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Old 06-27-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
thymed
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Port Adventures in St. Maarten and St. Thomas?

I am looking, but figured I would ask my fellow Dis members....
what is your favorite excursion for St. Maarten and for St. Thomas
We are considering the French Riviera Beach Rendezvous or the Rib Boat Adventure for St. Maarten and
Snorkeling and beach time for ST. Thomas.

We aren't much for shopping or walking the town but we do love beach time.
Any recommendations???

Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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Every time we're in St Maarten, we grab a taxi and spend the day at Orient Beach. Most beautiful white sand beach, IMHO, in the Caribbean. I can't imagine not going there ! It's called the French Riviera of the Caribbean. Yes, some areas you'll find nudies. But just ask you cab driver to avoid these areas. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas, good food & drink, clean restrooms. Your driver will arrange a time to pick you up. You don't pay until he comes back to take you to the ship. Also they'll stop in Margot for shopping at the outdoor market. But do allow a couple of hours going back if you plan to shop . The traffic can be heavy and you don't wont to miss the ship
If you have children, don't let people scare you from going because of the nude areas. You can avoid these areas. The ocean is very calm and the wide white sand beach is the main reason we sail the Eastern Caribbean itinerary. We've been on 40 cruises.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
wendyoconnor
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I loved the snorkel excursion to Trunk Bay on St. John. The boat ride over was enjoyable, Trunk Bay is amazingly beautiful and its a quiet beach. I didn't snorkel my hubby did. There is a snack bar and nice restrooms as Trunk Bay is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. The only thing I didn't like was it wasn't long enough. I could have spent the whole day there.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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I loved the snorkel excursion to Trunk Bay on St. John. The boat ride over was enjoyable, Trunk Bay is amazingly beautiful and its a quiet beach. I didn't snorkel my hubby did. There is a snack bar and nice restrooms as Trunk Bay is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. The only thing I didn't like was it wasn't long enough. I could have spent the whole day there.
I agree !! Also, loved the boat ride over
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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Every time we're in St Maarten, we grab a taxi and spend the day at Orient Beach. Most beautiful white sand beach, IMHO, in the Caribbean. I can't imagine not going there ! It's called the French Riviera of the Caribbean. Yes, some areas you'll find nudies. But just ask you cab driver to avoid these areas. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas, good food & drink, clean restrooms. Your driver will arrange a time to pick you up. You don't pay until he comes back to take you to the ship. Also they'll stop in Margot for shopping at the outdoor market. But do allow a couple of hours going back if you plan to shop . The traffic can be heavy and you don't wont to miss the ship
If you have children, don't let people scare you from going because of the nude areas. You can avoid these areas. The ocean is very calm and the wide white sand beach is the main reason we sail the Eastern Caribbean itinerary. We've been on 40 cruises.

Is it nude or topless? Honestly, that part doesn't bother me in the least. I'm more worried about the taxi ride. Did you make the reservations in advance? Did you have children - are there carseats?
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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Is it nude or topless? Honestly, that part doesn't bother me in the least. I'm more worried about the taxi ride. Did you make the reservations in advance? Did you have children - are there carseats?
We travel with our Grandchildren and I've never seen carseats, although my dil brought the babies ( 20 mos) carseat and used it in the cab. Driving though town and up to the beach is at a reasonable pace. nothing to worry about. No need to make reservations. There's plenty of them lined up waiting for you.

Mostly topless but have read other posts mention nudes. Where we go I've not seen either.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:07 PM   #7
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Not sure if you're familiar with Maho Beach in St. Maarten. If your kids like airplanes, this is the place! It's not the best beach in the world (nice sand and water, but not very big), but watching the planes land is so awesome!! The best time to go is between 11 and 1 as that's when it's busiest and the 747 comes in from Amsterdam. You could spend part of your day at Orient and a couple of hours at Maho.

We did a Bernard's Tours in St. Maarten, so we got to stop at both of those places. The tour is nice but it doesn't give you a whole lot of time at the beach.
However, I think you can book a beach day through them. I would highly recommend Bernard's.

We just took a taxi to downtown Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. Looking back, I wish we would have either gone to Magen's Bay or to St. John.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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In St. Maarten, my mom and I just walked to a beach that was pretty close to some respectable shops and not too far from the port. In St. Thomas, my whole family and I did the Sea Trek Helmet Dive at Coral World Ocean Park. That was a very neat experience, and the employees were very good about making everyone feel comfortable.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:12 AM   #9
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St Maarten - Golden Eagle Catamaran was one of our favorites and we also enjoyed Orient Beach. DS (15 at the time) was terribly disappointed in the 'scenery' on nude beach

StThomas/St John - If you are feeling adventurous, rent a car and catch the car ferry and head over to St John. Drive past Trunk Bay Beach and you can have wide stretches of beach all to yourself.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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another vote for the Trunk Bay excursion. And I agree - it was to short!!

Beautiful Beach, sand, water ... And the snorkeling was pretty good.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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In St. Maarten we did Bernard's tour and it was great, but I think in the future we will just go to Orient Beach. It was the softest, whitest sand I have ever seen and we really would have liked to stay there all day.

In St. Thomas, we did the Full Day Sail & Snorkel and it was fantastic! My boys loved sailing on the pirate schooner, the views on the sail over were gorgeous, the snorkeling was excellent, and then finishing it off with a few hours on the beach was wonderful!
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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We just got back from our Fantasy cruise. We did the French Riviera Beach Rendezvous. The tour buses that took us had seat belts so I felt comfortable with my kids traveling in the buses. The beach is nice. The sand is great and the water was pretty. The waves were big when we were there and my DH lost his glasses (thankfully we brought an old pair as a backup so he could still see the rest of the cruise), but the kids had a blast playing in the waves. My DH and oldest DS saw some topless women when going to the bathroom, but I never saw anyone topless or nude. The excursion included lunch, but we skipped it to spend more time on the beach and in the water. It also included a section of lounge chairs dedicated to our group.

In St. Thomas we did the Magen's Bay Beach Break. It was ok. It almost seemed more like a crowded lake than a beautiful ocean to me, but it was overcast and raining off and on for most of the day so that may have had a little bit to do with the overall impression. The water was very calm though so it was great for our little ones.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:04 AM   #13
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In St. Maarten we did Bernard's tour and it was great, but I think in the future we will just go to Orient Beach. It was the softest, whitest sand I have ever seen and we really would have liked to stay there all day.

In St. Thomas, we did the Full Day Sail & Snorkel and it was fantastic! My boys loved sailing on the pirate schooner, the views on the sail over were gorgeous, the snorkeling was excellent, and then finishing it off with a few hours on the beach was wonderful!
We also did a Bernards tour, but you can request a private one. I hooked up with a group from our cruise thread, and we did one in a van. I think there were 10 of us overall. He had rum punch, beer, and soda in there. It was pretty close to the same rate as the regular tour.

We stopped at a French pastry shop for snacks, OMG! The eclairs! We also asked to go to a more family friendly beach, and he took us to a much more private location. WE also stopped at Maho for an hour, had a great pizza at the snack bar there.

WE also did the full day sail & snorkel to turtle cove. I second how amazing it is! The sail, the employees, and the afternoon beach time were so relaxing!
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:36 AM   #14
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We are taking the kids zip lining at Loterie Farm on St. Maarten. There is a kids course an two different adult courses along with hiking trails, a pool and a restaurant. It is a 30-40 minute taxi ride from the ship.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:55 PM   #15
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Maho beach was awesome in St. Maarten, our kids loved the planes coming in. St. John Trunk bay was the perfect beach day.
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