MSC Divina Cruise Destinations: St. Maarten
Our first MSC Divina cruise destination was Philipsburg, the main town and capital of St. Maarten. The Caribbean island is shared by two countries, St. Maarten, overseen by the Dutch and St. Martin, overseen by the French.
According to the Weather Channel, St. Maarten is home to the Most Dangerous Airport in the world, the Princess Juliana International Airport. It’s a paradise for thrill seekers and aviation enthusiast wanting to experience low altitude arrivals, just 100 ft overhead. The famous Airport is located right at the base of Maho Beach, where visitors can enjoy clear blue waters and the occasional KLM aircraft zooming over. A large sign has been posted by the local government warning that, “Jet blast of departing and arriving aircraft can cause severe physical harm resulting in extreme bodily harm and/or death”, but that doesn’t stop visitors from posing for the perfect photo or having the chance of being sand blasted by the departing aircraft.
Some visitors prefer to watch from a distance, out of the direct flight path, making Sunset Bar & Grill a popular location for front row seats. You can also find a daily flight schedule written in chalk on a surfboard at the base of the beach. Sunset Bar & Grill provides free WiFi for customers enjoying their signature Sunset Sangria or a bite to eat.
The St. Maarten – St. Martin Border Monument is another popular stop while visiting the island and is located a few picturesque miles from Maho Beach. The monument was erected in 1948, celebrating 300 years of the coexistence of St. Maarten and St. Martin. Located right off the busy road, visitors carefully stop for the opportunity to pose for a photo between the two countries.
The French side of the island is home to Orient Beach, known for their breathtaking views of Mont Vernon and Pinel Island, gorgeous blue waters, white sand and of course….their clothing optional policy. Orient Beach has earned it’s title as the Caribbean’s most famous beach.
The beach is strategically divided into a family friendly side, where you can rent a jet ski, ride a banana boat or soar over the island in a parasail. In the center of the divided area sits Pedro’s, my new favorite little beach bar. Leno, our bartender, recommended the Pedro’s Rum Punch to quench our thirst. It was the perfect cocktail to sip while enjoying Paradise! But, be careful with Pedro’s Rum Punch! Not only will it quench your thirst, but it might also have you stumbling to your ship.
Just on the other side of Pedro’s Beach Bar is the stretch of Orient Beach where visitors roam free without the fear of tan lines. Two chairs, an umbrella and 2 Pedro’s Rum Punch will cost you $15. If you’re traveling with a mask and snorkel, the calm clear water of Orient Beach makes it the perfect place for a shore snorkel. Sergeant Major Fish, Blue Tangs and Permits swim around the shallow reefs.
We had a fun filled day of adventure and relaxation on MSC Divina cruise destination St. Maarten and St. Martin. MSC Cruises provided the opportunity to experience this beautiful island and I now know that we have to return very soon!
Until next time St. Maarten and St. Martin! I’ll never forget.