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Old 07-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
kathi
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Question Rental Cars - St. Thomas and St. Martin

Has anyone rented a car on either St. Thomas or St. Martin? If so, could you share your experience? How close is the agency to the port? Was it complicated to arrange/pick up? Did you find it safe/understandable to drive around the Island? What did you do? What do you recommend?

None of the tours appeal to me and we usually like to do our own thing in port (or go to an all-inclusive beach). It will be my husband, our 9 year old daughter and me. We mostly want to find a great, not-too-crowded beach to go to, but if the weather is iffy we would be happy to just tool around the sightsee.

Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #2
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St. Martin traffic is INSANE! You can always just grab a taxi when you get off the ship. Or, I recommend Bernards Tours in St. Martin. We did a private tour with another family met on the DIS. Took us places the regular tour didn't stop at (like a non-European beach and a French pastry shop for yummies!).

I think its www.bernardstours.com . The private excursions weren't much more.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:36 PM   #3
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We booked a rental in St. Maarten and found it pretty easy to get around once you get the hang of it. Get an island map which was a big help for us. We had no reservations and went to a no-name type place just off the ship. The car was pretty crappy though and I would not use them again. But I would rent a car again though. I think we paid about $30 for the rental. We toured the whole island and stopped at a few places along the way whenever we wanted. When we returned the car we went on foot to the main "tourist area" to do our shopping and grabbed a taxi back to the ship when we were done. Just avoid Maho beach during busy hours. We had no problems at all doing that.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #4
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Renting a car in St. Martin is easy and a great way to see the island. We have used Hertz more than once. The "check in" is right at the port. They will shuttle you to the nearby lot to pick up your car.

Since the island is so small it is kind of hard to get lost. Friar's Beach is nice and they will rent chairs and an umbrella for under $20 USD. You can get lunch there too. No need to convert your money. Shopping in Marigot is easy, plenty of parking and great stores selling French made merchandise. FYI - almost all the shops are closed on Sunday.

Be sure to spend some time at the Beach Bar near the airport. Be mindful of the warnings regarding keeping clear of the approach during landings and take off.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone - I appreciate your information!

What we really want to do is go to Pinal Island for the day, but since there is no regular cab pick up at the "ferry" dock, there seems to be a chance you will get stranded. Even if we don't explore the Island (which we may do) I would have more peace of mind renting a car and just driving to the ferry dock and then back again.

Anyone know about St. Thomas?

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Old 07-29-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathi
Thanks everyone - I appreciate your information!

What we really want to do is go to Pinal Island for the day, but since there is no regular cab pick up at the "ferry" dock, there seems to be a chance you will get stranded. Even if we don't explore the Island (which we may do) I would have more peace of mind renting a car and just driving to the ferry dock and then back again.

Anyone know about St. Thomas?

Kathi
We rented a convertible jeep from Avis on St Marteen, it was a nice newer jeep, we out the top down, then we went left as all the tour groups went right.
Stopped at the first beach and had it to our selfs for 2 hours, then a bus showed up so we drove on, best day ever, stopped when we wanted , swam, ate, circled the whole island. My wife was afraid we would get lost, I showed her the map and said its a circle we keep going left and we will end up back where we started, and we did. After seeing the island, and the beach at the airport. Beautiful water
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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We have rented in St Thomas several times, but DH doesn't like to drive there because of the "wrong side of the road" thing. Also roads are generally curvy and narrow, and traffic in town is a mess with parking being almost impossible. On our last trip we didn't rent; we just took a taxi into town and walked back to the ship. We've been so many times that we didn't choose to do anything excursion-wise this last time.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:58 PM   #8
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Hi Kathi! It's Kelly, I think you're the Kathi on my cruise. I was looking that up today too, and it looks like you can rent from Thrifty for around $40. But then I got thinking.....my DH (bless his heart) makes me a nervous wreck in traffic, and I'm scared to death from the driving habits and traffic that I've heard from that area that we'll end up in a fender-bender. Then I think what a hassle it would be to try to iron out any type of damages to a car in a foreign country. I think we're just going to pay the extra money and take taxis, that way we won't be starting any international incidents if we scratch a rental car

I'm not too impressed with St. Martin's Disney excursions either...and the tours offered by the island, they try to cram so much with just a 1/2 hour here and 1 hour there.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:47 PM   #9
kathi
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Hey Kelly - it's me!

We would totally take a taxi, except we are afraid of getting stranded at the "ferry" dock on St. Martin coming back from Pinal Island. It is not a regular cab stop.

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