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No Worries, few things are truly unobtainable... You will probably be surprised how many things are available on our small island... Sea Saba offers excellent quality resort wear from infants to XXL--an array of shorts, shirts (Columbia, J. America, Champion, Gear For Sports and more), Merrell sandals and hiking shoes, long-sleeves,,, not just t-shirts! Our local groceries store may not have the volume and variety you are used to but you will find it more than adequate. A grand selection of wines and spirits are available at much lower than U.S. prices. The Sea Saba office is open from 7:30 a.m. and most often well after 5 p.m. but we ask that all bill settlements occur by 4 p.m. Just ask for our help and we'll do everything within our power to accommodate your needs. The A.M. Edwards Medical Center is staffed with two respected doctors and nursing staff and can handle basic health care and most pharmacy needs.
FAQ's - During
Our office stays open for every check-in. We understand that "getting off on the right foot" is important to your valuable vacation. Bring your c-card and walk over to our office/shop. We'll let you know what is planned for the next day, the pickup time and orient you to the island. If you have a mesh bag for your dive gear, bring it. Otherwise, we'll issue one to you (we also sell simple ones or excellent quality bags). Your gear will stay on the boat until you are finished diving. We'll tell you plenty more at your check-in!
The real fun begins... the Saba airport
Get a window seat on the right so you can see this fascinating approach to the Caribbean's most unique island. When you arrive on Saba with a Sea Saba reservation, Garvis should be at the airport looking for you. If not, either ask Immigration to make a quick call to Sea Saba or take any taxi to your hotel and advise them you are on a pre-paid dive package. The driver will collect payment from the hotel---tipping is at your discretion.
Once you've settled in to your hotel, give Sea Saba a call. We will stay open until we have made contact with you, preferably an in-person check-in so that we can give you a bit of orientation to the island, explain the dive plan and make dinner reservations for you. If you are staying at Queen's Gardens, Ecolodge, El Momo or Flamboyant, we'll ask the driver to stop before heading toward the hotel. Enjoy your first evening!
Interline Baggage Agreement
How you book your tickets normally dictates whether you can check your luggage through to Saba. There are pros and cons to booking a through ticket--advantages for checked luggage fees; restrictions with any changes. Delta, United, Air France, KLM and others have agreements with Winair. Research ahead of time to determine if you can check your luggage through to Saba at your gateway city. The airport code for Saba is "SAB". These agreements regularly change but it never hurts to ask when you're checking your bags to save time and inconvenience when you land in St. Maarten. In order to take advantage of this check-in process, you must have a ticket for same-day travel to Saba or have ticketed the Winair portion of your travel with that carrier. The reverse is true when departing Saba. Be sure to check individual air carriers' policies on weight restrictions before you pack--or even before you ticket. You may find it more economical to ticket with one carrier over another once you investigated these policies.
St. Maarten ("SXM") airport
Princess Juliana Airport is modern, clean and bright with nice views and many shops to kill time at...duty free electronics, jewelry, cosmetics, chocolates, cheeses and liquor are readily available. There are also bars, ice cream and numerous food options and a decent lounge.Getting to Saba on a connecting flight from the new airport warrants a bit of additional information to ensure delays are avoided.
If you are traveling on a carrier that requires you to re-check your bags with Winair, please read the following...When you arrive in St. Maarten (almost to Saba!) you should only need to clear immigration by presenting your passport and collect your luggage. There is no real customs at the Princess Juliana Airport. Occasionally officials will spot check luggage and request it is x-rayed; but long lines and delays are NOT the norm. Once you clear immigration, there are 3 luggage belts. Your airline and flight number are posted on the corresponding monitor. If you are traveling with a companion and you have a close Winair (less than 2 hours) connection, have one person wait for the luggage while the other gets in line at Winair. After clearing immigration you need to accomplish 3 things (get luggage; check in to Winair, clear security) before getting to your departure gate for Saba--any of the 3 can take some time. A major improvement at this new facility is that a Winair counter is right behind the luggage retrieval area (after you have cleared immigration but before exiting the luggage claim area). If a Winair agent is at this counter, you can easily check in here. Often times, this counter is not manned and you must exit the luggage claim area to the departures hall and recheck at the general Winair line. After checking your bags with Winair, you will need to go upstairs, clear another passport inspection area and then security lines to xray your carry on bags. This can take from 7 minutes to over an hour depending on how busy the airport is (later in the day and weekends in high season will be busiest). Once out of the security area you'll find numerous colorful shops and several food choices and places to buy cold drinks (a cold one might be in order by now!) Especially in high season, there are often numerous "last flights" for several islands. Winair has a stellar safety record but organization and keeping the public informed are how they've made their reputation in other areas. Often the flight to Saba is not announced on the loud speaker AND can leave up to 30 minutes early (or late; it's the islands, mon!). Grab a cold drink and enjoy the local scenery but don't take a nap or stray far from the gate.
If you miss your flight or your flight is cancelled
If you arrive at the St. Maarten airport and find there is weather causing flights to be canceled (cross winds or a thunderstorm can cause this), there is an alternative. Dawn II ferry services Saba at times that are conducive to those staying on Saba (unlike The Edge which is set up for 'day trippers' from SXM). Regular schedule: Dawn II will departs SXM at 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dawn II leaves from a dock at Chesterfields Restaurant (Dock Martin) in Great Bay Marina, 20 minutes to one hour+ from the airport, depending on traffic. If you find your flight to Saba will not be departing, find a way to call the Sea Saba office (from St. Maarten airport: 011-599-416-2246 or a local call 416-2246 and we'll do our best to confirm a seat for you on the ferry. There are also times that Dawn II will run due to the demand because of the lack of flights. So if you're stuck, call us and we will let you know your options. If this option fails, relax and make the most of the evening. Before we advise you on where to stay and eat options, make sure you make a flight reservation for the earliest morning flight out of St. Maarten. If they advise you flights are full, make a ferry reservation by either calling the Sea Saba office or booking it directly (544-2640 local number). The Edge ferry departs Pelican Resort docks area at 9 a.m.--but you must be there by 8:15 to properly check-in. Their office closes at 5 p.m. daily. The ferry to Saba runs only on Wed, Fri and Sun.
Phones, Cellphones and Internet Access
We hope you can relax and leave work behind but we understand the need to be connected. Hotels and rental houses, as well as a number of restaurants, have ADSL/wifi. And, there is now WiFi throughout the island although some areas have sketchy service due to the mountainous terrain. Only a few hotels have telephones in the rooms (Cottage Club and Queen's Gardens).
Will your cellphone work on Saba? Most phones work easily; of course, roaming charges are the consideration. Local SIM cards are available to purchase on weekdays during normal business hours.
Concerned you cannot be easily contacted in case of emergency? Feel free to give Sea Saba's contact information to your family, business or friends. If you have a family concern at home, contact Lynn and we will even provide our home number so that you can be reached after hours.
Wi-Fi Hotspots from Saba's Tourism Sector
The cost of internet on Saba is rather high, so please give patronage to the provider of the wi-fi hotspot!
Saba's official currency is the US. dollar. Visa, Mastercard and Discover are accepted almost everywhere, only a few establishments accept American Express. For our Dutch clients, the Maestro cards are now accepted by most merchants. There is one bank and two ATMs on Saba: one in Windwardside at RBC bank; another in The Bottom. There are also ATMs at the St. Maarten airport. RBC bank is a branch of St. Maarten so any currency other than the US dollar incurs foreign exchange fees. Euros are accepted only in a few places with varying rates. Banks are open Monday through Friday but old-fashion banking hours: 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.