After a few hours at the beach, we got on the van, drove to Front Street in Philipsburg to do some shopping and around 4:30 PM, we went back to the ship.

Back on the ship, some of us went to a show called "Headliner Show Time" featuring great Motown music. 

After dinner at Opus Restaurant, we went up to Café Promenade for coffee and desserts. Tonight, they were having a 70’s party and a street festival on the Royal Promenade and the place was rocking with music blaring and people dancing.

We sat at the cafe watching people for a long time and returned to our room around 2 AM since we didn’t have to go anywhere the next day. 
Tomorrow will be Day 6. Not looking forward to it at all.

Cruising the Eastern Caribbean (Day 5)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The ship docked in St Maarten which was the last Port of Call for this cruise. St Maarten (Dutch) or St Martin (French) is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. There is no need to have your passport or visa when you cross the border from one side to the other.

Our plan today was to pick up a van we had reserved, drive around the island, stop at the French-side Orient Beach for a swim, drive to Dutch-side Philipsburg for shopping before returning to the ship.

Driving around the island took longer than I expected because the streets are narrow and traffic congestion in some areas was horrendous. It took me an hour to drive approximately 20 miles and the scenery here wasn't as impressive as it was in St Thomas.

White sandy Orient Beach
At Orient Beach, we rented chairs and umbrellas at a beach-side stand called The Sling. For $8 per person, each of us received a beach chair, an umbrella, and a drink. $15 will buy you 6 Coronas in an ice bucket.

Orient Beach is nice and that is why it is often referred to as the "French Riviera of the Caribbean". Numerous beach bar/restaurants line this one mile white sandy beach. The turquoise water is clear and warm. All of us were in the water for a long time.

The southern section of the beach has Club Orient which is a clothing optional resort area but we stayed on the northern end of the beach. We like Orient Beach a lot.

"Oasis of the Seas" docks in St Maarten next to the Carnival Dreams"
We swim for a long time
Too bad we didn't get to spend more time here
Water is clear and warm
Back to the ship
Downtown Philipsburg 
One last picture on St Maarten....
Christina among colorful items for sale
Steve has been in the sun too much today
... well may be two. Lee and Bo at St Maarten ship dock. Our big-ass ship is behind us
Dinner in Opus Restaurant
Christina shopping on the Oasis. T-shirts are 2 for $20 
Smile, Julian
Headliner Showtime in Opal Theater
Kenny James can imitate Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, and even Diana Ross
70's Party. Village People are up next
Street party on Royal Promenade

What do you think?
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