with all due respect, I thinky uo are out of line with your post.
You have lived here nine months? and you are an expert on who is a racist?
the thread is about crime and safety, not racism.
the crime that occurs on St. maarten is due to crimanality and has nothing to do with racism. In fact most of the crime is black on black unfortunnately.
Man walks into a Travel Agency. The Travel Agent says can I help you? The man says, my wife and I would like to travel to a crime-free location. The agent says no problem.
After an hour, the man walks into his house and his wife asks, so where are we going on vacation? The man replys, We have 6 days/7 nights in our own back yard as long as we don't leave the premises and make sure all our doors are bolted.
Moral of this story...there is no place on earth that is crime free but if you can find that one place that you love more than any other place you have ever been, then go there but don't act foolish and careless. Make sure you take the precautions given to you because unless you are in the security of your own back yard, there is no place that is crime free!
Another "safe" island is Mustique. However, what all of these "safe" islands have in common is that they offer very little to do. None of them offer the combination of beaches, nightlife, cuisine, water sports, casinos, shopping, etc. that can be found on St. Maarten. For me, none of them is a viable alternative. Fortunately, I don't need to let my guard down in order to feel as if I'm on vacation. I realize that others may feel differently and must do what feels right to them.
This is an interesting post and I just feel like responding. My wife and I have been coming to St. Martin for the last six years. We love the island, have made many friends, and consider it our special place. However, it just felt different this past May when we were there. I had an uneasiness that I have never had. We have never been robbed, hasseled, or been threatened in any way but the island just seemed different. We live in a big city and there is a lot of crime so we are vigilant and all of that stuff. We don't flash cash or jewelry(who is that stupid) and use the common sense of people that understand their surroundings. I am just concerned about what I read and maybe that contributed to our sense of uneasiness this time.
We spent three days in Anguilla which is lovely...maybe that tainted our view of St. Martin. It is so peaceful there and it just seems safer. The point I am getting to is this...My brother is getting married next spring and for the past 5 years I have told him that St. Martin is the perfect place for their honeymoon. Today I am not so sure. I am worried about recommending St. MArtin because of the issues I read and because of how we felt this May. I would never forgive myself should my brother get robbed or harmed on his honeymoon. Please don't give me that crap that it can happen anywhere. I kow that! I love St. Martin but crime and overdevelopment appear to be taking the charm and the attraction away from the place. It hurts me badly to say this but I am scared to recommend the island at this time. I hope I am wrong but the changes we have seen are not for the best.
I am not trying to bash the island in any way...please understand me on this. We know a lot of local folks that say the same thing. I just hope the government can figure it out and crack down on the crime. If not I fear that the island will begin to lose repeat visitors like us.
We just purchased a two-week timeshare at LaVista, so I have been reading posts like these with much interest. We have only been to St. Martin twice, and have stayed on the French side both times. We have never encountered any problems at all. We generally carry very little cash, even going out to dinner we will pay with a credit card and forego the dollar = Euro offers. I don't carry a purse. We have left our bag on the beach and gone for long walks, never a problem. Is the problem more prevalant on the Dutch side? It seems that most of the reports seem to be from that area.
My husband and I have been visiting St. Martin, every year, for the past 21 years. We have literally watched it grow. But, I can recall my very first visit, sitting on Dawn Beach, and hearing "horror" stories about the terrible crime on the island and how unsafe it was back then! That was over 20 years ago. I am sure that with the growth and popularity of the island the crime situation has grown along with it. But, I also believe that with the ablity to "chat" on forums such as this, and share information as we do, we actually tend to make things bigger than they are. I am not saying there is no crime on the island. There is no place on earth that is crime free, maybe we just don't hear about it.
Bottom line - we are off to St. Martin (22nd year) in November and I can't wait. Have made many wonderful friends on the island and looking forward to making more. Of course, a little common sense goes a long way. Just as someone said earlier, always be aware of your surroundings, don't do anything foolish there that you wouldn't do anywhere else, and I'm sure you will have wonderful memories of your visit to St. Martin.
the plain truth is there are no safe islands in the caribbean, not 'safe' in the way they used to be safe.
i have lived in st. martin the past year. while i have never been strongarmed -- i take care of myself pretty well that way being an ex-rodeo cowboy -- i have had two cameras stolen from my car. but i was also robbed by a woman i thought i knew in st. kitts and i even had an incident happen in quiet tranquil nevis.
my answer to your question is, forget paradise. the natives here are not simple, they are not that loving, they watch tv, they ride hondas and motorcycles, and they think it's cool to snatch a purse, a camera or a rollex watch on the dutch side, and then head for home like a rocket to the french side. sorry, but it's true. come to st. martin. enjoy yourself. but be prepared for any eventuality. or havent you seen what has been happening in the rest of the world like iraq, pakistan, lebanon and the us of a?
GaKaye, the crime is no more prevalent on one side than the other. There have been murders on both sides and lately more reports of major stuff on the French side tho many wont admit it here. But it is growing and changing and stuff does happen here that didn't used to. Sounds like your a smart cooky so keep doing what you do and chances are preety good you'll be fine.
lynn, pity your limiting yourself to only one island and hope you've already visited lots others cause st martin is nice but theres more to the world than just that.
marcello I hear you and aagree with most of what your saying. The smart money says leave the glitz at home and your less inclined to have any problems but still stuff does happen and no island is without its problems. Neither is any city or town. And sadly to say Id rather take the chances then stay in my own backyard and experience nothing.
I just heard that my sister and her husband were mugged right outside their hotel in St. Martin. They don't drink or take drugs so they weren't impaired. They're in their 60s. There was no security on the street or anyone from the hotel monitoring the front of the hotel. My sister readily gave up her purse, but they were so violent pushing her to the ground they broke her hip and now she's stuck in a local hospital in very serious condition.
I've heard that little of the crime on these islands is written up in the media as they fear losing their tourist trade. Forums like this are your only chance to get an idea of the truth.
My sister and her husband have traveled extensively and nothing like this has ever happened before. But clearly St. Martin's is a place they'll never go there again. I certainly will never go, nor will our extended family. St. Martin KNOWS they have a safety problem but have not worked to solve it -- only to keep it out of the papers.
In the interest of full disclosure - and since as you say, 'Forums like this are the only chance to get an idea of the truth', can you find out and tell us where (the hotel) they were staying so we know the area to be aware of ? That would be helpful.