After cruising through the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea for two days, with the new Norwegian Getaway cruise ship already docked, we finally arrived at our first port: St. Maarten...

...or is it Saint-Martin?

Our entire group decided on the Ultimate Island Tour for our shore excursion. It turned out to be a great choice.

The first part of the tour was a scenic ride from Philipsburg on the Dutch side to Marigot on the French side. The scenery was spectacular...that is St. Barts in the distance.

We arrived in Marigot and had an hour or so to walk around the town. We took the opportunity to shop at the local outdoor market...
and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The second part of our shore excursion was a double-deck boat ride across the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Our catamaran departed from Marina Royale...
Back in 1995, Hurricane Luis caused severe damage to the island of St. Maarten. 80% of the buildings sustained serious damage or were totally destroyed. Cruising across the picturesque Simpson Bay, we could see many boats destroyed by the hurricane that had never been repaired, and still remained where they were moored nearly twenty years previously.

But there were also many beautiful sites (and boats) to see during our relaxing cruise across the bay...

Arriving back at the ship, we ate a quick lunch and decided to catch the water taxi over to Phillipsburg for some shopping. We were wonderfully surprised by what we discovered which in the end made St. Maarten our favorite stop on this cruise.

I'll show you that portion of our time in St. Maarten in the next post.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos in this post were taken by my husband and me during our Caribbean cruise in May, 2014.

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