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Old 11-03-2015, 10:03   #16
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

My experience:

We had the charter company provision the basics and some meals. They did an excellent job for us. Before we left the charter dock, we went to the market and got whatever else we wanted. Thereafter, we did not step foot in a food market.

We did bring a good cooler for drinks. The drinks were handy and refrigerator openings were minimized.

We didn't have kids, so we took advantage of the marvelous restaurants on St. Martin. (We encountered similar outstanding food on other French-influenced islands Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, and Iles des Saintes.) I found the prices to be quite reasonable, but that was several years ago.

On the other hand, I don't imagine I'll ever again set foot on St.Barth. Way overpriced and pretentious. However, there are lots of pretty people smoking cigarettes and looking bored, if you like that scene.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:37   #17
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

Thanks MarkJ! Those are extremely reasonable prices! We are thinking of getting a provisioning package so we don't have to deal with everything as well.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:39   #18
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

MarkJ of course has it wired (and was our source of information prior to a charter in early February). If you are chartering with Moorings/Sunsail, see if you can arrange to have the van that picks you up at the Airport make a stop and wait for you while you provision at Grand Marche on the way out to the charter base. Ours did and the addiitonal cost for him to wait about 45 minutes was $30.00 USD. Even if your boat is not ready on your arrival, the staff at the marina will put your frozen/refirgerated items in their ice freezer upon request until your boat is ready.

There is a great little convenience store/bakery at Dawn Beach where you can pick up fresh baguette/croissant on the morning you depart on your charter (take the dinghy and you can tie up briefly at the marina dock by Dawn Beach). It is on the street directly to the right of the dock- can't miss it. Get there early as they are often out of what was baked that morning by about 8:30 am.

Provisioning in St. Barth's and Anguilla is quite expensive, so you are best to stock up on all but baked goods in Sint Maarten. For some excellent tapas at reasonable prices on the beach in Sandy Ground check out Sandbar - owned and operated by some expats from Southern California, they provide excellent food using largely local ingredients, combined with superb service and a decent (but reasonably priced) wine list.

Enjoy!

Brad
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:50   #19
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

We are planning on arriving a couple of days prior to the charter to provision and also because we have family meeting us there from Sweden. We don't want to miss out on a day on the boat if someone has a delayed flight. We are trying to figure out if we should get a rental car or not. Seems easiest to have a car to shop around but we would need two cars to fit us all. Maybe just one car to get around and the others can take a taxi to the condo. Does anyone know if there are any rental car places around Oyster Pond? Might be a pain to return it back to the airport...
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:55   #20
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

You can rent a car from the Westin Hoel in Dawn Beach, although it is a bit of a walk as it is on the far end of the beach.
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Old 11-03-2015, 13:11   #21
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pirate Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

Don't believe all the negative crap thats spouted about French side.. there's a reason.. most of the Dutch side restaurants and bars are owned by Americans and they hate folk spending money across the border.. and they're anti French..
Steaks and Burgers.. and if you like Asian/Turkish is Dutch side..
Gourmet food and good bread and wine is French side.. and the best Bakery on the island is Serafina's... you can sit and enjoy their awesome food looking out across the anchorage in Marigot Bay..
The open air markets well worth a visit as well.. just for the colour if nothing else..
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Old 11-03-2015, 13:38   #22
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

Boatman, no knocking the restaurants/bakeries on the French side - they are certainly superior, IMO. Heck, Grand Case is worth visiting not only for the cuisine, but the Tuesday night street party (terrific 'street food' including crepes). In fact, I don't see a single post here by an American (or anyone else) knocking the restaurants and bakeries on the French side. However, for provisioning the Grand Marches on the Dutch side seem to be the way to go - better selection and generally better prices.

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Old 11-03-2015, 16:44   #23
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

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Originally Posted by Mkronquist View Post
We are planning on arriving a couple of days prior to the charter to provision and also because we have family meeting us there from Sweden. We don't want to miss out on a day on the boat if someone has a delayed flight. We are trying to figure out if we should get a rental car or not. Seems easiest to have a car to shop around but we would need two cars to fit us all. Maybe just one car to get around and the others can take a taxi to the condo. Does anyone know if there are any rental car places around Oyster Pond? Might be a pain to return it back to the airport...

Yes, rent a car.

Not from the airport as its an extra $18 per day.
Sushine car rentals behind McDonalds and the Police station at Simpson bay is good. Get abus to phillipsberg and taxi from phillipsberg to Oyster Pond.

Btw Oyster Pond is quite out of the way. For your few das before the charter you would do well with accomodation in Simpson Bay, or even Phillipsberg.
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Old 11-03-2015, 17:38   #24
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

I'm looking at rentals from Simpson bay to Orient Bay. Would it be crazy to rent something on Orient Bay? My favorite villa is actually there...
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Old 11-03-2015, 20:23   #25
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

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I'm looking at rentals from Simpson bay to Orient Bay. Would it be crazy to rent something on Orient Bay? My favorite villa is actually there...
Orient bay is nice. But remember its a resort area. You need a rent a car to get anywhere.
But it is nice, sun tan, swimming, relaxing get away from work.
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Old 27-03-2015, 17:12   #26
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

If you are starting your charter from Oyster Pond and have an extra evening, I heartily recommend BZH for dinner. It is an easy walk from the dingy dock. They have a fun staff, great bar, fantastic French food from Brittany, good pizza if that's what you're after, and they're famous for their crepes. If you ask a local for directions, it's pronounced "bay zed aash.

Maybe it seemed so good because it was the first shore cooked food after a two and a half week leg of a transatlantic delivery, but I doubt it as we provisioned in France and Spain and ate like kings on the way. The crew liked BZH so much, we ate there three evenings in a row!
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Old 30-03-2015, 11:25   #27
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

One word of advice if you are considering using the charter company's "pre-packaged provisioning". Examine the contents closely as many of the food items included may not be what you prefer to eat. Lots of processed foods, cereals, etc. Did it once and left 50% of the crap uneaten which required us to punt on several meals.
Some charter companies allow you to completely customize your provisions lists and the good grocery stores will not only let you pick your items, but will deliver to your charter.
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Old 02-06-2015, 22:51   #28
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Re: Cooking on board charter boat in St Martin

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
There are no "markets" on St Martin! Whadda ya think this is? Some backward bloody 3rd world country??

You buy stuff in supermarkets just like you people do at home.

Bring 'pan bread'? On an island with a French bakery on every corner? You guys are misinformed to the hugest degree.
While the above comments are slightly intemperate, anyone who has been to St. Martin will readily understand where Mark is coming from.

I had no problems provisioning out of Marigot for a transatlantic; a week or so of coastal cruising would be easy. There is a medium-sized supermarket that has a good selection of most foods at reasonable prices Sint Maarten is probably even cheaper, as Brad suggests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkronquist View Post
I'm wondering what a typical meal cost - burger and fries, fish, shrimp, lobster, etc. Obviously there are nicer restaurants that are going to be very high priced, but your typical beach restaurant is probably where we are most interested in going. I expect food that must be imported to be more expensive, but is seafood reasonably priced since it's able to be locally sourced? Thanks in advance for any info!
There are a wide variety of restaurants, catering to all kinds of tastes and budgets. Certainly excellent seafood is available at good prices, but so are all of the meats and veg that you could want.

In the context of your total vacation costs (including the return flight to St. Martin / Sint Maarten and the bareboat charter), any increase in food prices over those you pay back home will be immaterial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkronquist View Post
We are thinking about bring a cooler with meat down with us
That is simply unnecessary. Lugging a cooler full of meat will be inconvenient, to say the least. And saving a few pennies by importing all possible supplies is the sort of thing that (not unreasonably) gives sailors a bad name with local populations. Far better to contribute a modest amount to the economy by purchasing food locally (this applies less to St. Martin than most other places, but the principle holds).

Quote:
Originally Posted by napadiver View Post
One word of advice if you are considering using the charter company's "pre-packaged provisioning". Examine the contents closely as many of the food items included may not be what you prefer to eat. Lots of processed foods, cereals, etc. Did it once and left 50% of the crap uneaten which required us to punt on several meals.
Makes sense. Personally I wouldn't bother with this sort of optional service, for two reasons. First, a significant mark-up is charged for the convenience: somewhat similar to 'pre-paying the gas' on a car rental just so that one can avoid having to return it with a full tank. Secondly, self-provisioning is part of the cruising experience and is neither difficult nor particularly time-consuming.
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