Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ladies Night in St. Maarten

About two years ago, the concept “Ladies Night” was introduced to me, here in St. Maarten. A friend of mine and I had seen some signs around, promoting this special and free night for the females amongst us. The night of this weekly event was Wednesday and soon enough, Christine and I found out the scoop. Sunset Beach Bar on Maho Bay offered free drinks from 10pm onwards, followed by Tantra and Bliss. During the rest of the season, we tried to convince other cruising galls to join us for some fun and entertainment one Wednesday or the other.

Back then, and last year, all the interested parties would gather during the “Wednesday Cruiser’s Meeting” for happy hour drinks and in preparation of the late night out. Once the scene there mellowed out and the other halves went home, our group of ladies would walk to Maho Beach and share a pizza or eat a Subway sandwich if the stomachs hadn’t been filled at Turtle Pier. We hung out on the beach until 10pm came around and hopefully were sober enough by then to actually start drinking. 10pm is very late for the average cruiser, especially when happy hour starts at 5!

10pm is very early for the non-cruiser, aka vacationer and partier. Our group would move to the Sunset Beach Bar, which was still empty, and order free light beers, mudslides or frozen margaritas. It was the moment to exchange juicy stories or share female knowledge, since the DJ played music in the background. Around 11:30pm, we moved on to Tantra for some free sushi and cosmopolitans or champagne until the place started to fill up. Conversation was hard, but manageable and some of us got on their dancing shoes.

After midnight, we would reach the last and most spectacular club in St. Maarten, Bliss. The dance floor would be filled up by then and while we grabbed our free pink champagne, we would watch the handsome roller blade guy and attractive female dancers move around their little podiums. Whoever was inclined to dance to the club music would do so and the others would lounge in the comfortable sofas near the water’s edge or the pool. We all would have a great night out with enough girl time to last us a week or two. Once back on Irie around 3 or 4 am, I had to haul up the heavy dinghy by myself and the following day was a bust. Last year, I stuck to a less frequent Ladies Night program, not wanting to lose a whole Thursday. Work had to be done.

A couple of months ago, a few girlfriends and I would try this Ladies Night scheme again. We killed the time between the Cruiser’s Meeting (at Barnacles now) and 10pm sitting on a picnic table by the beach drinking alcohol bought at the Maho Beach supermarket. When going over to Sunset, we heard the disheartening news that they don’t do Ladies Night anymore, so we checked out Tantra. There, the bouncers pointed out that we were too early. The night started at 11pm. Back to the beach we went, to return an hour later. Ready for some famous sushi, we climbed the steps and entered the dance club. No sushi. Ever again. A whole array of tasty (frozen) drinks was still available for free and in no time, the place was booming with nicely dressed women on the dance floor and anticipating guys staring at them.

After a little while, we anticipated the awesome ambiance and environment of Bliss and moved our tired bodies over there. The once bustling dance club was dead. The pink champagne was still present, but the (professional) dancers weren’t and our little group wasn’t even allowed on the comfy couches anymore. Because of the late start of the night it was basically morning again when we all hitched to our dinghies and returned home. We had been deprived of most of the goodies and I decided that the Wednesday Ladies Night was not really worth my time, energy and loss of a day’s work anymore.

We had heard of another Ladies Night in the area of the lagoon. This one takes place in The Alley on a Thursday Night, starting at 10pm. Our first try failed, because a live band was performing that night and therefore the drinks had their usual high price tag. A couple of weeks later, we tried again, with a small group of women. This time, Ladies Night was honored and we enjoyed delicious frozen passion fruit margaritas, all by ourselves. Apparently this concept is not very popular or known amongst the St. Maarten residents or visitors and I expect it to die out completely one of these years. The five of us still had a nice night with lots of Ladies Talk, but what is keeping us from doing that at a more convenient and respectable time of the day? We are cruisers, after all. We live with the sun and go to sleep before 10pm. I’m afraid this lady is getting too old for a good ol’ Ladies Night!

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