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charlielinda

Great Day! Port and Orient Beach

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We had a wonderful day in St. Martin on September 11 on the Celebrity Equinox. We have vacationed many times there and love Orient Beach. We had heard that Orient Beach had been devastated by the hurricane last year but that one of the beachside restaurants was open.

 

We were among the first off the ship at 9:00 and there was one other ship in Port. We walked through what looks like a brand new port complex and took a cab with another couple to Bikini Beach and it was $8 a person (the driver was delightful and we all gave her $10 a person). We also arranged for her to pick us up at 2:00.

 

We rented two chairs and an umbrella for $20 — they were very comfortable! Plus the fellows that rent you the chair will bring you food and drinks if you like from the restaurant. There is a brand new bar and restaurant and it’s great. You can tell they have worked very hard to rebuild. We were told that a few of the other beach bars will be opening in November. We had heard that there was seaweed at the beach — there was a bit but nothing to worry about. There were locals peddling their wares and all you had to say was no thankful — it was not a problem at all. Our driver was waiting for us at 2:00 and we headed back to the ship.

 

Having been in St. Martin many times before we love Front Street for shopping. We usually stop at the Guavaberry Emporium, The Belgian Chocolate Box by Beatrix and purchase an “ice” watch (they are hard to find in the U.S.) somewhere along the line. Since we were on a ship we decided to bypass Front Street and promised ourselves we would be back in the next year ... but

 

We were thrilled when we walked back through the cruise port that there was Guavaberry Emporium, The Belgian Chocolate Box by Beatrix and a jewelry store that carried “ice” watches. As an added bonus there was a Pandora store that actually had charms for St. Martin. We got all our shopping done in 30 minutes and headed back to the Equinox.

 

A great day in St. Martin and it was wonderful to go to Orient Beach. 06766e186c9efe1571ee2843cdf2648d.jpg

 

 

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We had a wonderful day in St. Martin on September 11 on the Celebrity Equinox. We have vacationed many times there and love Orient Beach. We had heard that Orient Beach had been devastated by the hurricane last year but that one of the beachside restaurants was open.

 

We were among the first off the ship at 9:00 and there was one other ship in Port. We walked through what looks like a brand new port complex and took a cab with another couple to Bikini Beach and it was $8 a person (the driver was delightful and we all gave her $10 a person). We also arranged for her to pick us up at 2:00.

 

We rented two chairs and an umbrella for $20 — they were very comfortable! Plus the fellows that rent you the chair will bring you food and drinks if you like from the restaurant. There is a brand new bar and restaurant and it’s great. You can tell they have worked very hard to rebuild. We were told that a few of the other beach bars will be opening in November. We had heard that there was seaweed at the beach — there was a bit but nothing to worry about. There were locals peddling their wares and all you had to say was no thankful — it was not a problem at all. Our driver was waiting for us at 2:00 and we headed back to the ship.

 

Having been in St. Martin many times before we love Front Street for shopping. We usually stop at the Guavaberry Emporium, The Belgian Chocolate Box by Beatrix and purchase an “ice” watch (they are hard to find in the U.S.) somewhere along the line. Since we were on a ship we decided to bypass Front Street and promised ourselves we would be back in the next year ... but

 

We were thrilled when we walked back through the cruise port that there was Guavaberry Emporium, The Belgian Chocolate Box by Beatrix and a jewelry store that carried “ice” watches. As an added bonus there was a Pandora store that actually had charms for St. Martin. We got all our shopping done in 30 minutes and headed back to the Equinox.

 

A great day in St. Martin and it was wonderful to go to Orient Beach. 06766e186c9efe1571ee2843cdf2648d.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

 

Thank you so much. We usually go to Orient or the Westin. The Westin does not reopen until February, so very happy to hear we can go to the French side !

 

 

 

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Thank you for this great post. We will be there in December and I love Orient Beach so much. I feel confident about visiting again now.

 

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Really appreciate the update. We will be there in December staying at a resort on the French side. They are working hard to be ready for tourists. We are told facilities will be fully operational by October, with beach bars slowly opening by November & December.

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Thanks for your report! We are going there on the Celebrity Summit in November and Orient Beach is on our agenda. Last time we were on St. Martin we rented a car and drove as far as Marigot stopping at beaches along the way. We are hoping to do the same but in the direction of Orient Beach this time. I still need to look into rental cars, but good to know we can take a cab.

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Thank you. I am looking for some beaches that are functional for a December trip. The one thing I remember about my childhood trips there (and my last cruise with my kids) are the beaches and riding the waves in. They have great beaches. I am happy to know that there is still an option, post hurricane.

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Glad to hear that our all-time favorite place on earth, Orient Beach, is finally coming back. We tried to go back there in April, but no taxi would take us there. But we will be back next April and can't wait to experience heaven on earth!

 

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13 hours ago, GreyFeathers said:

where is this in relation to the clothes-optional side of the beach?

 

MSC's St Martin excursions list has a note that says all of the beaches on the French side are clothing optional.

 

At Orient beach, I didn't see anyone topless, let alone naked at the area of beach by Bikini Bar. The wife and I walked the quarter mile or so down to the area where the remains of Club Orient are, and past the pile of rocks we did see about a dozen nude sunbathers. However, as we were walking back, we did pass a nude couple walking towards us about 100 yards on the "wrong" side of the pile of rocks.

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2 hours ago, Noreen411 said:

Hi

 

were there bathrooms, changing rooms, rinse off showers available?

 

thank you

 

There is nothing there except the bar. It had decent bathrooms. I *think* there were showers beside the bar, but I don't remember for sure.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, GomezAddams said:

 

There is nothing there except the bar. It had decent bathrooms. I *think* there were showers beside the bar, but I don't remember for sure.

 

 

Thank you

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On 11/1/2018 at 9:03 AM, GomezAddams said:

MSC's St Martin excursions list has a note that says all of the beaches on the French side are clothing optional.

 

 

This simply is not true.  I assume MSC would say this to avoid getting complaints is someone saw nudity who did not expect or want to see it.  It certainly can happen, but cruisers on common french-side beaches during normal port of call times are unlikely to see nudity except on the southern third of Orient Beach - "south of the rocks".

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On 11/2/2018 at 3:32 PM, GomezAddams said:

 

There is nothing there except the bar. It had decent bathrooms. I *think* there were showers beside the bar, but I don't remember for sure.

 

 

We were there last month and I can confirm there are showers next to the bathrooms. The bathrooms are new, clean and roomy enough to serve as changing areas. 

 

 

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On 11/7/2018 at 5:25 AM, whengingersnaps said:

We were there last month and I can confirm there are showers next to the bathrooms. The bathrooms are new, clean and roomy enough to serve as changing areas. 

 

 

Good to know, we are going at the end of Jan and will be traveling with a 3y/o&14month old 🙂

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Very glad I read this post. We were there at the end of February last year. Have rented a car & driven around the circumference of the island a number of times and did so again. Everyone said Orient Beach was still pretty messed up and had nothing going on.  Got into a huge MESS of a traffic jam at Marigot and would have missed our ship had we taken the time to stop there or stop check out Orient for ourselves.

 

Greyfeathers, I agree that you do not see full nudity at beaches other than Orient Beach. Even then, it is not really that shocking like some might think. The few people nude that we have seen up where the cruise tourists are dropped off . . well, trying to put it nicely. . .  were not bodies most people would want to see nude, if you get my drift!  Years ago the Dutch side beaches were not topless. It was allowed on the French beaches and still is, while in recent years one might see it a bit at some Dutch side beaches by Mullet Bay and Maho, for instance. So no matter what beach you go to on the island,  you might encounter it. 

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Dumb question... but if you take a taxi to the French side of the island, do you need to take your passport with you? 

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no need  for  passport  after  arriving on a  cruise and going  from Dutch to French or  visa  versa--you need apassport if arriving by plane to enter  the country

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You should make and carry with you a color photocopy of your passport - if you will not be carrying your actual passport.  In the Caribbean, we almost never carry our actual passports ashore, but have a color photocopy with us at all times if without the actual passport.  Also, scan and email yourself a copy of your passport to have available online.

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