We've been traveling to St Martin for years & although they've been constantly working on the roads the traffic never seems to improve. The last time we were there, we were at Maho Beach (which isn't that far from the ship near the airport) & it still took 45 min to reach the ship area. The biggest traffic jams were at Marigot & Phillipsburg.
Does anyone know exactly how long it takes to get from Marigot to Orient Beach? Thinking about doing three stops the day we are there and Marigot would be second then Orient Beach. Looks like traffic is a killer and I don't want to spend all day in traffic if the shopping is just as good where the ship docks.
NCL Dream 10/2006;RCI Liberty of Seas 4/2008;Carnival Valor 10/2010;Carnival Freedom 11/2012 Read and post cruise reviews
We went from Orient beach to Marigot on a scooter & as close as I can remember it took maybe 20-30 minutes. Of course I didn't really know where I was going & the roads aren't labeled that great. There wasn't all that much traffic going from Orient beach to Marigot, only when we hit Marigot did it get heavy & even in town it wasn't to bad. (parking seemed to be hard to fine) We decided that it wasn't worth the trouble to park & shop anyway so we headed to Maho beach to see the planes take off & land. We did hit heavy traffic on the way back to Phillipsburg on the way back to the ship. Luckily we had the scooter so we could get around lots of the traffic but if you were in a car or cab you're forced to wait you turn at all the traffic lights & construction. I suppose the cab drivers might know a shortcut that to me wasn't obvious. The shopping by the dock area was OK for what we needed since we get to the Caribbean often & we don't buy that much stuff anyway.
I'm so jealous...we just got back from our cruise at the end of January and St. Maarten was our absolute fave...
I can't speak of the French side as we didn't make it over. Should you opt for taxi service to any of the beaches (i.e. Orient Bay, etc), when you walk up the pier, walk past the main tourist building on your right and veer to the right. There is a nice, covered taxi stand with benches...they're clearly marked where they're going and you wait for the next van/car to arrive.
OR, if you veer to the left across from the tourist building there's a long pier/bridge type deal you can walk across. The authority at the beginning of the boardwalk said it would take 15 to 20 minutes to walk and it was HOT, so we opted for the $3.00 cab ride.
We shared a ride with two others in a small compact car and it was $3.00 for them to drive us downtown where all the shopping/boardwalk is. The shopping is wonderful, drinks are cheap. You can rent 2 NICE, cooshy beach lounges, an umbrella and a bucket-o-beer (to the RIGHT of Sonnys' picture where you see the blue chairs...) for $22.00!!
It's absolutely WONDERFUL...my next destination vacation for sure!!
Have a wonderful time...
Hi Big Indy, welcome to Cruise-Chat. I'm sure we've been in there on a Sunday since we've hit that port so many times. I never remember the stores being closed, especially if there's a ship in port. That's their major source of revenue. Hope you have a fantastic cruise and once again, welcome aboard!
We landed at St Maartin on an early Sunday morning once years ago & landed at the dock in the center of town & most everything was shut down until the people returned from services at around 11 AM or so. We haven't visited on a Sunday since the new pier has been open but I suppose a lot of the smaller stores still remain closed for services.