May 16, 2018

VISITING ST MARTIN FOR THE DAY (w/Amigo Tours)

Some of the ports we visited while on our week long cruise was beautiful while some were just a working port.  St Martin was one of those ports you pulled into and the water was beautiful and the port was clean and well maintained.

AROUND THE PORT


St Martin / St Maarten is the world's smallest territory shared by two countries.  The northern part is French and called St Martin and the southern part is Dutch and called St Maarten.  Our cruise ship docked in Philipsburg which is the capital of Sint Maarten.






May 13, 2018

MAHO BEACH - THE MOST THRILLING BEACH IN THE WORLD



No visit is complete to St.Martin without a trip to Maho beach. If you haven't considered visiting St Martin, then you need to redo your bucket list.

St Martin is beautiful but that in itself is not the reason for my excitement about visiting this country. My excitement came from the fact that St Martin is the location of Maho Beach. THE Maho Beach...the one where planes land only feet away from the beach and where visitors stand with their cameras ready to capture the enormous jets as they pass overhead.



Maho beach is located in the western part of the Dutch side of the island near the French border and right beside the Princess Juliana International Airport. The beach is separated by a two lane highway which stayed busy the entire time we were there. It also has the distinction of being one of the most dangerous airports in the world.



There is a surfboard in the adjacent bar that shows flight times but we found those times were not accurate. It showed one plane arriving while were were there and we actually saw five. We were also there on a Saturday which I was told was the best day to visit since it would have the most incoming planes.



Every time a plane takes off, you will see a line of people hanging out by the fence to experience the jet blast. Some pilots even encourage visitors to line up but it's not advised which is noted with a large DANGER sign. It is tempting to do it any way but the thought of my hair and eyes filling with sand kept me at a distance.




FINAL NOTES

Like I mentioned at the top of this post, Maho beach should be on your bucket list. It is reason enough to take any cruise stopping in St Martin or flying in as a destination. Keep in mind that the they were hit hard by Hurricane Irma and the airport has not been repaired. You can read about the hurricane damage with photos here: https://southernbluetraveler.blogspot.com/2018/05/hurricane-destruction-around-st-martin.html

The large KLM plane that you will see in a lot of photos, no longer land at this airport but you can see get some great shots.

May 10, 2018

HURRICANE DESTRUCTION AROUND ST MARTIN / ST MAARTEN




I saw hurricane destruction up close and personal for the first time in my life when I visited St. Maarten / St Martin on Saturday.



When Hurricane Irma struck the island in September 2017, winds of 180 mph tore through the island, destroying everything it it's path.  It wasn't bad enough dealing with Irma, but they had to deal with Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Maria in the following weeks.


I spoke to a local who said he and several of his friends and relatives  tried to ride out the storm in his home but the roof was torn off so when the eye passed over and everything was calm for a minute, they went to a neighbors home that had a concrete roof that was still in tact.


March 27, 2018

EXPLORING ROATAN, HONDURAS (Outside of the Cruise Port)



Roatan, Honduras is my favorite port out of all of the Caribbean ports I have visited.  Of course I'm  leaving on another cruise next month out of Puerto Rico so this may change.  Either way, Roatan is still a great port.

Carnvial has an amazing free Beach, Mahogany Bay, which is beautiful and an easy walk from the ship.  

Related image

I have spent my time in port going only to the beach and I loved it.  


The last time I went with my daughter and some friends, we hired a driver right outside of the port and for $30 a person, they carried us anywhere we wanted to go.  You can check out my video HERE.


To get outside of the port, you will want to veer left once you get through the Dufry shop (#12 on map) and walk to the courtyard.  You will want to walk to the end building with the red roof(#3 on the map).  This is the car rental and information area.

March 24, 2018

MAHOGANY BAY CRUISE PORT ~ ROATAN HONDURAS



Is Mahogany Bay one of the stops on your next cruise? Are you wondering what there is to do while in port? If you are trying to save money on excursions, there is no reason to leave the port.



Mahogany Bay was built by Carnival so there is plenty to do in port.  There is a nice beach with tons of chairs for you to use.  There are places to shop and a few restaurants. 



Unless you have booked an excursion, you will have plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast where you can watch the sunrise.

February 28, 2018

IS IT SAFE TO BE ON A CRUISE SHIP DURING AN EARTHQUAKE & POSSIBLE TSUNAMI?


Image result for earthquake in caribbean january 9 2018
Are you ok? Have you see any waves?   The last thing you expect while on a Caribbean cruise is to wake up to messages of concern about an earthquake and possible tsunami in the part of the Caribbean where you just happen to be on a cruise ship. 
Of course the first thing you do is grab your phone and check out the news.  Yep, there was…..
A strong earthquake struck the Caribbean Tuesday evening, according to the United States Geological Survey

The tremors were felt in Belize's capital, Belize City, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
Belize's minister in charge of emergency management, Edmond Castro, spoke on local radio to urge people living in low lying coastal areas and islands to stay alert for potentially dangerous waves.