Caribbean Cruise 2010 – Day 8 – St Maarten

Yesterday was our fifth and final port of call on our 2010 Caribbean cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox. Around 8:00 AM we docked in the port of Phillipsburg on the island of St Maarten. We planned to go ashore late morning and rose about 8:30. This time we actually planned to stay ashore most of the day. We had planned some shopping and then a day lounging on the beach.

This was our second visit to St Maarten having visited the island once before at the end of a transatlantic cruise a couple of years ago. It is also one of our favorite Caribbean islands. Once off the ship, we took a water taxi across the harbor to the beach. Last time we walked it (about 1.5 miles) but decided to splurge this time. It was a nice five or ten minute boat ride across. I still like the little boats!

Once across, we proceeded to finish up our shopping for the cruise. We found a bunch of stuff we had been looking for and some we weren’t. This was also the best shopping spot of the cruise.

It was time to relax and lounge on the beach. We found a nice spot right on the waters edge and got a good deal. We ‘rented’ an umbrella and two lounge chairs for $15 for the day. Amazingly, the price also included 5 beers which we traded 2 beers for a fruity, colorful, umbrella type drink for Suzanne. Sheesh, back home, we would be hard pressed to get the 5 beers for that price!

We spent the next 3 to 4 hours just laying on the beach and drinking our drinks. We did get lunch on the beach too. Suzanne had a shrimp and mango wrap while I opted for the chicken wings. When they came, they looked a bit strange – almost no added color. I wondered if they seasoned or marinated the wings at all. When I started eating them, they had a wonderful taste. They must have had some clear color sauce on them, but I still can’t place the flavor. They were good!

With an hour and a half left until all aboard we decided to start heading back. But, we stopped at the last little shack on the dock for one last drink and to watch everyone else start boarding. That’s something we have never done in all our cruising and it was interesting to watch everyone getting back on the ship. It’s something we may have to do again.

Back onboard, we decided to go to the Mast Bar and watch the sail away. It was quite a nice sail away. The island is absolutely beautiful. We sailed along the coastline until the island disappeared behind us. There is nothing but open sea ahead of us as we head back to Fort Lauderdale.

After the sail away, I caught a couple of hours of the hot glass show. The show still continues to amaze me and I like to see what the artists are going to create. And this was a night show we shows the hot colors even better. Suzanne was getting dressed for dinner while I watched the show.

When I returned to the cabin to get dressed, we actually decided that we were a bit tired and didn’t feel like going to dinner. We ordered room service instead and watched another movie, Wanted. Suzanne must still have been hungry because she ordered chicken noodle soup, spring rolls, shrimp cocktail and chicken fajitas and mashed potatoes. I ordered a pepperoni pizza. We both finished with a crème brule.

After dinner, we went to bed early with lights out about 11:00 pm. We now have two days at sea before arriving at Fort Lauderdale as the time on our cruise begins to wind down. I wish it was much longer!