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  1. #1
    St Barth is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2017 Posts: 4

    Flight or Ferry?

    Dear all,

    We are traveling with a big family including seniors and infant. We are debating on the travel plan to St. Barth.

    Plan 1, arrive SXM Friday late afternoon around 3:15pm, stay in hotel and take connecting flight or ferry the next day to St. Barth.

    Plan 2, arrive SXM Sunday late afternoon around 3:15pm, take 5:45 pm ferry at Philipsburg to St Barth.

    For Sunday ferry, will the 2.5 hrs gap time enough to commute from airport to ferry? For lap infant and senior people, is ferry better than connecting flight?

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 4,988

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    How'd you ever get that user name?!?!! I would have thought it would have been taken years ago.

    Anyhow, what time of year are you traveling and when is the last flight out. Any chance you could fly over on Friday? That would remove a lot of the logistical hassle of leaving the airport, checking in and out of a hotel and then going back to the airport/marina.

  3. #3
    St Barth is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2017 Posts: 4

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Thank you Bart! Yes I was surprised that I could get this name as a new user. But your name is close enough. :)

    We tried to use direct flight so there are not much choices for the landing time of Friday Feb 3rd. That's the only one available which lands at ~ 3:15 pm. We have a lodging reservation at St. Barth starting from Saturday. So we thought of having one night in St. Marten.

    The commute between airport/hotel/airport would be a hassle, so I thought the best is that we can make it to St. Barth one day on Sunday. Saturday flight ticket will be too expensive for so many people. But I am worried if we can make the smooth connecting to ferry. Commute flight looks a little bit scary from youtube.

  4. #4
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 3,627

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    I would recommend a flight (vs. ferry) . . . at least for the infant & seniors. The ferry (particularly going to SBH) typically ranges from mildly "bouncy" to very rough. Seasickness isn't unheard of (on one of my ferry rides -- a day when the sea had high swells -- paper bags were distributed upon boarding in anticipation of the issue). In addition, unless one among your group is adept at herding cats, I would recommend engaging a "VIP" service to assist with the transfer at SXM . . . whether it be to another flight or to a ferry. (I've used services of airsxm.com and premiumiv.com -- both are highly reliable and work with very courteous, friendly personnel.)

  5. #5
    St Barth is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2017 Posts: 4

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Thank you cec1, for sharing your thought. I was a little bit afraid the big noise coming from small flight may affect the hearing of infant and seniors. It seems that flight will be convenient though.

  6. #6
    phil62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 5,795

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    I agree with cec1, aka Dennis. I would also suggest looking into a charter. Depending on the number of people in your party, it might be more cost effective. If you decide to use a VIP service, talk to them about options before you book anything. You may be able to get to SBH on Friday, making the logistics a whole lot easier.

    Phil

  7. #7
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 3,627

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    . . . agree with Phil -- a charter flight would seem like a good (including "cost effective") option that should be explored.

  8. #8
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 4,988

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Your concern about engine noise is a good one. I'd recommend sitting as far back in the plane as you can. I don't know if it's any less noisy back there, but on our last trip, we were up in the front (a little forward of the engine) and it was very loud and jarring. I never really noticed it before, but on this trip I could feel the bones in my skull vibrating!

    To my mind, the most difficult or unpleasant part of the flight is getting in and out of the plane. The seats are tiny, the isles are tiny, everything is tiny. But it's far from impossible for older folks or those with mobility problems.

    The actual flight is easy and over hyped. It's literally only 10 minutes from wheels-up to landing.

  9. #9
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,667

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Quote Originally Posted by St Barth View Post
    Dear all,

    We are traveling with a big family including seniors and infant. We are debating on the travel plan to St. Barth.

    Plan 1, arrive SXM Friday late afternoon around 3:15pm, stay in hotel and take connecting flight or ferry the next day to St. Barth.

    Plan 2, arrive SXM Sunday late afternoon around 3:15pm, take 5:45 pm ferry at Philipsburg to St Barth.

    For Sunday ferry, will the 2.5 hrs gap time enough to commute from airport to ferry? For lap infant and senior people, is ferry better than connecting flight?

    Thank you very much!
    Have you looked at Tradewind from SJU-SBH? A very quiet ride and often a better connection depending on originating airport.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  10. #10
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 471

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Our family always charters a plane with St. Barth Commuter. They are very accommodating and patient with seniors loading on and off the plane. You have your own flight and more flexibility with timing, since your family members are the only passengers. If you are worried about noise, something which does not bother our family, you could use the very inexpensive foam disposable ear plugs. They are easily purchased at home building retail stores.
    The St. Barth Commuter charter flight price is very reasonable. I always ask myself, why would someone want to start their vacation by vomiting all the way over on the ferry? to save a few dollars. Heck, St. Barths is not the place to look for a bargain vacation. Just my opinion. Wishing you guys a great holiday!!!

  11. #11
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,993

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Way Too many variables and factors to do the ferry...charter a SBH Commuter plane would be my advice
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  12. #12
    St Barth is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2017 Posts: 4

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Thanks everyone for your kind advice.

    I checked charter commuter and it's indeed a very good choice for a group of 6-7 people. Thank you Dadto6 and Mike R for this idea!

    Thanks JEK for the suggestion too! Traveling through San Juan is a good way to avoid the hassle at St Maarten airport. However the first flight seems doesn't work well with the second on schedule. Great idea and it may work for another previous connecting flight.

    Thank you all again and happy new year!

  13. #13
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,667

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Quote Originally Posted by St Barth View Post

    Thanks JEK for the suggestion too! Traveling through San Juan is a good way to avoid the hassle at St Maarten airport. However the first flight seems doesn't work well with the second on schedule. Great idea and it may work for another previous connecting flight.

    Thank you all again and happy new year!
    With a gang we will charter Tradewind to leave as soon as we can.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  14. #14

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    flight

  15. #15
    bkeats is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 446

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart -my real name- View Post
    the isles are tiny
    Our isle is small and lovely, not tiny. The aisle on the plane is quite skinny. Sorry I couldn't resist.

  16. #16
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 4,988

    Re: Flight or Ferry?

    Quote Originally Posted by bkeats View Post
    Our isle is small and lovely, not tiny. The aisle on the plane is quite skinny. Sorry I couldn't resist.
    Hahhaha! Thank you for that!