St Martin and Sint Maarten – two Caribbean islands in one

July 24, 2014

St Martin


Although we were having a whale of a time (sorry) on board Norwegian Getaway after two-and-a-half days at sea it definitely felt good to get on dry land – in this case the Caribbean island of St Martin and Sint Maarten. It doesn’t matter how many times you go to the Caribbean, there’s always something new to discover – and, I can’t stress this enough, NO TWO CARIBBEAN ISLANDS ARE THE SAME. They all have unique, distinctive characteristics, and in the case of St Martin and Sint Maarten, you actually get two islands in one; there’s the distinctively French side, St Martin, and the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, and a cute little bridge between the two.

Mama Doudou


We started our tour of the island by visiting the rum ‘factory’ of Ma Doudou. Although we weren’t actually allowed to see the ‘factory’, which gave it a sort of Willy Wonka mystique, we were given some rather fiery spiced rum to try – my favourite had orange and honey.

Ma Doudou rum bottles


Aren’t the rum bottles beautiful?  All handpainted, just gorgeous.

Caribbean cat


And this little cat was rather adorable too.

Cooking demo St Martin


From here we headed off to the stunning beach at Grand Case bay and a cooking demo by the chef at Le Ti-Provencal was very entertaining, with lots of delicious creole food to try – my favourite dish was an exquisite chicken curry, but also banana glazed with brown sugar and of course, rum. Total nom.

Le Ti-Provencal


Le Ti-Provencal really has the most idyllic setting – you can even see Anguilla from the beach.

Grand Case Bay St Martin


Then we hung out on the powdery sand a while and swam in the clear (and a little cold) water…



…and found this little starfish (so cute).

Bar St MartinAfterwards I decided to go for a mooch along the beach road, taking photos of the pretty houses and this little church…

…isn’t this bar cool? You can see how hot it was though – the photos are a bit blurred because of condensation on my iPhone caused by the humidity (nothing to do with the rum, believe me).

St Martin


On the way back to the port there was time to stop and get some photos of the stunning views…

houses St Martin


…and these rather fabulously-painted stores…

flowers St Martin


…and flowers…

St Martin/Sint Maarten is the kind of Caribbean island you fall in love with instantly, one of the prettiest I’ve been to, and the kind of place I could imagine easily staying a bit longer – it’s perfect for a family holiday or a romantic break; it’s also very stylish. The beauty of cruises is that you get to discover gems like these, and can make plans to return.

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  • Lisa Sadleir August 4, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Looks amazing! I’m seriously considering trying a cruise.
    I can’t decide to go for a lazy on my own, R&R option or a fun activity filled one with the children.
    My research continues 🙂