May 14, 2013

Touring St. Martin with Joyce Prince Tours

We left St. Martin with one thought in mind, “When can we go back again?”  We loved touring this island and that is in no small part because of our fabulous guide Ms. Joyce Prince.  From the moment she picked us up, we were quite taken by her great spirit.  She was friendly, knowledgeable and easy to get along with.  In our group there were six adults, a four year old and a two year old and she was fantastic with all of us from young to old.  My kiddies usually take a while to warm up to strangers but they were fast friends with Joyce immediately.

St. Martin collage

She took us on a full day private tour of the island and even provided a car seat and a booster seat for the kids.  All kinds of drinks were included on this tour from water and juice boxes for the kids, to pop and beer for the adults.  And don’t forget to try her homemade rum punch, made from a secret family recipe!  It will give you a true taste of the real caribbean – trust me, my auntie couldn’t get enough of it.  Special note, this is a ‘sipping punch’, not a chugging punch.

Joyce Prince special rum punch
What I love about Joyce is how easy going she is and how she’s willing to tailor your trip to suit your needs.  She made several suggestions that she thought we’d like but we essentially had the option of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see on the island.  For example, my father-in-law is originally from Holland and it was important to us that we check out the Dutch side of the island.  In response, Joyce showed us around and highlighted the history and current events that make up the complex, rich heritage of St. Martin/St. Maarten.
Selina St. Martin
She took us to shop at Rima’s which is the cheapest place on the island to shop.  In fact, vendors come from all over the Caribbean to shop here in St. Martin because the prices are so low!  We also saw Pointe Blanche and went up the hill towards Monte Vista for a panoramic view of our cruise ship, Great Bay and Philipsburg.  We even drove along ‘Back Street’ and ‘Front Street’ taking in the sites of the local stomping grounds.  While driving on the French side of the island, my mother-in-law saw Selina’s cloth store and got so excited that we made a special stop for her to pick up Caribbean mud cloths and fabrics for her hobby of making quilts.  I can’t wait to see how her beautiful quilts look when infused with some Caribbean flavour.  We opted not to go to Orient Beach because it is clothing optional, so Joyce took us to Divi Little Bay Beach Resort instead.  Half of us relaxed and swam there while the other half went with Joyce to Back Street and Front Street for some more local shopping.
Sandys Waterfront Restaurant and Bar in St. Martin
For lunch we went to a local hot spot, Sandy’s Waterfront Bar and Restaurant in Marigot.  We wanted a taste of the complex flavours of this island and this is where you can find that in spades.  You can taste the exotic mystery that is the mixture of French, Dutch and African in the food at Sandy’s.  It’s a Creole treat that’s not to be missed.  The food is very affordable and quite delicious.  We were able to hang out with Christine the owner and she was an absolute delight.  The restaurant originally belonged to her father and after he passed away she moved back to the island to take over the family business.  She was warm and inviting to us and it felt like we were having a family dinner at a friends house.  There was lots of talking, laughing and eating.  It was the perfect way to spend a part of an afternoon; enjoying good company and good food.
Sandys Waterfront Bar and Restaurant

When you check out Joyce’s website, she starts out by saying you have a friend in St. Martin, and that’s exactly how we felt.  We came away feeling like we made a wonderful new friend  who opened up her doors and showed us her home.   There are not many places in the world that I would go visit again, (I love the thrill of discovering somewhere new) but St. Martin is now on my list of places to see again.  I can’t wait to re-visit the island, and when I do, I’ll be booking in advance to go on another tour with Joyce.  She books up fast and you don’t want to go with the rest, because Joyce Prince Tours is the absolute best.

St. Martin/St. Maarten Contacts:

 

 

Selina’s Cloth Store in Marigot
Telephone: 05 90 87 87 64

 

Comments

  1. Hi Char! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your post on Thank You Honey Blog! Looks like a wonderful trip!! Enjoy!

    Sarah
    http://www.thankyouhoneyblog.com

  2. thank you for sharing your lovely post at the hop xo

  3. Hello Beautiful Lady
    This looks like so much fun. Your pictures are wonderful. Thanks for linking up at my Blog Hop.
    You’re awesome!
    Angel

  4. You are certainly getting to visit some wonderful places! Continue to have good times.

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