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Old 07-25-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
kathi
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Question Orient Bay - St. Martin?

We really want to go to a beach when on St. Martin and are bummed there are no private beaches (like Nachi Cocum and Maya Chan). For those that have gone, how jammed in are you at Orient Beach on the DCL excursion? And would you recommend the whole day or the afternoon excursion?

If you know of another beach on St. Martin that would be good for a 9 year old and 2 adults who like to just chill and have some food and beverages, please let me know!

Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:51 PM   #2
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We went to a beach call "baby beach" by tourists and I think the actual name was Le Galion. There was no excursion here we just got off the ship and asked a cab driver to take us. It was about $20 for the 3 of us. We told him to meet us back at 3:00 and he was there and waiting. They have little bar there and they may have food, but we just took some snacks and sandwiches from Flo's. It takes about 30 minutes to get there because of the terrain and traffic so plan accordingly to not miss the boat. But the beach was perfect for us. Very crowded.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
Messa36
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Sorry sent too soon...it was Not crowded. The snorkeling was great. I would definitely go back next time we visit st. Martin .
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Orient beach has a lot of places for you to rent a chair, but they ARE crowded. Chair to chair. Most of the places you get a lounger, a drink, and to use the bathroom. There is food available for purchase too. Price ranges from $5-8/pp.

We really didn't like Orient beach very much. Too many people, too many people trying to sell you stuff, and the water was just 'there' - no waves, no movement. Some of the places had water trampolines or wave runners to rent. We walked around some, rented chairs, swam, walked down the naked beach, and left. It just wasn't that fun and I wish we had just gone to the French capital and stayed on the beach by the ship.

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
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We did a tour with Bernards, and had the driver make our beach stop somewhere else. We were near the butterfly place, but i don't remember the name. It was much more secluded, with one little shack for food and drink, but very nice! Not crowded at all!
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:25 PM   #6
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We've been to Orient Bay on the Disney excursion. There was an area "reserved" for us and it wasn't too crowded. The amount of people was like the family beach on Castaway Cay.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:40 PM   #7
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You should look into Maho beach. It's right next to the airport and the planes fly right above you that you feel you can touch them. Your 9 year old should love it. There's also the sunset bar and grill there that serves food. I haven't been there yet, but will in August. You can go on you tube and look at videos of the planes.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:06 PM   #8
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I haven't been to St. Maartin in 10 years but Orient Beach wasn't overly crowded (we weren't there on a cruise). However, if memory serves me correctly, it is a clothing optional beach. Doesn't bother me now as an adult, but it might be more than some people want to see. As a 19 year old I was very uncomfortable.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:59 AM   #9
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With just a Disney ship in port Orient Beach will not be crowded. Check the port to see what other ships may be in. We've gone several times and seen it range from completely empty to very crowded.

The nice thing about Orient beach is that you do have facilities and food readily available. Also the beach is a fairly nice grade out into the water so you can go pretty far out.

Maho is fun for the planes but it is steep and there is a quick drop off. Not that great for swimming with little ones.

As for clothing optional...Orient Beach itself is not clothing optional however this is a CO beach club at the far right (looking out to the water). The closer you get to that area the more likely to find someone wandering down the beach in the buff.

The French side is European style which means women may be topless. That said, the Dutch side can be as well as apparently the "rules" really aren't much enforced. Places like Maho even encourage it (well, the bar there does) by offering free drinks for topless women.

Jim
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:27 AM   #10
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Thanks so much everyone. I really appreciate your tips and insight.

We live very close to the Philadelphia Airport - we would like to avoid planes on vacation! Our daughter loves to be in the water, so that is an important aspect. Topless is no problem. I'd prefer for my 9 year old not to see a bunch of naked dudes, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if she did.

According to the port schedule, there will be 3 ships in port The Fantasy, The Norwegian Epic and the Adventure of the Seas. That sounds like a lot considering how big the ships are.

This is hard!

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Old 07-26-2013, 08:54 AM   #11
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We went to Orient Beach as part of the Bernards Tour so I'm not sure if that makes a difference as to where we were on the beach.

It was not crowded at all. The chairs were $5 each to rent out for the day, and that included free use of the private restrooms/changing rooms. (Otherwise you have to pay per use of the restroom.) There was food nearby, and jet skis and catamarans available for rent, too.

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Old 09-18-2013, 09:19 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=HsvTeacher;49081942]We went to Orient Beach as part of the Bernards Tour so I'm not sure if that makes a difference as to where we were on the beach.

It was not crowded at all. The chairs were $5 each to rent out for the day, and that included free use of the private restrooms/changing rooms. (Otherwise you have to pay per use of the restroom.) There was food nearby, and jet skis and catamarans available for rent, too.

How did you like Bernards? I have just booked them for our December sailing, the tour II with orient bay and Maho bay I am a little worried about them staying on time and not missing the boat....but we do have 4 hours past the excursion end time and cruise departure time...LOL It is good to know that the bathrooms have a charge! I am assuming that a 90-120 minute visit would not be worth the expense? Or are the bathrooms expensive to use without a chair rental? This is our first time to St Martin, so any input you have or advice on this experience would be appreciated!
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:57 PM   #13
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We went to Orient Beach with Bernard's and loved it. It was not crowded the day we were there, we rented chairs and they came with drink coupons. The sand was very soft, the water clear and warm. I didn't let my kids swim when we were at Maho, it was very rocky and didn't look very clean.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:42 PM   #14
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orient beach is great. It is far less crowded than any beach you are used to in the mid atlantic region. We were there when 5 ships were in port. Plenty of bars and restaurants along the beachfront. The topic of nudity is so overrated. Enjoy.
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