Adventure of the Seas’ cruise) and other Caribbean island departure ports.

From the mainland US, departure ports for cruises to St. Maarten include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Galveston, Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore and New York. Even international departure cruises go to St. Maarten.

Oasis of the Seas Cruise to St. Maarten from Ft. Lauderdale

World’s Largest Cruise Ship

The world’s largest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas uses its magnificent spaces to create seven unique interior experiences (photo: MSNBC). Its multi-deck, open-air atrium-promenades are mini "resort-like" destinations themselves.

Aqua Theater

The spectacular Boardwalk features an eight deck open-air atrium promenade that leads out to the stern to the amazing Aqua Theater, with its jaw-dropping Cirque-style shows.


Modeled on a retro seaside resort, Boardwalk has a handmade carousel and eateries such as a 50’s burger joint and a seafood shack as well as child-friendly shops, such as Pets at Sea, its popular "build-a-pet" store.

Loft Suite

The splendid new loft suites are among 37 choices of cabins and suites, many suited for families.

New features include the wade-in Beach pool, the Japanese Izami restaurant and an enlarged version of the popular top-of-the-decks Windjammer Cafe.

Entertainment Place has the musical ‘Hairspray,’ an ice show, casino, comedy club, nightclub and a jazz club.

Oasis of the Seas

See info, rates and
dates available.

The seven night round trip Eastern Caribbean cruise departs from Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades) with stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau in the Bahamas.

See Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port.

Central Park

The overlooking balcony cabins are opened up to sunlight and sea breezes, and, at Central Park, to lavish landscaping with walls of climbing vines as well as chic metro cafes and upscale dining, such as old favorites Giovanni’s Table and Chops Grille, and the new 150 Central Park.

150 Central Park

The centerpiece of dining among 24 choices on board, 150 Central Park is run by Miami restaurateur and award-wining chef Michael Swartz (see Michael’s Genuine Food …for People Who Love To Eat), with farm fresh fare, a seasonal tasting menu and two six-course dinners with wine pairings.

Royal Promenade, the star attraction of the previous Adventure of the Seas class of Royal Norwegian ships, appears with an updated classic opulence and includes giant arched skylights to see Central Park foliage above.

Children’s H2O Zone

Family friendly Royal Norwegian has children’s activities for all age groups, including ‘Kids Avenue’ interconnecting the Youth Zone, with the new ‘Royal Babies and Tots’ nursery (photo: OasisPhotosBlog).
Shore Excursions.
The most popular shore excursion by far is simply shopping (and dining) in Philipsburg.

Marigot, St. Martin. With a southern France ambiance comparable to Cannes, Marigot, on the St. Martin side of the island, has open air cafes, boutiques and bistros as well as a beautiful harbour.

Butterfly Sipping Drink

Even butterflies like rum fruit drinks, here sipping some off a finger at the Butterfly Farm in St. Martin (photo: Travel Pod).
Multi-National Archipelago. Offering great opportunities for day trips or side excursions, this archipelago of nearby islands is multi-national, sharing St. Maarten/St. Martin’s dual Dutch/French personality, as St. Barths is French, Saba and Statia are Dutch and Anguilla and Antigua are British.

Flights are available on WINAIR, Windward Express, St. Barth Commuter and other local carriers as well as Ferry Service.

Ferry Service. Ferry service is available to Anguilla and St. Barths from St. Martin’s Marigot ferry dock and to Saba from the Pelican marina near St. Maarten’s airport. Ferry service is not available to St. Eustatius (Statia). The travel time to St. Barths is 75 minutes on a conventional ferry and 35 minutes on a catamaran ferry.
Airport. As the second busiest airport in the Caribbean after Puerto Rico’s San Juan airport, St. Maarten/St. Martin airport serves as a gateway to the Lesser Antilles.

The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) (599-545-4211) on St. Maarten’s side of the island offers non-stop flights from the United States and Europe. The airport’s 7708′ runway, barely enough for heavy jets, requires a low 3% guide approach over the beach, as shown (see video), to the delight of plane spotters, some at the adjacent Sunset beach bar (photo: Wikipedia). Onboard, for landings, a left side seat offers the best views of the island, and the right side for the takeoffs that climb steeply toward the mountains and bank hard right after 10 seconds. A top 10 most exciting airport to fly!
Ground Transport. The most economical way to get around, rental cars are available at the airport, along with taxis, which can be especially expensive to the French side of the island. Limos may be arranged for pickup at the airport.

See St. Maarten Airport.

Accommodations. Philipsburg and St. Maarteen have a wide variety of accommodations (see info and rates). In Philipsburg itself, the Seaview Hotel (see rates-low price guarantee) is "beachfront on a budget" right on Front Street. Princess Heights Deluxe Condo Hotel (see rates-low price guarantee), in Oyster Pond, is an affordable luxury boutique condo hotel with gourmet kitchens and great ocean views.

Marigot and St. Martin have large resorts as well as more intimate places (see info and rates. See the affordable Hotel Beach Plaza (see info and rates) right on Marigot Bay.


Accommodations near the Airport. Near the airport, the Travel Inn Hotel (see rates-low price guarantee) and the Turquoise Shell Inn (see rates-low price guarantee) are affordable choices.

San Juan Airport | San Juan Cruise Port | Old San Juan | Tortola Airport
St. Maarten Airport | St. Maarten Cruise Port | St. Barths Airport | Anguilla Airport
St. Thomas Airport | St. Thomas Cruise Port | St. John | Saba Airport
Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port | Atlanta Airport | Dallas/Ft Worth Airport

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