Tuesday, 25th October, 2022

So today is a special day – it’s Phil’s BIRTHDAY!

Today we docked at St. Maarten, which is both Dutch and French territories. We have been here before about 15 years ago when we cruised on the Queen Mary 2, but we couldn’t remember much about it. I am half Dutch, so it was of interest to me to see the Dutch side of the island.

We went up to the top deck and admired the view, one thing we did notice however, that there were lots of butterflies on the ship, we wondered if it was mating season for them or something like that?

We had booked a trip on an open top double decker bus, which will take us around the island stopping off at a fishing village, the beach where the airplanes land almost on top of your heads, a rum factory and a Dutch shop.

The tour guide and bus driver were very friendly and after a quick introduction we were on our way. There was a lovely breeze when the bus got moving, which was very welcome as it was an extremely hot day.

As we drove along the sometimes ropey roads, we noticed how friendly everyone was, stopping and waving to us, you did have to keep your wits about you however, as some of the branches of the trees on the kerbside would whip past your head.

Our first stop was a little fishing village, which coincidentally had a market that day, but as we had been remiss and not brought a cold drink with us, we searched for a cafe and bought a mango crush, which was very refreshing.

We did wander around the market, but got a bit fed up with the sellers badgering us to buy something, so we went and sat down and admired the view, it really was beautiful.

Our next stop was Maho Beach, where we were hoping to see a jumbo jet land, unfortunately we weren’t lucky, we did see a small aircraft but it wasn’t anything great. So, I have put a YouTube video below where you can see the big planes landing…

What we were hoping to see…

This sign is a BIG disclaimer…

Back on board and it was time to visit the rum factory. I’m not a great lover of rum, but once inside the factory, there were several different flavours to try, of course we had to try all of them, some of them were very alcoholic, but they were very flavourful.

Our last stop was back on the Dutch side, where we went into a shop and I was in my element as they sold Dutch liquorice. I bought a couple of packets, one for me and one for my brother, fingers crossed I don’t eat both packets before we get home!

Then it was time to get back on board the ship, when we had a quick lunch, not too much as we were going to Alice in Wonderland in the evening, and a Johnny Rocket’s milkshake and went back to the cabin.

It was Caribbean Night on board the boat, so we put on our most colourful tops and headed to Alice in Wonderland to celebrate Phil’s birthday with our friends.

This was one of the best meals we have eaten in a specialty restaurant on board any ship and we’ve eaten in most of them! I even ate a big shrimp, something I have never even been willing to try before. It was simply stunning, the waiter was very attentive, the atmosphere was very relaxed and we even had a visit from the Mad Hatter!

And Phil’s birthday celebrations didn’t stop there! We then headed to the stern of the ship to watch Hiro, the show in the aqua theatre. It was outstanding, my favourite being the two men on the high wire and their incredible routine on the low wire.

After an evening night cap, I think Phil had to agree that it had been a pretty special birthday.

Take a look at the video:

To see a video of what we got up to with lots more photographs and videos, take a look at the YouTube video:

And Lastly:

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