Cruise Ratings
3,203
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814
177
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Sail Date: February 2015
After St Thomas, St Maarten paled in comparison. It was still beautiful, but it serves a better purpose for shopping rather than taking in beautiful scenery. We independently took a $20 cab ride to Orient Beach on the French side but since ... Read More
After St Thomas, St Maarten paled in comparison. It was still beautiful, but it serves a better purpose for shopping rather than taking in beautiful scenery. We independently took a $20 cab ride to Orient Beach on the French side but since it was very windy, we went back to Phillipsburg after a couple of hours. One thing I didn't like about St Maarten is I felt like I was constantly bombarded by people trying to sell me something and I had to pay to use restrooms. We spent the rest of the day shopping in downtown. If you're looking for gems/jewelry, stay clear of the stores the cruise lines recommend to you because trust me, they're not very good deals. You can easily find better deals on GIA certified diamonds and gems on eBay or even your local jeweler. We had the best experience (and got the best price) at Omni Jewelers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Phillipsburg, St. Maarten is one of my favorite ports. You can take a real taxi for $5 a head each way or the water taxi for $7 for all day. Taxi is quicker and if only one going in you can share a cab and go right to where you want. ... Read More
Phillipsburg, St. Maarten is one of my favorite ports. You can take a real taxi for $5 a head each way or the water taxi for $7 for all day. Taxi is quicker and if only one going in you can share a cab and go right to where you want. Majesty Jewelers has free Wi-Fi if you buy something. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This is one of my favourite islands. The towns on both sides are lovely. You do not need to take an expensive excursion or taxi to see the French side. We took a public bus for $2. One bus was shabby but the other one had air conditioning ... Read More
This is one of my favourite islands. The towns on both sides are lovely. You do not need to take an expensive excursion or taxi to see the French side. We took a public bus for $2. One bus was shabby but the other one had air conditioning and for $2 you can’t complain. The French side has great bakeries. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Did some shopping at the port and took a shuttle cab with 4 others to Dawn Beach. Spent two hours on beach then took a cab back for $15. In hindsight we should have remained near port and visited beach there. Had been to this port and few ... Read More
Did some shopping at the port and took a shuttle cab with 4 others to Dawn Beach. Spent two hours on beach then took a cab back for $15. In hindsight we should have remained near port and visited beach there. Had been to this port and few times and saw most sights including having rented a car and drove the island. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
So much fun! I wish we could have stayed longer. We took a water taxi over to a beach that was beautiful. There were people selling items on the beach, but not too pushy that we were able to still enjoy it. We bought a few necklaces ... Read More
So much fun! I wish we could have stayed longer. We took a water taxi over to a beach that was beautiful. There were people selling items on the beach, but not too pushy that we were able to still enjoy it. We bought a few necklaces and other items. I thought it was convenient since we didn't have much time at port and I didn't have to shop for souvenirs, I could just do that lounging on the beach. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Our friends took us to a fantastic beach bar on the side of the airport runway. Had a few beers and a fantastic lunch before returning to the town. Boss Lady loves to hunt for diamonds in what seemed like very diamond store. Great ... Read More
Our friends took us to a fantastic beach bar on the side of the airport runway. Had a few beers and a fantastic lunch before returning to the town. Boss Lady loves to hunt for diamonds in what seemed like very diamond store. Great shopping though ! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Yuck - we did a island tour and all we saw were homeless and decrepit buildings. It was very sad. Maybe the resorts are nice - but would never leave them!
Yuck - we did a island tour and all we saw were homeless and decrepit buildings. It was very sad. Maybe the resorts are nice - but would never leave them! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
In St. Maarten, we got a group taxi to Orient Beach and spent the morning. Always like this beach. At 12:30 got a taxi to Maho. What a riot! Had lunch at sunset bar and watched the planes. Highly recommend this. We then took taxi back to ... Read More
In St. Maarten, we got a group taxi to Orient Beach and spent the morning. Always like this beach. At 12:30 got a taxi to Maho. What a riot! Had lunch at sunset bar and watched the planes. Highly recommend this. We then took taxi back to port. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We did the Jeep Tour shore excursion. It drives you around the whole island with stops for the highlights. We had time to swim at Orient Beach. Time to shop in Marigot. And time to take pictures of airplanes landing at Maho Beach. We also ... Read More
We did the Jeep Tour shore excursion. It drives you around the whole island with stops for the highlights. We had time to swim at Orient Beach. Time to shop in Marigot. And time to take pictures of airplanes landing at Maho Beach. We also had time to sit in Philipsburg's famous afternoon traffic ;). The guides were knowledgeable and friendly. They did a pretty good job of keeping 13 jeeps together and on time. Be warned that there is some walking as sometimes there isn't parking close to the stops. The longest walk time was 7 minutes, but it came at the warmest part of the day. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Great portGreat beach IN town$25 for 2 chairs- umbrella-and a bucket of beer Great valueVisited Joe's Jewellers on a friends recommendation - good service and beautiful product Perfect amount of time at portDon't bother with any ... Read More
Great portGreat beach IN town$25 for 2 chairs- umbrella-and a bucket of beer Great valueVisited Joe's Jewellers on a friends recommendation - good service and beautiful product Perfect amount of time at portDon't bother with any of the ships excursions....taxis cheap Paid $59 each for beach excursion. Was terrible..... Over populated beach ( Atlantic side) -took a cab back $7 each back to town (port) and a gorgeous Caribbean beach Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
favorite port on the cruise ... you got the Caribbean feeling ... great prices in (jewelery stores), friendly locals ... wonderful! Didn't take an excursion cause we have friends who live there part time and say it's not worth it.
favorite port on the cruise ... you got the Caribbean feeling ... great prices in (jewelery stores), friendly locals ... wonderful! Didn't take an excursion cause we have friends who live there part time and say it's not worth it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Our port adventure was scheduled and paid for but only when I tried to disembark did I learn that the port adventure was NOT handicapped accessible, so I had to stay on the ship. Very disappointed.
Our port adventure was scheduled and paid for but only when I tried to disembark did I learn that the port adventure was NOT handicapped accessible, so I had to stay on the ship. Very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Take the water taxi into town! I think it was like $7 pp round trip. Taxis to anywhere else on the island are one way and expensive!!! The water taxi was a lot of fun, my daughter got her hair braided in town and there is a fabulous beach ... Read More
Take the water taxi into town! I think it was like $7 pp round trip. Taxis to anywhere else on the island are one way and expensive!!! The water taxi was a lot of fun, my daughter got her hair braided in town and there is a fabulous beach right there!!! Chairs and umbrellas all over the place! We rented 2 chairs, umbrella, 6 drinks and internet access for $20! We met a cool guy from New Jersey who rents jet skis on the beach! $50 for 50 minutes. Excellent deal! The kids waited on shore and my husband came in and swapped out kids, it was awesome! We had never been to St Maarten and were impressed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
St. Maarten - We got off the boat in St. Maarten and went to Maho Beach to watch the airplanes come in. It was a great experience. Have heard people say that it was cheesy and lame, but it was really something neat to see. Probably ... Read More
St. Maarten - We got off the boat in St. Maarten and went to Maho Beach to watch the airplanes come in. It was a great experience. Have heard people say that it was cheesy and lame, but it was really something neat to see. Probably wouldn't go back again, but it was neat to see once. The KLM 747 comes in every day at 12:15. We were also able to see some big 737's come in between the time we arrived there at 10:45 and leaving at 12:30. The beach is clean and nice, there is a restaurant at each end if you'd like a snack or a nice cold beverage. Take a towel, there is no place to lay except on your towel. Sun is hot. I had some great footage on video, and everyone we have showed since we got back was blown away by how close the airplanes are to us. We left from the Maho Beach and got a taxi to Orient Beach. The driver initially was not excited about taking us there, because it's quite a distance. However, when we were trying to negotiate the price with him, another couple walked up and also wanted to go to Orient Beach, so we shared the cab. He took us to a great little place there on Orient Beach, where we rented chairs and an umbrella for $20. The sun is HOT. The beach is clean and water is crystal blue. Gorgeous. Highly recommend..... the beach isn't like the beaches in Cancun....the waves don't beat you up. You can easily be in the ocean and not get knocked down. Very peaceful swim. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
We decided to walk to Philipsburg from the pier. There were directions pointing the way to go and it only took us about 10 minutes to get there. Once there we shopped on Front Street and found some interesting stores. There were plenty of ... Read More
We decided to walk to Philipsburg from the pier. There were directions pointing the way to go and it only took us about 10 minutes to get there. Once there we shopped on Front Street and found some interesting stores. There were plenty of jewelry stores, but we were not interested in those. After lunch we got in a taxi and asked her which beach she recommends. She said Mullet Bay was the nicest, more quiet and not as crowded as Maho Beach. So, we asked her to take us there. She was right! Mullet Bay is a beautiful, white sand, crystal blue water beach! It was gorgeous with some trees for shade too. We paid for the rental of some chairs and an umbrella and relaxed on the beach and swam in the water. It was a beautiful beach! There was a bar with food and drinks right there and a Jonny on the Spot washroom facility. Our taxi driver picked us up and we had quite the adventurous ride back to the ship. Maria is a great driver but she had my husband holding on for dear life as she raced into oncoming traffic at times to get another two passengers back to their cruise ship on time. It was hilarious. She got them back just in time and even got herself clearance to drive right up on the pier to drop them off at the gangway! Way to go Maria! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Again, we had been here before but did not see much. This time we took the beach tour with Bernards - Fantastic. The driver gave a running commentary and we learned a lot. First stop was Orient Beach and it was fabulous. Tip: walk around ... Read More
Again, we had been here before but did not see much. This time we took the beach tour with Bernards - Fantastic. The driver gave a running commentary and we learned a lot. First stop was Orient Beach and it was fabulous. Tip: walk around and check prices on chair/umbrellas. We paid $15 each when we could have gotten both for $8 a little further from where we were dropped off. We did not go to the end with the Orient Beach Club (nude) but there were a few topless participants on the main beach. Contrary to what I have read, they were not hard on the eyes...except some of the overweight men in skimpy speedos. Then we went to Maho beach for a bucket list event - watching the planes land. Amazing and was one of the highlights of the trip. Just before we arrived a man was blown off the fence onto the road and was run over. Not good and he was clearly seriously injured. We saw a number of 757s land and saw the KLM 747 take off - what a thrill! Would highly recommend this tour and Bernards. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We taxied over to Maho Beach to swim and photograph/video tape the big jets landing.Directions borrowed from another Cruise Critic Member. Walking to the buses (van) will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. I thought it was about 30 ... Read More
We taxied over to Maho Beach to swim and photograph/video tape the big jets landing.Directions borrowed from another Cruise Critic Member. Walking to the buses (van) will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. I thought it was about 30 minutes. Go to the left of the ship once you get out of the "ship's compound". The next street away from the water is the shopping street called Front Street. Next street over is Back Street which is a one-way street and will be full of buses. Look for a sign labeled Bushalte and a marking on the pavement. If you don't see a stop, just flag down the bus as it approaches. The License Plate will say "Bus." In the corner window will be a sign that tells you where it is going such as “Mullet Bay” or “Maho Beach”. There are tons of buses and they are leaving all the time so be selective and get a nice one. Ask the driver before you actually get on the bus and tell him where you want to get off. He should tell you when to get off. It should be as you reach the far end of the runway and the traffic roundabout at the Maho resort/casino complex. You pay when you exit and the ride should cost you $2 each way. The return bus will be across the street at the Sonesta Maho/Royal Islander complex. Stand where the driver can pull out of traffic. Since it is an airport there are always buses going back and forth. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
XTreme Ziplining. GREAT EXPERIENCE! Go for extreme because the lower ziplines did not look like they were worth the money. We went to Lotaree Tree Farm and took an insanely scary truck ride up the side of a mountain. There we got off and ... Read More
XTreme Ziplining. GREAT EXPERIENCE! Go for extreme because the lower ziplines did not look like they were worth the money. We went to Lotaree Tree Farm and took an insanely scary truck ride up the side of a mountain. There we got off and immediately started our trip back down. The trip was exhausting with the ladders to climb and the tightropes to walk but it was SO much fun and we got spectacular views! Definitely needed a nap after that one. I wish we had seen more of the island. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We stayed on the Dutch side with the sole purpose of trying to find some good deals on liquor and Cuban cigars. I didn't like it at all! The shop keepers are super pushy and dishonest.They would give us a price on liquor, but when we ... Read More
We stayed on the Dutch side with the sole purpose of trying to find some good deals on liquor and Cuban cigars. I didn't like it at all! The shop keepers are super pushy and dishonest.They would give us a price on liquor, but when we went to the register to pay, the price was suddenly higher. My husband bought a Cuban cigar, which once he lit it up, knew immediately that it was a fake. If I ever go back, I will immediately take a ride to the French side. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was an afternoon beach break tour. I won this tour at the shopping show on the ship and was very happy with the experience. The ride to the Orient Beach was about 20 minutes. The beach is located in the residential one family gated ... Read More
This was an afternoon beach break tour. I won this tour at the shopping show on the ship and was very happy with the experience. The ride to the Orient Beach was about 20 minutes. The beach is located in the residential one family gated community, has some nice local restaurants and gorgeous beach. The rum punch was included. If you are looking for a relaxing tour, this is a tour for you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
We did a Princess excursion to orient beach which included a very tasty lunch. Swam, laid on the beach and just relaxed. Very nice.
We did a Princess excursion to orient beach which included a very tasty lunch. Swam, laid on the beach and just relaxed. Very nice. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
St. Maarten Saturday, January 17, 2015 8am - 5pmWe did the MAHO BEACH TRANSFER excursion. This is a must see beach. The airport is across the street from the beach and the incoming planes fly about 50 feet above your head. Absolutely ... Read More
St. Maarten Saturday, January 17, 2015 8am - 5pmWe did the MAHO BEACH TRANSFER excursion. This is a must see beach. The airport is across the street from the beach and the incoming planes fly about 50 feet above your head. Absolutely amazing. There are several casinos near this beach too and places to eat. The beach is rather small and very crowded on this day as there were over 6 cruise ships in the port. The water is warm and beautiful. You can see right to the bottom. For this excursion we had to sign a waiver for this beach and take matters into our own hands. The beach is literally across the street from the airports runway and there is a fence and many signs that say "DANGER! Jet Blasts! DO NOT STAND HERE!" Well, the thrill for some people is to hold onto that fence for dear life when a plane is getting ready to take off. Insel air gave the biggest blast on this day. He was there for quite a while revving up and there were people flown into the water and people on the beach in that direction were blown away along with all their belongings. There were only a few people that were able to hold on to the fence. It was definitely an experience and wild thing to see! I would highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
St Maarten is probably my favourite place. The people are really friendly and it is very easy to get around. It is a fair walk to Philipsburg which can be quite tiring in the heat at around 15-20 mins. I take the local bus wherever I want ... Read More
St Maarten is probably my favourite place. The people are really friendly and it is very easy to get around. It is a fair walk to Philipsburg which can be quite tiring in the heat at around 15-20 mins. I take the local bus wherever I want to go and it is always $2 to anywhere and the driver tells you where to get out and as long as you don't give them a big bill to break they are nice to you. I went to Mullet Bay Beach which I really liked as there were beach shacks to get food and drink from (fairly expensive) and plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas. There is no need to book an excursion here as you can ask the lady on the security post before you leave the port how to get somewhere and she is always more than happy to tell you. Read Less

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