Saint Maarten Trip 09-13 Jan 2016

Sunset Beach Bar and Grill

Departed A.N.R Robinson International Airport at 1:45am bound for Piarco International Airport, Trinidad.  It was very quick and uneventful flight, landed in Trinidad around 2:05am.  After collecting my luggage I found a place to relax while I waited for my connecting flight to Saint Maarten (SXM) BW456.

Once I found a good place to wait my first order of business was to get some food.  I ordered a one-piece chicken and fries from Royal Castle, and continue to relax and take couple naps in between.  I must say that was the longest 4 hours of my life here at the airport.  After checking-in on my next flight, I proceeded to Gate 8 for boarding.  We were flying on Caribbean Airlines BW456, an aircraft built in 2007 and delivered to Caribbean airlines in 2012 reg 9Y-MBJ.  I was quite surprised on the boarding sequences for Caribbean Airlines it was by rows and at one point, it was mass confusion, but safe to say we had an on-time departure to SXM.

Departing Piarco International Airport

Once I departed Piarco International Airport (POS), I swear it was a quick flight one hour and thirty minutes.  I slept most of the way there until we started our descent and hit a little rough air over Antigua and Barbuda, with that rough air out of the way, it was wheels down into Princess Juliana International Airport, over the famous Maho beach, which is known for its low approaches, and spectacular take-offs.

Once I arrived at PJIA, we disembarked at gate A-1 and proceeded to passport control and customs.  I believe this was the easiest access control point ever in all my years of flying and going through immigration and customs.  It was a flawless process, no issues since my passport was all in order.  The only problem I did have was retrieving my luggage.  It took a very long time to deplane for being the only flight on the ground at the time, granted the flight had a continuation to Kingston, Jamaica.

Once I cleared customs and headed to the arrival hall, I was greeted by, a couple taxi drivers and asked them the cost of the trip to Allegria beach hotel, which was around $8USD.  The drive was so short next time I think I might walk it to get a little exercise after my flights.  The place was paradise, just seeing different aircraft landing and being jet blasted as aircraft take off was fantastic.  Check-in at my hotel was painless, the staff was very friendly, and they made me feel welcomed.  While there I met one of the best aviation photographers from Canada, it was great to finally put a face to the name and meet in person.  I learned a lot from him, he was very helpful in showing me around to couple of spots, and we swapped lens and learned different techniques and settings.

Maho Beach, Saint Maarten
Departure line-up at Princess Juliana International Airport

It was a great experience to be in Saint Maarten, Dutch West Indies, I never thought I would visit there but I had a great experience, being around talented photographers and wonderful people.



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