I am just pointing out some things I hope will be of interest or help to someone else CAST DD Julie (30-ish) DGDtr. Maggie (10 ) aunt Pauline (50ish) Me,Sandee, (50ish) We flew out of BWI and had been told to be there 3 hrs. early. We had too much time on our hands - 2 hrs. early would have been fine. My aunt and I ordered a huge deli sandwich to split while waiting for our flight - BIG mistake. There are no knives in the terminals anymore so we had to cut it with a coffee stirrer! Even the tomatoes and other items are brought in presliced. Avis car rental is great! Instead of hauling all our stuff to the Avis counter, DD went and got the van since she'd taken care of renting it , while the rest of us loaded our bags onto a cart. We just wheeled it out front and she was there in less then 10 mins. to load us up. We spent the night in Kissimee and went to the big Walmart there for sodas and water. I bought a roll of clear packing tape for less then $2 and taped the 3 boxes that were piled one on top of another. When we got to port I just got an extra yellow DCL tag from the porter who helped us unload, wrote our room # on it, stuck it under the edge of the clear tape and that was it - the stuff was delivered to our room along with our luggage - no need to haul it to lunch with us. The sodas were $2.50 a case at Walmarts,the water was $3.00 so for $10. including tape, we had lots of sodas and water all week. A lot cheaper then the mugs. We had a soft sided cooler bag in our suitcase and we used it later in the week to carry a few sodas to the beach. We don't care for the iced tea on the ship and fruit punch was okay but seemed watered down at times. Don't let one of the many taxi drivers waiting for you at St. Marteens talk you into taking the 2 hr. taxi tour. We spent $20 each on this and it was a waste of time and money. The taxi was suppose to have A/C but driver only left it on the 1st 10 mins. Just enough to make the oven-like taxi start to feel cool and then he quickly turned it off. When I asked to have it turned back on he wanted more $$. We saw the jail, the elementary school, the regular dump, the old car dump and the water processing plant - also the fenced in yard of the woman who has the local dodge dealership. What a waste of time and money. We ended up at the beach right by the ship -Great Bay. The people selling stuff just wouldn't leave us alone!! We just stood in the water to get away from them and they just stood on the shore knowing we'd eventually have to get out. They were very polite and would walk away when you said no thank you, but the same women kept coming back again and again. We had to have said No thanks a thousand times. I don't know about the other beaches, but I would not recommend this one even though it was convenient and cheap (rented two chairs and umbrella plus 2 free drinks for $8. total) St. Thomas was so much nicer. We caught a cab to Magen's Bay and were amazed at how few people were there. The taxi was $6 each way and it was $3 to get onto the beach. We rented chairs for $5 and even though there were no umbrellas, there's lots of shade. Our taxi driver pointed out a lot of points of interest on the way to the beach. He was telling us the islanders had collected $25,000 for the WTC firemen's relief fund and that a couple of their firemen were flying to NY to deliver the check in person. Magen's Bay is paradise! The sand was so soft and the water was crystal clear. It's surrounded by green, lush mountains. There was a bath house with restrooms and showers, but the shower water was salt water! Okay for washing off sand but still felt sticky. Water was very,very salty. There was a cafe and bar as well as a gift shop. The waiter in the bar would wade out to people floating on rented rafts for drink orders.....we loved it here. If you get a chance try playing BING BANG BOOM! It's an adults game and was a lot of fun. We were team #2 and won. They gave us each a gold "I'm a winner medal on a red,white and blue ribbon to wear around our necks". This is my favorite souvenier from our trip. Be sure to eat at Palos even if you're not a foodie. I am the worlds pickiest eater and will not eat anything on a menu that I can't pronounce. I loved the stuffed chicken. Even a great restaurant can have a "clinker" on the menu. I tried the minestrone soup and it was awful. This soup is a favorite of mine so I know good minestrone soup when I see it. Everything else was great. Our server brought us out a number of desserts to try as well as the choc. souffles. Don't overpack! I swear next time I'm taking 1/2 the amt. Don't worry about reservations, where to go, etc. ...it all works out in the end! Have fun!