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Cruise Review - Caribbean Princess Pictures of St. Maarten - A Dutch and French Island

A Little History of St. Maarten before worrying about the review of the Caribbean Princess.

St Maarten is the smallest Island in the world to be divided between two sovereign powers.

The current boundary is a result of numerous wars between great European powers in the 17th century. Ownership of the Island is split between the Dutch and French, yet no rift exists between the people of these cultures. The island's inhabitants are quite proud of their nearly 350-year history of peaceful co-existence.

According to legend, Columbus discovered the island in 1493 on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. During the 140 years that followed, the Spanish, French and Dutch disputed possession, or at least the right to use the resources, of St. Maarten/St. Martin.

On March 23, 1648, a treaty was concluded atop Mount Concordia delineating the boundaries of the island. The Dutch received 16 square miles and the French received 21 square miles, owing to the latter's  superior naval presence in the region when the treaty was signed.

The French and Dutch were not always as neighborly as they are today - the territory underwent 16 changes of flag from 1648 to 1816, with France, Holland and even Britain claiming it at times.

The establishment of sugarcane plantations during the late 1700s inevitably brought with it slavery. The exploitive colonial system remained intact and prospered as long as there were slaves; however, once slavery was abolished the economy suffered greatly. The island became mired in a depression that lasted until 1939, when all import and export taxes were rescinded and the island became a free port.

Thereafter, St. Maarten/St. Martin developed as a hub of trade in the Caribbean; the most dramatic advances were made in the late 1950's with the opening of the airport. In the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's, hotels began to proliferate around the island and more cruise ships began to visit. today, the island's appeal is stronger than ever.

It's a popular destination for cruise ships now

St. Maarten is a free port and has no local sales taxes. Prices on liquors, imported linen, quality fine perfumes and European chocolates can be as much as 50% less than those found in the U.S. Locally grown guavaberries are a staple -  the native berries are used to make liquors, jams and sauces.

We had a private tour with our Cruise Critic friends Steve and Beth. 

Our private Tour was with a local guide, whose name was Joyce.

What a bargain!  Joyce was just great.  She was very personable and knew everything about St. Marrten. She took us all over the island in her SUV which was air conditioned thank goodness. We stopped and had some really good hot dogs at a hang out just past the runway at the airport, on the beach. After the the tour we asked her where we could get some Hawaiian shirts. She took us to a  store that had some really great bargains...I got three very nice shirts for $20.00!        

We highly recommend Joyce's tours and if you visit her website: you will find she offers other services as well.


Picture waiting for tour  photo  of St. Maarten. Picture of cruise ship from atop St. Maarten in the Caribbean picture taken in St. Maarten Kathy and Bill Lund in St. Maarten on the Caribbean Princess Cruise
It's time to find Joyce and begin our cruise ship shore excursion. We found Joyce, so let the tour begin! Great view of the cruise ship from way up here.   Joyce takes our
picture of us picking guava berries or something picture of joyce our tour guide in St. Maarten Adult photos - St. Maarten photos of street scenes in St. Maarten Street scenes images of St. Maarten
picture of us picking guava berries or something picture of joyce our tour guide in St. Maarten. That's Joyce on the right. Adult photos - St. Maarten Street scenes images of St. Maarten photos of street scenes in St. Maarten
St Maarten Caribbean Image St. Maarten Caribbean photograph St. Maarten Caribbean Photograph Joyce Tour Guide St. Maarten Caribbean road on St. Maarten Caribbean
pictue of construction equipment St. Maarten Image St. Maarten St Marten view Image St. Maarten
Street Scene picture St. Maarten Street Scene St. Maarten Caribbean Image street scene St. Maarten Image beach St. Maarten Caribbean Beach picture St. Maarten Caribbean
Beach photograph St. Marten Caribbean Beach photo St. Maarten Caribbean St. Maarten image st. maarten picture St. Maarten
  Cruise review photos from the Princess Lines Caribbean cruise      
Photo St. Maarten St. Maarten Beach Photograph St. Maarten Beach image St. Maarten Beach Photo
On the Beach at St. Maarten parking lot picture Kite flying St. Maarten Caribbean Picture picking seagrapes on St. Maarten with Tour Guide Joyce Images Beach St. Maarten
    Kite flying St. Maarten Caribbean Joyce teaches us
about seagrapes.
view of road through windshield St. Maarten Picture of Kon Tiki Statues in St. Maarten Photograph of Kon Tiki Statues in St. Maarten Beach St. Maarten Caribbean picture Beach picture St. Maarten Caribbean
Picture Tour Guide Joyce Pictures rocks beach St. Maarten Picture Beautiful Ocean Beach St. Maarten Caribbean
Images Beach St. maarten Beach picture Ocean picture St. Maarten Picture restaurant St. Maarten Picture Pirate Ship St. maarten
      Great hot dogs
to be had here.
The pirate ship some
of the group was on.
Photo St. Maarten beautiful Photo Ocean St. Maarten


Shopping for shirts

After our tour we asked our guide Joyce to take us somewhere to buy some Hawaiian type shirts.  She took
us to this wonderful store...they had just about everything you could ask for in a tourist stop.  And the Prices
were great!

Picture shopping St. Maarten Picture of Katlhy shopping in St. Maarten Image of Kathy Shopping in St. Maarten
A rack of tote bags. Scarves, blouses.. Oh how she loves
to shop...
  Yes, she did buy this
Picture of dresses at shop in St. Maarten Photograph of tourist shop in St. Maarten
    Anyone need a necklace?    
Pictures of shirts in a shop in St. Maartens So much to buy...
So little money...

In the evening...

Picture of dancing on the Caribbean Princess Pictures of the cruise leaving St. Maarten
Pictures of drinks with friends on the ship Photo of cruise critic group members dancing on the Caribbean Princess Pictures of dancing aboard the Caribbean Princess cruise ship
Members of the cruise
critic group meeting
for drinks
We had so much fun.   Lots of dancing Cruise review pictures from the Caribbean Princess
Images of dancing on the Cruise Ship Caribbean Princess Images cruise critic group dancing on Caribbean cruise Photograph couple dancing jpg- cruise critic group fun cruise ship dancing cruise ship party fun
Images of dancing on the Cruise Ship Caribbean Princess Cruise Critics group
members have more fun.
Caribbean cruise photos - cruise critics group Caribbean cruise photos cruise ship pictures Bride and Groom getting wedding pictures - Caribbean Princess
  Caribbean cruise photos - cruise critics everywhere you turn      
Dancing on a cruise ship Food Picture - blue martini William J. Lund cruisesrfun picture Kathy L. Lund picture cruisesrfun cruise Photos Caribbean Princess
    It's Me! Bill :) And Kathy!  
Caribbean Princess pictures - Newlyweds who were seated at our table Picture of newlyweds at our dinner table
Newlyweds who were seated at our table Picture of newlyweds at our dinner table      
dancing pictures Caribbean Princess dancing photos Caribbean Princess