Caribbean Vacation Cruise, St. Maarten

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Day 7 was our final cruise day in St. Maarten

Not a lot of photos taken in St. Maarten, unfortunately.

Saturday morning I woke up with a sore throat. Just great. Along with the sore throat, I started feeling a little under the weather once I got moving around. I looked outside and it was a little dreary. approaching St. Maarten. My mom called my cabin and asked if I was up for breakfast. I told her I felt like I had come down with a cold. She got off the phone to see if she packed Day Quil while I took a shower. I had some Mucinex-D, but it wasn’t going to help me much at this stage. When I got out, we went to breakfast and she told me she didn’t have any. Bummer. Thankfully though Carnival has a tea assortment and there was also honey available to have with breakfast. I mixed up some citrus spice tea with honey and it helped a tiny bit, for just a little while. I also took a couple Tylenol and went back to the cabin to grab somethings and get ready to make port.

Making port. Already docked were 2 tall ships and 2 smaller luxury cruise ships.
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We made port at exactly 8. The P&O Azura, right behind us. It was cool to see this ship again, because I had seen it before on my first cruise. After watching it, we went downstairs and were among the first off the ship. At that point it was mostly cloudy with occasional bursts of sun, which felt great. Despite not feeling well, the morning sun felt great every time it emerged from the clouds. Looking at the horizon though, it looked as though I shouldn’t get too used to it. While the sun was out, we took a couple photos in the duty free area of the port, then continued on to get a taxi. Where to? MAHO BEACH, OF COURSE! It was on my bucket list to be at SXM (Princess Juliana Airport) while the planes came within feet overhead, and blew people away on take-off. I had full intention of riding the fence behind the take-off jet blast, even though I wasn’t feeling too well. We grabbed a taxi and were on our way, making one stop for photos.

Photo stop. Overlooking Simpson Bay with the airport in the distance. Don’t let the sky deceive you, rain was approaching.
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It took roughly 20 mins to make it over to Maho Beach from port. The closer we go to the airport, the more cloudy the sky became. We had the driver drop us off at the Sunset Beach Bar where they have the surfboard with flight info written on it. Some people already had setup cameras and were hanging out on the beach. We decided to stop into the bar to have some more breakfast and just relax for a while as flights came in. There was one American 757 about to leave in a while so we just hung out and waited. Some smaller private and island hopper express planes had started to come in. I thought about how awesome it must be when larger commercial jets arrived. The whole time we were at the bar there was music playing (not too loud, it was still morning). The bar also had the speakers hooked up to the airport’s frequency, so we’d know when planes were getting ready to land and/or leave. Cool. It was a little hard to understand it sometimes, but I occasionally recognized some of the “lingo.” About 30 mins after breakfast, I could hear the high pitch sound of jet engines. The American 757 was taxiing for take-off. YES! I ran over to the beach and found a good spot. It was still very wet and the runway appeared to be pretty wet as well. Taking into consideration how I was feeling, I decided against standing directly behind the departing plane. I’d rather not get soaked while I have a cold. This was a wise decision as the plane started its take-off roll and blew quite a lot of water in the jet blast. I would have been drenched! Some of the people on the beach were blown by the blast, but not as much as a 747 or larger plane. It was a cool experience. I returned to join my mom at the bar. She mentioned that a passenger jet was on approach and would arrive in the next 20 or so minutes. Okay. We waited and sure enough we saw landing lights on the horizon. Cool! Looking back the other direction, it looked like it was raining. Crap! Screw it! I’m going to stand under this landing plane, rain or shine. I made my way back over to the runway and stood right where I thought the center of the jet would pass over me. The plane got closer and closer “wow! thats low” and closer. SHHHHHRRREEAAAAAAKKK… The plane flew overhead… “AWESOME!!!” It was only a 737, but it was cool to experience.

This photo does no justice. It was much lower! and LOUD!
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Literally the second after the plane landed, the skies opened up and it began raining. I was also starting to feel worse. I really wanted to take some medicine. We headed back to the bar. I bought a t-shirt and magnet. I looked at the arrivals on the surf board and most were in the afternoon with the next one being over an hour away. “Dang it.” I decided it was probably best to grab a cab, pit-stop at a pharmacy, and head back to Philipsburg for a while. Fortunately cabbies were already there from having dropped people off at the bars and hotels in the area so I didn’t have to go far. When we started making our way back in the taxi it began to POUR. I stopped inside a pharmacy and bought some Day/Night Quil and we headed back to Philipsburg. Once we started getting back into town, I felt more and more like I just wanted to lay back down. It was still pouring when the taxi dropped us off outside the duty free shops. People were huddled under awnings at shops. I had brought an umbrella and Mom brought her poncho. We walked to a couple stores, then I made my way to the ship. I got back on board and decided to nap for a while. While trying to fall asleep, I noticed that the ships (including Valor) were rocking quite a bit although they were tied into port. Every once and a while the ship would use the thrusters to stabilize the ship so people could get off/on. This was causing the ship opposite of us (Wind Surf) to sway side to side. Interesting situation. I did manage to fall asleep for a little while. I got back up, and stopped in one of the shops for souvenir hunting. Many of the same shops had the same crap again. Dang. I then considered my t-shirt and magnet from the Sunset Beach Bar my souvenir and came back on board again.

The rain let up intermittantly, but never completely. Everyone started making their way back on board. I made my way down to the exterior promenade, under the lifeboats for sail away. We had a couple of pier runners everyone cheered for, including those on the P&O ship. Once they were aboard, we pulled our mooring lines and started backing out of St. Maarten. Everyone on the P&O Azura was whistling and everyone on the Valor was cheering. It was a truely awesome sail away, complete with horns blowing back and forth. Seeing the island gain distance, I felt sad that I didn’t do more while there, but the weather and my health were just not cooperating enough for me to have had a good time.

Mom and I made our way back to Rosie’s for dinner and talked about the trip. After dinner she made one last round of the shops and I the promenade on deck 5. Afterwards we headed back to pack. We filled out customs forms and put our suitcases out for collection. I crashed at about 9.

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