Posted June 30th, 2014, 07:16 PM
Last edited by Life is Good Cruising; June 30th, 2014 at 07:19 PM
I'll be in St. Maarten in July on the Carnival Liberty. We're interested in doing an excursion of some sort. We've looked at the Rhino Rider & Snorkel Adventure, the Tiki Hut Relax & Snorkel, and Explore the Boardwalk by Segway excursion. Does anyone have any feedback on any of these? Or possibly suggestions of some amazing excursions or activities in general that should not be missed when visiting St. Maarten?
Second, with chikungunya being such a concern right now and cases being reported from St. Maarten, I was wondering what the mosquito situation was for the above activities. I've never been to St. Maarten, are mosquitoes incredibly bad there? Are there areas to avoid, certain things I shouldn't be doing, etc? I nearly get eaten alive whenever they're around, so I'm trying to be careful. I came back from my last cruise with 36 bites on one leg! I'll obviously be using repellent, etc., but I'm just trying to take further precautionary measures and plan my activities accordingly (if necessary).
Additionally, we're looking to do a sting ray excursion in Grand Turk, helmet dive in St. Thomas and zip line in San Juan, if you have any tips/advice regarding mosquitoes in these ports as well.
Thanks so much!
Chikungunya virus has been around in the Caribbean for quite a while now. There's a lot of discussion further down in the forum regarding this virus. Been to St Maarten many times this year and prior years and I have yet to see any mosquitoes there. They do come out at dawn and dusk most of the times and by then you will be on board the ship.
If you are going to any of the beaches, the majority of the time there will a breeze so the mosquitoes won't be by the water. Places to avoid would be standing water, just like at home.
The best defense is to use insect repellent with DEET on your body and clothes. Here is some additional info for you on prevention and other things regarding the virus from the CDC website.
I don't have any feedback regarding your listing of ship excursions. We usually do our own thing in St. Maarten and take a taxi to a beach, either Maho Beach and see the planes land, Orient Beach or Mullet Bay. If your not familiar with Maho Beach, just google "youtube plane landing in St Maarten."
The taxis (vans) are located in back of the information center at the end of the pier, very easy to find and others will probably join you in the taxis, so that will bring down the cost of a taxi. It can cost anywhere from $6-$9 pp one way for a taxi. Many taxis are waiting at those popular beaches that will also take you back to the pier.
We also have taken tour 1 and Tour 2 many times with Bernards Tour. They are very highly rated here on cruise critic and TripAdvisor. You can read some of their reviews further down in this forum. For a first timer in St. Maarten, Bernards Tour would be a good choice for you to see this beautiful island. They also provide free water, beer, soda and a potent rum punch. For sure you won't see any mosquitoes with them.
Whatever you decide to do, have a wonderful time in St. Maarten and you will want to come back again and again.