Hi all, I'm posting this question for my sister. She is going to be cruise next month and one of the stops is St Marteen. She is trying to figure out which is less expensive, the Shopping/Beach excursion purchased through the ship, or just getting a taxi to taxi her to the beaches and shopping area.
Does anyone know what the taxi fare would be for them to go from the ship to Marigot (on the French side of the island) and then from Marigot to Orient Beach and then back to the ship? I told her that she should be able to do this on her own, but I have not used a taxi in St Marteen since 1995, so my prices are going to be out of date.
The last time we were there, which was 2 years ago, the cab fare was $20 for the both of us to go to Orient Beach. There is shopping really close to where you dock, and there's a beach that's close as well. The catch on Orient is you have to pay for everything. You can sit in the sand for free, but if you need to go to the restroom, they charge you. We bought a drink coupon from one of the many bars along the beach which included a potty coupon. We rented a couple of loungers and an umbrella. Truthfully, I think they would be fine doing it on their own. It's a safe island, there are plenty of cab drivers, and some are willing to give you a deal. Ours came and picked us up for the $20/fee. We tipped him well when he dropped us off at Orient and then again when he dropped us off at the pier. He gave us details about the island, showed us the chickens and goats, just a nice guy. St. Maarten isn't one of my favorites, but if you are a shopper, the shopping is as good as St. Thomas. Maybe someone has been there more recently, but I'm sure she could find someone to deal with.
Our cab driver gave it to us for round trip. I think he was going to charge us each way, but when we gave him our tip, he offered to pick us back up. Then when we gave him his tip when he dropped us off, he didn't ask for any more fare. Our drink coupon was $10/pp, which included 2 drinks and a potty pass. I think they were selling the potty coupon for $2.50/each visit. They charged us $20/pp for the chairs and $10 for the umbrella. The excursion might include a bathroom coupon and chairs.
We were at Orient beach last Nov I had no idea of the prices were as expensive as you quoted. We just used the beach for an hour, sat on out Princess towels & took off. We stopped at a convenience store to get drinks & went to Maho beach to watch the planes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D1NQsaharM Real neat if you've never seen them up close.
Thanks again Penny. Are there any other beachs on St Marteen besides Orient they should consider? I just went to the one right there where the water taxi drops you in town. BUt I'm thinking they want to 'see the island".
Maho beach that RichC mentioned, it's amazing watching those hummers land above you. In my opinion, Orient is overrated and the beach right by where you dock is just as nice. (I'm sorry to all of those who love Orient, I honestly don't mean anything bad. I just think it's overrated). Maho really is unique. There's no reason not to take a cab around to Orient and go from Dutch to French, etc. It's just not a picturesque island, to me.