Date: December 10, 2008 09:18AM
Trip Report - November 30, 2008 - December 5, 2008
I was very hesitant about taking this trip, we were supposed to go early November, but my heart wasn't in it. Then moved it and even as of 11/29, I had thought about canceling because of everything I read on the boards, luggage lost, lines at immigrations, flight cancellations, euro rise and fall, grocery stores empty, crime, traffic, restaurant closings, bugs, etc. I expected to arrive and be swarmed with bugs and go to the grocery store and have to watch over my shoulder for fear of a shootout. I'm far from a newbie, this was probably my 30+ trip since 1983.
Well I'm so glad I didn't listen to any of the bantering on the boards. Because is living in fear really worth it? Stuff happens, good or bad. We had a great time basically doing nothing.
Arrived no problem on Jet blue and there was Lesley from Kenny's with our car, and off we went. As usual no problems there!
Stayed 5 nights at The Towers at Mullet Bay - (yes the dreaded war zone! Mullet Bay - hold on to your wallets and small children, abandoned buildings, graffiti, etc!). We had a 7th floor unit looking out at the beach and golf course, every morning we got up and sat on our balcony watching cruise ships and the water. Wouldn't have traded it for the world.
We ate most dinner between Maho and Atlantis - Rare, Paris Bistro, Le Moulin Fou, Bahajtzu and we actually ventured off to Simpson Bay and ate at The Wharf. Parked in the KimSha parking lot and wandered over. All great meals. At the Atlantis complex we did valet parking, and at Maho we parked in the garage. No problems at all. We were home most nights by 11:00 - 12:00, sad that we walked out of the casino at 10:45 and Cheri's was already closed! The Maho area was EMPTY! Probably due to Royal Islander Le Plage being closed.
Went to Rouge one day, wonderful day got there between 9-10 and left around 5, loved it. Maybe 15 people on the entire beach. Spent two days at Mullet same thing, we didn't tie or padlock our bags to our chairs, didn't take turns swimming, just had a great time, never felt unsafe, just had a great time. but we also don't bring anything of value to the beach either.
One day we went into Marigot for the afternoon (yes we picked up a nice Italian lady on the way - that was already discusssed!), walked around, shopped in the market and the mall, had Lunch at the Marina Royale - The Village, very nice place. Wandered the back streets in Marigot, yes it's depressing how many stores are closed up. Those old buildings must have been beautiful "back in the day".
All in all, we had a great trip, very glad I went and can't wait till our 2 weeks in April.
As far as the fears everyone reads on these boards. Yes crime is an issue, you can do things to help, there are things you can do to not make yourself a target. But if some bad guy is going to commit a crime they will unfortunately, and that is home or away. Euro issue, not really sure why it's such a big deal. Set your budget, and you can't or don't want to pay the exchange, then don't eat or stay on the French side. Pretty simple solution. Traffic, don't stay on the Dutch side if you wish to be on Orient every day? Bugs, I came down with more bug spray and lotions, just covered my legs and arms with Mosquito Milk before we left every night, and honestly, didn't have a problem, but the winds were starting so that could be part of what helped. We even went to the Towers cocktail party and had no problem.
Counting down the days till April!