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Old 09-11-2007, 04:13 PM
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I am organizing a family cruise for 20 people for Nov 07. We are going to Nassau and St Thomas and those plans have been made but I am stuck on St Martin. I think most want the beach. I am leaning towards Orient Beach as they seem to have more to offer. I heard they have Parasailing. What else do they have?

Also can anyone tell me the best way to get there? Does the water taxi stop there? If not where all does the water taxi go? Does anyone know the costs for taxi/water taxi and if there are any group rates? Also does anyone recommend renting a car/van? I heard there is only one main road so I assume getting around would be pretty easy. I read that the beaches are well marked. Also is the car rental near the cruise ships? Any other suggestions would be very welcomed.


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Old 09-12-2007, 09:09 AM
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You are aware that Orient is a clothing optional beach? There is a section that many visit without beachware. They also walk up and down the beach, most should be clothed in more than a bathing suit. It should be relatively easy to navigate around the island. With 20 people, I doubt there is a van available to rent that would accomodate everyone. I've not taken the water taxi there, but I would assume it would go to Orient as it is a main tourist attraction. Hopefully, someone who has taken the taxi will answer your post. Orient is a nice beach, but the snorkeling is not good there at all. Also, to use a restroom, you will need to purchase a drink coupon from one of the many bars there and that will include a bathroom coupon. There are lounge chairs available for rent. There is a beach that is close to where you dock that you can take the water taxi to as well, but going to Orient will give you a look at both the French and the Dutch side of the island. I won't say the scenery is outstanding, but it's worth viewing. It sounds like y'all are in for a wonderful time! Best wishes.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:27 PM
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I thought I would have received more responses. With 20 people I wonder what it the best way to get to the beaches. I found somewhere that the price to and from the beach by taxi was like $18.00 pp. Has anyone taken the public buses? Do you know where you catch it and the cost? What about car rentals? One tour co wants about $26.00 for the beach break. For 4 people that is $104.00 plus tip. They can rent a car for about $40.00 and go to all the beaches they want. I would like to hear from someone who has rented a car there...pros and cons.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:50 PM
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We did not go to the beach but you can flag down the local bus (looks like a van) some are private people and will pick you up for $1.US I am not sure if they will go to Orient beach from the port it is at the opposite end of the island.
We just went from the resort to Marigot so was not that far.
I would maybe book ahead or just let those that want to go to the beach take a taxi.
There is a beach at MAHO which is under the airplane landing path ...very interesting

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Old 10-16-2007, 05:42 PM
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I am wondering...you see all the vids on youtube with the big jumbo jets landing just after a beach on St. Maarten. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAFRyZ66Qkg) Is that Orient Beach and if not what beach is that? It may be worth the trip just to see that happen. Just curious.
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:28 PM
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I know Maho Beach is by the airport and that is where all the airplanes come in to land. If you type in Maho Beach at Youtube.com you can see many of the landings. I hear it is worth seeing once but not the nicest beach.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:11 PM
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When my family went, we found a taxi right off the dock. He charged us 25 dollars per person for a tour all around the island. It's basically an all day trip if you ask him to.

He starts off by taking you to Marigot first for some shopping. Lots of deals to be had. My mom was interested in three garnet pendants for my sister, her, and myself, but the guy refused to go under 25 euros a piece. After a little bargaining in french, he agreed on 50 for all three and even threw in chains for each. So definitely haggle if you can.

We got around an hour to shop around before we were whisked to Orient Beach. Boy, are we glad we negotiated more time shopping than our tour guide originally said we could have. Orient Beach was a disappointment. Not too many people were in the water because there was so much seaweed floating around in the water. We rented two beach chairs which included 2 drink tickets and I think 6 restroom tickets. The prices weren't all that bad, actually. Think they were around 5 dollars a chair? Our tour guide told us that normally the water is clearer but because of the weather when we were there, it was a little dirtier than usual. The bathrooms are a mess though so be sure to have some shoes on when walking around it, as there's some broken glass around. They also have a lot to rent. Ski jets, water slides, and a few other options. We did see some parasailers as well.

Also. BEWARE THE NUDE BEACH NEXT DOOR. There is no barrier so they often stroll from one beach to another. Keep your kids a little farther away from that end if you don't wish for prepubescent exposure.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:16 PM
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Also. Hi everyone! This is Tanya's daughter and I was the writer of above post.
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:11 PM
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Thank you Tanya's daughter! I am aware of the nude pasrt. We will try to stay at the opposite end. Most say they either did not see any nude bathers or only saw one. Having lived in Holland for several years we are used to it. We have a free tour in the morning that was included with our cruise. We can upgrade to include the beach break for $28.00 more and it includes 2 drinks and a buffet lunch at Orient Beach. I was just looking for a cheaper way for some of our younger group to go as some are on a tight budget! All in all what is everyone favorite beach in St Nartin and why?
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:53 PM
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Hi Sandee, sorry about my daughter's post. Jeannie is in her second year in college, but sometimes she is so hyper like a little kid. After all, we've only been to St.Maarten once, there are still a lot of places we do not know yet.We're going back there on our next cruise. I'm sure you will get a lot of advice and suggestions from experienced cruisers on this forum.
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