We decided to take a cruise in March - only our second one. We would fly down to Fort Lauderdale and board the Ruby Princess for a week. It would be nice and relaxing, plus we wouldn't have to drive anywhere.
The Sunday morning of March 6th it was snowing hard so we set off for the airport with lots of time to get there. We arrived no problem and boarded our plane on time. Yay! But then we sat there, and sat there, and sat there..... They had to de-ice our plane plus several in front of us so we ended up being delayed about 3 hours. Which, OF COURSE, made us miss our connection in Philadelphia to Florida. The next plane they could get us on left Philly AFTER our ship left Florida, so that was no good. So what to do????
We called the Princess Cruise lines plus our insurance people (thank goodness we had taken out trip insurance). The Princess people suggested that we try to catch up with the next port-of-call - which was their private island (Princess Cays) in the Bahamas. We spent a lot of time talking to the airline people and they were VERY helpful but could only get us on a flight to the Bahamas the next day which would arrive five minutes AFTER our cruise ship left the islands.....so that was no good. The next port-of-call was St. Maartens/St. Martin so they got us on a plane there for the next day. Great! But that meant we had to get a hotel for that night in Philadelphia which was no problem as the airport gave us a discount coupon for that. BUT, we also had to get a hotel in St. Maartens/St. Martin for 3 nights until our ship showed up. I couldn't access the internet on my iPad for some reason NOR could I get through to CAA to book one! So we went off to the Philadelphia hotel and had dinner there and called my brother to let him know what was going on.
The next morning we were back in the airport and I had found a different CAA number to call but was on hold for half an hour waiting to talk to someone. When I finally did, I explained the circumstances and she found us a hotel. BUT, just as she was about to book it, I got cut off! So I had to phone back. I was worried because if I was hold AGAIN for half an hour we were in trouble since our flight LEFT in half an hour. Needless to say, I WAS STRESSED!!!!! This time, though, I was only on hold for 5 minutes and I got the same lady back so I didn't have to explain everything again and she booked the hotel. Phew!
We arrived in St. Maartens/St. Martin around suppertime and got a taxi to the hotel on the St. Martin side. We got a nice room with an ocean view. Ahhhhhhhh.....
Early morning Philly skyline from our hotel:
St. Maartens/St. Martins Sunset from our hotel:
Our hotel in St. Martin (our room is above the palm tree):