We had originally planned to do the carousel tour of St. Maarten, but it was cancelled. Melissa and Jason actually had all of their originally scheduled tours cancelled. We woke up early, as usual, and I went down to the shore excursions desk to figure out whether we could book a last minute excursion. Jason was down there doing the same thing. We got a list of the ones that were available, and I picked one of the only ones that seemed feasible with the little ones. We knew we wanted to do another beach excursion since the kids enjoyed St. Thomas so much! We saw my parents and Gabe’s parents on their way to their early art tour of the island. Melissa’s parents were on another tour.
We were docked on the Dutch side of the island (called St. Maarten), and we chose a tour that would take us to a beach on the French side (called St. Martin). I grabbed some muffins from the Royal Promenade and some towels from the pool deck for our beach excursion. After not having our swimsuits the day before, we didn’t want to make the same mistake twice! Melissa and Jason decided to join us on our tour.
We had to wait a bit to get to our bus, and the kids were anxious to get moving. We got on the bus and sat in the very back where Maddie sat with Melissa and Jason and Cullen sat with Gabe and me. Once again, Jason tried to steal one of our children! Melissa looked like she was in on it this time. We had a running joke the rest of the day that Melissa and Jason had special custody of Maddie that was only valid on St. Maarten. When the tour guide came by to check our tickets, she assumed Maddie was their child.
Our tour guide gave us some good information about the island and how the French and Dutch sides interact and the differences between the two countries. At some point, we heard a loud noise and maybe even smelled a rubber burning sort of smell. Before we could make it to the beach, our bus broke down. Those of us near the back wondered if some belt had broken, and sure enough that is what happened.
We had to evacuate the bus and wait for a replacement. Our luck with buses was not stellar for this trip! Fortunately, we weren’t delayed for too long. Maddie thought it was hilarious that we made a joke that the belt busted because the bus ate too much at the buffet. We were only delayed about 15 minutes, and they compensated with a later departure from the beach. They greeted us with fruity beverages, and we had reserved lounge chairs on the beach. We had the option to buy umbrellas, so we took advantage of those.
The kids spent a lot of time playing in the sand.
Unfortunately, the waves were too strong for the kids at this beach, and the beach had a ton of seaweed. Maddie wasn’t a fan of the seaweed (and I don’t blame her!). She didn’t like that it kept getting tangled up in her feet.
We played on the beach a little bit and then had our “free” lunch at the restaurant. This beach was a bit more developed than the one that we had visited on St. Thomas, but the food wasn’t much better. We were glad it was free! They even gave us some extra fries for the kids for free. While we were eating, we heard a big thump and assumed that maybe a coconut dropped from the palm tree next to us. We looked over and saw a huge iguana! The waiter then chased it back up the tree. Those things are everywhere.
After lunch, we played some more on the beach. We had been warned ahead of time that the beach would have dozens of peddlers trying to sell towels, sunglasses, toys, necklaces, and other assorted souvenirs. The tour guide advised that we can get all of these things near the port cheaper than what they are probably asking on the beach. She advised us to simply say “no thank you,” and by the end of our visit to the beach both Maddie and Cullen were telling the vendors “no thank you.”
Early in our beach adventure, we saw a very cute doll with a long dress. The doll was “reversible” with another head instead of feet so that when you flipped her over she had a differently patterned dress. One side had a sash that said “St. Maarten” and the other had a sash that said “St. Martin” representing the Dutch and French sides of the island. We thought that was very neat but we resisted buying it the first time. We figured that we would get it back in port, but the more we thought about it, the more we wished that we just had bought it from the first lady. We didn’t see another one for a while! Finally, either the same woman came through or another one with the same doll, and we decided to buy it. I’m glad that we bought it since it was actually more expensive back at the port! Maddie was thrilled.
Melissa, Jason, and I went for a swim in the ocean which was wonderful. I did a little body surfing and swimming around in the waves. We had to be mindful of the undertow, and we kept getting swept down the beach. It definitely wasn’t a kid-friendly place to swim.
We were at the beach for about 3 hours which is more than long enough to get sand everywhere. We had a difficult time getting the sand off of us (especially since the shower was public and most of the sand wasn’t in public places…though the beach does allow you to be topless and not far down the stretch was a nude beach. I preferred to keep my suit on, thanks!).
We headed back on our original bus which had been repaired. Maddie and Cullen fell asleep almost immediately.
We had two tired kiddos!
Melissa and Jason opted to get off the bus in town and take a water taxi back to our ship later. Gabe and Cullen headed to the ship while Maddie and I explored the shops near the port.
We walked around together and bought some souvenirs.
We ended up getting a St. Maarten monkey for Cullen, a shirt for Maddie, and a shirt for Daddy. We listened to a little bit of the steel drum band and then headed back to the ship.
Cullen decided that his short little nap on the bus was enough for the day, so we put the kids in the stroller and walked around after showering. We ended up at “Who Am I” interactive trivia where they showed pictures of famous people. We got 17 of 18, but they were having technical difficulties with the interactive parts. We did end up getting a prize after all. Cullen wasn’t terribly happy.
Gabe and his mom went to play bingo with Maddie while Cullen and I ditched the stroller and went to walk around the ship. He was a little difficult since he didn’t get enough of a nap. We explored the upper decks where he found a row of pool chairs and had to sit in every.single.one. It was on this little excursion that I realized that I had trained Cullen pretty well to stand in front of things and pose. He did a lot of walking up to random things and standing in front of them waiting for me to take a photo.
Cullen and I hung out with Melissa and Jason and Melissa’s parents until we went to dinner. Melissa’s parents had dinner with us this night since my parents had reservations at Rita’s Cantina. Cullen pointed out that Melissa’s mom, Patsy, was “not Nana.” This was the night that the waiter did the mouse trick for Cullen where he folded a napkin to resemble a mouse and made it “jump” onto the table. Cullen thought this was great, and he tried to mimic it. You can see Cullen trying it in the video.
I cracked up every time I saw this photo of Melissa and Jason being shocked at the size of Allure of the Seas.
Gabe took Cullen back for bedtime while the rest of us (Melissa, Jason, Melissa’s parents, Gabe’s parents, Maddie, and I) headed to 50s and 60s music trivia. We surprised ourselves by getting all but two questions correct! Unfortunately, we still lost.
I took Maddie back to the room where Cullen was already sleeping. Gabe and his mom went to the casino for a bit, and Maddie and I read some books. I started to look at the Cruise Compass schedule for the next day, and I marked a few things that we would be interested in doing. Maddie asked, “Did you mark the pool and carousel?” I snoozed a little bit with Maddie until Gabe came back with his mom. His mom offered to snooze with Maddie while Gabe and I went to play poker. Gabe had won about $30 in the casino.
We spotted Melissa, Jason, and Melissa’s parents in the promenade from our cabin window. We went down there in time to see Melissa purchase hats for Jason and her dad.
We checked out some more of our photos in the photo gallery and ran into my parents at Rita’s. It seems like everyone was having a great time! We chatted for a few minutes with my parents and Melissa’s parents, then Jason, Gabe, and I headed to play poker.
The poker game was perfect with so many players throwing around their money without a clue as to what they were doing. Unfortunately, my cards were less than perfect. Gabe’s last hand had him losing his stack with a set of Kings to a runner-runner straight (and he did not slow play any of it). I lost the rest of my stack with two pair AK versus a set of Queens. Oh well. It was nice to play some real poker, and we wished that two small kiddos weren’t going to be waking us up bright and early the next morning! We were at the kind of table that can be very profitable given a longer session. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to play for very long. It was a little frustrating!
Favorites from day 5:
Gabe: watching the kids play in the sand
Kerry: swimming in the ocean
Maddie (according to her): the beach and sand
Cullen (my best guess): playing in the sand
Possibly related posts (automatically generated):
- Allure of the Seas – Day 2, part 2, starting our walking tour
We finally gathered our group and headed to “the city” with my parents, Gabe’s parents, Melissa, and Jason. We had...
- Allure of the Seas – Day 0, part 2, Fort Lauderdale
We walked from our hotel to the beach, and decided to walk towards the cruise ships. Saturday’s ships were leaving...
- Allure of the Seas – Day 0, part 1, getting to Fort Lauderdale
As usual, I took a ton of notes on our cruise vacation. Thank goodness, or there’s no way that I...
- Allure of the Seas – Day 2, part 1, arriving in Nassau
The kids didn’t sleep particularly well towards the end of the night. They were pretty restless from about 5am until...
- Allure of the Seas – Day 2, part 3, finishing our walking tour
After the Queen’s Staircase, we headed to another highlight of the walking tour – Fort Fincastle. Fort Fincastle was also...