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Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194740
05/13/2019 02:03 PM
05/13/2019 02:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 74
Brunswick - Upstate NY
Islandercpl Offline
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Islandercpl  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 74
Brunswick - Upstate NY
In 1987 we were trying to decide where to go on vacation.....we had been to Jamaica and the Bahamas, but wanted to go somewhere else. We were at our travel agents and she had many pamphlets of all the Caribbean islands, but we couldn't decide. She took all the pamphlets and fanned them out like you would a deck of cards, told me to close my eyes and pick one.....I picked St. Maarten. We flew Eastern Airlines [I think], stayed at the old Great Bay Hotel, rented a car the size of a shoe box...but man, you could park that car anywhere! Although we didn't use it much..we were a little apprehensive about exploring the island, we basically spent our time in and around Frontstreet. We had an amazing time and met so many wonderful people in our short 5 day trip that we knew we were definitely coming back next vacation.......and that we did! It's been 32 years since we first stepped off the plane......I remember thinking oh no when I saw the tiny airport, what have I gotten us into...LOL We've been back every year, sometimes twice a year and sometimes three times a year.....so have completely lost count. Been very happy Royal Islander owners since 1992 - we own 4 weeks. So many great memories that we couldn't even begin to count.

SXM Sponsors
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194744
05/13/2019 02:40 PM
05/13/2019 02:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 18
M
MGA Offline
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MGA  Offline
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M
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 18
I had more than enough miles, ET passes good old Eastern Airlines. I asked a couple of flight attendants (I recall they were stewardesses then) and the agreed St. Martin was the place to go. I had never heard of the island before that. So, looking at our old passports, started going in May of 1988. First visit was to Le Gallion and the Club O. We went every year up to Luis then, with the issue from the storm and the kids were getting older so started visiting other places.

2014 I decided I would revisit the island and now wonder why we stopped going. Now it usually is two visits each year. I'm looking forward to September and enjoying time at the Club O beach.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194760
05/13/2019 05:32 PM
05/13/2019 05:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 74
actionone Offline
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actionone  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 74
First time in 1999....been back 10 times since then starting in 2007. Have not been back since Irma but mainly due to 3 grandchildren in the last 2 years. Going to start again and always at the Sonesta Maho. I miss all the friendly staff and hope to renew our friendships

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194809
05/14/2019 11:29 AM
05/14/2019 11:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 786
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Southshore Offline
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Southshore  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 786
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Have been reading TTOL SXM but have not logged in or written for some time,until I saw this post.

We first came in 1992 and stayed at the Flamboyant in Nettle Baie, as it was all inclusive. Came back 25 times after that until 2014. Stayed at Flamboyant several more times, plus Mullet Bay (when it was still standing), Mercure Simson, Anse Margot, Nettle Baie, Maho, Great Bay, Caravanserai . Some years we came twice.

We would often think about going somewhere else during those years, but would ultimately agree that SXM was the best.My husband liked that fact that he could rent a car from Leslie and easily get around the island. We both loved the beaches, especially Orient and Le String, where we usually hung out for days on each trip.Loved the food, loved the shopping, loved the interesting people we invariably met.

Sad to say, we won't be back again.My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2016 and died last June. His kids and grand-kids wanted me to go and scatter his ashes on Orient Beach. Still thinking about that but know that the place won't ever feel the same.

Sorry to be such a downer but thanks for getting me to post again.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: Southshore] #194814
05/14/2019 12:03 PM
05/14/2019 12:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,621
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,621
Central Florida!
Southshore--thanks for posting. I know that SXM will never be the same as it was for you, but there are a couple of people here like Islandgem and Cincinnati_Kid, who have suffered losses of their spouse, that you might want to reach out to..


Carol Hill
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194817
05/14/2019 12:23 PM
05/14/2019 12:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 41
A
Airlegs Offline
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Airlegs  Offline
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A
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 41
In 2015, gave my son the option to go anywhere in the World. He chose St. Maarten and St. Barths because he’s an aviation nut. We got a fabulous ocean view apartment at Atrium. We fell in love with everything! Totally blew me away what a fantastic place it is. I also met a certain French man... I travelled to the island 12 times between 2015-2017. Last time I was there was August of 2017. My boyfriend came to vist me in Brazil on September 3, 2017. He/we lost everything in St. M. Apartment, car, all belongings, the restaurant where he worked. He stayed with me in Brazil for 1.5 years. He returned to France a few months ago for a surgery and to eventually get back to work to save $$$ to return to St. Maarten. I hope it happens by the end of this year to stay. We miss the island so very much.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: Carol_Hill] #194827
05/14/2019 02:44 PM
05/14/2019 02:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,844
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
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jazzgal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,844
Portland, OR
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Southshore--thanks for posting. I know that SXM will never be the same as it was for you, but there are a couple of people here like Islandgem and Cincinnati_Kid, who have suffered losses of their spouse, that you might want to reach out to..


Southshore - As Carol mentioned, both of the above lost their spouses. Both returned to SXM for the first time since the death of their beloveds late last year. Islandgem did actually spread her husband's ashes at Orient. Carol's recommendation that you reach out to them is a good one. A trip back without your spouse would definitely be different, but it need not be bad.


[Linked Image]
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194844
05/14/2019 05:08 PM
05/14/2019 05:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,060
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
Traveler
SXMNorm  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,060
St Louis, MO
We bought a bi-annual time share week in St Louis from ARI. That was in 1997. !st trip to SXM, not counting a stop on a cruise before that,was in 1998. Been coming every year a at least once a year since. Missed 1999. and second half of 2017, first half of 2018. At somewhere around 30 trips with two booked October 2019 and January 2020. LOVE IT!


Next SXM visit - January/February 2021
Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194852
05/14/2019 05:51 PM
05/14/2019 05:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 217
B
BlueGreenWater Offline
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BlueGreenWater  Offline
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B
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 217
Had frequent flyer miles on PanAm in 1989. Wanted to go to a Caribbean Island and PanAm flew there, so off we went for 16 days. Stayed at one of the six rooms at Hevea (RIP) in Grand Case because Fodors called it a great place for "self-sufficient art-appreciating types." No luxuries there, except in the dining room! Fell in love with the island. Someone at a tourist kiosk in Philipsburg told us to go to Pelican and listen to the timeshare spiel in order to get the free trip to Anguilla on the sailboat Gandalf (sadly lost in Hurricane Luis). Ended up buying an efficiency at Flamingo for a week. Later bought two more weeks at Pelican on resale, then another at Flamingo. When Pelican decided to build the Villas we were approaching retirement, so decided to invest in 8 weeks and liquidate our original four. Except for Irma, we've been back every year for 30 years, and look forward to our 8 weeks in January, February, and March with anticipation.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194895
05/15/2019 08:29 AM
05/15/2019 08:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 104
Edison, NJ
Allison731 Offline
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Allison731  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 104
Edison, NJ
I actually didn’t find St. Martin...my dad did! We went for the first time in March and will be returning in July.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #194979
05/15/2019 06:39 PM
05/15/2019 06:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 562
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
Traveler
SXMbeacher  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 562
Maine
Our first trip was on Freedom of the seas in 2012, spent the day on Orient beach and really wanted to return. I looked for airfare and only found long, 16-20 something hour flights and got discouraged. A few years went by and checked again, found a 7 hour trip, and stayed at La Playa in April 2016. We returned in 2017 and 2019 as 2018 was a bust. I regret missing those 3 years in between, but am already planning next years trip!



[Linked Image]


Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #195027
05/16/2019 09:18 AM
05/16/2019 09:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 159
the Long Island
the captain Offline
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the captain  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 159
the Long Island
2006ish. Being an aviation nut, we were initially drawn there. Once we got to Sonesta Maho and stayed a few days, went to a timeshare talk and were sold.

For us, having a direct flight and upon landing, being at our room or the beach within 20 minutes of landing was what was valuable to us.

We return every 3 years with our family but may opt to come more often.

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #195029
05/16/2019 09:55 AM
05/16/2019 09:55 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 148
T
thebowl Offline
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thebowl  Offline
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T
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 148
My wife and I first went in around 1993, as best I can recall. A former client (since deceased) invited us to stay with him and his wife at Royal Palm. We went back a year or so later and bought a week there, just in time for Bertha. We traded once or twice, but we went around 20 years like clockwork, usually for the Regatta weekend. Our last trip was two years ago, and we stayed in a Villa for the first time, to celebrate our 30th anniversary with our children and granddaughters. Not sure when we will return. I have a feeling that it may be a while..

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #195030
05/16/2019 10:01 AM
05/16/2019 10:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
A
Alexander9228 Offline
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Alexander9228  Offline
Traveler
A
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
Haven't been yet but but going for the first time in July! Subscribed to one of those "Cheap flight alert" email lists. Saw St. Martin come up and fell in love with it after researching. Have been to two other French islands, Guadeloupe and Martinique, so going to another French island with a Dutch side was a no brainer! Looking forward to shedding my bathing suit and being care free for a week in July.



[Linked Image]

Re: How did you find SXM? What year did you start coming? How many years have you returned? [Re: bigbobthib] #195031
05/16/2019 10:03 AM
05/16/2019 10:03 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 68
WNY
Dutchman Offline
Traveler
Dutchman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 68
WNY
Fist visit to SXM in 1987 was on a Cruise and we all went to Mullet Bay Beach for the day. Went back in 1988 and rented a villa in Mullet Bay for a couple of years and then stayed at various resorts / condos / villas ever since. Last 20 years we have averaged 1 visit a year with our latest stays at Cupecoy Beach Club, Beachside Villas and most recently The Cliff.

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