It’s Monday in Marigot and nowhere to go. The Azamara Journey is anchored off of the waterfront dock on the French side of the dual-nation island of St. Maarten (Dutch) and St. Martin (French.) Unknown to nearly all onboard, St. Martin celebrates the Monday after Easter Sunday as a national holiday.
None of the trendy boutiques, sidewalk cafes or contemporary art galleries in Marigot would be open at all. Something you might want to note when booking an Easter holiday cruise – many islands close up shop on the Monday following Easter. Check with the island-specific tourism board to be sure if the shops will be open.
Knowing that my mission to browse the small haute couture boutiques was quashed, I decided to stay aboard the Journey and enjoy a day on the ship. Other passengers would still be going on their scheduled beach shore excursions so I could be fairly certain of an empty pool deck for at least part of the day.
With wonderfully uncrowded breakfast buffets, once again I passed on the dining room (Discoveries) breakfast for a pick-and-choose breakfast. One of my pet peeves is heading into a buffet breakfast on the mega-ships and waiting in line for everything, even coffee. Sure, it’s just part of the “experience” but one that I’d rather do without…which is why I veer towards a sit-down table-service dining room breakfast when cruising on a ship with over 2,000 guests.
Here aboard the Journey, there is no waiting in the buffet. The longest wait I’ve had so far is for my custom-made drink at the smoothie bar. There was one person in front of me and I waited all of maybe 90 seconds. I need to mention the smoothie bar; it’s wonderful. You have your choice of berries, tropical fruit, melon, yoghurt and various powder supplements. The best part is…it’s all complimentary. A word of advice: if you are adding any of the powder supplements, be sure to hand the preparer a cup of ice to add in to the drink. Otherwise it can be quite thick and not really chilled.
Besides eating, other morning activities throughout the cruise include a 7:30am walk-a-mile, cooking demonstrations, pilates and yoga classes (no fees!), card games and many more participatory diversions. As the pilates and yoga classes start at 8:00am, I haven’t taken advantage of trying them.
Today I’ll quickly take the tender over to Marigot, shoot a few photos and return. Then I’ll see what kind of activities are offered onboard in the afternoon, or maybe take a power nap followed by a steaming cappuccino to kick-start the evening.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.