Traveltalkonline.com Forums


SXM Cruise Schedule TTOL Sponsors SXM Travel Calendar
Forum Statistics
Forums39
Topics38,867
Posts314,688
Members26,595
Most Online2,218
Jan 21st, 2020
Top Posters(30 Days)
Kennys 27
jazzgal 27
bailau 22
Lancer 21
Member Spotlight
CathyandDanny
CathyandDanny
Western North Carolina
Posts: 841
Joined: April 2006
Show All Member Profiles 
Today's Birthdays
balboa117, kneafseym
Who's Online Now
22 registered members (Ginny111, Todd, Lionsail, Husker, WWII, NumberCruncher, IWIWSE, Alltech63, MrEZgoin, SXMNAN, Manpot, ARC, lhbsurf, George1234, Fitzhughlaw, Matt W, FantasyFrank, EdB, 4 invisible), 437 guests, and 285 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 #219307
03/01/2020 02:14 PM
03/01/2020 02:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 25
Michigan
Clifford Offline OP
Traveler
Clifford  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 25
Michigan
Some old favorites and some new things to do on our 1 week trip Feb 12 to 19. This was reputed to be the busiest time of the year with Valentines and President’s Day included.
Our second “free” flight on the AA credit card started at Detroit. The 6 am departure didn’t happen until 6:30 because of the need for an oil change. I had never heard of an oil change on a plane but laughed when somebody said the guy was wearing a Jiffy Lube t-shirt. The problem being our connection in Charlotte might not wait if there was too much of a delay. Not a problem. Airlines schedule extra time in their flight. Our departure from Charlotte was two gates from our arrival. Still didn’t get breakfast until over the Atlantic.

On arrival stairs were wheeled up to both ends of our 757. We got off the rear to a slight rain shower, the first of many in the next week. Weather forecasts would list rain as “20 per cent”. Usually this is probability of rain but in our case it meant it rained 20 per cent of the time. We got driven off the beach once but otherwise the brief showers didn’t spoil our vacation.

This year we stayed just inside the gate of the Orient Reserve. It was walking distance to Astrolabe and Plantation but not to the Orient Village where most people would go. Most visits to the Club O beach we would drive thru the village.

Club O beach has new chairs. The total number of chairs is about 300. Most days there were some available even though this was the busiest time of the year. There were about 100 people using the beach and not paying for chairs so daily use was about 400. I think this is a slight drop in visitors this year. We only made two trips to the Dutch side but it seemed less busy on the French side this year.

There is plenty to do. Orient Village has more places to go than I saw before Irma. The north side of the boulevard is full of businesses. Petite Casino is much improved as a grocery store. Neighbors include a small eating place on the end, a taco place tucked into the alley going to La Playa and a pasta/ravioli maker. Walking around one evening the bar had a impromtu band warming up. Wai Plage is a new beach bar/lunch restaurant in front of the former Alamanda. Had the Columbo l’Agneux. The fried calimari is straight not rings. Try to get a seat on the south end if you don’t like smoke.
Another new place is Telegraph. It faces the beach on one side and the village square on the other side. Unlike the other fine restaurants on the square Telegraph is open before noon and closes just before midnight. Telegraph is a major addition to Orient village. At dinner my wife had Guinea Fowl a substantial roast sliced and smothered in a mushroom and foie gras gravy. I ate “lite” with a dinner salad with duck and foie gras.

We always forget how big a deal Valentines Day is on the island. Without a reservation, Al Dente was full. We went to the village knowing if we were turned away from a dozen restaurants there’s still the taco place. We walked up to Le Piment 5 minutes before opening at 6 and got the last table (closest to the kitchen) as long as we were gone by 7:30. Had the duck confit. Try the cheesecake dessert, It comes in a little mason jar. It is mostly cheese with a little ground cinnamon cookie. There’s enough to share.

Mardi night we were off to Grand Case. Knowing car access would be cut off at 5 pm we drove along L’Esperance Road until a checkpoint was backing up cars in front of the airport. We parked the car on the side of the road and walked into town. It was a long way and unnecessary since the side of the road was empty into town. The walk was good since we hadn’t turned down any foie gras all week. We had reservations at Ocean 82 for 6:30 with some friends from Detroit. After 25 years of visiting St Martin they had decided to buy a condo on the Dutch side. Evidently there is a severe shortage of some trades on the island specifically electricians. Also it seems leaving town with a punch list and expecting things to be done on your return doesn’t happen on the island. Trades people maybe like to get paid every day by the owner.

Ocean 82 is a great restaurant. Beautiful sunset over the ocean while we were seated above the beach. We had Turbot for Two expertly deboned by the server. Near the end of dinner the Mardi parade was heard. A princess in elegant head-dress danced through the restaurant drawing some of us out to the river of humanity flowing down the narrow street. Drummers! The guy with the “flat” horn. Somebody waving a PSG flag. People hanging off railings and out windows. What a show and they do it every Tuesday for 12 weeks!

Sadly Wednesday at 1:30 pm we are in another river of humanity at Juliana Airport. Over an hour in line to check a bag and get boarding passes from AA. They had 7 scales open and an attendant mid point in line to expedite those pressed for time but we didn’t have time for shopping or food at the airport. My wife even had an additional security pat-down at Gate 9 going out onto the tarmac to board the flight. We were among the last to board for our 3:25 flight. This was a Wednesday. American had 3 large planes leaving within an hour. Two hours was not enough time for us at the airport.
Charlotte is usually not so busy but we got here the same time as a couple other flights, one from Jamaica. There are two flights in the evening to Detroit. There is no way to get thru Customs in time to take the early flight so we had a spare hour and our only airport meal.

Hit the pillow at home at exactly 2 am on Thursday. Exactly 8 days for our 7 day trip.

I would do it again tomorrow!

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 03/02/2020 01:20 PM.
SXM Sponsors
Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219311
03/01/2020 02:30 PM
03/01/2020 02:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,658
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,658
Brookfield, CT.
Sounds like another good trip. TY for sharing your experiences.

Re AA and airport departures, you just never know what you’re going to get, and really, that pretty much goes for all the different airlines. But IMPO, better to be early and have to wait it out than five minutes late and really having to wait it out.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219422
03/02/2020 01:13 PM
03/02/2020 01:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,081
Clearwater, FL
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,081
Clearwater, FL
Thanks for a nice report. Orient Village is wonderful.


I'm going where the weather suits my clothes.
Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219424
03/02/2020 01:23 PM
03/02/2020 01:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,149
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,149
Central Florida!
Hi. I put some returns into the report to make it easier to read.

What do you mean, about there being 100 people who weren't paying to use the chairs at Club O?

Le Telegraphe is definitely a great addition to Orient Village. And a TTOL sponsor! handshake


Carol Hill
Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219426
03/02/2020 01:38 PM
03/02/2020 01:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 17,585
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 17,585
Ohio
Thanks for the report.


J.D.
Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219443
03/02/2020 05:00 PM
03/02/2020 05:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,431
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,431
Rhode Island
Sounds like for all your effort you still had a great time. Surprised to hear Wednesday was such a busy day. Hope you have some photos to post later.

Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219478
03/03/2020 06:46 AM
03/03/2020 06:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,037
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
Traveler
Colour1  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,037
Westchester /NYC
Thanks for posting!! Sounds like Orient village is back, maybe better than ever. That's great news! Good to hear Ocean 82 is back. Lovely restaurant!! Your report sounds like a lot of reports, "way to short" LOL!!! Seems like that clock speeds up when in St.Martin!!


Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219518
03/03/2020 04:39 PM
03/03/2020 04:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 25
Michigan
Clifford Offline OP
Traveler
Clifford  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 25
Michigan
"What do you mean, about there being 100 people who weren't paying to use the chairs at Club O?"
Sorry Carol!
Not paying for chairs because they weren't sitting in the chairs. As a public beach you can bring your our chairs, blanket, sit on the sand or the rocks.

Re: Trip Report Feb 12 - 19 [Re: Clifford] #219520
03/03/2020 04:56 PM
03/03/2020 04:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,149
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,149
Central Florida!
OK, I frankly have no problem with that. It is a public beach. I thought you meant that people were squatting in Club O chairs without paying for them.


Carol Hill

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1