Sunday, February 15, 2009

WiFi in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles

Many places now have FREE wifi. Be sure to carry your computer in something watertight as sometimes a dinghy ride in the Simpson Bay Lagoon can be quite wet depending upon your dinghy and weather.

Here's a few places accessible from Simpson Bay:
  • MacDonalds near Simpson Bay Bridge (use Palapa dinghy dock)
  • Bubble Tea in same building as MacDonalds (use Palapa dinghy dock)
  • Ric's Sports Bar near Simpson Bay Bridge (has dinghy dock)
  • Taco Macho - next to Texaco station (might be allowed to tie up behind gas station at Texaco dock, or use Palapa dock and walk towards airport, or use Portofino marina behind Gourmet Marche and walk just beyond the Shell station in the direction of the bridge)
  • Blue Martini, ex-Fathoms, (between Bobby's Boatyard and Turtle Pier) has dinghy dock
  • Jimbo's Mesquite Grill at the Simpson Bay Marina - use marina dinghy dock
  • Cappuccino Diner Bar & Restaurant (across from FedEx & Domino's Pizza) - use dock behind FedEx?
  • Turtle Pier restaurant at Turtle Pier Hotel (Airport road) & Marina (dinghy dock in the lagoon) Happy hour, too!
Here's some NOT-FREE options, but it's worth it to us to have 24/7 internet access aboard the boat:
  • Smart Wifi: Web site We did use Smart WiFi a few times last year, but we were not able to get it on the boat outside in Simpson Bay. We used it at Lagoonies and also at the Pasta Restaurant at Palapa.
  • Netstar: Can't find any info about this service and I haven't known anyone who has used it.
  • Scarlet: Web site We are currently using Scarlet. It was very good in January and the first bit of February, but their service has been very slow for the last week to 10 days. We've heard this from other users as well. Scarlet is not WiFi. You use their unit (omnidirectional, inside the boat, 110V) for a $150 refundable deposit. They let us test the unit on board before signing up which was very nice. FEB.23rd 2009 UPDATE: They listened to us! Their service has improved over the past few days and we received a reply to the email we sent today saying that they have made changes and that they are still working to improve the situation. THANKS GUYS! It didn't last long... Service has too many people on it so it is SLOW. It has picked up a bit since Easter because all of the charter boats are gone and fewer tourists, i.e. more bandwidth. Price went up to about $105/month.
  • CaribServe: Web site I haven't been able to access CaribServe in a long time. Can acquire the HotSpot but cannot get web page or login screen. We've heard other people having similar stories, and also it being slow, and another one accessed the payment page and paid and then couldn't get service...
IDL is no longer in existence.

We've recently heard that there is good WiFi in Deshaies Guadeloupe.

And we've also heard that Hot Hot Hot Spot in Falmouth Antigua is NOT SO HOT.

So it goes...