Our time in the Dutch capital of Philipsburg, St Maarten, was not enough. Our ship docked at 1:00 p.m., left at six. After meandering around the usual shops near the ships, I went to town. Front Street is the main shopping drag. I was trying to find an Internet Cafe. I was given different directions every time I asked someone, but finally, I spotted Cyber Surf Cafe, for $4.00 a half hour. On my way back to the ship, I saw another one, Art Gallery International Cafe. Wouldn’t you know it.
Through one of the buildings on Front Street, I found the promenade – Great Bay Beach. I could see our ship and two others docked as I walked along the white sand heading towards the promenade.
There were lots of restaurants, most were playing loud music. The Fire House Bar and Restaurant cools customers who sit outside the patio, as a light mist drifts off the edge of the ceiling. I kept walking, to see more. I passed by a residential area, wanted to go further, to the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort and Casino, no time.
I felt rushed, wanted to soak in what I was seeing. I passed by the prominent landmark white colonial Courthouse, built in 1793, now serves as a post office.
The Holland House Beach Hotel has the best of both worlds. Front Street is at the front of the hotel, shopping mecca at your doorstep; Great Bay Beach is at the back and in the lobby has free incheap ternet access.
I made it back to the ship wishing for more time, missed seeing Fort Amsterdam (first Dutch military post in Caribbean) and St. Maarten Museum.