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Lisa63

Help us plan our day in St. Maarten

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We have a full day in St. Maarten (~ 8am -- although we likely won't get off until a bit later -- through 1 am the next morning.) We've been there only once before, but our son was very young at the time, so we pretty much just hung out in Philipsburg.

So -- a few questions...

How is Maho Beach as a beach? My son is excited about the airplanes, of course, but he also likes the ocean. Are the waters calm enough for a non-swimmer? Any amenities at the beach, such as chairs, place to get beverages, etc.?

We're thinking of preceding the visit to Maho Beach with either the Island Tour or Butterfly Farm/Marigot Tour. I am most interested in spending time in Marigot, which I understand is about a $15-$20 taxi ride from the pier, so perhaps we'll do that instead of a tour. Thoughts, suggestions for places to visit?

Thanks, as always!

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Lisa there is a cute spot right acrross from the dock Antoines by the sea.<]. its a french beach resturants with terriffic tropical beverages and padded lounge Chairs (5usd) and a nice beach guy Leo<] is his name that will wait on you .. the water and the beach there are gentle and the swimming is fine.

The last time we were there was this past October and they were extending a sidewalk......

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and this is the view from their blue lounge chairs that come with an umbrella at no extra fee

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as you can see the ships across the bay..if you want more on antoines you can visit their website at http://www.antoinerestaurant.com/

hope this is of some help!

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Lisa,

Every time we go to St Maarten we rent a car at the agencies at the end of the pier. It typically runs us about $45 $50 to rent. Then we can go anywhere on the island. Traffic drives sensibly and it is easy to get around. There is really only one complete ring road around the island.

While Maho beach is interesting because of the planes, the beach isn't much and I didn't notice any vendors. With a child, a better choice would be Dawn Beach, or Frigate Bay, just further down the side ride the Butterfly farm is on. The locals use that one, there are chairs, a restaurant/bar with changing facilities, etc.

Things are pricey in Marigot. Lunch is likely to cost $20 per person. There is a fort overlooking the town, Ft St Louis, that I think is worth visiting, if only for the view. I actually like the beach at Grand Case, deserted during the day, but no chairs or vendors. Just restaurants.

No one should go to St Martin without at least once going to Orient Beach. While the notoriety is due to the Eastern end clearly marked "Clothing Optional, No Cameras", the Western half if normal with plenty of chair and umbrella rentals and food/drink vendors/restaurants. There are always children on that end, too. We enjoy it, but prefer the less populated beaches.

This last time we were there in December we took the day cruise on the Lord Sheffield for a sail/snorkel trip on a sailing ship. They also offer a sunset cruise. Take a look at their site at http://www.lordsheffield.com/

It is an easy walk from the pier.

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Hi Lisa,

St Marten can be a little boring. You pretty much know my tastes in beaches. Orient beach does not do it for me. We have taken the ferry over to Pinell island but I really do not consider this big step up. This is not the island to do any extensive snorkeling.

I would recommend the Butterfly farm. Especially for your son. The usually have new butterfly's being born every day.

The island tour was nice only because it was very warm the day we took the trip. The bus was like new and well air conditioned. They stopped at a small refreshment stand so we could buy drinks and use the bathrooms. Overall, it was a very forgettable tour.

We enjoy shopping in St. Marten. The prices are good, in fact I think they are a little better than St. Thomas. Even if you are just looking - visit some of the jewelry stores and enjoy a Heineken or two.

Hope this helps

P.S. Sorry for the duplicate post. I was tried to edit the post for spelling and accidentally hit my back button.

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Thank you all for the great ideas so far. I especially appreciate the advice for the beaches. Perhaps we'll just stop by Maho Beach for a short while and then continue on to one of the recommended ones.

It's nice to have so much time in port. Joey, I took a look at the menu and it looks marvelous. And what a view!

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I'm with Joey, there's good stuff to be had close to the dock too

We'd been to St Maarten a number of times so we were quite pleasantly surprised when we found the Holland House Hotel on the beach and made friends with Louie and "Iceman", the two guys that service the beach guests.

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We've always taken the water taxi from the pier then turned left, towards where Everything Cool was. On this trip they dropped us farther to the right, at the head of a new "boardwalk" area that is really nicely done, in the same flavor as the new pier area.

Boy am I glad they did

Louie took really good care of us and we had our best port day right there on the beach. The water and beach were very nice. Louie brought us buckets of beer ($10 for 6) Guavaberry Colada (Lisa's new favorite drink), and burgers (dang good) or anything else we wanted to our nice chairs and umbrellas ($20 for four chairs and two umbrellas)

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Thank you for all of the suggestions. We ended up doing the Island Tour, followed by shopping. We picked up a new digital camera at a great price. (We had been shopping around for awhile, so DH knew what we were getting.)

My son had been knocked down by a wave the day before at a beach in Antigua, so DH wasn't too keen about going back to a beach. :( Our son was anxious about getting back into the water, so we hung out at the pool on the ship, which finally had few passengers in it.

We loved Marigot and are seriously thinking of returning to St. Maarten/St. Martin for a few days' vacation. There's so much to see and do.

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