MAHO BEACH 2010
This was our first time in St Maarten. We gathered ideas from the cruise forum and decided we would explore this place on our own by using the taxi service there. We decided to head to Orient Beach in the morning and spend the day. Then we would head to Maho Beach and watch the "famous" planes come in for the second half of the day.
We arrived at St Maarten as scheduled, went to Orient in the morning and then about 11am we decided to head over to Maho Beach to watch the planes come in. I knew this was going to be the highlight of my day and had long waited for this day to happen and be able to witness the low flying planes first hand that I had watched so many times on YouTube.
We arrived at Maho to a fairly large crowd already plane watching. Just as we pulled up, we had just enough time to get out of the van and walk down to the beach (climbing over all the big rocks) and along came a really BIG plane. It was amazing! They started coming in one after another. Small planes and big planes arrived over and over.
Then when we finally got a break, we decided to walk over to Sunset and get a bite to eat and a drink. The food was good and the service was very good as well. Sunset had plenty of space to eat even though all tables seem to fill up quickly, people quickly ate and went back down to the beach for more plane spotting. I believe we spent a total of $28 plus tip on the food and 3 alcohol drinks. Sunset also has a garden hose hooked up on the deck that you were welcome to hose the sand off of you. It was a nice touch and very appreciated (along with inside bathrooms).
There were 2 young girls (probably in their 20’s) that were sunbathing and walking up and down the beach with their tops off. They were Paris Hilton imposters with the bleached out white short hair and a very small furry dog they were acting like it was their child. LOL So, you will see nudity there as well. Just not as much. I believe Sunset does offer a free drink for those that choose to go topless there (girls of course).
As for the beach…I had read by many that it really wasn’t much of a beach, so I didn’t have high expectations when I arrived, but I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t as bad as I had pictured it to be. Yes, there wasn’t much beach area and there were a lot of rocks, but I still liked it for some reason. You don’t go far out into the water before it drops off and gets deep quickly. Maybe not the best place for small children or inexperienced swimmers (even though I seen a lot of small children there). There were some REALLY big waves coming in there. It was kind of rough and would knock you down at times. Sometimes it was hard to gain your footing from the waves and they did seem to go higher and higher hitting the huge rocks down below and working its way up. I can see where this beach would not be a good choice to swim for certain people.
I imagine there's a lot of planes that probably misjudge the distance when landing. At least according to this...
After a little more time of plane watching and a little bit of swimming, we figured we should probably head back toward the ship so that we could spend a little bit of time shopping right there at the port. I believe it was probably around 2-2:30 when we walked back to Sunset to try to get a cab.
Along the way back, we decided instead of taking the beach and rocks way, we would walk the concrete divider instead (since we were already at the top of the rocks anyhow from watching the last plane come in). Since we were in port about a week or so after hurricane Earl had passed, there was A LOT of sand still on the roads. It made a narrow road to begin with even narrower. If someone was walking in the street, a car could not pass. We walked along the concrete about ½ way and I decided to look back to see if any cars were coming and jump down into the street and walk to make it easier. About the time I looked back, there was a gap in the concrete…YEP, down I went in between the gap. I completely scuffed up my entire left leg from my toes to my thigh…blood everywhere and stinging pretty bad. My right foot, 3rd toe must have taken a hit because it instantly swelled pretty big. My right hand came down because of instinct to break the fall and took the worse hit. (By the time I made it back to the port, you couldn’t even see 3 of my knuckles, it was swollen so bad it looked like it could pop any minute now, and my palm was completely bruised up). Then all I can say is thank goodness for eating SO MANY MEALS on the Epic prior to this island and gaining a little added cushion to the belly (LOL) I truly believe it saved my face from something that could have turned out worse than it did. My chin was the last thing to hit and stop on the concrete. Nothing like hearing in your head a bone in your face hitting hard concrete. YUCK. My husband came running over (he had been walking ahead of me and only caught the last half of my fall as I screamed and he witnessed me hitting my face). Thank goodness for his quick reaction of grabbing me because I was seeing stars at that point and I thought I would have passed out if he had not grabbed me in time and sat me down.
After sitting for awhile, I hopped over to the entrance of Sunset and ask a lady there with a walkie talkie to call us a cab. There were TONS of people waiting at that point. Everyone was anxious and dishing in line to get a taxi. It was a mad house. Taxi’s were pulling up and taking people back, I was standing in line. I didn’t feel good at all, bleeding, in pain, and still feeling like I was light headed. My husband went to the lady and told her “we need to get her back to the ship NOW, she is hurt and needs help”. About that time 3 older ladies came around everyone, with Carnival beach towels wrapped around them and got in front of everyone. When the next cab pulled up, they said they had room for 3 people, the lady with the walkie talkie came over to us and told us to get in. Of course I could barely walk, so it was taking me awhile to make it there. The 3 ladies jumped in front of me and on the taxi van. SERIOUSLY??? At that point I was really upset and pissed to be exact. I started yelling at them that I was hurt, how are they going to not only dish everyone in line, but jump in a cab that was offered to me and that I needed medical attention. Never ONCE did they turn around, acknowledge that I was talking, or said a word back. But I KNOW they heard me. People are just plain rude. So the lady said she would make absolutely sure that I got in the next cab. As soon as it pulled up, they put me in it first and told the driver he was to take me (even though another family had called for the taxi for them). The family didn’t say a word about it to me, just gave me “looks” for being in “their” taxi.
Traffic was TERRIBLE at this time. The cab driver said that it would be quicker if he took a different way back to the port by crossing over to the French side and going around. I do have to say the area that we passed going back looked a lot nicer than the way we had came getting there. It was smooth sailing all the way into town to drop the other family off and then we were in traffic again at the port.
The bad part is, I ask the driver how much it would cost us to get back to the port. He replied $7 pp. The family that we were in the cab with did not speak English (other than the son riding in the front seat who had to translate everything to the rest of the family). When they got out (a stop before us at the center of town for shopping), they started gathering their money and the cab driver told them “no, it was $154 for the cab ride. YIKES! (There was only 8 of them) They didn’t speak up or say one word but was trying to get enough money together to give to the driver. I was in shock that they had to pay that and thought it was crappy that he took advantage of them for not understanding.
We got back to the port finally and it took me awhile to get back on the ship, but I finally made it. WHEW! I’m still trying to heal, but watching the planes come in was definitely the highlight of the day for me. I had waited so long to see them and highly suggest Maho to anyone else that would be interested. Orient, I would probably pass on given the chance to ever go back there again.
The after math by the time I got back to the room and cleaned up a bit. My leg was scratched from the top to the bottom at my ankles. My 4th toe was starting to swell. The top of my right hand was really starting to swell and I knew I was in a lot of pain.
Second day after the fall...my palm started bruising and the top of my hand is really swollen.
After returning from our cruise, my hand continued to swell until it was unrecognizable as a hand. There were no knuckles left, no veins could be seen, and it became very bruised looking, both on the top of my hand and my palm.
15 days after falling, it was time to have it checked. So I decided to have it checked out today...yep, it's broke. Bad thing is I'm right handed and it's my right hand. Typing and writing for work and school is not going to go well. I thought I would give an update.
Maho Beach is a well known place that tourist go to. I just knew that I had to go there to experience it. After seeing so many videos on youtube, it was on my "must see" list.
The beach is not much of a beach and you definitely don't go there to enjoy that part of it. The waves are huge, there's a quick drop off, the rocks lining the beach are unsafe. So don't go here thinking this is a nice beach to hang out at or you'll be disappointed.
There's 2 restaurant/bars there to pick from for cold drinks and food. Sunset is the bigger place with clean restrooms and a deck to eat on with chairs and shade. They also have a water hose to wash off with.
The planes flying in low are amazing! Really a once in a lifetime experience for sure.
Would I recommend it? Yep! I sure would. At least to go and see and experience this once.
I personally probably would not return (unless I was taking other family members there to experience it). Been there-done that.