Like most of the ports of call on this cruise, St. Martin still has a lot of damage from recent hurricanes. Specifically, a well-known “clothing-optional” beach, “Orient Beach” was pretty much leveled in a storm the prior year and was being reconstructed. That didn’t stop a few determined beachgoers, but for the most part the place was empty. I imagine it was downright desolate compared to prior to the storm damage. They have a lot of debris and garbage to clean up from the storm that they’re still working on. Now that I think of it though, there might be a few parallels here… I’ve actually been doing some similar repair work on this blog lately, playing catch-up, and cleaning all the garbage from the site. Anyhow….
St. Martin is divided into two sections by country, a French and a Dutch section. In terms of country counting, particularly if you’re following the Traveler’s Century List, it’s an easy two entries. It’s also a pretty interesting visit to make a loop around the island and see both sections. The beaches are really nice, both Orient Beach and the pure spectacle of Maho Beach, where planes come in low over the beachgoers as they land. Definitely don’t stay on the boat if you have a cruise stop here… it’s a cool place to visit.