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Tradewinds Cruise and St. Maartin

Discussion in 'Caribbean Timesharing' started by mlpmd56, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. mlpmd56

    mlpmd56 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    My husband and I would like to spend a week on St Maartin, and then do a week on a Tradewinds Cruise (referral from another Tugger....Tuggers are THE BEST!). My husband speaks French so St. Maartin should be fun. We are planning to do this January 2009, so hopefully will be able to reserve what we want. We have been to Belize before, and since we'll be on St Maartin before we cruise, which of the other Tradewind's Itineraries do you all suggest? From what I have read it is somewhat difficult to get to Bequia. Is there a ferry or some other way to get to Tortola or Antigua from St Maartin? Or a puddle jumper plane? Or???? I admit my geography is rusty but they all look pretty close to each other to me! That being said once on St John my water taxi ran over another boat so I guess safety/reliability is more important than the financial end. As far as activities go, we both love to snorkel.....and eat! Not so big on the shopping. My husband loves history and archeology...I hate history and archeology. (Former engineer turned doctor--me....Journalist turned contractor--husband). We both love to sail and although we are novices want to help sail the boat. Thanks in advance for all of your input.
    Marcy
     
  2. Scuba Fletch

    Scuba Fletch Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Tradewinds Info & Referral Info

    Hi Marcy,

    Hopefully, I can answer at least some of your questions...

    The folks in the reservations office at Tradewinds are very helpful and familiar with flights & ferries between islands. I would contact them and ask for some input on your itinerary. If I were you and I was going to travel to St. Maarten for some land-based time anyway, I'd probably just schedule the cruise with Tradewinds there as well. You will see and experience the (even more) laid-back side of the island and it will give you a more complete experience. Your time on the yacht will be a completely different vacation when compared to your land-based time, although both will be enjoyable.

    If you do decide you'd like to travel to another island for the sailing... I'd recommend Tortola. Mainly, because it is such a sailing mecca and you're so immersed in the sailing lifestyle... You are right, from St. Maarten, you are almost equadistant from Antigua and Tortola - but St. Vincent is much further south.

    Airlines that offer inter-island flights:

    American Eagle to Tortola
    LIAT to/from Antigua & Tortola
    Windward Islands Airways (WINAIR) to/from Tortola

    Ferries:
    I didn't find any direct ferries to Tortola or Antigua... Here's what I did find...
    Ferry service is available to Anguilla and St. Barths from St. Martin's Marigot ferry dock and to Saba from the Pelican marina near St. Maarten's airport. Ferry service is not available to St. Eustatius (Statia). The travel time to St. Barths is 75 minutes on a conventional ferry and 35 minutes on a catamaran ferry.

    Large intercontinental jets fly directly from the United States, including Delta Continental , US Airways and American. Europe is served by KLM and Air France.

    Now, as far as the history / archaeology... I am a huge fan, but my hubby is not. I can camp out for hours watching the History Channel and for the most part, he thinks it's a big yawner :zzz: That being said, we had a wonderful captain and first mate on our BVI trip - Chris and Ali on the Turquoise Dreams. I'm not sure if they will still be in the BVI's in Jan. 2009, but if they are, I'd recommend them in a heartbeat. My husband loved them as much as I did, in spite of Chris' slant toward historical significance. As a SCUBA diver, I've always dreamed of diving the RMS Rhone - and it was so great to be briefed by Chris before the dive - as he explained some of the history and significance of the wreck. It was obvious that he had some emotional ties (as a sailor) to that site. Additionally, all of the pirate history that he shared along the way was fascinating - and to actually snorkel inside of Blackbeard's cave where he hid his treasure was amazing!

    You'll have plenty of opportunities to snorkel and if you dive, about 4 opportunities. Whenever we were diving, there was also a place to snorkel...

    The food was fabulous! It was gourmet and very diverse. The best part is that you don't have to do anything... no setting the table, no cleaning up afterwards, nothing except let them wait on you. They will also provide alternate meals if necessary due to diet limitations or likes / dislikes. You just send them your info ahead of time... Of course, it's an open bar. Special cocktails are prepared every afternoon by the captain, but you can fix any drink you like. They also had approx. 120 bottles of wine on board.

    If you'd like to help sail the boat, they are all for it - although it's not required at all. Depending on the wind, they may use the motor in order to stay somewhat on schedule - so that you can fully appreciate your time in the BVI's. However, we got in plenty of sailing time, too.

    [Sorry, Susan, but referral deals constitute advertising and are not permitted on these forums. I have removed the portion of your post dealing with this. -- Makai Guy, BBS Administrator]

    Happy Sailing!
    Susan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  3. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    Scuba Fletch...

    We want to charter a boat in the near future as a return trip. We did another trip many years ago,but we captained the boat and cooked ourselves. This time we need to have fewer jobs!! [Question dealing with the deleted referrral offer, above, removed. You may contact Scuba Fletch directly by clicking on her name in her post. -- Makai Guy, BBS Administrator]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  4. Scuba Fletch

    Scuba Fletch Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Possiblility for 4 couples to sail together?

    [Further posting relating to deleted referral removed. -- Makai Guy, BBS Administrator]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  5. dchilds

    dchilds TUG Member

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    We stayed in our St Maarten Pelican unit week 1, and went on Trade Winds St Maarten week2 in 2007. It made for a very nice trip. We have sailed on Trade Winds in the British Virgin Islands twice, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and St Maarten. Each one was different, and wonderful.

    The BVIs have the most destinations to see, St Vincent has the most sailing, and St Maarten may have been the most relaxed, because we didn't feel the need to see St Maarten on the three nights we were docked or anchored off St Maarten.

    The BVIs have Virgin Gorda (the Baths), Peter Island, Norman Island, Yost Van Dyke, Sand Island, the Rhone and more. There are probably more flights to St Thomas where you can take a ferry to Tortola, or fly directly to Tortola. (Beef Island)

    The Grenadines have a slew of islands to see, including the one Captain Barbosa stranded Jack Sparrow on in Pirates of the Caribbean (we just sailed past, and didn't actually get stranded), and you sail to Palm Island, Mayreau, Union Island and others before returning back to Bequia (bec-way). You fly into St Vincent, and take a ferry to Bequia to start your cruise.

    We have 5 timeshares in St Maarten, and we saw several things we had never seen, some on St Maarten, and others just a short sale away. We sailed to Anguilla and St Barths and a few smaller islands near St Maarten.

    Each of the Trade Winds weeks felt like two, because they were so relaxing. By the end of day 2, it feels like your trip is almost over, but you still have 4 more days.

    Our next two planned Trade Winds cruises are to Belize in March and then back to the BVIs for a 2008-2009 New Years trip.

    [Referral offer removed -- Makai Guy, BBS Administrator]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  6. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    Thanks...

    for the info on TWCC. It sounds like a great trip. We have done the BVI's twice in a sailboat and catamaran, so we will try one of the other destinations. I appreciate eveyone's input!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  7. Fletcher921

    Fletcher921 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Bequia is wonderful - we stopped there this June on a Catamaran trip. Be sure to have "Fat man taxi" give you an island tour. He was great - tall, not fat actually. And an evening dining and dancing at Devil's Table is fun.
     
  8. Larry

    Larry TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    More information TWCC St. Martin

    Doing the same thing this December. I'm staying at Pelican for 2 nights before leaving on TWCC St. Martin. Please tell me more about this trip. I have read all the TUG reviews and can't wait to go. What is their to do at some of the stops besides swimming and snorkling. I am very interested in recommendations for Anguilla and St. Barts since I have never been to either islands. Is there some special places to go at either island? Also I read something about a stop at a small private island. Is their anything of interest there?

    Thanks:cheer: :cheer: :hi:
     
  9. Dave&Linda

    Dave&Linda TUG Member

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    We've been TWCC members for a number of years now (still on the "weeks" system) and did the St. Martin trip this past May. If you take the same route as we did, and I'm almost sure it will be, you can expect to spend one night at anchor off of St. Barts and another off of Anguilla. We spent the better part of one day at St. Barts taking a tour of the island in a taxi and wandering around town for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, it was a holiday the day we were there and just about everything was closed. Several others on our sister boat spent most of the day at the beach. If offered, I'd take the tour as the island is quite interesting and the views are spectacular. As for Anguilla we spent a few hours on land there and took a trip into town to look for a phone chip. In short, there is nothing in town worth seeing and overall Anguilla gives one the impression of being pretty much poverty stricken. Nothing like St. Martin or St. Barts. There's a couple of bars on the beach in Angullla, but they're pretty much dives. Don't pass on the mud bath at Tintamerre. Hopefully you will get Tony and Mary as your crew. Those two are great hosts. And enjoy TWCC, its a great club, in fact we're leaving next week to cruise with them in Corfu.
     

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