It is that time of year again…. the time of year when people start showing up an hour late for their trips with us? Yup, it happens more than you would think. Why, why does it happen? Keep reading to find out.
“I’m so sorry, but the boat has already left.” I will say to the happy diver.
“What do you mean, we are right on time!” The now unhappy diver will say.
“Well, actually, you are an hour late.” I will reply to the confused diver.
“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? IT IS 12:30!!!” The now upset AND confused diver will reply.
“No sir, I’m so sorry, it isn’t. It is 1:30.” An exasperated me will say.
It happens all the time…. You see, in St Maarten | St Martin we do not have daylight savings time. This means that on November 1st at 2:00 AM when Daylight Savings Time ended in the US, the US jumped back into a time zone one hour behind the states.
When it begins again on March 13th at 2 AM, and the US “springs forward” we go back to being in the same time zone.
ARRRRGGGGG! It is so annoying, if only there was some consistency all year round!! This means that for four winter months of the year, we are out of sync with the rest of you. All the TV shows that I watch that start at 9 PM for you at home on the east coast, start at 10 PM for me.
Many people don’t realize this. It just doesn’t occur to them. I can’t really blame them. I mean, for most places you go the time zone is consistently either two hours ahead or three or four or five or six for the ENTIRE year. But not us! We are special like that 🙂
Lets just repeat it one more time.
From November 1st, 2015 until March 13th, 2016 St Maarten | St Martin is ONE HOUR AHEAD of EST. So, when it is noon in NY or Florida, it is 1 PM here.
It gets even more confusing because some of the cruise ships that come here (not all but a large amount) do not adjust to island time. And when I say “island time” I am not referring to the lackadaisical view that the locals typically have towards good time keeping, I am literally talking about the time here.
So, when people make a reservation with me and they are coming in on a cruise ship they will typically say “I arrive at 9 AM and have to back on the ship at 5 PM.” So, in the past (before I became wise to the confusing ways of the island) I would book them for a 10 AM dive trip. Then they wouldn’t show up until 10:30 AM or so. They would argue that it was 9:30 AM, and I would argue that it wasn’t. And so on and so on. This is because their ships did not adjust to local time. In reality, they arrived at 10 AM and left at 6 PM island time, but it was 9 AM for their ship.
It gets so confusing. Now, when someone from a ship books with me, my first question is “Does your ship adjust to island time or not?” Then, normally, a long conversation ensues where I have to explain everything I have written above! So, now, I am just going to send them a link to this blog 🙂 Sneaky me!
It isn’t even consistent within cruise lines. Some Carnival Ships adjust and some don’t, for example So, I can’t even say exclusively that Royal Caribbean keeps ship time!
The best thing to do is to listen to your pilot when you arrive on island and s/he says “Welcome to Sunny St Maarten! Local time is ___________!” And change your watches and your phone. If you are coming in on a cruise, then please just ask your ship what they do!!!!
(Sally wrote this blog @ 9:49 in the morning St Martin time 🙂 )