Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2009
This place is gorgeous, When you dock will you will see boats anchored out in the water and a beach area, Do not let the construction throw you off. if you get off and walk straight ahead The cabs are all lined up to take you where ever ... Read More
This place is gorgeous, When you dock will you will see boats anchored out in the water and a beach area, Do not let the construction throw you off. if you get off and walk straight ahead The cabs are all lined up to take you where ever you want to go, but go past that and follow left towards the beach and it is about a ten minute walk to beach. You will soon get to the sign that points you towards phillipsburg and there are all kinds of little shops and souvenir places. Then appears the beach with chairs and umbrellas to rent which you can negotiate a price for. We paid 15 us for 2 chairs and an umbrella for the whole day. The water was really blue and warm, The kids didn't see a lot of fish but the swimming made up for it. You will see all kinds of bars and restaurants and shops lined up but cut through those eateries by little walkways and you find all the really great shopping and casinos. If you want to buy jewellery as I did you must go to a store called Splash jewelers and see Gary the owner. This place was recommended to me as I have been looking to purchase a ring that I had seen at many of the stores at ports in the past year that we have been travelling and had always passed it up because of price, I finally bought it and he gave me an amazing price and I have since had it appraised at home and it is right on the money. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
The organization of taxis just off the ship is excellent on St. Maarten. It's nice to know the rates are posted and you don't have to deal with haggling. We took a taxi to Orient Beach. My wife and the other couple we were with ... Read More
The organization of taxis just off the ship is excellent on St. Maarten. It's nice to know the rates are posted and you don't have to deal with haggling. We took a taxi to Orient Beach. My wife and the other couple we were with stayed on the more "conservative" part of the beach while I strolled to the far end of the beach to experience a little swimming and sun bathing "au naturale"! After a couple hours at Orient Beach, we took a taxi back into Phillipsburg. There, we spent a two or three hours shopping. Of all the islands, we probably enjoyed our shopping the most here. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
St. Maarten was beautiful. You have to either take a water taxi or cab to get to downtown but prices are reasonable with an all day pass running you $6 for the water taxi. We did the Tiki Park Snorkel Excursion. This is a perfect way to ... Read More
St. Maarten was beautiful. You have to either take a water taxi or cab to get to downtown but prices are reasonable with an all day pass running you $6 for the water taxi. We did the Tiki Park Snorkel Excursion. This is a perfect way to lounge in the sea and sun and enjoy some snorkeling. Everything is at your own pace at the tiki hut including when you return to the ship. This was also a great excursion since there were only 10 of us. We did travel downtown and had a late lunch overlooking the bay at the Harbor Bay restaurant. We tried some local flavor and we were not disappointed. The Curry Goat with Macaroni was fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Again, we have been to this port before, but it is a beautiful place. We had a snorkeling trip planned to Shipwreak Cove. I do not recommend it. It was a real waste. The snorkeling spot was really bad. Not much to see. I don't ... Read More
Again, we have been to this port before, but it is a beautiful place. We had a snorkeling trip planned to Shipwreak Cove. I do not recommend it. It was a real waste. The snorkeling spot was really bad. Not much to see. I don't understand why they don't find a better spot. I would think there would be lots of better places. After returning, we then walked over the the public beach, and sunned for most of the afternoon. Lots of activity, and a very nice spot for free (as long as you did not want a chair or umbrella). After sunning, we went shopping. My husband was shopping for a watch. Buyer beware, the prices are not always cheaper than in the states as advertised. Know the price of what you are buying. We found the same Swiss watch on the internet for $70 cheaper when we got home. We got the best deal we could get by the way. We do like St. Maarten, and would not hesitate to go back again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We took the very short cab ride to Grand Bay which is where the ship docked. Plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and we found the food and beer prices to be reasonable (we purchased a couple of Carib beers from a bar right at the ship ... Read More
We took the very short cab ride to Grand Bay which is where the ship docked. Plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and we found the food and beer prices to be reasonable (we purchased a couple of Carib beers from a bar right at the ship dock for just $2.00 each). The shopping near the port had prices that were about the same as in town which was only about a mile away. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
This port is one of our favorites for shopping for jewelery. Also, the Belgium chocolate store there has excellent chocolates.
This port is one of our favorites for shopping for jewelery. Also, the Belgium chocolate store there has excellent chocolates. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We stayed local and walked downtown as there did not seem to be enough time to go over to the French side. The beach was nice, though crowded. The stores are mostly focused on gems and the prices didn't seem to be the deals we ... Read More
We stayed local and walked downtown as there did not seem to be enough time to go over to the French side. The beach was nice, though crowded. The stores are mostly focused on gems and the prices didn't seem to be the deals we thought they would be. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
You have to pay for a water taxi to the shops and the beach but it's like $6 for all day back and forth, and is worth it.
You have to pay for a water taxi to the shops and the beach but it's like $6 for all day back and forth, and is worth it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We did a tour of the Dutch and French sides of the island, booked through RCCL. The driver was Eddie - very informative and friendly. We drove for a very long time, with the narrow roads there was a lot of traffic it seemed! We stopped ... Read More
We did a tour of the Dutch and French sides of the island, booked through RCCL. The driver was Eddie - very informative and friendly. We drove for a very long time, with the narrow roads there was a lot of traffic it seemed! We stopped on the French side for shopping - which was more "open air market" style. We met someone there from our NY area who opened several Sabrett hotdog stands on the island...a familiar face from home in the Caribbean! We didn't have the hotdogs though - included in the tour was a beach stopover where lunch was served and we had time to spend in the sand and water. Highlight for husband: topless sunbathers, lol! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We decided to rent ATV's a cruise around the Island on them, since they are allowed on Island roads. We went outside the cruise ship terminal and rented ATV's from someone on the street - great quality machines, with new tires. ... Read More
We decided to rent ATV's a cruise around the Island on them, since they are allowed on Island roads. We went outside the cruise ship terminal and rented ATV's from someone on the street - great quality machines, with new tires. Big enough for two people on each. Cost was $95 for each ATV for the day, including gas and helmets. The cruised out to Orient beach (crowded, but great for people watching, kids were a bit surprised by the occasionaly nudity, even away from the end of the beach the has the clothing optional resort). Unfortunealy weather did not cooperate, and we were rained on until early afternoon. Found a great French bakery for lunch in Marigot Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
In St. Maarten, you are within walking distance to the town of Philipsburg. Again we did not have any excursions planned, so when we got off the boat, was found a tour that cost $25.00 per person. So we went on that with 2 other couples ... Read More
In St. Maarten, you are within walking distance to the town of Philipsburg. Again we did not have any excursions planned, so when we got off the boat, was found a tour that cost $25.00 per person. So we went on that with 2 other couples from the ship. The tour took us to both the Dutch side and the French side of the island. I would have to rate the French side higher than the Duchside as it seemed less crowded and cleaner. After getting back, we waked to the town, which was clean with lots of places to shop. It also has a beautiful beach you can go to and food and drink was very reasonable. (Beer for only $1.00) Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
St Maarten: After seeing the cost for a taxi to Dawn Beach, we rented a car. You can negotiate the price, so don't agree to the first price you get. We drove to Dawn Beach, it was very easy to find. Mr. Busbys was great, especially ... Read More
St Maarten: After seeing the cost for a taxi to Dawn Beach, we rented a car. You can negotiate the price, so don't agree to the first price you get. We drove to Dawn Beach, it was very easy to find. Mr. Busbys was great, especially when it started to rain. The day was rainy, so we returned the car after driving to Rimas, and went back to the boat. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We rented a car at the pier and drove the island. Beware – use the well known car rentals – Budget, Hertz, etc. We chose to use Reynolds Car Rental because there was no line. What a mistake! The car they showed us in the picture ... Read More
We rented a car at the pier and drove the island. Beware – use the well known car rentals – Budget, Hertz, etc. We chose to use Reynolds Car Rental because there was no line. What a mistake! The car they showed us in the picture was what the car they actually gave us looked like when it was new. The car was terrible. My wife wanted to take it back immediately, but I said let’s just go have fun. We drove to Maho Beach and stayed long enough to see the big planes landing, then drove the rest of the island. Did some shopping in town and returned to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
LOVED St. Maartan.  Wished we could've had more time for exploring.  We found an excursion on our own, on  "pirate ship"...that was a 3 hour snorkeling tour...we were well hydrated and fed...bbq ribs and chicken and ... Read More
LOVED St. Maartan.  Wished we could've had more time for exploring.  We found an excursion on our own, on  "pirate ship"...that was a 3 hour snorkeling tour...we were well hydrated and fed...bbq ribs and chicken and snacks.  The snorkeling wasn't great in terms of seeing tons of things...but honestly we didn't care...because the ship was so COOL...and the water was so blue...the crew was awesome.  It was 3 hours on the water in St. Maartan.  Our daughter loved it...and so did we.  We shopped on the cool streets in neat shops (this is where we got most of our gifts), at lunch at a cafe and vowed we'd be back!  Our friends told us the French side was just a neat too...with French bakeries...So...we're going back!  Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We were at a section of Orient Beach that was a dive (Boo, Boo Jam). They had busted up lounge chairs and umbrellas. They had much better lounge chairs that were chained and locked. I got the impression that they were reserved for regular ... Read More
We were at a section of Orient Beach that was a dive (Boo, Boo Jam). They had busted up lounge chairs and umbrellas. They had much better lounge chairs that were chained and locked. I got the impression that they were reserved for regular visitors. The umbrellas were the very cheap type and they were mostly ripped and bent.The restrooms were in bad shape and the changing rooms were mostly filled with busted umbrellas. There were a few stray looking dogs walking all over. The food that they served for lunch was ok at best. The bus driver sat at the bar the whole time we were there. I am not sure if he was drinking or not. We walked down the beach and saw that all the other areas had nicer chairs and umbrellas. The shopping area that was open in St. Martin left a lot to be desired. If you went in one shop or tent you saw everything. We saw a lot of run down homes during most of the ride. The shops by the pier were open when we returned and they did have a lot of nice stuff. I wished I waited and did all my shopping by the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
St Martin/Marten - locally arranged tour with Bernards tours. Fine for first timers but a little too "commercial" for me. Nice round island tour but too many tourist stops and less flexible from a schedule perspective. Larger ... Read More
St Martin/Marten - locally arranged tour with Bernards tours. Fine for first timers but a little too "commercial" for me. Nice round island tour but too many tourist stops and less flexible from a schedule perspective. Larger group and nice mini bus. Both tour companies can be found on the internet thru google and are much less than ship tours. The french side has suffered somewhat from the hurricanes and the euro conversion. Sad as it was the prettier side. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
St Maarten- (Anniversary!) Got in early and were the 1st of the ship that day. Went to the taxis and no one was around. We wanted to go to Orient Beach for the day and because we were early had to pay $18 per person but we got to the beach ... Read More
St Maarten- (Anniversary!) Got in early and were the 1st of the ship that day. Went to the taxis and no one was around. We wanted to go to Orient Beach for the day and because we were early had to pay $18 per person but we got to the beach and were the only ones there! Maybe a few walked but it was quiet and empty… Very nice! We got some chairs over near club Orient because we wanted to give nude sunbathing a try… With in no time we walking and swimming in our b-day suits and if I would have known it was that much fun I would have done it a long time ago. What better way to spend your anniversary than naked! Spend the day on the beach and went back to the ship an hour early so we didn't deal with traffic. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Again, a very beautiful place. We did a LOT of walking there! They had a water taxi, but we opted to walk instead. You are bombarded with offers from taxi drivers, some who are legal, some who are not! It is very obvious which was ... Read More
Again, a very beautiful place. We did a LOT of walking there! They had a water taxi, but we opted to walk instead. You are bombarded with offers from taxi drivers, some who are legal, some who are not! It is very obvious which was which! We enjoyed the walk, as we were able to see a lot of interesting things along the hillside (including some chickens!). Lots and lots of shops to choose from. Again, we found that the further from the ship we went, the cheaper it became (in the end we found that if we went EVEN further, there were some really, really great deals, but we tuckered out -it was hot outside and we wanted to collect shells). We took the water taxi back to the area closest to the ship (man alive those people make a LOT of money off that taxi)! Once again, just happy to get back to the ship and the comforts of the Windjammer! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
St. Maarten we went to Orient Beach which I thought was MORE beautiful. Except for some of the nude people since it's a clothing optional beach. But I highly recommend it. Don't do any excursion here... just walk out to the ... Read More
St. Maarten we went to Orient Beach which I thought was MORE beautiful. Except for some of the nude people since it's a clothing optional beach. But I highly recommend it. Don't do any excursion here... just walk out to the pier and take a taxi. There is a taxi area that has the main attractions/beaches listed and you hop into a big van with several other people going to the same place and split the fair. I think the cost to the beach was $6 per person one way. It was very easy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2009
St. Martin/St. Maarten is another one of my favorite islands, in part probably because of its dual heritage. I've been there around five times so far, and there still always seems to be something to do there that sounds fun that I ... Read More
St. Martin/St. Maarten is another one of my favorite islands, in part probably because of its dual heritage. I've been there around five times so far, and there still always seems to be something to do there that sounds fun that I haven't gotten around to yet. This time around we spent most of the day on Orient Beach, which I'd always heard so much about but never visited before. It's a nice beach, and there are a lot of things to do, eat, and drink. We had a sushi lunch at a restaurant near to where we rented chairs (the Kontiki, I think?) which was very good. We'd been warned about the nudity at Orient, and there wasn't anywhere near as much of it as we'd expected. You'd be hard pressed to spend a day there and not see at least one person wearing less than they'd be allowed on an American beach, but we didn't see much more than that. We don't have children, but I have to think it'd be more or less manageable for all but the most overprotective parents. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We took the easy way out on this one since we'd planned our outings at our other four ports pretty well. It was overcast, so we decided just to camp out on the Great Bay beach (you can take a $5 water taxi from the cruise ship pier ... Read More
We took the easy way out on this one since we'd planned our outings at our other four ports pretty well. It was overcast, so we decided just to camp out on the Great Bay beach (you can take a $5 water taxi from the cruise ship pier towards town). We also walked around town and sampled rum from a dozen local shops before picking up some to take home (we had to get the right one, you know!). The beach wasn't as nice as the others we went to (not a surprise, given that we didn't venture out very far), but it's nice to know that there's a beach a short ferry ride away from the ships and near town for an easy day. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Beautiful downtown area - been 5 years since we'd been there last - new boardwalk along the beach, additional shops. Not the year to look at buying jewelry though - cheap trip for my husband - ha ha.
Beautiful downtown area - been 5 years since we'd been there last - new boardwalk along the beach, additional shops. Not the year to look at buying jewelry though - cheap trip for my husband - ha ha. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Happy Days - I luv this place, excellent duty free - even got a Tommy Hillfliger discount shop, great beaches and bars, I never get tired of St Maarten
Happy Days - I luv this place, excellent duty free - even got a Tommy Hillfliger discount shop, great beaches and bars, I never get tired of St Maarten Read Less

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