Our port-of-call for today is Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St. Maarten. We have been here several times and loved each visit.
The day was starting like all our other days on this trip, beautiful. I was up early to capture the morning rising above the island. The dark blue sky was filled with beautiful snowy white puffy clouds drifting over a sea shimmering from the light of the rising sun. I never get tired of the morning and evening skies.
We were hoping to go to the beach this morning but Randy had a very bad night. He was so tired that I offered to get coffee and breakfast and bring it back to the cabin. The coffee maker in the Diamond lounge was still not fixed so first down to the Promenade Café for coffee then up to the Windjammer to pick up a few things for breakfast.
Eventually, we made our way up to the Solarium pool and settled in for a quiet day. While sitting poolside we found ourselves reminiscing about the several times we had been to this beautiful island.
In 2013 we came to St. Maarten with many of our friends to celebrate Randy’s birthday. We had a wonderful time at Orient Beach. Sand, surf and a wonderful lunch was just the perfect way to spend the day with friends.
May of 2014 found us returning to St. Maarten alone and visiting the French side of the island. We caught a cab and traveled over to Marigot. We walked around visiting the Marigot Market, looking over the menus of the many sidewalk cafes and admiring the many beautiful sailing vessels in the marina. We eventually stopped at one of the cafes and had a delicious lunch.
Our most recent visit to St. Maarten was in October of 2015. We decided to try another beach and chose a trip to Buccaneer Beach at Simpson’s Bay. What a great choice that was! White sand beach, padded beach chairs, warm turquoise waters and lunch on the beach.
We both enjoyed our memories of these wonderful places and spending time with special people in our lives. As soon as we finished walking down memory lane, Randy fell fast asleep. I took this opportunity to walk around a bit and take a few photographs.
My first stop was at an interesting piece of artwork by the main pool. It is a piece by artist Clemens Briels called, “Les Dances Nicoises”. The plaque for this piece was so scratched and broken it was hard to read more than the artist’s name and the name of the piece. I did a little research and learned that Briels, “translates his experiences in the Orient, the Caribbean and North and South America. These moments on his travels furnish him with the titles he so likes to transform into images. The traditional music of Central and South America is another almost inexhaustible source of inspiration for the artist”.
On my way to the main pool I could not help but notice that it was empty. Had everyone gone on shore? By the time I looked over the sculpture and picked up some lunch for Randy in the Windjammer I noticed a few people swimming in the Solarium pool.
I brought Randy’s lunch back from the Windjammer, settled into my chair and promptly fell asleep. I was awakened when I heard Sandy’s voice. Dennis, Connie, Bob and Sandy had returned from their lovely morning on the island. It was fun listening to everyone talk about where they had been and what they had done.
Around 2:00pm we went back to the cabin to just hang out. We took one last walk down the Promenade before returning to the cabin. Of course, I could not resist taking another picture of the Christmas tree. It is so beautiful! As the afternoon wore on we watched as our ship, the Freedom of the Seas and the Regal Princess all prepared to leave port before sundown.
Dinner was delicious as always. After sleeping for quite a while poolside, Randy said he felt rested and would like to go to the evening show. The headliner for this evening was comedian Steve Shaffer. I am so glad we attended the show. It was good to hear Randy laugh out loud at Mr. Shaffer’s funny life-stories about everyday experiences especially the ones that related to Catholic guilt.
We returned to the cabin and, as we do each evening, stepped out onto the balcony to see the night sky. The moon was hidden behind a fine mist making the night seem eerie. I wanted to capture the sky so Randy and I, each armed with a camera, tried and tried to get a decent shot. After, what seemed like an endless number of terrible shots I thought to myself, “I really do need to read the manuals for my new camera”.
We put our cameras away and retired for what I hoped would be a good night’s sleep.
Tomorrow we are at sea.