Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 1
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Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise

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Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to a perfect 24 hours of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise. St Maarten is in fact only half of an island. It shares an island with the French half, St. Martin. (St Maarten, as you can probably tell from the spelling, is Dutch.)

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise

#1 TOP PICK

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
CAPTAIN BOB TOUR
✔️ Speedboat, lunch, and snorkel
✔️ Most popular tour on Viator

#2 PICK

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 3

CATAMARAN DAY SAIL
✔️ Experience stunning nature
✔️ Lunch and drinks included

#3 PICK

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 4

ALL OTHER ST MAARTEN TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

St Maarten isn’t as well known as other islands like Aruba and Jamaica, possibly because the Beach Boys never sang a song about them. Also possibly because people always forget to put the second A in Maarten.

However, this beautiful and tasty island deserves to be better known, and I am delighted to be your escort there today.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

It would be ideal to spend a few days on St Maarten, one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands, but sadly we don’t have enough time.

If you are in St Maarten as part of a one day shore excursion, like I was on my most recent Royal Caribbean cruise out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, then this itinerary is perfect for you. I suggest taking a guided tour to help you get around St Maarten.

You can find this amazing tour by going right here.

However, even if you’re just visiting St Maarten on your own, this one day of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise will be perfect for you!

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a cruise

Morning: Scenic Island Tour

St Maarten is a small island, even though it is technically two countries in one, so it’s easy to take in all the scenic sights in one morning’s drive. You’ll need a guide to take you around the island in the most efficient way.

However, if you’re on your own, exploring the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise, you can easily book a similar itinerary like this one.

Go ahead and book this jampacked tour right here.

It’s got everything you need to have a wonderful and relaxing morning adventure. Then get ready for…

Approximately Top 5: Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a cruise

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
1) Colorful Houses

Like many islands in the Caribbean, St Maarten is blessed with gorgeous and colorful houses. Even when there’s nothing else especially exciting on the road, I enjoyed gazing at these beautiful little homes.

Our guide told us that this particular home always goes crazy with Christmas decorations each winter, and I sort of wonder what it’s like having Christmas in such a warm climate. But I guess this way, you could finally find out what frozen things do in summer.

Our guide, whom I shall call Martine, also pointed out some of the interesting plants in the backyards. My favorite was the cashew tree because if I had a cashew tree in my backyard, I could just snack all the time. Cashews are very good for your skin and hair, you know.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
2) Marigot

Pretty much any tour of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise will stop in Marigot, even though Marigot is on the French side, St. Martin. Hmm, I wonder if St. Martin and St. Maarten are related.

Even though Marigot is French, everyone I met in this city speaks English. However, the currency is different. They use the Antillean Guilder and the American dollar on the Dutch side, but on the French side they use the Euro.

You probably won’t get a ton of time in Marigot on your tour, but there will definitely be enough time to stop at the famous Marigot Market. As of this writing, it’s open every day except Sunday, so be sure to stop here and pick up some local souvenirs.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
3) Treaty of Concordia Monument

Many people who take guided tours want to learn something about the history of the island that they are exploring, and I am certainly no exception. And I’m pretty sure the first thing any visitor to St Maarten will want to know is why the island is torn between two countries, feeling like a fool.

Well, apparently this division dates back to the Treaty of Concordia, signed in 1648 by representatives of the French and Dutch governments. (Of course, there were already people living on this island, but the French and Dutch didn’t ask their input.)

Martine said that cooperation between the two sides has gotten pretty efficient, which it has to be in case of emergencies like hurricanes. She was born on the French side, but worked on the Dutch side, and there were no problems living that way.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
4) Princess Juliana Airport

You might be wondering why a tour of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise would stop at an airport. Well, we’re not getting out of the van and going into the airport, but the Princess Juliana International Airport is quite famous. It’s located on the Dutch side of the island, which is physically smaller than the French side, but contains more people.

The airport, which was named after the future queen of the Netherlands, is famous for having absolutely spectacular views on landing and takeoff. But the real reason that it’s famous is because people like to watch planes takeoff and land from the ground here.

Martine said this is dangerous and people shouldn’t do it, so please listen to Martine!

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
5) Lagoon Cruise

This lagoon is actually known as the Simpson Bay Lagoon, but it doesn’t have anything to do with The Simpsons. For this part of the tour, we didn’t get a history lecture about this lagoon or anything.

We just set sail with a friendly crew who kept us well supplied with rum drinks and lots of music. I think it might actually be against the law to have a lagoon cruise in the Caribbean without rum and music. That’s just science.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
6) Bell Point

This viewing spot is probably the most famous scenic view in all of St Martin. I guess you could call it the Bell View. (AHAHAHAHA!) It was named after William Henry Bell Jr., whose family donated money to have his statue placed here after his death.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

Martine said that the money from the family also helps preserve the area, which is great for the island. So be sure to stop by and say hello to Mr. Bell’s statue and his beautiful view while you are there!

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the secrets of the tour I can share with you for now. You’ll have to go ahead and book a tour if you want to experience the wonders of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise for yourself!

Check rates and availability right here!

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a cruise

Afternoon: Explore Philipsburg

After the tour is over, you’ll be deposited back at Philipsburg, where you can enjoy the rest of your afternoon before you head back to your cruise ship or your hotel. Philipsburg isn’t a large city, and some of its shops have closed during the pandemic, though hopefully they’ll reopen soon.

However, there’s more than enough to do in Philipsburg to keep us entertained for an afternoon, and it will be my pleasure to give you a little tour here so you can see the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise. Just follow me!

Approximately Top 5: Philipsburg Edition

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
1) Lunch at Caribbean Blend

Caribbean Blend doesn’t have a flashy sign or anything, but it’s absolutely one of the best places to eat in all of Philipsburg. Since we got back from our tour a little after the lunch rush, you should have no problem getting a table.

The lunch specials here are a great value because you get your main protein along with so many sides. I ordered the jerk chicken, which came with salad, rice and beans, and macaroni salad.

They cook your chicken fresh in the restaurant and it’s authentically spicy and amazing. Don’t pass up the chance to eat here!

best things to do in st maarten
2) Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit

Now, you might not expect one of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise to be the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit, but this is a must-see attraction if you like Star Wars or just movies in general. And it’s a fun place to get out of the sun in Philipsburg.

I suggest buying your ticket online in advance here.

Then get ready for one of the most fun museum exhibits you’ll ever see. The owner of the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit is a makeup artist who actually helped create Yoda for the Star Wars movies. He was there when I visited, and he was enthusiastic about answering questions, especially for any families there with children who were big Star Wars fans.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how the special effects in Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were accomplished, or if you’ve ever wanted to see tons of rare props and masks from those films and other 80s classics like Tootsie, this is the place to go!

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
3) Explore Historic Buildings

Philipsburg’s main drag is called Front Street, and there are many quaint 19th century buildings nestled in between the duty-free jewelry shops that you can spot as you stroll. Check out the Methodist Church that you can see in my photo above, which just celebrated its 170th anniversary.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

Most people would say that seeing the historic courthouse, which actually dates back to the 18th century, is one of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise. Can you see why? Look very closely at the top of the building in my photo. Yup! It’s a pineapple on top of the courthouse.

I didn’t get to go inside while I visited, but I can only hope that Spongebob Squarepants was inside, enjoying this courthouse that is under a pineapple.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
4) Relax on the Beach!

I hope you don’t need too much instruction on how to relax on a beach, but this one is right outside the restaurant where we ate lunch, so as soon as you’re done with the historic buildings and Yodas, spend the rest of your afternoon dozing here on Great Bay Beach.

It’s incredibly centrally located, so you won’t have the beach to yourself, but with those views, who cares?

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise
5) Guavaberry

Guavaberry is THE local drink in St Maarten, made with rum, sugar, and guavaberries. There used to be a massive Guavaberry Emporium in Philipsburg, but it closed during the pandemic. However, you can still buy Guavaberry at the cruise port if there is a ship in town, and I suggest stopping there for a drink. It’s strong, sweet, and delicious, just like I like my men.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a cruise

Evening: Relax on the Cruise Ship

OK, this is usually the part of my 24 hour itineraries where I would recommend some gourmet restaurant where you could have dinner.

However, since I was, technically speaking, a prisoner of love for my cruise ship, I had no choice but to return there. There are worse things in life than floating along in a room with your own private balcony.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

The very first thing I need to do as soon as I drop my shopping off in my stateroom is to get the specialty cocktail of the day and flop out on a deck chair with a mystery novel. As far as I’m concerned, it’s no Caribbean vacation without a pink rum drink and an Agatha Christie novel.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

If your cruise ship is anything like my Royal Caribbean cruise, the dinner in the main dining hall will be included with the price of your cruise. (Specialty restaurants always cost extra.) I have a few tips for finding the best food on the menu because it’s hard to cook for a large audience like the guests on a cruise ship.

Usually the soups are done well because think about how easy it is to make soups for a big group. You jus need a large pot! This was a slightly spicy poblano soup–only slightly spicy because of the whole cruise ship audience thing.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

Anything cheesy or with pasta is also usually a safe bet, like this chicken parm with a side of pasta and broccoli. I’m firmly of the opinion that melted cheese makes everything better anyway.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

And that goes double for any dessert with chocolate in it. (I mean that chocolate makes everything better, not that I think you should put melted cheese on chocolate cake.) After all, calories don’t count on vacation, as my doctor keeps telling me I shouldn’t say.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a cruise

Where to Stay?

St Maarten is half of an entire island, so you can stay pretty much anywhere. However, if you want to explore, I suggest staying in Philipsburg, which is the capital of St Maarten. You’ll be centrally located, and if you want to take a tour around this island, this is going to be the best starting point.

That’s why I recommend staying at Alicia’s Inn. It’s right in the heart of Philipsburg, and it’s within walking distance of all the restaurants and attractions. It’s very safe, and it has a friendly staff who is always there to help. You’ll be right by the beach and shops–basically anything you could want.

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here.

And if you’re looking for great deals on thousands of other hotels in Philipsburg, click here. This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay for your day of the best things to do in St Maarten on a cruise. With plenty of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

best things to do in st maarten on a cruise

That’s a Perfect Day of the Best Things to Do in St Maarten

What would you do on a day of the best things to do on St Maarten? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in St Maarten right now? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise

#1 TOP PICK

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
CAPTAIN BOB TOUR
✔️ Speedboat, lunch, and snorkel
✔️ Most popular tour on Viator

#2 PICK

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 3

CATAMARAN DAY SAIL
✔️ Experience stunning nature
✔️ Lunch and drinks included

#3 PICK

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 4

ALL OTHER ST MAARTEN TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have a day in St Maarten

Why not add a what to do in Aruba cruise excursion? You can experience a what to do on Bonaire day. Go for the best 24 hours in St Thomas things to do. Don’t forget about what to do at St Kitts! You can also try what to do in St Croix.

Try what to do in Nassau the Bahamas. Go for the most fun things to do in Playa del Carmen. Check out the best things to do at Roatan Honduras. Let’s head out on what to do at Riviera Maya. Find the best things to do on Allure of the Seas. Experience the best day tours in Aruba. Enjoy the best tours in Curacao.

Best Things to Do in St Maarten on a Cruise 8

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