What makes St. Maarten so unique is its blend of cultures. The island is home to 120 different nationalities speaking over 80 languages, and is governed by two countries: the Netherlands and France. In fact, it’s the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. While it may be less than 40 square miles, there’s plenty to do on this little island: you can travel back in time while exploring centuries-old ruins and get your adrenaline fix ziplining through lush tropical forests. If you’re after a little rest and relaxation during your cruise to St. Maarten, you’ll find plenty of secluded beaches where you can work on your suntan before treating your taste buds to some of the best cuisine in the Caribbean.
NATIONAL LANGUAGE DUTCH, ENGLISH, FRENCH
CURRENCY ACCEPTED NETHERLANDS ANTILLEAN GUILDER (ANG), EURO (EUR), U.S. DOLLAR (USD)
THINGS TO DO IN PHILIPSBURG
Loterie Farm is a nature sanctuary with 135 acres of hiking trails, a zip line adventure course, and a spring fed multi-level pool with cascading waterfalls..
SIMPSON BAY LAGOON
The largest saltwater lagoon in the Caribbean, Simpson Bay is a great spot for lounging and watching the boats and yachts that dot its picturesque harbor.
Hike to the top of Mount Concordia, which marks the border between the French and Dutch sides of the island, for the best views of both sides
This gourmet capital of the Caribbean serves a mix of French, East Indian and island flavors. Cruise to St. Maarten and stop by a roadside barbecue stand (called a lolo) and enjoy lobster grilled on split-metal drums. Or dine on stuffed crab and cod fritters at any local cafe. Be sure to try some guavaberry liqueur, made exclusively on the island.
Head to Front Street in Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St. Maarten, and shop your way down a mile of duty-free stores. Before you go, pick up some famous guavaberry liqueur at the Sint Maarten Guavaberry Company.
A service charge is sometimes included at Dutch side restaurants, but you may wish to add 15% if the service was especially good.
In restaurants on the French side, it is customary to leave a cash tip of 5-10%.
On the French side, it is customary to leave a cash tip of 5-10%.
This information and photos are provided by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.