Day 21 - Saturday 29 December - St Maarten

Woke up 5:15. Except my phone was wrong so I have no idea what time I woke up. No idea when it got set to the wrong time either. Probably yesterday at some point.

Watched our arrival into St Maarten.

Sea bird flying next to Queen Mary 2
Sea bird flying next to Queen Mary 2

St Maarten and pilot boat
St Maarten and pilot boat

Rain over St Maarten
Rain over St Maarten

St Maarten from Queen Mary 2
St Maarten from Queen Mary 2

St Maarten from Queen Mary 2
St Maarten from Queen Mary 2

Ships docked at St Maarten
Ships docked at St Maarten

Port of St Maarten
Port of St Maarten

Had a pretty easy morning. Had sausages and salad for breakfast. Kinda sick of the same stuff every day. But we did see the captain walk through Kings Court. Twice! Even said hello haha. Apparently he had his family with him and he was showing them around, including the Carnival Fascination next door hehe.

Getting off the ship was super easy - just walked off.

Queen Mary 2 and Carnival Fascination at St Maarten
Queen Mary 2 and Carnival Fascination at St Maarten

Then it started to rain. Hurrah. Just lightly though.

Walked into Philipsburg and had a bit of a look around. People here are much more in your face selling stuff. Guess life has been a lot harder since the last hurricane devastated the place.

Bucket List tshirt in a shop in Philipsburg
Bucket List tshirt in a shop in Philipsburg

Our first stop was "That Yoda Guy" movie exhibit. Nick Maley was a makeup artist who worked on *heaps* of films including Star Wars, and he retired to St Maarten and setup a little museum of memorabilia. It was pretty cool, well except for the temperature which was stifling, and we were melting by the end of it.

Stu outside That Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit
Stu outside That Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit

Yoda behind the scenes photos
Yoda behind the scenes photos

Script page from Return of the Jedi
Script page from Return of the Jedi

Ewok model
Ewok model

Star Wars storyboard
Star Wars storyboard

The Emperor and Salacious Crumb
The Emperor and Salacious Crumb

Tusken Raider
Tusken Raider

Terminator 2 storyboards
Terminator 2 storyboards

Star Wars storyboards
Star Wars storyboards

David Bowie lifecast
David Bowie lifecast

Original storyboard from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back
Original storyboard from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back

Six puppeteers controlled Yoda
Six puppeteers controlled Yoda

Original mold of Yoda's skin
Original mold of Yoda's skin

Model of Yoda
Model of Yoda

Kaz and Nick Maley
Kaz and Nick Maley

Then we had a smoothie. Cause we were hot. Then wandered down to the beach and walked along a bit.

Philipsburg Boardwalk
Philipsburg Boardwalk

St Maarten Court House
St Maarten Court House

Great Bay Beach
Great Bay Beach

Then we decided to head for the airport, but didn't know where to find a taxi. We were just walking down the street and saw a minibus that said Maho and decided that would work. It was only $2 per person which was great value, so took that all the way to the north end of Maho Beach.

Then is started to rain. Hurrah. Poured this time. We had borrowed the Cunard umbrella from our room, and it helped a little but not much.

Headed for the south end of the beach, with the idea of sitting in the bar and drinking while waiting for the planes. Except because it was raining, everyone else was in there and the place was packed. Le sigh. Found a bar stool for the sweetie and got him a drink, then I stood out in the rain waiting for planes.

Had to wait about half an hour, in the rain, then they came thick and fast. It was so totally awesome. Bucket list item: tick.

And the rain did stop for a while too, so everyone hit the beach and it got really crowded. Still got some good shots I think.

Sunset Bar surfboard showing airline arrivals times
Sunset Bar surfboard showing airline arrivals times

Sunset Bar at Maho Beach
Sunset Bar at Maho Beach

Crowds on Maho Beach
Crowds on Maho Beach

Bombardier Global Express-BD-700-1A10 PP-GUL landing at St Maarten
Bombardier Global Express-BD-700-1A10 PP-GUL landing at St Maarten

American Airlines N198AA Boeing 757-223(WL) landing at St Maarten
American Airlines N198AA Boeing 757-223(WL) landing at St Maarten

United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten
United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten

United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten
United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten

United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten
United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten

United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten
United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten

United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten
United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten

United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten
United Airlines N39728 Boeing 737-724(WL) landing at St Maarten

VP-LNB King Air 100-A100 landing at St Maarten
VP-LNB King Air 100-A100 landing at St Maarten

VP-LNB King Air 100-A100 landing at St Maarten
VP-LNB King Air 100-A100 landing at St Maarten

Jetblue N566JB Airbus A320-232 landing at St Maarten
Jetblue N566JB Airbus A320-232 landing at St Maarten

Jetblue N566JB Airbus A320-232 landing at St Maarten
Jetblue N566JB Airbus A320-232 landing at St Maarten

Stu having a rum punch at Maho Beach.  Can you tell how thrilled he is to be there? :)
Stu having a rum punch at Maho Beach. Can you tell how thrilled he is to be there? :)
Photo by Stu

Ran into John the Scottish dude and his wife, who I've now heard her name twice and I *still* can't remember her name :(

By this time the sweetie had had enough (he *still* feels like crap poor thing :(:( ), and he wanted to go straight to the ship rather than Philipsburg (the minibus taxis are a lot cheaper but probably only go into town). So paid $20 for a taxi.

Philipsburg from the taxi
Philipsburg from the taxi

Queen Mary 2 at St Maarten
Queen Mary 2 at St Maarten

Had a late, light lunch, then headed back to the room.

Found out the book I'd taken got a bit water damaged in the rain :( Which is probably why they have notices all over them not to do what I just did for that very reason. I suck.

17:00 and we heard another ship leaving. But we were facing the container terminal, so couldn't see them, and it would have taken entirely too much effort to see them, so sat there doing nothing.

Sat around doing nothing for a while. Eventually I got ready and went to dinner by myself while the sweetie went to Kings Court. Dinner was nice enough, but actually a repeat menu from our first night on board. I didn't have anything for entree, had the beef and short ribs again because they were pretty good last time, and yoghurt panna cotta for dessert.

Roasted beef tenderloin and braised short ribs, celeriac puree, speck potato rosti and red wine sauce that I had for mains
Roasted beef tenderloin and braised short ribs, celeriac puree, speck potato rosti and red wine sauce that I had for mains

Yoghurt panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry flim and basil pain de genes that I had for dessert
Yoghurt panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry flim and basil pain de genes that I had for dessert

After dinner I went with Bryan and Jan to the early show. The act was comedy juggler Pete Matthews. It was all a bit silly but fun.

Pete Matthews juggling show
Pete Matthews juggling show

Then collapsed into bed.