On Day #5 of our Carnival cruise, we stopped in beautiful St. Martin/St. Maarten. This was a new island for both of us and we didn’t plan an excursion. We opted to wing it and find something fun to do spontaneously instead! First, while still onboard the ship, we headed to breakfast in the dining room, which is a sit down experience and requires nicer clothes than just grabbing something from the breakfast buffet (no denim shorts or swim wear). I wore this neon t-shirt and shorts together. Not an outfit I had planned to wear together, but it wound up being perfect for breakfast in the dining room that day.
At breakfast we met a couple who told us about Maho Bay in St. Martin. JJ had seen videos of Maho Bay but he didn’t realize where it was located. As soon as he heard those words, that was our plan for the day! He couldn’t wait.
We took a group taxi and arrived at Maho Bay after a 30-minute drive. I wore my favorite swim cover up (from this post) and my new fedora. The beach was jam-packed and there’s no shade or umbrellas so bring SPF if you go. The water was insanely blue; that’s not editing, it really looked like that! The main attraction at Maho Bay, though? The planes!!
This pretty much sums it up:
It was the most thrilling experience. JJ’s dad was a pilot so this was his favorite part of our trip. Having planes fly over your head as they land was fun, but the real drama happened when the planes took off. Their jet blast hits the beach behind them as they take off; it was akin to being in a tornado. My skin got whipped with sand through my towel and hat. I was finding sand in my hair for days afterwards. Daredevils like to hang onto the fence for dear life, and sometimes the blast knocks them over. During takeoffs, for those who may be a little less thrill seeking, I recommend moving down the beach a bit from the direct flight path (as I did after that initial takeoff).
After our aviation adventure, we headed back to the cruise ship to grab lunch. Then we caught a water taxi across the bay to explore the beach and shopping area in St. Martin that’s visible from the ship (behind us in the photo above). The boardwalk along the beach has live music, inexpensive drinks and tons of shopping, including brand names we all know and love in the states.
We headed back to the ship to shower before the sun went down, so these pictures are a little dark as a result. My hair also wasn’t quite done drying yet, but standing on deck in the wind takes care of that nicely as I discovered. I originally bought this dress for Valentine’s Day with JJ last year (here) and loved styling it for warm weather with sandals and a pink clutch this time.
That night after dinner we watched a magic show. Carnival had Bobby Borgia, a world famous magician, on board. He put on a spectacular show! I changed into sports gear (here) after the magic show and watched my favorite baseball team win a big game in the EA SPORTS Bar.
Our fourth and final stop on our cruise was San Juan, Puerto Rico. Many years ago I stayed several nights in San Juan and fell in love with this city. I couldn’t wait to see it again and share it with JJ. What’s cool about this stop is it’s more of a city tour vs. a beach/snorkel type destination so a Carnival cruise that goes to San Juan gives you the best of both worlds.
We spent the day riding the free trolleys and visiting both forts (only $5 per person for both). The views are just completely out of this world, and doing both forts (with a stop back on the ship for lunch) took pretty much all day because there’s so much to explore! The weather was incredibly hot so I was thankful I wore a casual tank top and denim shorts (first featured on the blog here). I had considered wearing some dressier shorts and shoes, but we walked so much and I was sweating buckets so I was thankful to have gone casual. Here are some more of our photos from San Juan:
After our tour through San Juan we headed back for dinner. My hair was still wet (again), but we snapped these photos from the deck as the sun set. I wore this dress on the blog this summer (here) and loved wearing it again. White is a great choice on a cruise for showing off your fresh tan!
Tomorrow’s post: my two favorite dinner outfits for the whole cruise. I saved the best for last!
This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.