Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Which island tour is best, St. Maarten or St. Thomas?


southeRNbelle38

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm a newbie to the boards...haven't cruised in 10+ years. Cruising this summer with my family (DH & 2 children 12 & 8). Would like to go on an island tour/shopping with beach excursion for one of our ports and spend a full day at the beach with a little shopping at the other. We will be in St. Maarten & St. Thomas for 10 hours each.

 

Any input as to which island has the most to see? Or should I base my decision on the better beach...Magen's vs. Orient???

 

Thanks in advance for your wisdom:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why choose one or the other, we did both on each of those islands! 10 hours is a long time to spend doing either the whole time so why not do an island beach and shopping tour on each? We took a tour on St. Marteen(that's our shipped docked in St. Marteen in my avatar pic!) that went to Orient Beach and stopped in Marigot. This tour allowed us to shop for awhile before it left Phillpsburg, then shop and eat in Marigot then spend a couple hours at Orient Beach. We got to see a bit of the other side of the island on the ride back and had time for more shopping in Phillipsberg before returning to the ship. Having been to St. Thomas for vacation before I was familiar enough with it to be comfortable renting a jeep for the day and driving all over the island with a few beach stops while again having plenty of time to shop in Charlotte Amalie before returning the jeep and walking back to the ship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was actually contemplating doing a tour on both islands, but thought I may want to spend a little extra time at the beach on one of the islands. A 2 hour beach stop is a little too short for us.

 

Right now I'm leaning toward a tour on STT with a stop at Magen's, although I'd love to try to hop over to Trunk Bay... and for StM, ~4 hours at Orient Beach with a side trip to Marigot. But there's also Pinel tempting me to change my plans!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Either or sounds great but if I did it again I'd rent a car on St. Marteen like I did on St. Thomas and be able to come and go on my own time. Car rentals there were about $55 a day which is less expensive than a tour and having the freedom to do what you want for how long you want is totally worth it. I would have liked to stay a bit longer in some of the places we stopped but had to be on the "bus" time. It's a small enough place that driving isn't hard and I wouldn't hesitate to go that route.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got back from caribbean in jan. and i have to say i made no purchases except for some coffee and earrings in san juan. i think you have to get far enough from the ship to find things that aren't junky souvenirs made in china. unless you are interested in expensive jewelry and those shops are abundant too. we have better luck on the western caribbean side with shopping. oh and you can get liquor but its so hard to travel with. we bring a roll of bubble wrap and an empty suitcase. i got some wonderful flavored rums in st. marten that i am sad to say i just finished. makes the best bananas foster .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The shops in St. Thomas are nice and have pretty good quality jewelry and stuff like that. My wife bought a very nice bracelet in St. Thomas. check with the ships shore excursions and ask them for recommendations. or attend one of the port talks that they have onboard the ship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
Hi, I'm a newbie to the boards...haven't cruised in 10+ years. Cruising this summer with my family (DH & 2 children 12 & 8). Would like to go on an island tour/shopping with beach excursion for one of our ports and spend a full day at the beach with a little shopping at the other. We will be in St. Maarten & St. Thomas for 10 hours each.

 

Any input as to which island has the most to see? Or should I base my decision on the better beach...Magen's vs. Orient???

 

Thanks in advance for your wisdom:)

 

We love St Thomas for everything you have mentioned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance - Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise News
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...