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59 minutes ago SJU hotel and hangout recommendations [by TackingAg]
Spending one night in Puerto Rico (SJU). Any recommendations on hotel in a good area for walking around and dinner/breakfast? Just me, so would rather keep it to the ~$150 range . Thanks!
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1 hour ago 35th year, 1st trip report [by JustinB]
Arrived Thursday 1/3 breezed through immigration and customs. No checked bags, so right to AAA Car Rental. Picked up brand new Kia.
Checked in at Mary's Boon for the first time. Very surprised at the state of things on Simpson Bay. It looks to me that there has been an unbelievable amount of work to get things back to some semblance of order. Went to SBYC for late lunch, early dinner and had the Grouper. Disappointed, batter was very heavy and grouper was extremely thin. scenery was great as usual, but one and done.
Stayed at MB Beach the three days before checking in at SBR, Simpson Bay Beach was in great condition and most buildings are up and looking great. Horny Toad was open and busy. front building has been raised about two feet and looks great.
Friday dinner at the Palms, both Greg and Jo were great and food was fabulous.
Saturday was football, had takeout from the Pizza Company on Airport Rd. Pizza was thin crust very good and reasonable.
Sunday checked into SBR with no problem at all, had dinner at Pineapple Pete's. No big changes, food and service was good. Wasabi Charlie's to the left of PP is new and looks good, but not a big sushi fan, so didn't try.
Monday headed to Mullet and found it also in good shape. Both Daleo"s and Rosie's up and running and busy when cruisers are in. Had dinner at No Where Special, owned by Al Wathey's daughter. Al owned the Turtle Pier Restaurant and told us some of the Turtle Pier's staff are working there. It is located right next to Simpson Bay Yacht Club. Was very impressed with the food and service. Al cane by each table to see that all is well. Explained that vthey had no grouper, because fishermen hadn't been getting any fresh and most on the island is frozen. Ate there twice and was extremely pleased, kind of takes the place of Skipjack's until they reopen.
Construction is going gangbusters at both Skipjack's and Lee's. Missed both very much. When Lee's opens parking will be a problem, but one suggestion is, to park on the street across from the entrance to Burger King and Garden Market. It has space on both sides and is blocked off making it a dead end. It is relatively close to Lee's and should be an easy walk.
Tuesday took a ride around the island and as others have already reported French side has been nowhere near as aggressive in rebuilding. The Marigot Market has half the the vendors, although went back Saturday and it was almost back to normal number.
Lunch at lolos in Gran Case. All rebuilt and no noticeable changes, however, the rest of Gran Case is in terrible shape. Most oceanside restaurants not open and looks like it will be quite a while. The other side looks much better with most businesses open.
Had dinner at the Greenhouse food and service was excellent, Met the President of the Flying Dutchman there, as the rain forced our two tables together. He came from Lake Tahoe ski area and he was very informative about the building of the chair lift, zip line, slide and restaurant. One suggestion, stay away if more than 3 ships in port, as zip line could be a 2 hour wait. He suggested doing other activities while waiting for zip line.
Wednesday went to El Zafiro. Beach is great, had lunch there, had burgers and they were great. Did El Zafiro a total of six days and hate to say it had the burger four times and the chicken/ribs combo twice, all excellent.
Had dinner at Vesna Taverna, probably the best dinner of the stay, we all had the grouper. Sally, our waitress, explained they had a delivery of freshly caught grouper that morning. It was great and the desserts, chocolate mousse and three layer vanilla cake were superb.
We went back the night before we left, as we used to go to Saratoga/1863 Charter House. This time Vesna suggested to stay away from the grouper, as it was not up to par.
Thursday stayed at SBR Beach, busy, but all well with both the palapas and the beach bar. Had dinner again at the Palms, excellent.
Friday, no cruise ships in at all, so a quick trip to Phillipsburg, Parked on Front St, shows you how busy it was. Walked from the school to the Greenhouse on the street and back the Boardwalk. Most businesses up and running, although not all open with no ships in port. Drove to Guana Bay and saw a tremendous amount of damage and not a lot of activity. Dinner at the Hideaway and they are up and running with all repairs completed.
Football Saturday with dinner at Isola. We took doggie bags back to the unit for lunch the next day.
Sunday back to SBR Beach and take out from LaPatrona, pizza was better than expected, thin crust.
Monday back to El Zafiro and had dinner opening night of Palapa Grille, the old Rancho, across from the Palms. Soft opening, but good crowd. Service was a tad slow and some orders were mixed up, but I thought they did great for first night. They have installed a tent covering the dining are to prevent any material that may fall while work is
continued on roof. Unfortunately, no view or access to the yachts in the lagoon. Barbara, the owner was around making sure all went as well as can be expected on a busy opening night. Would definitely go back next trip and hope that the tent is gone and some kind of windows/doors to the lagoon are installed.
Tuesday another first, Jimbo's. Never had been before fajitas were excellent, as was the service.
Wednesday El Zafiro, but cruise ships were in and visiting there along with heavy down pour, back to SBR Beach, cleared up good day. Our second dinner at No Where Special, again excellent food and service. Their scalloped potatoes are excellent along with the mahi mahi. Great place, but restrooms are a bit of a walk.
Thursday, last full day, El Zafiro and dinner at Visna Taverna, both excellent.
Friday, Marina pool and check out, picked up sandwiches at Peli Deli, Bob Barron picked up chairs and umbrellas. Off to White Sands Rd again, only this time to drop off our rental at AAA. Met Allain's son Guilleme and paid the reasonable bill and a ride to SXM.
Check in was a breeze, got there about 12:30 for a 3:18 flight. Went through everything in less than ten minutes. Waited in the second level, where there are three small restaurants. Domino's, a burger place and a small sandwich counter. Went downstairs to the gate after JetBlue to JFK was called, probably a mistake, Much more seating upstairs and much better pa system. You can definitely stay upstairs and hear your flight get called and go down and make it easier on yourself, as you probably are taking a bus out to your plane. Plane loaded and set to take off at 3:35, but didn't take off until after 4;00, but other than that. everything went well.
Made CLT got through Customs and Immigration in less than 5 minutes thanks to Global Entry.
All in all it was great to get back to Saint Martin and enjoy the beauty of the island and its great people.
Sorry about length and thanks for taking time to read.

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1 hour ago where to get dry rub ribs [by RonDon]
Where is the best place on island for dry ribs?
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3 hours ago STT to VGI on March 22 [by JPSailTrim]
We will be arriving in St Thomas on 3/22 and staying on Virgin Gorda that night. I am looking at the various routes and see just having 2 people seems to be an issue. Air Sunshine won't open the flight from St Thomas to VGI for just two people. Water taxis are going to charge for a minimum of 4 people. So I am wondering if anyone else is going to Virgin Gorda the same day who might be willing to share a water taxi?

Also, if Air Sunshine won't take my reservation for just two people, do I just keep checking back to see if say, 4 people have booked and now they will add the 2 of us? What other airlines are flying to Virgin Gorda as of now?

Unless I'm not seeing it, it doesn't look like there is a ferry from STT to Virgin Gorda on Fridays.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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5 hours ago HGTV Sunday [by biglar]
Looks like a new program on HGTV at 8:00 PM, Eastern Time from St. Martin tonight. For those that haven't been on the island since the storm it may be a chance to see what the island looks like. It's on Beachfront Bargain Hunt.
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8 hours ago Couple tips [by Tom]
Just got home last night and will do trip report later but two items fresh in my mind that I wanted to pass along.
1. One of the biggest complaints from a number of people is that current information printed in brochures and magazines is not accurate about restaurants being open. This includes hours of operation and phone numbers that are out of service. These publications are all dated 2019 so check before you venture out.
2. Departure at airport was crazy. No serious delay going through security/customs/immigration. But then the fun begins. Waiting area more than filled to capacity. People milling around waiting for a seat. Good news is that there is a bar and a couple food places but you could end up eating on the floor. Next, don't try to go to Boarding Area downstairs until they announce your flight. You will be prevented from moving to that area until your flight is announced (yes, they will check your boarding pass). When you do enter Boarding Area, you will join the mass of wall to wall people packed in like sardines, all trying to get to their gate. When given the OK, you will board buses to aircraft, again packed to maximum. Forget any priority boarding status, more like "mob boarding".
1. We will never travel to and from SXM on Saturday or Sunday again. Whatever the cost to change our timeshare weeks will be worth it.
2. Getting to airport earlier than 2-3 hour recommended really gains nothing.
3. Knowing the situation in advance may help prepare you, as will additional rum or whatever else will work.
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Yesterday at 07:34 PM Chartering in BVI vs out of St. martin [by harleybuffett]
Good afternoon, I posted this on SXM forum but didn't have any luck, so I thought I'd try here...or maybe they're just stupid questions smile We've chartered in the BVI a few times and now might want to try out of St. Martin. I've researched some but am wondering about grocery/alcohol prices and cruising taxes, etc... Way more expensive there or about the same? Thank you in advance for any information!
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Yesterday at 06:12 PM Trellis Bay Crowds [by Capt. D]
Just arrived for 6 day charter with Sunsail. First in 6 years, and hopping to make Trellis Bay for Full Moon on Monday 1/21. How early do I need to arrive to snag a ball? We have dive reservations for Tuesday to rendezvous at Salt Island. Is morning run practical to get there by 9 from Trellis? Planning to leave Road Town tomorrow (Sunday) to Cooper, Trellis, Leverick, Anegada, JVD, then return Friday.
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Yesterday at 06:06 PM Post-Irma shade trees on the beach [by ggffrr11]
The boss has demanded I ask this question. (Who holds higher rank: the boss or the captain?) Anyway, the boss wants to know about the post-Irma shade tree situation at Cooper and Norman/Bight. In the past, she has spent most of her time lounging under a tree on the various beaches. She saw a recent video which seems to encourage a "bring your own umbrella plan". thx
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Yesterday at 03:19 PM Coco Beach restaurant [by JML47]
Does anyone know if Coco Beach restaurant will be re-built or something similar?
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