Cruise Day 5-St Maarten, November 5th

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-Day 4

Cruise Day 5, St. Maarten, Tuesday November 5th

 This morning when we woke up, we were greeted with glorious sunlight!!! (that is, once we went up on deck as our rooms are pitch black without light, ha!) We weren't supposed to dock until 9am but were given the all clear announcement at 8:30am that we could go ashore. I had packed what I could for the beach the night before and finished up this morning.

The massive Oasis of the Seas

There were a total of 5 ships in port today which totaled about 18,000 people! I was glad we were able to go on shore before the Oasis of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean’s mega ships! We headed to the taxi area as we knew what beach we wanted to go to. While this was our 4th time to St. Maarten, on our 2nd trip to St. Maarten in 2010, a couple told us about a little known beach that is perfect for the kids so ever since, we've been going to Le Galion every time we visit St. Maarten.
We were in a taxi and on our way to the beach by 9:05am!

 It was a balmy 85 degrees by this point in time. The drive there is about 15 minutes long. Our driver was chatty and was filling us in on some facts about the island. We technically visited 2 countries today. Our ship docked in St. Maarten which is governed by the Dutch. The beach we went to is in St. Marten and governed by the French. He went on to list the differences between the countries such as how they are able to travel between both without needing documentation and how Burger King is allowed on the Dutch side but not the French. The Dutch side’s electric is 220 amp while the French side is 110. He said calling between the 2 countries consists of international calling! The entire size of the island that contains both countries is super tiny so these differences seem so funny (seriously, Lancaster county is probably bigger than this island with both countries!)

We arrived at Le Galion beach a little before 9:30. There were only about 5 people there. In fact, we weren't sure if the facilities were open as they had gotten hit with a tropical storm just a few weeks prior. Kevin went to ask and found out that while their phone & credit card system was down, the tiny restaurant & bathrooms were open. Our taxi driver offered to pick us up at a designated time so we told him 2:30.
We found a small, shaded area under a palm tree, which I believe is the same place we set up last time we were here in 2012. 

My 2 little girls & I

Our driver had told us they just had 3 inches of rain the night before & morning of our arrival which explained why there was a ton of seaweed washed up on shore. The typically clear, blue water was also quite murky due to the heavy rain they had. That was a little disappointing. We love this beach for its calmness. There is a coral reef located way out in the distance that breaks the waves so all we get at this beach is a slight movement of water, perfect for the little ones!

Ava & Olivia right before we left the beach

Ava wasn't sure at first what to make of the water but by the afternoon, she would willingly run into it and wanted to stay and play in it. The day was beautiful and we had a nice, strong breeze that kept us from getting too hot. Our driver showed up around 2:30 and we headed back to the ship. By this time, the temp was about 89!!
This was a special tent & blow up pool I brought with us. It folded very compact into a tiny carry bag but I figured this would come in handy on beaches for the littles to give them a way to play in water & protect them from the sun.

Long hike back to our ship which was the furthest one out.  You can see Ava's leg off to my right side. Lucky girl got to ride it out in the sling on me!

 When it came time for dinner, we headed down to our assigned table on deck 4. As we walked in to the MDR, our head waiter (Olivia’s buddy Dario) was greeting everyone. Even though he was talking to someone, he stopped midsentence to say hi to Olivia. She shyly waved hi and continued to look at him as she walked forward. While she watched him, she walked smack into the hand sanitizer machine!!! Everyone in the area chuckled including Dario (he later came to make sure she was ok).

Our view from our ship.
Friends of ours have a table not far from us in the MDR so we occasionally chat with each other. The night before, as we stopped to say goodnight on our way out, they had us try a piece of challah bread they had custom ordered from the kitchen (handmade of course). We told them how we really liked it and next thing we knew, they told our headwaiter we wanted a loaf of it every night!! HA So guess what came to our table tonight, yup, a hand braided loaf of challah!!

Homemade olive tapenade is in the bottom right corner of the pic

 The kids all said they do prefer this to the roll basket that came around each night. It’s true that you can seriously order whatever your heart desires and the kitchen staff does their best to fulfill all requests! In fact, one night escargot is typically offered as an appetizer. It hasn't been on the menu yet though our friends have been ordering it occasionally. Last night they sent 2 appetizers of it our way!!! Yup, this gal ate almost all of it (ok, I did share some of it with the kids!) The kids have been spoiled with chocolate milk whenever their hearts desired! (a rare treat as we never have it at home!)

Our evening ended with the older kids hanging out in teen club while Kevin & I walked the little ones outside on the upper deck under a bright, full moon that lit up the ocean! 

This is looking up at Dizzy's (which is in the center) & the girls play area which is to the right of the glass windows.

This is looking from Dizzy's down onto the pools & hot tubs.

Beautiful full moon out over the ocean.

Just to compare the beach from 2 different trips here:

Beautiful clear water

The exact same view after a massive rain storm that washed up tons of seaweed.

This is still our favorite beach at St Maarten. 3 times here and this was the first time we had to deal with murky, seaweed filled water.

You can read about one of our other trips to St Maarten here.
All photos can be clicked on to enlarge. The photos I am sharing are a combination of ones I took as well as my kids and husband on a variety of cameras and iPhones, hence the varying quality.

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