Lisa Kondvar was on a family vacation on the Caribbean island when her mother died, WHDH-TV, Boston, reported Saturday.
She said the funeral home in Sint Maarten wouldn't allow her to view the body there, then requested $7,000 to release the body and send it back to New Jersey where the dead woman lived.
After more than a week, the body arrived, but Kondvar said she soon realized it wasn't her mother in the casket.
"I was like, 'that's not mom,' " she said.
Kondvar's family went ahead with the funeral service and sent the wrong body to the local medical examiner. The body that was sent to Kondvar was that of a Canadian woman who also died while in Sint Maarten.
The Canadian family cremated the body they were sent without realizing it wasn't their relative. Sint Maarten officials weren't sure if the body the Canadian family was sent was Kondvar's mother.
Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said the government would do a DNA analysis to identify the cremains.