Our last stop before returning to Baltimore was Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Maggie and I haven't visited this island yet and we were excited to stop there.

Once docked we saw the Serenade of the Sea (left side of image) in port with us. This is a ship of a slightly larger class then Grandeur. It actually has a helicopter landing area in the forward deck.

We boarded an air conditioned bus for a tour of the island that was divided between the French and the Dutch halves. We passed fields of foliage that included a few varieties of cactus plants. Our guide told us to watch the housing areas where we would see large lizards lying on construction areas and climbing up high in the trees. The smaller ones tended to be green or brown, while the really large ones were a yellow color. Unfortunately seated in a bus on a bumpy back-road made it difficult to photograph them, so this shot was the best.

After the tour we stopped at a market place where there were many tents erected for the locals to sell their wares to the tourists. Terry and Maggie really enjoyed shopping there and the materials for sale looked to be the most colorful fabrics we had seen on the cruise. Lars and I found a shop where we could sit and drink a beverage before climbing back into the bus for the next leg of our tour.

The bus dropped us off in a marina shopping area with instructions on how to get back to the ship using a taxi or water taxi. The reason we wanted to stop here was because of a museum/shop called the "Yoda Guy" that we had heard about on the ship during a shopping seminar.

The shop is filled with prints and memorabilia from the Star Wars series that you could purchase. It was owned by Nick Maley, who as a make-up artist was responsible for the creation of Yoda. His credits include many sci-phi classics which you can find at his web site ( see address on right).

If you purchase some items in the shop you can tour the museum in the back filled with exhibits showing actual items used in the movies that he designed. The end of the showcase goes past his desk and he was very happy to spend some time talking to Maggie and I. He is a pleasant and talented individual, and Maggie says we need to visit him again the next time we come to St. Maarten. Out of all the islands we've visited, this is our favorite and the Yahns agree.


We returned to the ship via a pleasant taxi ride and we pulled out of port, heading northward to Baltimore. We would sail for three days and on the third day Lars and I were relaxing on deck when I saw some clouds in the distance. I told lars I was going to photograph the clouds because they looked like rain. Moments after I captured the image a rain shower sprayed the deck. Lars still thinks I caused it!

We booked another cruise for the four of us in 2016 for the western Caribbean, and Maggie and I have an Alaska cruise next year. Many thanks to the crew of the Grandeur and the Yahns for such fun!


Eastern Caribbean

Cruise 2014

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

St. Maarten dock



St. Maarten market




yoda shop



bad guys

yoda guy

leave St. Maarten