INDULGENCE BY THE SEA
The Indulgence by the Sea Spa can be found at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort (as well as Oyster Bay Beach Resort). Hand-selected, organic products are used in a number of treatments which the owner personally tests before selecting. Massages range from aromatherapy, hot stone, prenatal, deep tissue, and even a treatment in a private beach cabana. The spa also offers a range of facials, manicures, and pedicures with unique ingredients and methods incorporated into each, such as the use of local citrus, green tea, seaweed, or pebbles to sooth aching feet. The spa is a great option after active shore excursions or long days exploring the area on foot.
LITTLE BAY BEACH
For those seeking a stretch of sand near the cruise port, look no further than Little Bay Beach, a short walk from the ships. The beach isn’t overly crowded, and there are plenty of restaurants, snack bars and shops in the area if sunbathers need reprieve. The sand quality is soft and clean, and the water is shallow without any steep drops. Local entrepreneurs may wander around selling cold beer and refreshments (feel free to negotiate the prices). Snorkeling can be done right from the shoreline, and other watersports are available for rent. Restrooms and shower facilities are also available.
Discover your inner pirate (without all the looting and lawlessness) aboard the 85-foot Treasure Seeker ship, a new attraction in St. Maarten’s Great Bay Harbor – right near the cruise ships. The ship is perfect for all ages with fun activities such as limbo, hula hoops, water guns, treasure hunts, and a chance to walk – and jump off – the plank! There’s also a gift shop for t-shirts and souvenirs and a galley that offers a full bar, soft drinks, smoothies, and food. They also offer private cruises, weddings, birthday parties,sunset cruises, DJ parties, booze cruises and bachelor/bachelorette parties.
Wathey Square is the tourism center where much of the action takes place. Towering palm trees line the streets as well as colorful shops and restaurants (such as the much-loved Barefoot Terrace). A its center is the courthouse, one of the oldest buildings in Phillispburg that stands out among the more modern shops. Water taxis from the cruise ship docks are available to this part of town (or simply walk), which is a good home base for booking tours of the island, taxis to beaches or other points of interest. If passengers return to the port with time to spare, this is a great place to hang out until the ships depart.
Located a five-minute walk from the main cruise ship docks, this one-of-a-kind attraction will be the highlight of a trip to St. Maarten. A five-foot round, flying-saucer shaped disk zips along the water with up to two passengers who control the direction by simply leaning to one side or another. This exciting new watersport is the only one in the world, so the experience does not compare to other water activities like jet skis or tubing. The staff is extremely accommodating and anyone ages eight or older can participate (although the driver must be 18 years or older). Advanced reservations are highly recommended.
SUNSET BAR AND GRILL
This famous bar is located in front of the Princess Juliana International Airport – right in the sand of Maho Beach. Patrons of this bar have front row seats of the massive jets landing and taking off right over sunbathers. The blast from the jets taking off sends people flying or fighting to regain footage and makes some awesome photo opportunities. The bar itself serves up ome made pizza, hamburgers, fish burgers, mozzarella sticks, ribs, Dutch snacks and Caribbean cuisine – as well as plenty of cocktails and cold beverages such as “Pain Killers,” “Runway Rum Punch,” and “Caribbean Bay Breezes.”
SAINT MAARTEN CULINARY TOURS
One of the island’s largest casinos, Royale offers craps, baccarat, blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, “Let it Ride,” and roulette. It boasts more than 400 slot machines, 21,000 square feet of space, and 21 gaming tables including a “high-roller” section. As part of the sprawling, Maho Village resort complex, “a destination within a destination,” visitors will find more than 15 restaurants with all types of cuisine ranging from Mexican and Chinese to Italian gelato and pizza. Some 16 duty-free shops are also available, as well as a spa, beauty salon, and piano that features Caribbean rhythms along with other catchy tunes.
YODA GUY MOVIE EXHIBIT
Philipsburg’s main thoroughfare is known for its abundance of jewelry shops scattered along the cobblestone street. You can find emeralds, diamonds, gold, platinum and more at over 20 stores. Pieces from internationally known designers such as Cartier, Gucci, Chopard and Versace, along with custom items, are readily available. Front Street also has a good selection of shops offering china and crystal. While some larger stores accept credit cards, smaller vendors may require cash. Other items include t-shirts, duty-free cigars, liquor, perfumes, and more. A beautiful beach boardwalk stretches along the street with beach chairs available to rent and plenty of places for a cold drink.