The final port of call on our 7 day Caribbean Cruise aboard the Carnival Fascination was St. Martin/St. Maarten! I have ALWAYS wanted to visit St. Martin, to go to Airport beach (aka Maho beach)! If you haven’t heard of it… there’s a little beach that is right at the edge of Princess Juliana International airports runway. People hang out and watch planes takeoff and land, and the planes get very close!
Anyways… I tried to switch our excursions up so that we’d have one active day and one more chill day as a break before doing a more active one again. Having just come off of our St. Kitts half island tour the day before, we were originally looking for something more active in St. Martin, but there were just too many things we thought we’d like to see that we went for an island tour here as well. We chose to do the Top 10 Best of St. Maarten tour and booked through the cruise line.
We made several stops along our tour to take photos and shop. There was a place you could sample rum, and take photos of cats for $1, it was pretty cool, they were raising money for the animal shelter and there were some gorgeous cats! There were some beautiful views from that stop, as well as several stores, and a bathroom.
The history of the island was pretty interesting, with the island being split in two: the Dutch side, and the French side. We toured through both parts, and there were a lot of differences. We got to have some free time on the French side of the island, where my husband and I wandered around and popped into some shops and booths looking for souvenirs. We found a cute French bakery and ordered some pastries before having to meet back up with our tour group. It was a nice break in the trip.
Finally, my favorite part of the tour…. Maho Beach!! We didn’t have too long to stay here, in the future I would go longer (we had maybe 20-25 minutes?). Even though our time was limited, we were still able to see several plane take off and land. It was so awesome!
Although I did really enjoy the excursion, I would personally try to avoid doing two days in a row of island tours. I really love learning about the history and culture of each island, but it turned into kind of a long day the second day of touring. Next time I’d probably spend some more time at the beach, but as with any of the islands we visited, and any of the trips I saw offered through the cruise line, I think it’d be hard to go wrong on any of the excursions!
Top 10 Best of St. Maarten tour – Duration ~ 4.5 hours
We rode on an air conditioned bus, and got off the bus to walk around several times.
Things to bring
Water bottle, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, comfortable shoes, and money for food, souvenirs & a tip