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My First Trip Report (initial installment) #239708
11/14/2020 12:51 PM
11/14/2020 12:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,262
United States of America
bdeeley Offline OP
Traveler
bdeeley  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,262
United States of America
Okay, I have 37 visits to the island of St Maarten over 20+ years and I’m finally submitting my first trip report. Please be gentle with any comments and I apologize in advance for any poor spelling, poor grammar or just a poor report.

Prior to leaving, we both took two tests each on Friday the 6th of November. I wanted to maximize our chances of getting timely results while allowing us plenty of time to submit on the St Maarten website and get a timely pre-approval. Our first results came back within 30 hours (5pm on Saturday) and the second results came back at about 60 hours (midnight on Sunday). We took our first tests with the State of Maryland and our second tests through Patient FIrst. Both were quick and easy and required a minimal amount of time. Both were by appointment with no costs associated. On Monday morning I went to the St Maarten website and submitted my requests and was quickly granted pre-approval. I would just mention, as you submit your request for entrance, take your time and make sure you are not clicking the wrong response. On my first try, I was so used to answering no to all of their questions that I clicked on “no” when it asked if I had health insurance. I was quickly denied entry. I saw my error, resubmitted and received pre-approval.

We arrived on Wednesday, the 11 of November on American flight 2219 out of Miami. I will say early on, that the day ended perfectly with us arriving on the island on-time, being met at the airport by Mr Leslie and driving away a few short minutes later to our condo on Simpson Bay Beach. Our first leg, from Baltimore to Miami (bwi - mia) was a nightmare of anxiety and peril. It started out with us arriving at the terminal (5 a.m.) to find over 250 people waiting inline to see a ticketing agent for check-in (no preflight check-in allowed). The terminal was such a zoo because there was a Company of Army soldiers who were being deployed and on top of that the luggage conveyor belt had decided not to work that morning. Security we thought was a breeze (at first) and we arrived at our gate, 10 minutes before boarding started. We boarded, grabbed our seats in first class and settled down. 2 minutes later, Carol says to me “ do you have my iPad and Nook”, I jumped up, looked through my backpack and said “no” at which point in time we realized that her iPad and Nook had been left behind at security. Long story short, they allowed me to deplane, I ran to security, acquired the missing items and returned to the plane prior to them closing the door. THank you AA for allowing me to deplane and get those items and thank you to AA for making both segments wonderful, getting our bags to the destination and making the whole experience enjoyable while in the air.

Wednesday evening, we settled in and drove into Pizza Italy for our go to arrival meal. Their pizza is always excellent, we love their thin crust, light on the sauce and always loaded with whatever you choose. There were some showers and light rain on Wednesday evening. They were fairly busy with about ¾ of their tables occupied.

Thursday, the start of our first full day on the island, and we woke up to beautiful skies with partly sunny and partly cloudy weather. The water was a little choppy but we always find it that way early in the morning. I headed off to Cafe Atlantico for BLTs on baguettes and pastries to bring back for everyone for breakfast. First day on the beach was as near to perfect as you could hope it would be. Lunch, as on most days on the island for us, is cheese and meats and crackers and condiments. A lot of picking of finger foods and leftovers. We are early eaters on vacation so around 5:30 pm we headed over to the Greenhouse for dinner and had our second enjoyable dinner on the island. Back to the condo after dinner and we all sat down to play our first round of Hand & Foot(card game).

Friday started out with breakfast in the unit. A huge skillet of scrambled eggs with cheddar and ham pieces, bacon, and toasted baguette with butter, brie and jelly. Friday, on the beach was near perfection and we enjoyed sitting out and our time in the water. We skipped lunch for Friday as we planned to head over to Avantika for their happy hour (runs 3-6pm). Avantika is one of our most favorite restaurants on the island and we have always enjoyed every meal we have had there.

Here it is Saturday, late morning, and I’m trying to finish this so I can get on the beach with everyone else. Breakfast was at Vesna Taverna and dinner this evening will be Cowboy Steaks grilled on the deck. Did I mention that the weather has been perfect.

Let me just say that the two months prior to arriving on the island was spent preparing for all of the new demands and jumping through all the hurdles that were placed in front of us. There was quite a bit of anxiety and much that was unknown, but there was never any doubt that we wanted to be here. All of it was worth it. St Maarten has a well organized arrival area and we breezed through the health verification, immigration and baggage in record time. I am amazed how quickly word spreads on the island because in less than 3 days we have had 5 different sets of residents(friends) stop by to welcome us to the island and let us know how glad they were that we are back again this year. I know this is a mess, I did apologize at the beginning, and I hope that all are staying safe enjoying life and family wherever they might find themselves.

Attached Files DSCF1313.JPGDSCF1342.JPGDSCF1346.JPGDSCF1348.JPGDSCF1350.JPG

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Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239709
11/14/2020 12:57 PM
11/14/2020 12:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 294
Ontario, Canada
S
SURICK Offline
Traveler
SURICK  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 294
Ontario, Canada
Nice report. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe that is Steve Job's yacht. It usually was berthed across from Skipjack's in Simpson Bay.

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239710
11/14/2020 01:00 PM
11/14/2020 01:00 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 757
East Texas
Jaybird Offline
Traveler
Jaybird  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 757
East Texas
Great job. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the next installment.

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239711
11/14/2020 01:04 PM
11/14/2020 01:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,298
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
Traveler
BillandElaine  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,298
St Maarten
Welcome back! We were on the beach there late afternoon for our swim, it was lovely! Watched Venus leave earlier from our deck.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239712
11/14/2020 01:05 PM
11/14/2020 01:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,458
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,458
Auburn, WA
Nice start. High five for AA letting you deplane to get those.

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239714
11/14/2020 01:27 PM
11/14/2020 01:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,044
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,044
Central Florida!
Great start to the trip and to the report! And thanks so much for the picture from 'home', Beachside Villas!!! clapping


Carol Hill
Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239716
11/14/2020 01:31 PM
11/14/2020 01:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,752
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,752
Ohio
Thanks for the report and pictures, looking forward to more. Glad you were able to retrieve the items left at security. Hope the rest of the trip goes well.


J.D.
Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239717
11/14/2020 01:50 PM
11/14/2020 01:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,110
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,110
Brookfield, CT.
If you felt your report needed apologies in advance then I don’t think I’m gonna’ try writing next trip. Perfection to me......

Everything sounds great and your days sound much like ours. I’m so glad it all worked out for you. I know people are often ripping AA but I have generally had great success traveling with them and I’m so glad you did as well.

So far your trip and your photos are a breath of fresh air and I sincerely thank you for taking the time and making the effort, particularly for mastering the photo inclusion. Someday I will, too. Maybe....

I’ve forgotten - what is your departure date and any chance our paths will finally cross this trip? We hope to arrive on the 28th if our luck holds and is as good as yours.

Eagerly awaiting the next installment..........


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239718
11/14/2020 01:52 PM
11/14/2020 01:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,751
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
Traveler
The_Lurker  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,751
Connecticut
Great report!
I really enjoyed reading it. I can't believe you were able to rescue the ipad!!

Thanks for the pictures, too.
We are also BSV people for many years and miss it so much!!

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239722
11/14/2020 02:25 PM
11/14/2020 02:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,162
RI
jomarc Offline
Traveler
jomarc  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,162
RI
Hooray! Another fine trip report, and a very enjoyable read. Your pictures of Simpson Bay are gorgeous. Wishing you continued great weather and many fun-filled days!

We fly on American and can say they’ve been good to us. It would have been a bummer to lose your iPad and nook. Years back, while on a trip to SXM, Marc lost his brand new iPhone on the plane. He definitely had the phone when the flight started. We believe it dropped out of his jacket while he was taking a nap in the last row of first class, and someone snatched it up. The flight attendant made a lost phone announcement shortly before landing, but no one turned it in. After we landed, an employee at the airport took the entire seat apart, but still no phone. It was a crappy way to start the vacation, but there wasn’t much we could do.

Looking forward to your next installment!


Jo-

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239735
11/14/2020 05:07 PM
11/14/2020 05:07 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,746
Kennys Offline
Traveler
Kennys  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,746
Enjoy your stay. Cheers.

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239742
11/14/2020 07:46 PM
11/14/2020 07:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,000
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
RI Bob C Offline
Traveler
RI Bob C  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,000
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Enjoyed your narrative and pictures. Greenhouse and Avantika are also my favorites, especially chatting with Julio. Also enjoy Lesley of Kenny's car rental - great service. Looks like arrivals are more organized than they were when I came in September.

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: RI Bob C] #239744
11/14/2020 08:40 PM
11/14/2020 08:40 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,746
Kennys Offline
Traveler
Kennys  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,746
Thanks Bob , we do try our best .

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239795
11/15/2020 12:11 PM
11/15/2020 12:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 403
Near Chicago
LovesSXM Offline
Traveler
LovesSXM  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 403
Near Chicago
Thanks for posting and looking forward to subsequent installments. We also enjoy Hand and Foot :-)

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239815
11/15/2020 04:35 PM
11/15/2020 04:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,129
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
Traveler
SXMNorm  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,129
St Louis, MO
Enjoyed your report. Thanks for taking time to post and give us updates on new procedures.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2022
Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: Kennys] #239859
11/16/2020 09:29 AM
11/16/2020 09:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,688
So. Shore MA.
jollymonsrv Offline
Traveler
jollymonsrv  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,688
So. Shore MA.
Oh to Be in SXM. Your report and pictures are what I needed this morning . T Y

Re: My First Trip Report (initial installment) [Re: bdeeley] #239879
11/16/2020 10:34 AM
11/16/2020 10:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,216
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
Traveler
fabila  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,216
Yonkers, NY
I was excited to see a trip report posting. You brought me back to the island with your report. Enjoyed it and thanks for reporting.


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