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A few observations so far this trip....... #128648
04/28/2017 09:49 AM
04/28/2017 09:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,786
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
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pat  Offline OP
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Brookfield, CT.
Things I've noticed so far this trip......

Traffic, if you pay attention to the bridge and causeway posted opening times, doesn't seem so bad his trip, with the exception of the one night it took us an hour twenty to get from The Towers to The Royal Palm? And avoiding certain areas at certain times helps, too.

More holidays than I have ever paid attention to before. We had all the Easter closures over the Good Friday to Easter Monday span and yesterday was another holiday - perhaps Labor Day? - or maybe something else. And this coming weekend is another holiday weekend - something to do with Carnival (or not?) and while they used to add on the queens Birthday to that one, it's still a long weekend but no one we've asked seems to know who or why they're celebrating it.

It seems many of the huge yachts seem to be mostly all headed off to greener pastures, or perhaps that should read deeper waters.....but the big yachts we typically see this time of year are mostly gone and the marinas around Simpson Bay seem almost naked of the big ones. I mean, there are still some, but just not the numbers and sizes we're used to seeing at this time of year. And we do come this time of year EVERY year.

And in the past, with all these holidays there were always so many business closures, not counting the restaurants which are almost always open. Now days it seems like the only ones really benefitting from these holidays are government and bank workers and office personnel in some places. Most businesses - grocery stores, jewelry stores and other places that cater more to the tourist trades - seem to be open and must just bite the bullet in paying their workers the higher rates for holiday pay. And the beaches don't seem to be as crowded either. Perhaps the rains over Easter weekend took its toll as well. But at least Mullet wasn't such a huge mess as in previous years. Perhaps the locals are learning.......

And while I can't say this for certain with reference to Philipsburg, there just don't seem to be the larger number of people out and about in the evenings. We were easily able to find parking in Grand Case when we stopped at Calmos for sunset drinks, and each evening as we've driven through Maho the sidewalks are empty. Most of the restaurants in Simpson Bay have had out front parking spots during dinner hour as we've driven by. Princess Casino was pretty much dead and Casino Royale wasn't much busier. With reference to Mano, I think Mr. Spadero really killed the rest of the area by making his resorts AI. There's just no foot traffic, or at least not much of it.

And I'm sure I'll think of other changes but these seem to be the most obvious that come to mind, for now at least...... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
SXM Sponsors
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128649
04/28/2017 09:54 AM
04/28/2017 09:54 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,059
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
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Interesting observations. Thanks.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2021
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128650
04/28/2017 09:58 AM
04/28/2017 09:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,514
Ohio
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Ohio
The one constant is change.


J.D.
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128651
04/28/2017 11:24 AM
04/28/2017 11:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,892
Central Florida!
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Yesterday was King's Day--the King's birthday.


Carol Hill
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: Carol_Hill] #128652
04/28/2017 11:34 AM
04/28/2017 11:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,786
Brookfield, CT.
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Maybe I should get a newspaper - at least then I might know these things. Or not since I would then need to read it and that would require an element of concentration and that might take too much effort at this point. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128653
04/28/2017 11:38 AM
04/28/2017 11:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,892
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Well, as far as the King's birthday, there WASN'T a paper yesterday, so you didn't miss anything! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: Carol_Hill] #128654
04/28/2017 12:14 PM
04/28/2017 12:14 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 437
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
K
KGB Offline
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
In reference to the Sonesta Maho resort: when we first discovered the island back in 2005, that's where we were staying- an AI package with one of the Canadian charter holidays company, don't remember now exactly. The place was booming and alive, bars are full of people at night partying. Never stayed there ever since but noticed that every other year the place were going down the hill very fast. A few years ago, it was completely dead. But this year visit was a surprise. We noticed that the place was renovated, people are back at the bars. But the traffic on a sidewalks was very little.


"Often Wrong, Never in Doubt"
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128655
04/28/2017 02:07 PM
04/28/2017 02:07 PM
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Posts: 355
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our observation as to some dead resturants and casino, is there seem to be less people or should I say tourists as past years. We have seen much busier years for sure... As for traffic? Traffic can be murder certain times of day, especially from 4pm to 6. But that's people getting out of work. Especially airport road. Husband and I actually turned around and headed back home on many occasions... But all in all, I believe less travelers on Island...

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: KGB] #128656
04/28/2017 03:45 PM
04/28/2017 03:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,786
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
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pat  Offline OP
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I could be wrong but I believe back then AI was optional for most visitors, particularly those from the States, and particularly when not purchased as a package deal. The Canadians have some very nice air, hotel and meal packages at prices better than we can usually find.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128657
04/28/2017 06:26 PM
04/28/2017 06:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 300
CT
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In February we did notice the foot traffic in Maho was lighter than usual but thought it was just a fluke- guess not. I'd hate to see that area all closed up. We spend a lot of evenings walking around the area to burn up the calories from dinner before we get our dose of gelato!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: MamaB] #128658
04/29/2017 07:06 AM
04/29/2017 07:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 331
Detroit Area
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Sadly I wonder if what has happened to Marigot is now happening to the entire island.
Noneffective law and order policies and the stories you hear/read in the forums and newspapers gives you that uneasy feeling you get (at least I get) when walking through a big city that has crime issues (Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, etc). People go on vacation to feel less apprehensive not more apprehensive so maybe they are going to other destinations (or as Pat said greener pastures).

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: MamaB] #128659
04/29/2017 01:15 PM
04/29/2017 01:15 PM
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Posts: 21
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I just returned from the island on the April 28th and I must say this will be my last trip there. I have been vacationing in St Maarten since 1981 and while I know things change one of my former favorite places is a shadow of its former self. The overbuilding, lack of zoning codes, crime, drugs, corrupt government officials, escalating prices and general demise of the island is sad to say the least. Couple those facts with the lack of any protection for timeshare owners are a testamate to the sad state of affairs for a once pristine island escape. Orient beach has become no more than a carnival scene, Cupecoy Beach is a cement jungle and the once quiet Mullet Bay is littered by cruise ship day trippers on their pay as you go catamaran rides. I don't mean to be a downer but that is the way I see it and I will be taking my dollars somewhere else in the years to come. Anyone looking for a quiet, old world Caribbean experience would be better served to search out other options.

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128660
04/29/2017 02:03 PM
04/29/2017 02:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,222
Connecticut
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One thing we did notice on our 4 day vacation, which was suppose to be busy season, is that we had no problem with traffic and finding a parking place near the restaurants that we went to.
The only crowded place was the Greenhouse. That place is always packed! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: mchalem] #128661
04/29/2017 02:50 PM
04/29/2017 02:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,892
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Sorry that you won't be returning to SXM. Where do you plan on vacationing in the future?


Carol Hill
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: mchalem] #128662
04/30/2017 08:03 AM
04/30/2017 08:03 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,786
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
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pat  Offline OP
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Quote
mchalem said:
I just returned from the island on the April 28th and I must say this will be my last trip there. I have been vacationing in St Maarten since 1981 and while I know things change one of my former favorite places is a shadow of its former self. The overbuilding, lack of zoning codes, crime, drugs, corrupt government officials, escalating prices and general demise of the island is sad to say the least. Couple those facts with the lack of any protection for timeshare owners are a testamate to the sad state of affairs for a once pristine island escape. Orient beach has become no more than a carnival scene, Cupecoy Beach is a cement jungle and the once quiet Mullet Bay is littered by cruise ship day trippers on their pay as you go catamaran rides. I don't mean to be a downer but that is the way I see it and I will be taking my dollars somewhere else in the years to come. Anyone looking for a quiet, old world Caribbean experience would be better served to search out other options.


I can't (and wouldn't if I could....) argue all the points you've raised in your observations - they are all legitimate and mostly justified.

But that said, we first 'discovered' our little piece of paradise here in 1973 and while we've visited so many other destinations, this is the only one, even with all its warts and blemishes, that beckons us back still every year. I mostly agree with all you've said but that said, none of the other destinations we've experienced has the allure we still find here.

I truly hope you're able to find and enjoy that place you're in search of, but in the meantime, Shalom. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128663
04/30/2017 12:42 PM
04/30/2017 12:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 310
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We found more of a "revival" of Grand Case. Restos and bars busy. More choice of lodgings. Money seems to be coming into the neighborhood

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128664
04/30/2017 01:21 PM
04/30/2017 01:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,875
Boynton Beach, FL
EdB Offline
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I whole heartedly agree with pat and her observations. we first visited back in 89....after visiting a bunch of the different islands and destinations including mexico and other carib islands. although we liked the other places when there...the only place we have gone back to...year after year...after year...is St. Martin. Yes, it has gotten more built up...but what hasn't. There is no island with as many choices of beaches....food...and overall night life. yes, there is more crime reports....but show me anywhere in the world that this is not the case. We have been visting our second home for three weeks annually ....and hope to remain doing that for many many years to come. As for Orient....we spent 17 out of our 21 days at Orient beach...and never once felt it was overcrowded...or a ''carnival'' like atmosphere. Mullett is a great beach...and so what if a few catamarans come and visit? the fun part is when they are there for their brief encounters, they come with free drinks...and will usually ''share'' with people on the beach. smile Grand Case has seen a big ''resurrection'' over the last couple of years...and it has become a much ''safer'' place to dine once again. Marigot, has become a ''ghost town'' at night, so we have stopped visiting there after sunset. The rules in SXM are easy...don't become a target....leave your valuable and showy jewelry at home. Getting all dressed up, and flashing money and jewelry will probably get you in some sort of trouble. why look for trouble???? We look forward to our time on SXM every year, and start to countdown the weeks as soon as we return. In fact....in 46 weeks, God willing, we will be back ''home''.

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: EdB] #128665
04/30/2017 09:31 PM
04/30/2017 09:31 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 21
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"Sorry that you won't be returning to SXM. Where do you plan on vacationing in the future?"

I am considering a Turks and Caicos and or Cuba

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: mchalem] #128666
05/01/2017 12:35 AM
05/01/2017 12:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,875
Boynton Beach, FL
EdB Offline
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Mchalem.......Cuba??? you think that island is safer than SXM????? wow......have fun

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: EdB] #128667
05/01/2017 08:15 AM
05/01/2017 08:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,892
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Actually, I hear that Cuba is very safe. I personally would love to go there to see it anyway.


Carol Hill
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: EdB] #128668
05/01/2017 08:22 AM
05/01/2017 08:22 AM
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EdB

Why don't you expound on your experiences on the safety of Cuba. Don't comment unless you have the experience and know what you are talking about.

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: mchalem] #128669
05/01/2017 09:08 AM
05/01/2017 09:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,786
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
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Hey! Guys!

Cuba is on my short list, too, though it seems a lot of hassle to get there legally right now.

But........

My thread - my rules.

You want to bicker please do it in your own space. Just sayin... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: pat] #128670
05/01/2017 11:24 AM
05/01/2017 11:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,222
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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Quote
pat said:
Hey! Guys!

Cuba is on my short list, too, though it seems a lot of hassle to get there legally right now.

But........

My thread - my rules.

You want to bicker please do it in your own space. Just sayin... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />
I needed a good laugh today!!

<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/smashpc.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Yikes.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: mchalem] #128671
05/01/2017 12:19 PM
05/01/2017 12:19 PM
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Posts: 7,357
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I found Cuba very safe AND extremely easy to get to. You just had to watch out for the cab fare pricing ( but that is controllable, too much next cab please).

Wendell

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: EdB] #128672
05/01/2017 06:14 PM
05/01/2017 06:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,907
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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Yes, Cuba is definitely safer than SXM in every way. If you have not been there, you can't fully appreciate what that island has to offer. If you have been there, you are definitely missing something in that comment.




Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: islandgem] #128673
05/01/2017 08:31 PM
05/01/2017 08:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,875
Boynton Beach, FL
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i was just commenting on the island itself. You cannot convince me that Cuba is a safe non crime island. Just look at the Cuban sections of cities here in the USA. I do want to visit there sometime...but will not get fooled into believing that no crime happens there. I have personally not experienced crime in SXM...does that mean it is safe there???? NO......one must use caution wherever they are...at anyplace in the world.

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: EdB] #128674
05/01/2017 11:32 PM
05/01/2017 11:32 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 461
Central Coast, CA
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Ed, I have developed certain beliefs during my travels, and one is that tourists are generally very safe visiting totalitarian countries where the government is in control. Cuba fits that description, even with some easing of the old ways. Law and order prevails, and even petty crime can be severely punished.

If you really want to visit and are concerned about crime, sooner may be safer than later.

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: cruzer] #128675
05/02/2017 02:27 PM
05/02/2017 02:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,892
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Ed--an offtopic post here has been moved to SXM People Talk.


Carol Hill
Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: Carol_Hill] #128676
05/02/2017 03:08 PM
05/02/2017 03:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,875
Boynton Beach, FL
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k..thanks...but the thread, did take a turn about the crime.....so it was relevant.

Re: A few observations so far this trip....... [Re: EdB] #128677
05/02/2017 03:17 PM
05/02/2017 03:17 PM
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Posts: 71,892
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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..most of which had nothing to do with SXM.


Carol Hill

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