Help with St Martin/St Maarten

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by MelanieC, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. MelanieC

    MelanieC <font color=blue>BL II - Blue Team<br><font color=

    Sep 28, 1999

    I am hoping somone can help me find a website that will help me with planning our day in St Martin/St Maarten. Also, I am hoping someone who has been to this Island already off the Magic, will let me know if this sounds like a decent plan.

    What we would like to do is do a tour of the island as soon as we get off the ship. The problem, is I am having a hard time finding a really good web site that shows information on what to SEE on the island. I do know that there are a few Forts. I have been to St Martin once off of another cruise ship, but I took the Regata Tour. It was the only Island I visited that I felt I did not see. I really like to leave an Island feeling like I have seen it.

    I would like to hire a taxi four our tour, but I want to know before hand the things I would like to see. I was hoping to have a general idea of the path we would like to take.

    After our tour, we were thinking about being dropped off at the ship, eating lunch on board the ship. Then going to Great Bay and swimming for the rest of the afternoon till time to get ready for dinner.

    Would we be better to include swim time at a beach somewhere else on the island? Then have the taxi drop us off at the ship?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Thanks, Melanie

    DL Sept 1994 -DisneyLand Hotel
    WDW Sept 1995- Best Western Buena Vista Suites
    WDW Sept 1996-Shades of Green
    WDW Nov 1999-Disney's All Star Movie Resort
    WDW Sept 2000-Disney's All Star Movie Resort
    DCL Nov 30, 2002-Disney Magic-Eastern Carribean
    WDW Nov/Dec 2003- Disney's All Star Movie Resort
  2. Dave_from_Marietta

    Dave_from_Marietta DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2001
    You might want to check out the links I have at my web site ( You may find some of them to be relevant. In particular, youÂ’ll want to look at the Taxis page to get an idea about island tours. There is also a page with activity ideas for kids (although it is primarily intended for week-long resort visitors rather than cruise ship day visitors).

    I highly suggest Great Bay for a few hours of swimming after your adventure and lunch. It's easy to get to... there's a water shuttle at the end of the dock that takes you right over to the beach, adjacent to downtown. Click <a href="">here</a> for a photo/map.
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  4. callahanjulie10

    callahanjulie10 DIS Veteran

    Jul 30, 2000
    The first time we went to St Maarten we went on the Dutch side and just shopped and walked around- it really is so much like the Bahamas in that it is a VERY poor island. We went to Lucky Stables ato go horse back riding but ended up not going because it was not a very nice area. This is the PLACE to shop- cheap cheap cheap.

    On our second trip I prebooked horseback riding at Bayside Stables on the French side and it was beautiful. We went riding on the beach in the water and it was amazing! It cost quite a bit for a taxi there and back though. $20 each way from downtown near the port. We did get to go touring Dutch to French but it is really seedy.

    I wouldn't worry about really seeing the island it is so poor.
  5. MNJeff

    MNJeff Earning My Ears

    Dec 16, 2001
    I hope this helps you with a bit of planning. We were on the 12/8 Magic and St. Maarten, for a number of reasons 6y/o DD and rain, was the only island I was able to really explore. I rented scooters for myself and 2 nephews and toured the island. It was a fantastic way to explore. We rented from Royal Scooters, not far from the dock area. We were able to come and go at our schedule and explore at our leisure.

    We stopped at 3 beaches in different places on both the French as well as Ducth sides of the island. There are great beaches on the northeast side of the island. They are somewhat protected and not real high surf.

    Rather than going all the way back to the ship for luch, why not try out a local restaraunt? We went to one in Marigot and had a great luch on the waterfront. It was fun to try local cuisine. The wait staff was very pleasant. We actually ran into our server from the Magic while she was shopping in Marigot. Walking around the twon was a good way to explore another culture.

    I am not a cycle guy but I found it not difficult at all to navigate the roads or operate a scooter. The cost was only $40 for the entire day and we had the freedom to get around and move whenever we wanted to.

    We started at the port and went counterclockwise around the island. We did make some side trips into the interior of the island and went into some of the residential areas to see what they were like. It was fun.

    This may not answer all the questions you had but it may give you another option to consider.

    Either way, I am sure you will enjoy the trip and the day.

    Have fun!:cool: :)
  6. MelanieC

    MelanieC <font color=blue>BL II - Blue Team<br><font color=

    Sep 28, 1999
    This might help with everyone's suggestions.

    There will be four of us. My husband and I, and my two children who will be 5 (DS) and 10 (DD) when we travel in November.

    I had definately thought about the lunch out somewhere, but not sure. I definately want to show my children the culture of the islands and leave the island feeling like we have seen it.

    Is Great Bay a nice beach for children. My daughter can swim, but my son cannot yet. I am planning on having him start swimming lessons this month at the YMCA. So hopefully he will know how somewhat then. I do plan on bringing snorkeling equipment.(hopefully we can buy equipment reasonably at COSTCO this summer).

    Thanks so much for everyone's help. Its great to read about all the options that are available, and to hear what others enjoyed, or did not enjoy about them.

  7. Dave_from_Marietta

    Dave_from_Marietta DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2001
    Great Bay Beach is shallow, sandy, and beautiful. A good place for kids who aren't strong swimmers. Click <a href="">here</a> for a photo. It's not very interesting, though, if you want to snorkel. If that's the case, you might want to consider Dawn Beach.
  8. thebecka

    thebecka DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2001
    We rented a car when we were in St. Maarten on the 12/8/01 Magic. We were able to tour the whole Island at our own pace. We went to the Butterfly Farm (paying less than the folks on the excursion), visit the beach and shopped on both sides of the Island. Car rental is less than a Taxi and it's at your own pace, so you can stop for those snack and potty breaks with the little ones.
    Have a great trip!!
    :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
  9. Dramatic Muffin

    Dramatic Muffin Earning My Ears

    Jul 12, 2015

    Agreed. We did a bus tour around both sides of the island and were disappointed. If I go again I will just go to a beach or something. The water is really blue and sparkly.
    MUN likes this.
  10. Meredisney

    Meredisney DIS Veteran

    Sep 23, 2006
    We are interested in getting a Taxi and taking it to the French side of the island. We want to spend some time exploring that area since we did'nt get much time there on our last cruise in 2010 on another cruise line. Can someone tell me what the laws are for car seats? I have a two year old and a four year old and in Florida they are both required to be in a car seat. What is the rule in St Maarten? Do my kids need car seats? We thought about renting a car but my husband is nervous driving up the winding roads.
  11. squirrel

    squirrel DIS Veteran<font color=deeppink>

    Aug 19, 1999
    My mom and I did a tour while on the island. I believe it was a DCL one but not 100% sure. I did a lot of searching before picking one as a friend said we should go to the Butterfly Farm (it was really good) and a lot of tours did not go there. If I remember correctly, we also had a shopping stop near the end which was very good also.
  12. ImDMous

    ImDMous DIS Veteran

    Dec 1, 2011
    We used Bernard's Tours to see the island. They have set tours or you can customize one for your group. The drivers are great. We did a general one that was full of people from our ship. We went to the iguana farm, stopped at a guy who took sea creatures out of the water for everyone to see up close, went to Orient Bay for some beach time, went to Marigot on the French side for some shopping and went to Maho Beach to watch the planes take off and land. They have great reviews on Trip Adviser and we had a fabulous time.
  13. elphie101

    elphie101 Left my heart in Tomorrowland

    Sep 30, 2008
    We also did Bernard's Tours on our cruise back in October and I would very enthusiastically recommend it again. There are two options, one with Orient Beach and one without (we did without, as my Irish-Scottish DH didn't want a beach day on every island), and both tours take you to Marigot and Maho Beach (IMO the highlight of the island) plus a handful of other stops here and there to get out and take photos. For $40 pp we had a 5-hour tour with a very friendly and informative guide, which included both non-alcoholic and beer/rum punch (which was yummy!) If we ever sail to St Maarten again we will almost definitely book Bernard's Tours again.
  14. phinz

    phinz Nauseous = You stink. Nauseated = You feel sick.

    Apr 24, 2006
    Holy zombie threads! :D This thread is 13 years old. Wow.:rotfl:
  15. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    Dang, good catch. I was all ready to suggest Joyce Prince tours or Bernard's, but I'm guessing that the OP has worked it out by now.
    phinz likes this.

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