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View Full Version : St. Maarten - Rent a Car or Taxi to Butterfly Farm?


cookielulu
03-24-2005, 07:42 PM
Hi! We are going on the 4/16 Eastern and would like to go on our own excursions so we can do the Horseback Riding and Butterfly farm.

Has anyone rented a car on St. Maarten? If so, who was it with ,where did you pick up and how much was it. was it a good experience?

OR

Has anyone taken a cab from the pier to the Butterfly Farm. If so, how much did it cost, was it easy to find a cab from the Farm?

I received an email from Bayside Stables - which is next door to the Butterfly farm - and the email said it would cost $24pp each way to get out to the stables!! :sad2: That is just too much - there are 3 of us!

I'm hoping someone on this board will be able to enlighten me on the transportaion situation! Please - :banana:

Thanks in advance -
Jean

DrCavin
03-25-2005, 07:13 AM
We took a taxi to the Butterfly Farm, I think it was about $20 for 4 of us. We told the driver what time we would be finished & he was waiting for us to take us to a beach.

spoon2003
03-25-2005, 07:32 AM
How much time should we allow for Butterfly farm to tell taxi to come back? we have 2 kids DD11 and DS6.

Thanks

Sue

cookielulu
03-25-2005, 07:37 AM
Thanks DrCavin for the reply! I didn't believe that a taxi would be that expensive! $20 is a much better price and more affordable. :cool1:

Take care-
Jean

mommyz
03-25-2005, 09:58 AM
We went on the March 5th cruise and at the last minute we decided to rent a car in St. Maarten. If you decide to rent a car, as soon as you get off the ship to your right is a taxi rental area. They bombarded us immediately and I was like okay let's have an auction "who will give me the best price" we ended up paying $30 for the rental of a 2004 Toyota Corolla and around $5 for tax and another $3 for gas...total of $38. We have been to St. Maarten so we wanted to drive around and show our son the island and go to Orient Bay (gorgeous beach but beware it is considered nude...my son is 5 and could care less you might see some women topless). We would have taken a taxi but I wanted a little more flexibility b/c of the little one. We ended up stopping by the Butterfly farm but didn't go b/c 2 buses had just arrived. We shopped for a little while and hung out at the beach most of the day.

We had a blast!!!

Good luck!

DrCavin
03-25-2005, 10:05 AM
How much time should we allow for Butterfly farm to tell taxi to come back? we have 2 kids DD11 and DS6.

Thanks

Sue

An hour should be plenty of time... Go early before any cruise excursions arrive & you can look around all by yourself....

jdm
03-25-2005, 10:50 AM
We were also on the March 5th cruise and did this by taxi. We had a one hour horseback ride scheduled at Bayside from 11 to 12. We left the ship at aound 9:30 and took a cab to the butterfly farm which we toured before the ride. It is $6 per person (cab), and there were 4 of us. She dropped us off at the farm and we asked her to pick us up at 12:15, after the horseback ride at Bayside. She did, and then took us a couple of miles to Orient Beach (Bikini beach and I'm so glad I did not miss this gorgeous place over the small amount of nudity we saw). She charged us $8 total for the ride from Bayside to the beach. Then she came back at 4 and picked us up and took us back to the ship. This was $24 again. The amounts are regulated and posted to various destinations when you get over to the taxi stand.

We did consider renting a car but we just wanted a hassel free experience and the few extra bucks were worth it to us. We had never been there before and I knew exactly what we were going to be doing. I figured by the time, we found a car negotiated a price, found our way, and drove on their roads (which are not like the roads here)..... well, we just didn't want to deal with it. Also, I figured if we spent the afternoon at the beach, DH would for sure have a few beers, I might have a couple of guavaberry coladas (which I highly recommend by the way!) and that was the other aspect we factored into our decision. I knew I didn't want to drive! So, that's just a different spin on how we made our choice. We ended up spending $56 total (without tip) for cab fare, but was well worth it for us.

Jenn

jdm
03-25-2005, 11:00 AM
This is just a sidenote, but I wanted to add it as I thought about it several times during our cruise. I tend to be a fairly thrifty person at home, coupons, sales etc. Researching the best price for everything etc.

Anyway, I was reading a thread a couple of months ago. I think it was about bringing your own booze on board to save a couple of bucks. There was a post kind of written tongue in cheek about how almost amusing it is that we'll pay $5,000.00 plus for a cruise and then question every nickle and dime that we spend on vacation. This is true, of course--- I did it several times myself. I wasn't sure that the $80 bucks at Bayside was worth it, even though it was my daughters dream to ride on the beach. I wondered about the taxi costs, the sovenier costs, and on and on. Then I realized, that to spend this much $$$ to do this kind of a trip and then not do the things we wanted to do because of wanting to save a few bucks was not making any sense. Don't get me wrong, everyones situation and approach to this is different but that post stuck with me. In the end, we did what we wanted to do and had the greatest time. We were in a spending mode and now that we are back we are in a saving mode or should I say a paying off the credit card mode!!!!! Anyway, I don't regret a penny spent for the sake of convenience and experience! We had a great time doing all we wanted to do.

I'm not sure if I'm getting across what I'm trying to in this ramble.........

Jenn

BriarfoxinWA
03-25-2005, 11:22 AM
Are there taxi's available near the beaches?

I had a thought that what if we went to the beach and are not sure how long we want to stay. I'd hate to tell the Cab driver to come back in 2 hours when we wanted to stay longer or decided to leave early.

cookielulu
03-25-2005, 11:31 AM
Hi Jenn and MommyZ! Thanks for the info about the cab and car - it helps.
I think we are going to be adventerous and rent a car. :cool1: I've been reading the threads on the Cruise Critic boards and have done the research.

Jenn - I really want to know how the horseback riding went!? Was it better than expected? Did you take the private 1 hr. ride and did you canter? I called the Stables this morning and made a ressie for the 2hr. group/swim ride. Our DD is the rider and cantering would be nothing for her but me a DH - well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty :earseek:

I would love to hear about your horseback riding adventure. Don't you have the daughter who is the rider? I think you emailed me before you left on the cruise - am i right? Please lmk what she thought about it!

Thanks for your help-
Jean

jdm
03-25-2005, 04:25 PM
Ooooo-k well, Jean, let me start by saying that DD is the rider. She does Western gaming and is great with horses. I spend a lot of time around horses with our 4H club (she leases a horse at a local horse and pony farm) but I am not an experienced rider. I have done a couple of slow, meandering trail rides with Meagan in Eastern Wa and have always enjoyed it.

Meagan (dd12) wanted to do the swim and I said no. A few reasons.... we wanted to see the butterfly farm with DGD, and I wanted to spend at least a few hours at the beach. I'm not comfortable with the thought of her (or me especially) swimming with horses we are not familiar with out of the country. Our last 3 vacations, we've ended up in the emergency room so I just wasn't going to tempt fate. I figured what she really wanted was to just ride on the beach so we could save all the yipee, yahoo, cantering for when we're at home!!

DD loved the ride, I couldn't wait to get off. I had a horse that was extremely stubborn and was giving me a hard time before we left the parking lot. He intermittenly would try to canter and then refuse to keep up with the group. DD kept yelling back to me how to hold the reins, sit in the saddle etc. Frankly, I couldn't believe the guide didn't have me behind him as my horse seemed to be the only one that was misbehaving (yes, could have been the scaredy cat rider). When my horse didn't keep up, the guide would yell back to him in french and then he would start trotting/cantering to catch up. I didn't enjoy this, the horse creeped me out and I was scared. Period! Was glad when it was over!! Having said that, DD loved it, the scenery was beautiful and it was very interesting seeing another stable. Horses were beautiful, and well cared for. Next time, I think my niece will be going and DD can do the swim with her if she likes. I'll wait on the beach!!

There are lots of taxi's at the beach but the butterfly farm/ stable is a little off the beaten path. I went home with the taxi I came in as kind of a courtesy to her for coming back to get us for the short hop from the stables to Bikini beach. I felt we'd be ready to go by 4 and as it turns out we were. It left us a little shopping time at the docks.

HTH
Jenn

jdm
03-25-2005, 04:28 PM
Also, just wanted to add that this was not the one hour private ride, this was the group one hour beach ride.

Jenn

cookielulu
03-25-2005, 07:47 PM
Hi Jenn! Thanks for the recap! Your horse sounds like my nightmare - I'll probably end up with him! What's his name so I can avoid him - tee hee :rotfl2:

I'm glad your daughter enjoyed the ride. Taylor really wants to swim with the horses. I found out in the 2 hr. ride, that you stop and they only allow about 3 horses at a time to swim and if you don't want to - you don't have to! I'll be having a cool drink while this is going on - :banana:

If we did the 1hr. private ride - we would all have to canter and I don't want to do that! They did say that she canter in the ring back at the stables - I thought that was a nice offer.

Could you choose beteween the saddles - western or english? I'm choosing western - so I can hold on to something!!

I was glad to hear that the horses were healthy and well taken care of!

We are looking forward to the ride. Thank you soooooooooo much for all your info - :cheer2:

Take care -
Jean

dgaston
03-25-2005, 09:40 PM
We rented a car from Budget (a RAV 4 --worst rental car I've had in terms of plastic on buttons and levers, but ran very well) and even used the Walmart code from Mousesavers. A regular car would have been cheaper, but I wanted the Jeep look for DS16. Easy to drive in St. Martin, stopped in Marigot, and then on to Orient Beach. Next time will visit Butterfly Farm first. DISers also report using Best Deal. I liked the freedom of having our own vehicle.

txaggie94gigem
03-25-2005, 11:07 PM
I am interested in rent a car too but i have heard that the insurance my credit card provides may not be good at an international location....those who rented cars did you have to add on the price pf insurance or did you use a card that has car insurance inc when you use that cared for your rental?

jdm
03-25-2005, 11:24 PM
Well, I couldn't remember the name of my stubborn horse so I called DD at friends and of course, she does remember. My horse was Luna and DD's horse (who she now said wanted to trot and buck---- gee, guess I was soooooo far behind them, I missed that) was Mikela. She did really like him though, just said she was glad she had some experience. Seriously, everyone (there was about 6 on our ride) seem to be doing great. I am glad though that my DH (cityboy, knows nothing of horses) and DGD 7- weighs 48 lbs-tiny, didn't ride because some of these horses were not the meandering ole nags I was hoping for and I think it would have been harder for them. Have a great time! Enjoy every minute as it goes by sooo fast and then you wish you were back doing it all again!

Jenn