The Royal Dockyard area is very cool-lots of little shops and restaurants. There is some cool historic stuff there too. We took the ferry into Hamilton and walked around there for a bit, before taking a bus to the beach. The weather and more importantly the 68 degree water kept us from going in. We took the bus back to the dockyard.
We love St. Maarten and love to shop there. We arrived at 1:30ish so it was a short day. We did some shopping, and bought new wedding bands for our anniversary gift to each other. While they were being sized, we went along the beach for a bit and then also had some ice cream and got on wi-fi to check in with the dog sitter. It was a great day but too short.
We did the Bacardi Rum tour which was a lot of fun. Kind of like the world of Coke but for Rum. The weather wasn't great early but when we got back from the tour it was sunny and warm. We walked around the town for a bit but didn't buy anything. Supposedly they have the biggest Pandora boutique but my wife wasn't impressed. This was another short port day so we were back on the ship by lunch time.
We did the snorkeling tour there. Not impressed - as someone said, we snorkeled in 6 feet of water with 5 feet of coral. But our luck changed as we went back to the port. We saw the concierge at the entrance to Barefoot Beach. We are D+ but didn't stay in a suite so we are not allowed to go onto the gated area there. Well Mahmoud hooked us up and we were living large. First we ate lunch - the lunch there had your burgers, dogs, and chicken but in this area they had strip steaks and shrimp skewers as well. After lunch we got free beach mats and floated in the ocean for a bit. It was perfect!