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Old 08-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
JoyaDelMar
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Question Bernard's Tours - Detail Questions

Hi all!

Just two weeks until my DBF and I are off to the Eastern Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy. We're absolutely stoked and I know he's going to be completely shocked by how beautiful she is (I've been hiding photos from him as I want him to be surprised )

The itinerary includes St. Maarten and thanks to the recommendation of so many DISers, I convinced him to book a tour with Bernard's Tours. It's our first non-Disney excursion, but I'm excited to see the variety of the island.

Of course, now that it's getting closer I'm starting to also get nervous about a few things. I'm sure some of these questions have been covered before individually, but after searching through some wonderful TRs, I still can't find the answers to a few specific questions I have about . I'm hoping some experienced cruisers might be able to help us out.

1. How long is the tour in total?
We're scheduled to get to the island at 8, so we'll be on the 9:00 am tour but I can't figure out what time do we get back to the ship?

2. Budget-wise, how much cash (U.S. Dollars) did you bring for the tour?
I plan to pay our balance in cash (I'm assuming that's okay from other TRs); but should I bring extra cash for drinks or food? Originally, I was going to just wait to eat back on board the ship... but now I'm worried we might want to pick something up. I doubt we'll buy any souvenirs. I'm also not sure if the area restaurants take U.S. dollars, but I really don't want to use my credit cards if at all possible. Last time, Citicard hit me with a nasty "foreign charge" fee and I'd image Chase (my other bank) would likely have the same fee waiting and ready.

I'd really appreciate any advice or personal experiences y'all can share.

Thanks so much!
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:23 PM   #2
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Sorry, I can't help with any of your questions, but when you return, please let us know how it goes. I am considering doing a tour with Bernard's on our June 2013 Fantasy Eastern, so I would really love to hear how it goes! Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:34 PM   #3
diz2011
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We did Bernard's tour in July and really enjoyed it! Our excursion began at 9am and we were back on the boat by 3:30.
As far as cash...here's what I remember us having to pay for: $40/person for the excursion, a couple of dollars to tip the sea urchin man, $10 for 2 lounge chairs and umbrella @ orient beach (that included 2 complimentary drinks at the bar), lunch @ sunset grill in maho, and then a tip at the end for our driver (I think my husband gave him $30 for our family of 4).
Hope that helps!
Have a great time!
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:28 PM   #4
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Having lived on sint Maarten and having just been back for a visit on the fantasy I can tell you that usd are accepted most everywhere on the island. There may be a few small local shops on the French side that would prefer euros but I never converted my money in 2 years living there ( tho I did get occasionally get chg back in euros, lol!) and had no issues.

As for your cc...we used ours when we lived there BUT before our visit I checked with Amex and chase (our mc, not everyone is a fan of Amex) and chase DOES charge you a foreign fee. Amex does not. When we lived there, our mc must not yet have been sold to chase b/c we didn't get charged fees then...

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:49 AM   #5
Jackson's grammie
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going on the Fantasy on 9/8 and booked on Bernard Tours. I will be paying the tour fee in cash also and planning on the tip for the guide. From what I understand chairs are 10; some for lunch. just read to tip sea urchin guy. probably will bring 100 cash after tour fee.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
Silverfox97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyaDelMar
Hi all!

Just two weeks until my DBF and I are off to the Eastern Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy. We're absolutely stoked and I know he's going to be completely shocked by how beautiful she is (I've been hiding photos from him as I want him to be surprised )

The itinerary includes St. Maarten and thanks to the recommendation of so many DISers, I convinced him to book a tour with Bernard's Tours. It's our first non-Disney excursion, but I'm excited to see the variety of the island.

Of course, now that it's getting closer I'm starting to also get nervous about a few things. I'm sure some of these questions have been covered before individually, but after searching through some wonderful TRs, I still can't find the answers to a few specific questions I have about . I'm hoping some experienced cruisers might be able to help us out.

1. How long is the tour in total?
We're scheduled to get to the island at 8, so we'll be on the 9:00 am tour but I can't figure out what time do we get back to the ship?

2. Budget-wise, how much cash (U.S. Dollars) did you bring for the tour?
I plan to pay our balance in cash (I'm assuming that's okay from other TRs); but should I bring extra cash for drinks or food? Originally, I was going to just wait to eat back on board the ship... but now I'm worried we might want to pick something up. I doubt we'll buy any souvenirs. I'm also not sure if the area restaurants take U.S. dollars, but I really don't want to use my credit cards if at all possible. Last time, Citicard hit me with a nasty "foreign charge" fee and I'd image Chase (my other bank) would likely have the same fee waiting and ready.

I'd really appreciate any advice or personal experiences y'all can share.

Thanks so much!
We met at 9am, paid in cash, tour left about 9:20-9:30. We brought snacks, but the guide take you where you can buy lunch. We didn't spend a dime except for the tour & tipping the guide at the end. If you want to rent a beach chair, bring money for that (we did not). Most of us in the bus had kids & opted to skip the shopping & we were back to the ship by 3pm. The people that wanted to shop (there were 2 or 3) got dropped off. Then, he dropped us off & went back to get them. Our guide was Sugar, he was amazing!!!

I think you'll really enjoy the tour. It was our 1st non-DCL excursion & since then we are comfortable doing them.

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
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