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Old 05-05-2008, 10:09 AM
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My family and I are embarking on our very first cruise at the end of June. We are cruising with Royal Caribbean and by reading some of your postings, we may have chosen the wrong ports. Be that as it may, we're booked and determined to have a great time. On St. Maarten we were thinking about booking the Segway tour and the zip line tour at the Loterie Treetop farm. Has anyone taken these tours??? Would you recommend them??? Any input on land excursions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...Ted B.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:08 PM
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I'm not sure why you think St Thomas and St Maarten are poor choices for ports. These are favorite stops for many people.

I can't say I ever took the zip line tour on St Maarten. But I know people who have do similar tours in other ports and they loved it. So if that interests you, go ahead and try it.

I also saw your other post on St Thomas. For snorkeling you should go to Trunk Bay. (It is really on St Johns, but there is Ferry service to St John's from Red Hook on St Thomas) Being your first cruise, you might consider sticking with the ship sponsered tour to St John/Trunk Bay they will provide the transportation etc...
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:37 PM
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We spent the day on the French side and also Orient Beach. Our kids are 14 & 20 and all our shore time involves water. This is a great island.
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:55 PM
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There's nothing wrong with St. Maarten. It's just not one of my favorite, mainly because I love snorkeling and the snorkeling there isn't very good. I also don't like being charged to use a restroom, but Orient is a beautiful beach. Maho beach is great, huge jets land right over your head. Both St. Thomas and St. Maarten are great for shopping. I'm just not a shopaholic. You'll have a wonderful time!
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:59 AM
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We found a great outfit online called www.stmaartencruiseexcursions.com, and booked their Island Tour with Lloyd. They were very helpful , and bang on time, we were picked up at the dock. We had also not heard great things about the island. (we tried to book Loterie, but it was sold out, which I hear is often the cas and was dissapointing). Lloyd really went out of his way to show us the best of St Maarten with some beach time and great scenery , by the end of the day he was family friend and not just a tour guide! Glad we found this. We came away from St Maarten with a really good impression, but maybe that had a lot to do with Lloyd!Best of St Maarten Island Tour
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:08 PM
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When on St Marten, Do yourself a big favor and go to a liquor store and look for "Cherry Grand Marnier". It is only sold in France and on the French side of St. Marten. It is made from a special cherry only grown in France. It is to die for! Buy all you can carry ! It makes fabulous gifts for special friends, bosses, etc.. (That is if you can part with the stuff)

Sodey
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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Ted,

Welcome to the forums!

St. Maarten and St. Thomas are two of the most beautiful places in the world, so I'm sure that you and your family will have a great time.

Being that it is your very first cruise, you may be hesitant to travel very far off the ship without being on an official tour, but don't be. In St. Thomas, I would highly recommend taking the ferry to St. Johns and then taxiing to Trunk Bay. It is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen and has the benefit of also having some great snorkeling. Also, you don't have to taxi to Redhook to catch the ferry. Just ask where the ferry that goes directly to St. Johns is and someone should be able to direct you there. It is a waste of time and an extra $10 per person to take a taxi to Redhook and then ferry to St. Johns.

St. Maarten has some great beaches...just pick one and taxi there.

Good luck and have a great cruise!

Brad
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:20 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Really appreciate it. Looking forward to a great time as well as to sampling the Cherry Grand Marnier as recommended by Sodey...Cheers...Ted
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:14 PM
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Hi! We just returned from our cruise on the Freedom of the Seas to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, & St. Maarten. I have to say, St. Maarten is now one of our favorite islands! The people are wonderful and so friendly! We took a water taxi to Great Bay, did some shopping, then ate at a little bar & grill on the boardwalk, then sat on the beach just a few steps away. For about $10-$15 you get 2 chairs, an umbrella, and a bucket of beers! Very relaxing beautiful place.
If you are looking to buy liquor, don't miss Ernie at the first store on the left on the boardwalk, she was awesome!
Also, if you go to St. Thomas, take the ferry to St. John's and go to Trunk Bay... trunk bay /Users/elizabethcrockett/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/2008/May 6, 2008/DSCN3642.JPG unbelievable beach!
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:45 PM
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Thanks to everyone for all your comments. We leave next week and can't wait. The suggestions posted were helpful & appreciated. Thanks again...Ted
 
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