These cruise ship passengers have just left the ships tender at the Captain Hodges Wharf and run for shelter during a squall.
Cruise ship visitors
Many cruise ships visit Sint Maarten and anchor in Great Bay, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. The island is half Dutch and half French. Philipsburg (Great Bay) are on the Dutch side. Orient beach is on the French side. Orient beach is only a 15 minute taxi ride across the island, ($25-$30). Mini vans regularly run to OB and charge $5 to $7 p/p. No passports needed when you cross the border. Everyone speaks English (OK, nearly everyone)
You can also share taxis with other cruise ship passengers. Taxis return to Orient beach in the afternoon to take passengers back to the cruise ships. Don't worry, taxis are plentiful. Make arrangements with the driver you go out with and he'll return to pick you up at the same place where he dropped you off. The main taxi stand is located at Pedro's Inn, on the beach. The taxi drivers are friendly, informative and of course all speak English (with a West Indian tilt, ya mon)
You'll see the nude section of the beach as soon as you arrive. You'll find the atmosphere open, friendly and welcoming. So don't be nervous if it's your first time.
Don't think you'll be the only passengers on the ship planning to spend the day at Orient beach skinny-dipping. Orient beach is a very popular destination for all cruise ship visitors and cruise ship passengers make up the bulk of first time skinny-dippers. Plan to enjoy your day at Orient beach because you'll have a wonderful day, especially if this is your fist time to a clothing optional beach.
Cruise ships to St Maarten (Eastern Caribbean)
Taxis at Pedros Inn at Orient Beach