Today as we were sailing towards the port of Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Randy was on the balcony and caught sight of a rainbow. When I saw the rainbow, I just knew it was going to be a great day. We had all decided to go on an excursion to the French side of the island, St. Martin to enjoy the waters of Orient beach.
When I was setting up Randy’s birthday cruise, I learned that Barry would be celebrating his 70th birthday while on the cruise. I was excited and made sure when communicating with everyone to let them know that Barry was having a birthday too. Many of us gathered at the Windjammer Café for breakfast and presented Barry with birthday cards, and yes, a birthday necklace and pin announcing his special day. I also made arrangements to have Barry’s cabin decorated while we were at the beach.
We all met down on the pier for our bus ride to the beach. The tour guide was wonderful catching sight of Randy and Barry’s necklaces and had everyone on the bus sing happy birthday. Very nice! As we rolled through the hills making our way to the beach, the tour guide gave us a short history about the island and pointed out interesting sights as we made our way.
When we arrived, we were given a complimentary fruit or rum punch and then escorted to our wonderful padded lounge chairs. There were umbrellas in place and only cost $3 to rent for the morning. We took the row of chairs right in front of the beach. The view from our chairs was wonderful. After many of us waded into the water, I heard several say that the water was, “delicious”.
We all spent the morning swimming, soaking up some sun and just enjoying the day. At one point very large black clouds could be seen rolling toward the beach but they passed by and went to the other side of the island.
Many local vendors walk up and down the beach selling beach cover-ups, beach bags, jewelry, hats and one very nice gentleman was selling his own music cd. At one point there were three women vendors all selling at the same time. It was a very funny sight.
Lana, Cindy and Sheri all had fun trying various things on and eventually buying several items.
included lunch and it was wonderful. Our tour guide was wonderful reserving a large table so we could all sit together. What we all really enjoyed was that the lunch was served not a buffet and we could choose chicken, fish or barbeque with an assortment of complimentary beer, mixed drink, soda, or glass of wine to choose from. It was all very nice.
We headed back to the beach for whatever time was left and immediately went into the water. A gentleman came along in the water calling out for everyone to watch the fish. He was walking along and holding small pieces of bread so the fish would swarm around. Sheri took a piece of bread and held it out and yelped as the fish took it out of her fingers. It was very funny to watch as more and more bathers gathered around.
The bus took us back and dropped us off at the port where there were many little shops to wander through. Remember, I needed to find a magnet for Kristine’s refrigerator. I thought it would be easy but, many of the magnets only had the name of one island on it, I wanted one that had both St. Maarteen and St. Martin. I was eventually successful. Before everyone went in different directions, we stopped for a photo opportunity.
Randy and I started walking back to the ship but stopped just short finding a small watering hole called Sharky’s and stopped for a cold beer and soda. As we sat there eventually the rest of the group started to pass by and joined us.
Lana made arrangements for the entire group to go to Portofino’s to celebrate Barry’s birthday. The restaurant was a wonderful, small and intimate Italian restaurant. Lana was so funny; she gave everyone a pair of playful glasses shaped like the number 70. We really did look funny so, of course, we all had to have our pictures taken wearing them.
The presentation of the food was amazing, the food was delicious, and the service was impeccable. For dessert our waiter brought out Barry’s birthday cake and once again the entire wait staff came by to sing happy birthday to Barry. We all wanted a piece of cake but also wanted to try a few desserts. Our waiter was wonderful offering to bring out several dishes filled with sample of a variety of desserts. It was a veritable food fest.
The show that evening was the ice show which we saw earlier in the week. Randy and I decided to just walk around the ship and get a little exercise after eating such a large meal. Of course, that did not stop us from stopping by the Café Promenade for his daily coconut cookies on our way back to the cabin.
Sheri caught this wonderful shot of the sun setting. Love it! It truly was a wonderful day.
Tomorrow we sleep in because we will be at sea.