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Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

EAF
Atlanta
6 posts
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Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

My 15 year old daughter and I will be visiting St. Martin via Carnival Glory in June. I'm considering renting a car, can anyone give me ideas of where we should go during our short visit, (we'll be there from 8:00am to 6:00pm). We'd like to see the beauty of the island, do some shopping, and enjoy some time at the beach (I'm sure she would enjoy a "happening" beach, I on the other hand would rather enjoy a beautiful quiet beach, hmmm) Also, can I rent a car anywhere near the pier?

VA
4 posts
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1. Re: Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

I just got back from a crusie that visited this island. I went on a bus tour that stopped for shopping in Marigot on the french side (lots of souvenier type shopping- if your looking for pearls good jewelry your better off in Phillipsburg) and spent the afternoon at the most beautiful beach- Orient Bay Beach on the french side. There were rentals of things like boogie boards, banana boat rides , seadoos etc for the younger crowd but we just had a relaxing time lounging there and soaking up the sun and sand.

Debbie

EAF
Atlanta
6 posts
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2. Re: Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

Thank you Debbiec....The only good review I've heard on shore excursions was the one to Orient Beach.

Toronto
Level Contributor
328 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

You can rent a car in Philipsburg, but as an alternative to the ship excursion you could also spend some time in Philipsburg shopping and browsing--lots of shops for a 15 year old as well as an adult---then take a taxi to Orient Beach for the rest of the day. It's about $20 each way and much less trouble than renting a car. Just arrange a designated time to be picked up by your driver.

Orient is a fun spot for your daughter, but you will appreciate the beachside lunch and the comfy lounge chairs! Have a look at experiencestmaarten.com

Boynton Beach...
Level Contributor
179 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

I have used United Rent-a Car for quite a while now...if you give them the date you will be there they will try to make arrangements...you can reach them at www.sidrounited.com, customer service...Orient Beach is truely the "happening " beach but keep in mind it is clothing optional ..and there are people there in varios stages of dress and undress..There are so many beaches there..and so much to do and experience....

Orlando, FL
1 post
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5. Re: Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

BEWARE OF CARNIVAL in general! We did have good experiences with them in the past, but our recent cruise in May '05 highlighted that they have no regard for their customers!

We were notified by phone the day before our cruise that our departure would be delayed and that we'd be missing our first port of call. We'd have an extra "day at sea" - more time to visit the casino, shops and bars = more $ for Carnival. At that time we were verbally offered an insulting $50.00 PP "on board" credit. There was no acknowledgement that we'd pre-paid a Port Fee for a port we'd not be visiting and we'd be also missing 2-3 meals we'd pre-paid for!

After a frustrating day of negotiations and a strong recommendation from our travel agent to accept "anything" this line offered - prior to departure we accepted a slightly higher credit of $75.00 PP. No one, at any level below the President of the company seems to have any accountability to resolve customer issues - is this doing business circa 1960?

Once on board and at sea, of course, no one in the Purser's area was aware of our $75.00 PP on board credit. They, again had no accountability to correct the problem - and only suggested to resolve the issue we could call the Carnival offices in Miami - at $6.99/minute!

With no satisfaction while on the cruise, back on dry land we contacted Carnival's "Resolutions" area. They had records of EVERY conversation we had with the line - except the one of us accepting their $75.00 offer. In fact, one representative boldly suggested they "recalled" the offer as it was decided that potential inequities could enrage other pasengers!

My ADVICE - read and understand ALL disclaimers on your documents, and another basic - GET IT ALL IN WRITING!

The cruise industry at many times has you hostage and they state "we don't have to refund you anything for missed ports, missed meals, or overcrowded terminals where you wait for three hours to board" etc!

It's BAD Business and POOR customer service!!!

Kelowna
Level Contributor
112 posts
14 reviews
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6. Re: Cruising to St. Martin...any ideas?

Well as most of the replies have stated...

Orient Beach is the 'happening' beach for a 15 year old. It is the most popular beach and would be the stop if you want your daughter to get her wish. As for shopping, Phillispburg is your place. Watches, rings, earings, electronic goods, alcohol are all very cheap on Front street in Phillipsburg. Make sure you bargin. Don't settle for there first price, or even second. You will find great deals.

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