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How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? #194608
05/11/2019 04:17 PM
05/11/2019 04:17 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 727
Conway, SC 29526
bigbobthib Offline OP
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bigbobthib  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 727
Conway, SC 29526
I can with three other couples in the 80's. We rented from the Villa Lady in Beacon Hill. My wife and I have returned over 30 years. Sxm is our destination for our anniversary! circle

SXM Sponsors
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194610
05/11/2019 04:39 PM
05/11/2019 04:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 409
Rhode Island
Bluesfan Offline
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Bluesfan  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 409
Rhode Island
1993. Bought week at Pelican then cancelled. Didn't feel right. Went home. Friends videoed LaVista for us. Bought a week, every other year, shoulder season, sight unseen. Next year we realized we wanted to come every year, and in February. Bought one of the new penthouse units at LaVista .After Luis, when LaVista announced plans for LaVista Beach on site of damaged house, we traded and bought 3 weeks at LVB. Been going every year, Feb into March. Added weeks in our unit when they became available. Now up to 5 weeks one year, 6 the next. Look forward to our visit all year. Made some great friends.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194614
05/11/2019 06:02 PM
05/11/2019 06:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 225
Cow Hampshire
shaggy77 Offline
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shaggy77  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 225
Cow Hampshire
November 2001. Got a chance when another couple backed out of the trip after 9/11. We lucked out and stayed at Villa Coccinelle at Orient. There were 3 other couples. My wife and I were immediately hooked. We went back 2 more times with other couple to the same villa. Haven't been back since 2009, we started a family and have been waiting for our son to be old enough to enjoy and remember it. I asked him this past year "do you wanna go back to disney and the disney cruise or go to an island where we can eat amazing foods and not wear clothes on a beach?" Disney went right out the window. We are planning on 2020!!!!


"if you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do"
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194617
05/11/2019 06:48 PM
05/11/2019 06:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,422
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,422
Brookfield, CT.
It was 1973 and we were just kids - mid twenties - we managed to win an all expense paid week long trip (air, hotel at the then pristine Mullet Bay Resort and all meals plus three cocktail parties and a rental car for a day) to the ‘Friendly island’ which we had never heard of. It was the most expensive ‘free’ trip anyone ever won since we’ve gone back almost every year since. We bought timeshare in the mid to late eighties and as is so often the case, we started with one week and worked our way up to four. Due to the problems from Irma we walked away from three of our four weeks and are right back where we started with our original week and unit which someday I hope to be able to use again. But in the meantime we’ve found other destinations across the island we really love, some even for less rental fees than our timeshare. We still go generally twice a year for at least two weeks each trip. Don’t know how much longer we’ll be doing it but for now, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194618
05/11/2019 07:07 PM
05/11/2019 07:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 170
S
StMartinFan Offline
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StMartinFan  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 170
We came for our kids' (ages 5 and 7) spring break in 1996, the year after Hurricane Luis. We fell in love with the island and bought a timeshare week at Divi, despite the fact that much of the resort still needed renovation. We've returned every year except 3 since. It's a special place for our daughters, too, who are now almost 30, and they (and our new son in law) join us when ever they can. We now stay for 2 weeks and have enjoyed renting apartments on the French side to enjoy a different experience.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194622
05/11/2019 08:02 PM
05/11/2019 08:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 561
Michigan
DDnBob Offline
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DDnBob  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 561
Michigan
We started coming October 2002 on our 30th anniversary. We were intrigued with the fact that it was a two country island. We stayed at the L'Esplanade and from that time forward we have come every year, sometimes twice a year, and we always stay at the l'Esplanade on the French side. We would never stay anywhere else. We absolutely love every part of St. Martin.




[Linked Image]

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194623
05/11/2019 08:54 PM
05/11/2019 08:54 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,141
JimCandD Offline
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JimCandD  Offline
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Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,141
We came in February of 2009 for a once in a lifetime beach vacation. We discovered Orient beach as well as the rest of the island and we went home encountering major depression until reserving time in June. We only missed one year (due to medical reasons) until that bad lady Irma. We are still in the planning stages for future forays. We love the island with all its quirks and can’t wait to go back with the friends we have made there! Beware - the island is habit forming!

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194624
05/11/2019 09:05 PM
05/11/2019 09:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 934
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 934
USVI
I found SXM on a nautical chart -- sailed in for the 1st time in 1976 in the dark and anchored in Simpson bay. left at 1st light for St Barth's - same chart.
Been back many times since - both sides - have enjoyed Marigot more than Phillipsburg and the find the food and provisioning more my style on the French Side. I have always felt the dry and dusty terrain of the island to be less attractive than the bigger, more lush islands. But it has a fine boating community and some excellent vessel services. Usually rent a car for a day or two to travel around and sightsee between errands. It certainly has become quite developed and much busier in my 40+ years of stopping there and my visits are less frequent the last 10 years. There are still some good prices to be had on French wines by the case and although the grocery variety has increased the prices are not as attractive anymore. We used to stock up on the Dutch cheeses for instance. The overwhelming mega-yacht traffic has dramatically changed the boating sector direction and the hurricanes have proved the Lagoon is not the safe haven it once was thought to be. The airports are convenient for crew travel to both the US and Europe.
after reading the previous replies I admit I had no idea it was such a popular timeshare destination but that does explain a lot of the change I have seen.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194625
05/11/2019 09:15 PM
05/11/2019 09:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 970
PA
biglar Offline
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biglar  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 970
PA
Carol and I began coming in 2000 when I asked another fellow what 2 islands would you go to if you had the chance. He had traveled for years and years and suggested St. Thomas and St. Martin. So, my best friend for over 50 years, who had taught school with me for 35 years and had both just retired, and our wives, made our first trip to the Caribbean. Carol and I have been coming back to SXM every year since with more than one trip a year during a few of those years. We first stayed at the Mecure Simpson. All four of us loaded all our luggage in the rental car and with directions that the rental company gave us, headed to the resort. We pulled in to the place and had to go over a speed island. The car was so low to the road with all the luggage and the 4 or us that we got hung up on the bump. Everyone had to get out as well as the luggage so I could get over the bump. We were the only people in the place that spoke English. They had to get a cook in the restaurant to come to our table so we could order. Our friends had enough of the island, but we certainly haven't. We have been on the island for just about 3 weeks now and today we made a visit to Philipsburg to buy a few things, eat crepês along the boardwalk, visit with Kathy who has Grandma's Gift Shop near The Green House and tell all the people who try and hand Carol something outside a shop that she is extremely allergic to the ink on the cards. Hard not to laugh when she does it, but it works every time. One ship in today, but the streets were empty. So sad to see that!

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194626
05/11/2019 10:25 PM
05/11/2019 10:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,159
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline
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charlieh  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,159
Greensboro, NC
1987 for us. It because of an airline deal for the flight and hotel rooms. We also ventured over to St. Barts for a day. After 1987, St. Barts became our Carib destination for about 20 years, and of course, we always flew into SXM.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194631
05/12/2019 04:45 AM
05/12/2019 04:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 14,237
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 14,237
Ohio
1991 on a Carnival cruise. First time staying over was 1994 and have only missed 1-2 years since.


J.D.
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194633
05/12/2019 05:46 AM
05/12/2019 05:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,409
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,409
Massachusetts
First visit was in 1998 on an II exchange into one of the now departed Simpson Bay Resort C buildings. Exchanged again for the next five years until my father in law couldn't come any more and let us use his 5th floor upper B building unit with a fantastic view. We eventually took over AMF payments and got the ownership deed in 2008.

We have been going the second and third weeks in January ever since (minus Irma). . We have made lots of tennis and beach friends and have seen a lot of changes on the Island.

We would never exchange SBR for anywhere else. That's what our Las Vegas unit is for.

Last edited by boucharda; 05/12/2019 07:14 AM.
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194634
05/12/2019 05:56 AM
05/12/2019 05:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,532
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,532
Auburn, WA
First on a cruise in '89 and 4 more cruise stops before extended staying on island in '99 on a RCI exchange.and every year since. Missed 1 year to go to Hawaii which was a big mistake. On island now and loving being back.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194636
05/12/2019 06:14 AM
05/12/2019 06:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,261
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,261
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Won a trip in 1985 when I worked for Xerox. First couple years stayed at Dawn Beach Resort. Switched to Belair Beach Hotel, where we eventually bought time shares. We returned every year for our annual family vacation December/January, except Irma aftermath. We are about to buy tickets for 2019/2020.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194637
05/12/2019 06:18 AM
05/12/2019 06:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 265
East Haven, CT
Wingman Offline
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Wingman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 265
East Haven, CT
Mine began in 1970, my parents bought a villa at Mullet Bay. I was a teenager then. Been coming every year, at least twice since. Luckily, my parents sold their villa 6 months BEFORE Luis. I was so angry with them at the time. They were not using it as much, but I was, they told me now that I'm an adult, I was on my own, that I could still go on my own...lol. The year after Luis I stayed at Cupecoy. A family friend who also used to stay at Mullet told me they had discovered another place to stay, BSV. I checked it out the year we were at Cupecoy and have been staying at BSV ever since then.

Last edited by Wingman; 05/12/2019 06:20 AM.
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194638
05/12/2019 06:23 AM
05/12/2019 06:23 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,532
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,532
Auburn, WA
Our first stay was at Belair too and took a tour of new construction at Flamingo and bought there.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194639
05/12/2019 06:28 AM
05/12/2019 06:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,234
Cincinnati area
Cincinnati_Kid Offline
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Cincinnati_Kid  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,234
Cincinnati area
Roslyn and I, the two kids stopped here on a carnival cruise in 1992. Loved mullet beach.
Bought a timeshare in for Aruba Divi in 1998 and alternated years ever since.

Don
Will be in sxm in two weeks.


Paradise is an island in the Caribbean!
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194641
05/12/2019 06:57 AM
05/12/2019 06:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 50
G
greg1 Offline
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greg1  Offline
Traveler
G
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 50
Since 2005. Flew on Delta, Eastern and American. Cant' wait to return in 2020.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194642
05/12/2019 07:07 AM
05/12/2019 07:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 319
South Coast of MA
S
SXMBND Offline
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SXMBND  Offline
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S
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 319
South Coast of MA
My "compensation" for constructing a new home for a very ill and now departed dear friend was the use of one of his weeks at The Towers. This was in 1998 ...... I've been back every year but one (Irma) staying in a variety of T/S's & Condo's mostly in the Cupecoy area. Goal is to purchase a permanent "home" on the island in the not to distant future. My friend warned me that this place was addictive.............. groovin

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194644
05/12/2019 07:18 AM
05/12/2019 07:18 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 464
Tellico Village, TN
jrr1148 Offline
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jrr1148  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 464
Tellico Village, TN
Cindy and I first visited in 1984 by virtue of an American Airlines 4 days 3 nights plan. Stayed at Cupecoy (in a unit across the road from the main Cupecoy complex) On a trip to Phillipsburg on a rainy day were approached by a young woman and signed up for a tour of Pelican Resort. Bought two units in the Caladium building for week 8 in preconstruction. Later acquired week 9 on one of the units via private sale). Returned practically every year since (missing about three due to personal finances and illness). Weathered through the financial problems at Pelican, Luis and Marilyn, and the change of ownership to Simpson Bay Resorts. All was great until IRMA. Our building was one of the three declared severely damaged and torn down. We were offered points for our loss, but we picked our units for that specific time and location. We will be returning this week but staying at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort by using some banked weeks.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194645
05/12/2019 07:18 AM
05/12/2019 07:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 269
CT,USA
DICKG Offline
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DICKG  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 269
CT,USA
We came in 1985 our 15th Anniversary ,i heard about glass wall between the bedroom and shower and thought it sounded interesting it was the San Tropaz ( spelling may not be correct ) on the French side we were the only people from the USA had a great time went back the next year met some great friends and have been coming back ever since over 38 years and counting 2 week at a time we now stay at villas with our friends ( 4 couples ) last year I brought my 3 daughter and husbands for week and all enjoyed . We will be back in late October / November for #39 love this place.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194648
05/12/2019 08:36 AM
05/12/2019 08:36 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 418
B
bran Online content
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bran  Online Content
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B
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 418
1979. Stayed in Anguilla(then it was truly unspoiled paradise) and took the ferry over to SXM and had my first ever taste of foie gras and have been hooked on French food and culture ever since. Been coming back and forwards but not every year apart from the last 6 years where we rent a villa 2-3 times a year in Terres Basses. Nearly brought a villa would you believe just before Irma which was held up by the sellers so fate took a part as it was badly damaged and offered to us at a knockdown price but decided not to purchase regardless. Call it Karma. Had owned a place in St. Thomas for 25 years but was lucky to sell 2 years ago. Been virtually all over the Caribbean and SXM ticks all the boxes now. Back in 9 days for three weeks with 4 days in Anguilla. I actually have lost 35lbs in 11 weeks so I can stuff my face for a few weeks, unfortunately, had my first real meal last night and stomach not used to it, so perhaps I will curtail my eating plans. Such a tough life!! Got to know the owners of L'Auberge, Le Cigale, Tropicana and so many other owners of stores, restaurants etc and the struggles they have been through and understand. Its almost like coming back to close family. Been through Wilma and Irma where we have also taken direct hits and has not been funny at all.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194650
05/12/2019 09:04 AM
05/12/2019 09:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
First trip to SXM on a cruise on Carnival Celebration, 1987. We never left Front Street!! laugh Went to Club Orient for the first time I think in 1989, not sure which ship we were on. Several cruises to SXM after that, stayed on island for the first time in February 1995, 7 months prior to Luis, stayed at Green Cay Villas. Many, many more trips since then, both on cruises and more recently, just staying on island. Stayed at a couple dozen different places all over the island over the years. Our needs have changed over the years. Now, Beachside Villas has everything we want. ...EXCEPT this next trip we'll be doing a private villa, for the first time NOT staying at BSV in a while. We've been to pretty much every island in the Caribbean, many of them multiple times on cruises. No place has our heart like SXM.


Carol Hill
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194652
05/12/2019 09:16 AM
05/12/2019 09:16 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 554
S
SammyM Offline
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SammyM  Offline
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S
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 554
Back in 1981 friends of ours came here on their honeymoon, and when they returned they told us how beautiful it was. We were married that same year, but went elsewhere on our honeymoon. But, for our one year anniversary we made our initial visit and realized that we would be coming back many, many times in the future. We had to pick our spots once children came along in 1986, and a potential visit in 1996 was disrupted by Hurricane Luis. But, cruise ship ports-of-call with Princess and Celebrity began in 2003, including one that was an overnight stay. Finally, cruise ship visits were not enough and in 2009 (or so) we started annual visits ranging from five to ten days as time allotted. Hurricane Irma resulted in a two-year hiatus for us, but we last returned in March and will soon plan our next visit to the island ... maybe this fall.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194653
05/12/2019 09:24 AM
05/12/2019 09:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,767
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Todd  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,767
Vancouver, WA
In the late 70's and very early 80's I visited Antigua, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands on different trips. Eastern Airlines deals that my family took advantage of, I really enjoyed or you could say fell in love with the Caribbean Islands. MJ grew up going to Hawaii, which we visited earlier in our travels but I wanted to get her to the Caribbean and we won Delta Airlines tickets so we used them to get to St Thomas which must have been about 2001. MJ fell in love with the Caribbean and then again in 2002 we won Delta tickets and made the decision that we would book to Puerto Rico and then where ever we got a decent timeshare exchange we would pick that island and it happened to be the Divi on SXM. We have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 nights on island since and it is the place we go to relax and recharge our mental state. We were doing two trips per year for a while but we are now just down usually to our three weeks with the November Gang starting Thanksgiving week while with our other vacation weeks we are trying to take the time to visit other parts of the world but none are as relaxing as SXM. So many great friendships have been created in those trips, we are lucky.

Cheers,
Todd


“It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it.” Coach Pat Summitt (at least that is who I heard if from)
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194663
05/12/2019 12:16 PM
05/12/2019 12:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,422
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,422
Brookfield, CT.
So Thanksgiving arrival again this year for you two? We leave for home on the 19th. Wondering if we’ll ever cross paths again.......


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194665
05/12/2019 12:29 PM
05/12/2019 12:29 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 792
Cobourg Ontario Canada
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jeepers Offline
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jeepers  Offline
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J
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 792
Cobourg Ontario Canada
How did we find SXM? Well, we got on an airplane in Toronto & asked the pilot to take us to St Maarten. 😁
Seriously though, my husband researched an island that had similar culture to ours ,, safety reviews & beautiful pictures of Mont Vernon & the island, consistently great weather. Travel books from tourist agency. Mont Vernon was a fabulous AI in the day. Sat on balcony & looked down Orient beach & found Le Taitu & La Main a la Pate while staying there. Bongo Byron restaurant on Orient with the parrot.
First time there 1998 & 20 trips to date. Next trip January 2020. A special year for us. I'll turn 70 & we will be married 50 years in August 2020. Lots to celebrate while on island ahead of time!

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194666
05/12/2019 12:52 PM
05/12/2019 12:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 29
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Bigdaddy Offline
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Bigdaddy  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 29
Cruise ship in 1979. Bought pre construction at Divi ($5400 for a one bedroom) while staying in the hotel in 1987 and never missed a year since. We started making 2 trips each year since 1997.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194669
05/12/2019 01:33 PM
05/12/2019 01:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 451
SW Florida
Jerry_R Offline
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Jerry_R  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 451
SW Florida
2000 was our 1st visit. It was a timeshare trade for X-mas/New Year's week into Pelican. 16 or so visits over the last 19 years.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194674
05/12/2019 02:55 PM
05/12/2019 02:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,222
Rhode Island
RonDon Online content
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RonDon  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,222
Rhode Island
February 1979 was I our first trip---recommended by a travel agent. We just completed our 40th this past march. Sometimes the trip is one week, sometimes two and once was three weeks.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194678
05/12/2019 03:27 PM
05/12/2019 03:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 74
Florida
pixiedust Offline
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pixiedust  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 74
Florida
We first discovered St. Martin in 2003 on a cruise ship. We immediately fell in love with Orient Beach! We actually got online and reasearched flights from St. Martin back to Florida and were consisering grabbing our luggage off the cruise ship and staying in Orient Beach a few more days. Unfortunately, since it was Christmas weekend, flights were crazy and we got back on the ship. After that, we returned in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010 for week - long vacations. We stayed at Club O twice, Palm Court once, and rented an apartment in Orient Village once. Then life got crazy, family vacations were geared more toward Disney or cruise ships, and we haven’t been back in almost 9 years (other than two day trips on cruise ships). I just booked our 25th wedding anniversary trip - four nights in Palm Court in July! I can’t wait!

Last edited by pixiedust; 05/12/2019 03:28 PM.
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: pat] #194684
05/12/2019 04:36 PM
05/12/2019 04:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,767
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Todd  Offline
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Vancouver, WA
Pat, we land on the 22nd this year, again we will miss you two. Not sure if you were asking us or Bigbobthib but at some point I am sure we will meet up again. SXM or elsewhere.


“It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it.” Coach Pat Summitt (at least that is who I heard if from)
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194690
05/12/2019 05:51 PM
05/12/2019 05:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 184
garycal Offline
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garycal  Offline
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Posts: 184
Our first visit was in 1995, pre Luis. Stayed at Green Cay Village. We were inspired to visit SXM by Carol Hill. Did not return again until 2002 and then every year afterward until Irma hit. Hurricanes seem to affect our SXM plans.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194692
05/12/2019 06:27 PM
05/12/2019 06:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,353
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Bahston Offline
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We first visited in the early 80's on a business trip, staying at Mullet Bay. We took day trips over to Anguilla and St Barth, and decided that between the three islands, the area was a great fit for us. We've been back 2-3 times a year ever since, sometimes St Maarten/St Martin, sometimes St Barth, and Anguilla every few years.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: Bahston] #194700
05/13/2019 01:59 AM
05/13/2019 01:59 AM
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Bahston Offline
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Originally Posted by Bahston
We first visited in the early 80's on a business trip, staying at Mullet Bay. We took day trips over to Anguilla and St Barth, and decided that between the three islands, the area was a great fit for us. We've been back 2-3 times a year ever since, sometimes St Maarten/St Martin, sometimes St Barth, and Anguilla every few years.


I forgot to mention one thing. Along the way, I ran into Ray Ousley (now deceased). Some loved him, some hated him, but he sure did bring something extra to the party, LOL. I've got stories, but those are cocktail-hour stories, not online stories. But oh man, the fun that was raised!

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194705
05/13/2019 07:16 AM
05/13/2019 07:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 184
Clarksville, Maryland
KarenandRick Offline
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KarenandRick  Offline
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Posts: 184
Clarksville, Maryland
First year 1999. 2nd son's 1st birthday. Oldest son 2 1/2 years old. My in-laws built a home in Orient Bay Resort. We travel to SXM on average once a year. Returning end of August after our 3rd child leaves for college! The kids are now 22, 21, and 18. We are about to become empty nesters. Many more trips to SXM in my head! Favorite place on Earth!

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: Bahston] #194708
05/13/2019 07:49 AM
05/13/2019 07:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Bahston--never met Ray, but sure remember some stories! What was that saying he used to say?


Carol Hill
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: Carol_Hill] #194715
05/13/2019 08:30 AM
05/13/2019 08:30 AM
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Posts: 1,353
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Bahston Offline
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Bahston--never met Ray, but sure remember some stories! What was that saying he used to say?


There was something about Sand Gravity, which I can’t recall at the moment. It’ll come to me eventually.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194717
05/13/2019 08:51 AM
05/13/2019 08:51 AM
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Bahston Offline
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Carol, it was the Dreaded Island Fever. Here’s his description, as preserved by Jamaica Jim:

DIF is a real, not imagined, affliction which is contracted by first time visitors to the Caribbean! People contracting the disease usually start showing symptoms within the first twenty-four hours of first setting foot on a Caribbean island. The initial symptom is an uncontrollable urge to lay on a beach and do absolutely nothing. All those "must do" plans seem to melt away in the Caribbean sunshine. When the afflicted are asked about going somewhere or doing something, the reply is usually, "What's the DIFference? It can wait until tomorrow!"

DIF is further compounded by the effects of a strange force found only in the Caribbean. It is called "Sand Gravity!" When the disease meets up with the force, the poor afflicted soul finds it hard to even get up to retrieve another cold beverage! That's why some resorts employ beach waiters and waitresses.

The disease gets progressively worse as time goes on. Even couch potatoes are more active than DIF sufferers! Another symptom of the disease has been reported by flight attendants, who say that spouses have been observed dragging their mates aboard aircraft leaving for the United States. The afflicted have been heard to scream, "One more day -- just one more day!!!"

Back in the states, the deadly disease continues to affect victims. They have been reported posting pictures and even posters of a tranquil island scene, on office walls and near their desks. One sufferer was even reported to have taped an island picture on his clip board at work! People with DIF have reported that they often day dream about that special island in the sun, while at work. Others have reported seeing people in serious business meetings with a silly grin on their face and a far away look in their eyes.

At home it doesn't get any better! The poor sufferer forgets about the lawn, house work, kids, little league, friends, neighbors, family and even their job! In an extreme case, one forgets about house payments, car payments and social responsibilities. All they can think of is, "How can I figure a way to return to the islands?"

There is no known cure for DIF! All of the people who tried to find a cure, were themselves afflicted and ran off to some Caribbean location! There are only "treatments" for this dreaded affliction. The treatment consists of a large "dose" of warm Caribbean sunshine, soft sandy beaches, warm Caribbean sea water and many cold drinks served at a beach bar. There is a downside to this however. The afflicted build up a resistance to the treatments and have to return more and more frequently and for longer periods to relieve the symptoms! Most of the regulars round The Caribbean Travel Forum are hopelessly and helplessly afflicted and will never, recover! The CDC and your government don't even acknowledge that this disease exists because they don't want to have a mass panic and have all of the citizens rush to the Caribbean.

The main problem is, DIF is something that you either already have -- or something you will get! (Grin!)

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: Bahston] #194718
05/13/2019 08:55 AM
05/13/2019 08:55 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
duh Thanks Bahston!! Can't believe I forgot that!


Carol Hill
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