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St Maarten - frustrated and need help!

Discussion in 'Caribbean Ports' started by OceanFanatic, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. OceanFanatic

    OceanFanatic Guest

    Hey everyone,

    Here is the deal . . . . We have an ENTIRE day in St Maarten on the Explorer cruise in December, hubby and I are crusing with another couple. Us girls just wanted to hop in a cab and spend the day at Orient Beach. Well the boys found an excursion called the Afternoon Beach Bash and it serves unlimited rum and punch. Needless to say they are insisting that this is a must do. It actually sounds like fun, but I want more beach time. So, here is my question . . .

    If we give in to the guys and go on this excursion, is there a beach close to where the ship docks? Basically if we get back from this excursion and I want more beach time, is there someplace close that we can go to spend the rest of the afternoon? Someplace with watersports maybe?
  2. Camelia

    Camelia Guest

    Orient Beach is definitly a must. There is a beach close to the ship docking area; you can get there by water taxi, or maybe even walk (well that might seem long in the heat). Can't you do both? Orient beach and the excursion.
  3. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    I think Camelia may be mistaken. Orient Beach is not near where the ships dock. Orient is definitely a cab ride, and well worth it since it is an outstanding beach.

    I believe Camelia is thinking of Great Bay Beach which is just a block from the downtown area. You can take a short cab ride or a $3 water taxi ride to the middle of the beach. You can go shopping in town as well if you're interested in that. It isn't the nicest beach in St. Maarten, but if you only have an hour or two, it is certainly the most convenient. I'm not sure if there are watersports there or not.

  4. tg_lindo

    tg_lindo Guest

    Why don't you just go your separate ways for an afternoon? It's not like you won't have rest of the week together. And it's not like St Maartin is an Islamic country ( that was not a slam on Islamic custom).
  5. OceanFanatic

    OceanFanatic Guest

    Okay here is the deal, I was trying to sugarcoat it. My husband and myself want to go to Orient Beach the entire day, not just for the afternoon. So does the other female in our group. However, her husband is wanting to do this afternoon excursion to Orient Beach. When we tried to talk him in to going for the whole day, he was concerned that we would take a cab there for a certain amount and the cab drivers could charge whatever they want to get you back to the ship. He is a little paranoid, I think. There is an excursion for a little more $$ where you get to spend most of the day at Orient and they have a BBQ lunch (however no unlimited rum, which the other ladies husband is also using as an excuse for the afternoon excursion). There have been several things that he has wanted to do that we have all said no to. But, I thought maybe we could give in to him on this one thing and just spend the rest of the afternoon/early evening at another beach close to where the ship docs. That way if we do the afternoon excursion and get back to the ship from it, we can just go to another beach if we decide we want more beach time. I am trying to compromise, but if there isn't another beach close by then I want to argue with him again.

    Going our seperate ways is not an option because every time we mention it, the other couple freaks out. I think the reason is because she wants to do what we are doing, but doesn't want to upset her husband. Don't know, it is weird!!

    Basically, I am just trying to find out if there is a nice beach close to the ship so that we can give the guy what he wants. Like I said, we have already vetoed some of his ideas and I would like to compromise with him. :) Thanks again for all the help!!
  6. Camelia

    Camelia Guest

    Jeff - I didn't say Orient Beach is near the dock. I said: "Orient Beach is definitly a must. There is a beach close to the ship docking area..." meaning another beach.
  7. lainie

    lainie Guest

    Ok. I hear the dilemma but this sounds more like an issue for the other couple to deal with. Orient Beach is the place to be in St Martin, trust me. I LOVE it there. If you and your hubby like to be beach bums (like me!) then that's what you should do. Unlimited alcohol is not a big thing for me, in fact, drinking for free can result in some serious unpleasantness later. It is HOT in the sun and if you don't drink enough water you can become quite ill. If you drink alcohol you are automatically behind the "dehydration eight ball", so to speak. So for me, unlimted booze is not an attraction. The taxi drivers are cool, so that shouldn't be a factor. They try to get as many people in one cab to keep the cost per person down. If you know you are coming back to St Martin sometime soon, then by all means compromise. As far as going separate ways -- heck, my hubby and I have done that 3 times! I LOVE the beach and he likes to hike, ride bicycles, etc. We have done separate tours in St Martin, Belize and Barbados, no problem! If you can talk to the person sitting next to you, you'll have a great time! I see no reason why this guy can't join you at Orient Beach and then go to his afternoon thing?

    You mention the group has shot down his other suggestions... just curious, what kind of tours were they?
  8. OceanFanatic

    OceanFanatic Guest

    Well, it wasn't exactly the tours that we shot down. The guy has money and is family has even more, but he tries to save money. Which is fine (I know how it is because my husband and I don't have alot of money, nor does our families), but he tries to save in the STRANGEST ways!! First off, they wanted to save money by flying all night the night before the cruise. It was a cheaper flight by about $30 pp and would have saved one night in a hotel room ($40 per couple because we are sharing a room) and then dinner. However, this flight from Washington to Florida had two layovers. My husband and I can't sleep on planes or in airport chairs, we are always too excited. And we didn't want to get to the ship and be exhausted and cranky. So, we told them to go ahead and fly that night, we were going down the day before. They decided to fly with us, but he let us know that he felt pressured to do so.

    Secondly, he is wanting to stay the night after our cruise at the Port of Miami. Well, we are staying there the night before we cruise. My husband, the other guy's wife and myself want to spend that extra day in Miami at South Beach. We are in our mid 20s and want to be where all the action is. Not to mention that I want to treat Miami like another port . . . spend time on the beach, do some shopping, check out the boardwalk, eat good food and maybe hit a club. Again, we were planning on sharing a room. The difference for one night between the Holiday Inn Port and the Holiday Inn South Beach is a whole $30 per couple. So, we basically told the guy's wife that my husband and I are staying in South Beach and they could stay wherever they liked. She was upset because she wants to stay there too, but it's a touchy subject between them because all the money came from HIS family. They are newlyweds and she apparently doesn't want him thinking she married him to spend his families money. From all that she has said, he is apparently touchy and maybe a tad insecure about the money.

    Well, from what you say, Orient Beach is an all day MUST just like I thought. I guess it is time to call them back and once again tell them . . . we are doing what we want, you do what you want!!! I hate doing it, but we don't have all the money they do and this is probably the only time we will cruise to these islands. Thanks for all the advice!! :)
  9. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    I guess the question I have in this whole thread is why are you travelling with this couple? It seems that you have different interests and tastes which makes for a difficult vacation experience. Personally, when I spend thousands on a vacation, I make sure there is nothing that is going to spoil my good time. My wife and I cruised recently with her family. We all did our own thing during the day. If we wanted to do the same thing, we did it together. If not, then we went separately. The only rule was that we all had dinner together. It worked out very well, and we're already thinking about our next vacation.

    But as they say - what's done is done. Since you are vacationing with them, everyone's got to make compromises somewhere. The taxi to and from the beach will be the same cost. The fares are government regulated, so they have to be. Perhaps he could compromise and just buy drinks at the beach. The difference between the excursion and going to the beach independently should be enough for him to have plenty to drink and still spend the same amount of money.

    Note to Camelia: I apologize - I misread the statement from your post.
  10. lainie

    lainie Guest

    Oh boy, Oceanfanatic, does this scenario sound familiar. It's my inlaws who are tight with a buck and don't have to be and my parents who are doing ok but like to live it up a bit! When DH and I got married it was always "how much did you pay for that" and this and that. The planning of our wedding made them mad (they thought it was too extravagant, it was actually average) but hey, they didn't pay for it. They reuse paper towel and dixie cups and they wash the plastic forks and use them over and over again. They brag about the $4.95 Fish Fry they ate but don't talk about whether or not it was any good. When we took both sets of parents on the Glory this past April, everyone got along just fine considering the differences. Of course, DH and I paid for the airfare, hotel, transportation, and the cruise. My mom in law brought along US stamps and bragged about mailing post cards out of ST Thomas for much cheaper with her own US stamps. My mom said she bought regional stamps because they looked neat and even though they cost 3 x as much that was ok. My mom in law thought my mom was nuts but.... Differences of philosophy about money for sure. DH's parents raised 5 kids on one income so I cannot fault them for the way they scrimped and saved money. But DH and I and the rest of the world are kind of inferior in their eyes because of how we handle our money.

    That said...here is what I have had to politely say to my inlaws -- It's our money, we've have earned it, we are financially stable, and how we spend our money is private ...etc... For you I would simply state that we are on vacation and want to have a good time. We have planned for this trip and budgeted money and we want to enjoy ourselves and not worry about how much it all costs. Therefore, we are taking the direct flight, booking private transfers, staying in South Beach in our own room and booking the tours we want to regardless of the price. If you want to join us, great! If you would rather do something else, feel free.
    I know some of your plans are already made. But please don't allow these folks to dictate how you spend the rest of your vacation because they want to force upon you their values about money. Taking a cruise is a vacation you want to go on and have a blast, not have regrets about what you wanted to do but didn't.
  11. OceanFanatic

    OceanFanatic Guest

    Well Jeff, we are traveling with them because this guys wife is one of my best friends. We have grown up together and have a wonderful time. When we were single we went on MANY out of town trips together and had a wonderful time. She has the same interests as my husband and I, but he is very sensitive about his money. I thought I would compromise this once (instead of just telling her that we are doing what we want, so that she has to try and persuade him to go along). I thought I would try to save her from doing it one more time . . . . But, like you said, this is our vacation too . . . so maybe I will go toe-to-toe with him for her instead!! We just set up dinner with them on Saturday to decide on our excursion, so it should be an interesting weekend! Thanks again for all the advice because I am happy to know that my first thought of wanting a whole day at Orient was right. :)

    It's very helpful to know that the government regulates the taxi fare . . . that will be good amo for my argument!!
  12. sailboat

    sailboat Guest

    This thread reminds me a little of an old "Andy Griffith" show. Aunt Bea won a trip to Mexico for herself and a friend. The first problem popped up when she could not decide between her two friends. That was solved when Ms. Crump suggested that the two friends each pay a half fare so that they could all go. From then one, the ladies bickered over who would get the window seat, what time they would dine, what excursions they would take. They even had a "discussion" over who saw a pretty straw handbag first! They came back from their dream vacation not speaking to one another! Clever Andy arranges for them all to pick up their vactation photos at the same time and it's while reviewing the photos that they realized they really had a good time after all and that their friendships were strong enough to weather these bumps in the road.

    Sounds to me like there's enough care and concern for others underlying your friendship to help you weather your own bumps in the road and have a great time.

    Taxi fares are regulated: we've always had great service from the drivers. If they say they'll come back fro you at X oclock, they will be there. And yes, Orient Beach is pretty and great and well worth the trip.
  13. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    I'm glad I could help. Remember, no matter what you do, you'll be on vacation, so it's tough to not have a good time, even if it's not exactly what you want to do. It's only a week, and if she's that close to you, it's not worth losing a freindship over. Just remember to not plan any vacations with them again.
  14. OceanFanatic

    OceanFanatic Guest

    AMEN to that!! Just had a rough weekend!! But we basically told them that we are doing what we want, they can do their own thing or come with us . . . . their choice. After them trying to change our minds for a while, they finally gave in and have decided to do everything that we want. I am not sure why we have to be attached at the hip the whole cruise . . . but I am beginning to be thankful that we did not get cabins with connecting doors like they originally wanted!!!!!! Hopefully once the decisions are made and everything is booked, we will all be able to relax. :) You are right, no matter what we will have a great time!! Can't wait!
  15. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    :thumb...good on you for sticking to your guns on your excursion choices..been following your frustration level..:grin..we cruise with friends..BUT the deal is we ARE NOT JOINED at the hip...it's everyones vacation.and we occasionally do have excusions together..and other times we only connect up in the Dining Room that night!!..:thumb..so hang tough..=bigwave have a wonderful cruise..and if they tank on you just plan on never cruising with them again..:grin..:)..Joanne
  16. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    Good for you! I'm glad you're going to get to do what you want.

    I don't have all the facts, but if this is their first cruise, maybe they just feel more comfortable having someone with them in a strange place. I know on my first cruise, I was a little hesitant to venture too far from the ship, as if I couldn't catch a cab in the next 4 hours before the ship leaves. You may find that by the time your stop in St. Maarten rolls around that they are more comfortable and may decide to do what they want anyway.

    I just came back from Explorer on your itinerary. You will love the cruise as the ship is magnificent. I entered a review of the cruise if you care to check it out. You'll have to let us know how your trip is when you get back!
  17. OceanFanatic

    OceanFanatic Guest

    Funny you should say that! Our first cruise, their second!! And it was in March of this year . . . . Like I said, I think it is a case of she has the same interests as my husband and I but her husband controls the money. I think this is just her way of getting him to do the same things that we want. Because when he would argue with us, she would start trying to convince him that our idea sounded really fun. Oh well, whatever works for her. I just hope that they do seperate from us a little . . . as I would like a little alone time with my hubby now and then. I will definitely let you know! Thanks again for all the help!

    I already know that I will just love it so much that I won't want to come home!! Can't wait!
  18. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    You absolutely will! We loved St. Maarten so much that we are thinking about taking a non-cruise vacation there. Just fly there and spend a few days in a hotel. But airfare is almost as much as a whole cruise vacation, so we will probably look to do something else.

    Enjoy yourself!
  19. Camelia

    Camelia Guest

    jeff - apology accepted.

    this whole discussion makes me want to go back to Orient Beach, if I could only "beam" there for a couple of hours. AAaaah...
  20. traveler2

    traveler2 Guest

    You might remind the tightwad that portions of Orient beach is a nude beach and you are welcome to use that part of the beach also. Might give him a new "outlook".

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