Orient Beach is a topless beach, just in case you have children. Most of those we saw should not have been topless, they should have been covered from head to toe. The last time we were there, I only saw one girl under 90. They make you pay for your chair and if you buy a drink they will give you a coupon to use the restroom, otherwise, they charge for that as well. The beach is nice, but nothing like Trunk Bay--which is totally awesome. The snorkeling there is non-existent. You can see some broken bottles and some bait fish. There will be plenty of cabs waiting for you. I enjoyed the land tour of St. Maarten/St. Martin, but the snorkeling there is not good. The shopping is, however. St. Thomas is great for shopping as well, but when we're there we almost always go to Trunk Bay. I promised my hubby, we'd only go once since we're going to be in St. Thomas twice this year. But--I'm betting that we end up there both times. It is a beautiful, beautiful beach with a self-guided snorkeling trail, lockers, snorkel equipment rental, a couple of shops, fresh water showers, and a snack shop. It is well worth the effort to get there. The ferry is $6/pp to St. John, then the cab fare is about $4.50/pp. The entrance fee is around $2/pp (I can't remember exactly). Have a wonderful cruise!
We are taking our adult children and their spouses on a cruise in November. Our son wants to snorkle for the first time. He chose an excursion to Shipwreck Cove on St. Martin. Now I am wondering if that is a good choice. Penny, are you familiar with that particular cove? If the snorkeling isn't good, there is no point in him wasting his money on it!! Thank you.
hi, when I was in st. martin on RCCL we took a shore excursion called power snorkel. They took us to a pink, fancy, gated, french resort across the bay from the pier. We were given snorkels that played radio through your teeth and jawbone so you hear it.(it really worked)you could scan for local stations and pick your flavor. they also gave us these cool battery powered underwater scooters to pull us around. it was well worth the $75-85
They warned us about fire coral which grows on bouy ropes, ladder rungs and the bottom of docks (anything that is left in the water a long time) best advice i got that trip. the monitored us from a diving platform. there were fish and the remains of some large pottery and a little coral...they explained that they had tried to create a reef with old skiffs and big concrete filled pottery (looked cool) but hurricane ivan had drug most of it away. They had a beach bar and after snorkeling the first drink was on them, they also let you use the resorts bathroom/changing rooms... that was a few years back but the site and excursion were top notch. I liked the scooter so much, i just bought one for my future snorkeling!
The power snorkels are fun, but for you first snorkeling experience, seeing a good reef, lots of fish, great color, and clear water is great. St. Martin was ok, Dominica, St. Johns, Bon Aire, Tortolla, St. Thomas (Buck Island), Barbados, Curacoa and Aruba are much better in my humble opinion. The excursions can be a little pricey and was just wondering if there were a better option.
Penny, we were going to do the Princess excursion to St. Johns, but didn't want to leave so late (1:30) Can you just get the ferry at the dock, and then the cab once you arrive at St. John's? Is that what you do? How often does the ferry leave? Are cabs readily available once you arrive at St. John's as well? Your input is greatly appreciated since you so rave about Trunk Bay.
Penny, we are going to St. Martin; Antigua; St. Thomas; Puerto Rico; and Nassau.
I know while docked at St. Thomas, there is a ferry to St. John's island and Trunk Bay. That may be the best bet, but I think the kids were kind of wanting to tour St. Thomas, see Megan Bay, and typical tourist things for their first time there. But, it may be better to go to Trunk Bay.