If diving into the warm Caribbean from a floating theme park sounds like fun, D-Boat takes things to the next level.
Once an oil tanker, the ship now boasts a stylish bar with uniformed staff and an upper deck with sun loungers, rope swings, waterslides and diving boards – plus water trampolines and a blob jump that catapults participants to freakish heights.
D-Boat is based on Simpson Bay on the west side of Sint Maarten, a hilly, Dutch-speaking slice of the Caribbean with gorgeous beaches and a cruise-ship dock. D-Boat has been here since the summer of 2019 when it moved from nearby Antigua.
The boat is now permanently moored and offers standard packages that give access (including pick-ups from the shore) from 10am to 6pm, as well as evening events. Once onboard, you can take it easy in the shady bar area or the sun loungers, or go wild with the activities. Slides reach down from the top deck, barreling you into the clear waters, while ropes let you swing out over the sea before dropping in for a dip.
There are also water trampolines and diving boards, plus swimming and snorkeling, but the main event is arguably the giant blob catapult. One person sits at the tip of this giant inflatable before another leaps onto the back, launching the person in front like a flailing bullet into the sky.
DJs (and sometimes musicians) complete the package, so you can dry off with a dance. If you’re hungry, meals are served onboard, and there’s a wide range of drinks. People of all ages are welcome during the day.
The main pick-up for D-Boat is on Simpson Bay, behind the I Scream Candy shop, although the water taxi can also go via Kim Shaw beach by prior arrangement. Simpson Bay is right by the airport, but it’s a fine place to explore, with great beaches, clear waters, a rum distillery and activities like horseback riding.