Great Bay Beach
Great Bay Beach
4.5
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  • Amanda W
    1,136 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent
    Beautiful white sand, turquoise water and lapping waves. Great views of the bay and cruise ships. All day ferry from the cruise terminal costs USD7. I got off at the first stop and walked along the beach trying to choose a concession - there are dozens. I went to one called Amanda. The owner bought and brought me rum punches and offered to get me lunch. The jet skis were quite a long way off so not disturbing. Definitely worth getting off your cruise ship to spend the day here.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 25 July 2023
  • Bradf100
    London, United Kingdom7 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful island
    Fantastic and beautiful island. Beaches were great and highly recommend a visit. We were there for the day and I would struggle to see what you would do if you stayed longer to be honest, but each to their own! Very hospitable hosts, but do note that whilst everyone was very friendly, there were a few people that were, right up until you paid and then became very uninterested in you very quickly and borderline rude. Don’t let that put you off, Defo worth a visit!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 August 2023
  • Rusty19
    New York1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Phillipsburg Self-Excursion
    We decided to do a self-excursion to Phillipsburg. We took the water taxi across the bay to Great Bay Beach. We were suddenly greeted by Reg (Reginald?) "from the middle". At first my family and I were weary of his presence. However, after a few minutes of listening and having a conversation with him, we found him to be a very, warm and kind gentleman. We met our wonderful beach attendant for the day. He showed us to a front row view of lounge chairs for our family to occupy for the entire day. The spot did not disappoint. Reg also offered to bring us food and drinks from the local restaurants and bars for the entire day if we wanted. To summarize, our day at the beach was awesome! Reg was a fantastic attendant attentive to our needs and wants. Go see Reg "in the middle"! Stony Brook!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 31 August 2023
  • Stanley Y
    Annandale, Virginia242 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cruise ship stop
    This was our 5th time on a cruise stop to Philipsburg. Take the water taxi, $8 all day, to the beach from the pier. Walking off the pier just look for the signs. Beach is great. Any number of people trying to rent you chairs. Some include a bucket of beer or umbrella. Don't take the first offer. We look for a spot on the beach first and find the best deal for us. All kind of shops and restaurants in walking distance.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 November 2023
  • Bub1958
    Stillwater, New York77 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Beach
    If you're on a cruise ship and just want to relax at a nearby beach, Great Bay Beach is beautiful and close to the port. For $7 roundtrip (they give you a bracelet at the kiosk) you get a boat taxi, and they go back and forth regularly. Once you're off the boat you'll be hit with a mob of beach chair sellers, but I'd advise to just keep walking to whatever part of the beach you want and negotiate there. We paid $45 (US Dollars) which included 2 chairs, umbrella and 6 drinks of choice (beer, soda etc.) in an ice bucket. The beach is pristine and sandy and the water is calm and the slope gentle. Plenty of food options and they'll deliver to you if you want. WiFi was included but it's horrible. If the locals selling stuff get too bothersome just tell them you brought no money with you and they'll leave you alone. I could spend a few days at this beach!
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 19 March 2024
  • David S
    Middlesbrough, United Kingdom2,363 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    LOVED IT
    Not too far from the cruise port, my wife and I spent a relaxing 3 or 4 hours chilling on this wonderful Caribbean beach. $15 all day sunbeds with free high strength WiFi wasn't unreasonable. Enjoyable break in ideal surroundings.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 March 2024
  • xkmlanders
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great day at Great Bay Beach
    I opted not to take any excursions from the cruise ship, but head off on my own. So glad I did. I took the water taxi ($7 round trip) to Great Bay Beach. They offer water ($1), beer $3 and sodas for the 10-minute ride to the beach. Upon disembarking, I found a young man offering beach chairs and umbrellas ($15 for 1; $25 for 2). Includes wifi. And $5 for a rum punch. Great way to start!. He brought a menu later and I ordered the delicious Caribbean Ribs and a beer. Heavenly! The establishment is SXM Crazy Beach Bar. They take credit cards for orders over $20. Not big waves, but beautiful crystal water, soft white sand. We were the only cruise ship that day, so it was not crowded. I'm so glad I did this!
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1 255 reviews
Excellent
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Terrible
13

AnLil
911 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
The beach is certainly grand in Sint Maarten, and within steps from the port (unlike Cayman). Since 1648, Philipsburg has been a site of ‘settlement’ or port of call for travellers as well as slave ships past (see Lizzy Wade for Science 9 Mar 2015). It is generally not as interesting as the nightlife around Maho and Mullet Bay, a characteristic feature of the Dutch side, long after the U.S. military built the Princess Juliana airstrip by 1947 and development ensued in the 1960-70s. Marigot in French SXM was vibrant, by then, with Palm Sunday parades that gave way to the Carnival in 1970. The French side shows more signs of wear (being hit hard by the 2017 hurricane) compared to Philipsburg. You’ll still see some damage even along the boardwalk of Great Bay Beach in Philipsburg. A playground is still delightful for toddlers across from shops beside Holland House Hotel, where cruise passengers can purchase the Beach Special ($25 toilets, beach chair and shower with wifi). It’s not easy elsewhere to find washrooms for public use, except at restaurants by the beach. At the far end #27 is Dutch Blond’s pancakes and escape rooms; just look for the windmill. Beforehand, you’ll see two small duty free stores on both sides of historically central St Martin of Tours church on the boardwalk. That’s where Europeans “set up shop” and schooling for local children over a century ago. Now, it’s a silent part of the busy beach leading to the cruise ship terminal, where tour operators await with open-air trucks to carry passengers to activities (USD cash accepted). Directly a few blocks inland from the duty free store, past the courthouse, the yellow and blue RBC bank building with automated teller machine is always open to tourists in need of cash for excursions / tipping. The beach strip has enough to offer during the day, though, and stores galore towards Achter Straat…an enduring shopping destination!
Written 23 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amanda2005book
Derby, UK405 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
From the cruise terminal you can walk or catch a water taxi, water taxi much more fun for $7 return each. Boat staff friendly and funny and play loud music and expect to be tipped! The beach is a long sandy stretch and was amazing. We were accosted straightaway by a man working for Amanda marked beach Loungers and umbrellas for $25 we were of course ripped off here as we found out that others even for same company were charging less so shop around or haggle. Town centre at the back street to rear of beach. Your towels reserve the loungers for the day
Written 23 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pete V
Waco, TX18 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Minutes away from cruise port via 10 min water taxi for $7 round trip per person. Clean beach make sure you only pay $20 for two chairs with free WiFi and 5 drinks. It’s all the same price no matter which section you choose
Written 6 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mandaF
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Family
Took a water taxi from cruise port area $7 per person round trip. It’s like a 3 min ride. I think you can also walk around to the beach instead of the water taxi. Once we got the the beach there are people there trying to rent you lounge chairs. We paid $50 for 2 I believe. Didn’t feel too crowded and it was a great beach for kids to play and swim. The water is calm, no waves. Shops and food along the boardwalk. The only problem was the ladies that would walk up and down the beach selling stuffed animals, massages , and hair braiding. They prob stop and ask about every 5 mins so it does get annoying. Some of the ladies started harassing a guy because he said no to a massage for his wife. They called him cheap and and wouldn’t leave him alone. We did end up getting some of our kids hair braided by two different people. The Second Lady kept saying how awful my daughters hair looked and that it wasn’t professional. I finally had to ask her to stop because my daughter was about to cry. They don’t tell you how much the braids cost till the end and this lady wanted $65 for some braids she put in my sons hair but my daughters cost $25. The residents rely heavily on tourists so I feel like the majority are super friendly and accommodating.
Written 18 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jmegwr
Madison, CT25 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
We took a water taxi to this beach. water warm and lovely, beach clean.
Normally I would have gone to a beach without a lot of stores and restaurants, and without a view of the cruise ship, but the weather was threatening.
We spent a very pleasant 2 1/2 hours on the beach--2 chairs and an umbrella $20, before it began to rain and we hustled back to ship on the water taxi
Written 2 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TaraC2013
Ottawa, Canada31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Family
Great beach. Quite packed though…Close by the cruise port, just a quick $7 water taxi over to here.
Water taxi runs every 15 mins. Locals will come by and continuously try to sell you items or massages.
Most restaurants on the beach provided 2 chairs and an umbrella for $30. $15 buckets of beer.

Water was beautiful!
Written 5 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lee a
Sheffield, UK701 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
After we got off our cruise ship we went on an organised half day tour around the island seeing the many sights before ending up in Simpson bay where all the big luxury yachts are kept as we had a short sail around then back to our cruise port. As it was still early we went to this nearby beautiful beach in the water taxi which was only a short distance away . We found a nice beach bar cafe where we paid a small fee for loungers and umbrella . We then had a snack and an ice bucket of 6 Carib beers for €20. The sand & sea was lovely giving us a nice relaxing afternoon before heading back to our ship.
Written 3 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nerasea
Mankato, MN36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Walk along the beach on the boardwalk to find shops, food and drink or grab a chair and umbrella (usually for a fee) and take a dip in the bay. It's a nice swimming beach with gentle surf, but there are also jet ski rentals and a pier you can sit on to enjoy the view of cruise ships and sailboats. We didn't find anywhere to snorkel that had anything to see. Very pretty mountains around the bay and it's great to watch the ships come and go.
Written 12 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AMsays
Thornhill, Canada4 655 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Fine sandy beach alongside a boardwalk. Peaceful and serene. The water is warm with a pleasant surf. Beach chairs, umbrellas and jet-skis are available for a fee. Didn’t swim, but its safe, I was told. Great views of the cruise ships and the marina at one end and at the other end are great views of the mountains. Worth it even if you take just a dip....
Written 23 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tina B
Pointe-du-Chene, Canada15 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
We were family of 5 with late teens, beautiful day off a cruise ship. We rented chairs with wonderful service from Jimmy from the love boat restaurant and beach service , chair rental and service right on the beach with food and reasonably priced drinks were exceptional.. could not have asked for a more pleasant day til…
HOWEVER.. water taxi :: st marten .. getting there smoothness.. but coming back we were promised every 10-15 minutes.. being minutes away we though 45 minutes would be plenty of time .. but well over 30 minutes wait before next water taxi came , many afraid of being late for ships .. feeling the frustration the staff became verbally abusive to adults and kids !! One « staff « jon- Jonathan » not only swearing at the frustrated group also began threatening physically the group including teenagers .. so please do not rely on water taxi to bring you back to ships!!!!!!
Written 30 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GREAT BAY BEACH (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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