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Old 06-21-2009, 10:14 PM
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We’re cruising the Southern Caribbean (RCCL Adventure of the Seas) in early July (soon!). Two ports of call include St. Maarten and St. Croix (USVI). FYI, we're a semi-active couple in our early 50s).

Re: St. Maarten – Outside of the America’s Cup Sailing excursion, the most notable thing to do appears to be roaming/shopping in Marigot and sunning on Orient Beach. Unless I’m missing something, there appears to be no “ideal” ship excursion that offers the right proportion to this type of excursion. I’m open to ideas. Is there an excursion that covers these two places adequately or am I better off getting a taxi ride there and back, which I’ve read costs approx $24 each way?

Re: St. Croix – Similar to above, it sounds like Christiansted is the place to spend the day for touring and shopping. There is one excursion offers a walking tour of the town, but doesn’t mention time for shopping. Has anyone taking this particular excursion or something like it to get the shopping component as well? Again, I’m open to options (alternate ideas).
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:14 PM
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We’re cruising the Southern Caribbean (RCCL Adventure of the Seas) in early July (soon!). Two ports of call include St. Maarten and St. Croix (USVI). FYI, we're a semi-active couple in our early 50s).

Re: St. Maarten – Outside of the America’s Cup Sailing excursion, the most notable thing to do appears to be roaming/shopping in Marigot and sunning on Orient Beach. Unless I’m missing something, there appears to be no “ideal” ship excursion that offers the right proportion to this type of excursion. I’m open to ideas. Is there an excursion that covers these two places adequately or am I better off getting a taxi ride there and back, which I’ve read costs approx $24 each way?

Re: St. Croix – Similar to above, it sounds like Christiansted is the place to spend the day for touring and shopping. There is one excursion offers a walking tour of the town, but doesn’t mention time for shopping. Has anyone taking this particular excursion or something like it to get the shopping component as well? Again, I’m open to options (alternate ideas).
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:49 AM
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The America's Cup Racing is a hoot! We did that a few years ago. A bunch of tourists maning a sailing yacht. I was just a cheerleader, but my hubby was cranking on something. We lost by just a hair, but it was great fun. Don't waste your money snorkeling, it's not that good there. There is plenty of shopping near the port.

I haven't been to St. Croix in years and years, but have heard it hasn't changed much. The last time I was there I went diving/snorkeling. St. Thomas is really better for shopping, unless they've changed, St. Croix was more expensive. Hope this helps a little.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:43 AM
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We have been to St. Maarten a couple times now and are just not over impressed with Orient Beach. It is a beautiful beach, but has lots of surf and often wind. We prefer the little beach right in town. You can take the water taxi from right by the ship, inexpensively, and get a wrist band for the day for the taxi (we go back to the ship to rest and have lunch, etc., then back to the beach). It is right adjacent to the "shopping areas" of town, and some eateries if you don't care to go back to the ship. The cab ride to Orient cost us about $16 for two, plus gratuity, one way this past March.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:37 PM
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spoheat - - did you go to Great Bay via the water taxis? It sounds real easy to do - - we haven't decided what to do on St Maarten yet, and I've been looking at finding a way to Great Bay. Did the one you went to have the Boardwalk?
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:58 PM
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Re: America's Cup on St. Maarten - There are two time slots for this event, 9:30 and 11:30. Any opinions or advice on the time options?

While I might be interested in the America's Cup Sailing, my wife has other ideas...

Re: Marigot in St. Martin (St. Maarten)- Any opinions on this town for touring, shopping, etc. There's also a "St. Maarten Art Tour".

Re: St. Croix, USVI - Any thoughts or opinions on the Buck Island Snorkel Tour and/or the walking tour of Christainsted?

Any opinions, advice, rumors, etc. on the above would be appreciated.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:38 AM
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Usually, the wind doesn't come up until later in the morning, so I'd vote for the 11:30 slot if you can talk your wife into it. I think she'd have a great time, she can be a cheerleader like I was if she doesn't want to sail the ship. I was too afraid I'd mess something up, but they have a very well-trained crew on board with you. Marigot is a nice area and since you're on the island, might as well visit it. I haven't done the Art tour, but there are some very talented locals. My favorite is batik, but not sure if they do it on St. Maarten.

Buck Island snorkel is a very good snorkel, we saw turtles, plenty of fish, nice coral, clear water. We went on a catamaran once and a sailboat once, the trip over and back was as good as the snorkel. Both my hubby and I love sailing. Christainsted is about the only thing on the island of any size. The walking tour shouldn't be too long, but should give a good over view of the island's history. You should be able to get in both excursions without any problem.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:08 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by penny3333:

Buck Island snorkel is a very good snorkel,... Christainsted is about the only thing on the island of any size. The walking tour shouldn't be too long, but should give a good over view of the island's history. You should be able to get in both excursions without any problem.


Thanks penny3333 for your comments. The reasoning for my query (re Buck Island & Christainsted) is that there are two Buck Island departure times (8:15am & 11:45am). This may be more of a query for RCCL, but seeing that the Buck Island tour has to go through Christainsted, I am interested in leaving on the 8:15am departure to Christainsted, tour that town for a couple hours, then join up with the 11:45am group for the tour to Buck Island. This is assuming that space is available on both tour groups. I'm not sure if this scenario is possible or has been done before, but it would give me an excursion package I'd like to do. I have a query into RCCL on this. Have yet to hear back. Your comments to this are welcomed.

P.S. I hope to do the America Cup race in St.Maarten.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:52 AM
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Sounds like a plan to me, don't know if RCCL will go for it, but it never hurts to ask.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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I agree that the one time we went to St Croix we found that it wasn't the greatest place to shop. The water taxi at the pier sells a wrist band that would cover you for the day and may be a consideration if you plan to be back and forth. I believe the beach is located on Great Bay and the boardwalk runs along it. There are many locations to rent loungers, etc and drinks and food are both available all around there. The beach did appear to be clean and the sand look very nice. We did an island tour on our own the first time we went to StMarteen and it
really did give us an opportunity to see lots. My brother in law had spent a week there and knew the island very well. If it were me I would probably opt for an excursion rather than drive.

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