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I’m going on the Harmony this fall and was looking at the St Maarten island tour offered by Royal Caribbean. Has anyone done this? If so how was it? What type of vehicle is it? How active is it? I’ll have a family member with me that is slower walking due to health issues.

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At that price, it is a bus that drives you around.  No getting on or off.

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Merion_Mom said:

At that price, it is a bus that drives you around.  No getting on or off.

3 stops according to the description. 

 

   
St. Maarten Island Tour - SM04
 
 

 

Discover the unique history and dual cultures of this two-nation island on a narrated scenic drive around the Dutch and French sides of St. Maarten. See countryside, beaches, fishing villages, charming towns, key landmarks, and spectacular sea vistas. Enjoy free time to shop and explore in the French capital of Marigot.  In Simpson Bay, enjoy a ride on the famous Venetian Carousel, stroll through tropical garden as you view photo gallery.  From a variety of flavors you have the option to purchase authentic Italian gelato ice cream. At the end of the tour, you may opt to remain in the heart of Philipsburg for independent exploration in the Dutch capital.


 
Highlights:
• Island Sights: Discover splendid beaches, the charming towns of Orleans and Grand Case, a salt pond, plus a photo stop at a scenic lookout.
• Marigot: Enjoy about 30 minutes of free time to browse the boutiques and outdoor markets of the island’s French capital.
• Simpson Bay: 20 minutes for Carousel ride and view photo gallery.
• Optional Drop-Off: Remain in downtown Philipsburg for independent exploration and shopping or return directly to the pier.
Edited by TwizzlersAddict

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Look into Bernards tours. His tours last about 4-5 hours in a small van. Much more to do including a stop at the airport and time at the beach too.

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4 hours ago, TwizzlersAddict said:

3 stops according to the description. 

 

   
St. Maarten Island Tour - SM04
 
 

 

Discover the unique history and dual cultures of this two-nation island on a narrated scenic drive around the Dutch and French sides of St. Maarten. See countryside, beaches, fishing villages, charming towns, key landmarks, and spectacular sea vistas. Enjoy free time to shop and explore in the French capital of Marigot.  In Simpson Bay, enjoy a ride on the famous Venetian Carousel, stroll through tropical garden as you view photo gallery.  From a variety of flavors you have the option to purchase authentic Italian gelato ice cream. At the end of the tour, you may opt to remain in the heart of Philipsburg for independent exploration in the Dutch capital.


 
Highlights:
• Island Sights: Discover splendid beaches, the charming towns of Orleans and Grand Case, a salt pond, plus a photo stop at a scenic lookout.
• Marigot: Enjoy about 30 minutes of free time to browse the boutiques and outdoor markets of the island’s French capital.
• Simpson Bay: 20 minutes for Carousel ride and view photo gallery.
• Optional Drop-Off: Remain in downtown Philipsburg for independent exploration and shopping or return directly to the pier.

 

Interesting. BTW, there is not much left of Marigot.  That's probably an old description, unedited since the hurricane.  (despite the fact that it has been two years)

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Posted (edited)

My last cruise, I was looking to book this exact tour.... after asking on here, and getting rave reviews, I opted to book with Bernard’s ( my first private tour).  It was FABULOUS!!  Tour was much longer, free alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages included, and the guide was very friendly/knowledgeable!  The buses were a/c and very nice!  I strongly recommend doing this!!  We saw everything and even spent time at Maho beach-he timed it so we could experience numerous planes coming in!  

Edited by SuiteLady

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I did this tour in april. I'm not a big fan of bus tours, and I'm still not. You have a very nice air conditioned bus. 

The stop at marrigot has a bunch of vendors set up selling typical tourist stuff. And there is a public bathroom at this stop. We bought a few trinkets. And hubby got a coconut milk shake, which was very good. They then take you to a merry go round ice cream store. The line for ice cream was crazy, down the block was a french bakery and we purchased pastries there. 

Then we drove to a senic overlook for a quick picture stop. When returning they will drop you off at the ship or downtown. We opted for downtown, then took a cab back at our leisure. 

The tour was very informative. I just don't like all that sitting. Rccl filled 2 full buses. (Not mini vans)  plus there were other buses making stops were we stopped. 

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I also highly recommend Bernards tours. If you don't see anything that interest you or timing doesn't match up to your arrival time email them. If the ship docks there at an unusual time like in the afternoon you may not see any available tours but if you email them they will provide additional information. We didn't dock until 1:00pm so we had to reach out to them.

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We did this tour a few cruises back.

 

Then it was called  "Under two flags"

 

We always tried to give the DD one day of a little learning as she was growing up.

 

Well let me tell you, it was the best 3 hour nap she ever had, minus the 3 stops.

 

Ummmm, I thought it was ok because the guide was very informative.

 

And, that 20 min stop, just gave me enough time to use the bathroom, long lines......

 

Safe travels.

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I see a lot of people recommending Bernard’s tours. My family is freaked out to book with anyone other than the boat because they won’t hold the boat for you if something happens. Thoughts?? 

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3 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

I also highly recommend Bernards tours. If you don't see anything that interest you or timing doesn't match up to your arrival time email them. If the ship docks there at an unusual time like in the afternoon you may not see any available tours but if you email them they will provide additional information. We didn't dock until 1:00pm so we had to reach out to them.

We docked later too, and with Bernard's, on the later ship docking they tell you that the tour will leave approx. 1/2 hour after.....it states this on their website (on the page where you book the tour).

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10 minutes ago, Angelfsh131 said:

I see a lot of people recommending Bernard’s tours. My family is freaked out to book with anyone other than the boat because they won’t hold the boat for you if something happens. Thoughts?? 

No worries....they are VERY aware of the time to be back and we had plenty of time to still shop around the dock area. 

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10 minutes ago, Angelfsh131 said:

I see a lot of people recommending Bernard’s tours. My family is freaked out to book with anyone other than the boat because they won’t hold the boat for you if something happens. Thoughts?? 

Don't worry about it. Bernard's has been doing this for a looong time.  They know the ship's departure time and will get you back in plenty of time.  We highly recommend them.

Sea ya!

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8 hours ago, suesnake2002 said:

I did this tour in april. I'm not a big fan of bus tours, and I'm still not. You have a very nice air conditioned bus. 

The stop at marrigot has a bunch of vendors set up selling typical tourist stuff. And there is a public bathroom at this stop. We bought a few trinkets. And hubby got a coconut milk shake, which was very good. They then take you to a merry go round ice cream store. The line for ice cream was crazy, down the block was a french bakery and we purchased pastries there. 

Then we drove to a senic overlook for a quick picture stop. When returning they will drop you off at the ship or downtown. We opted for downtown, then took a cab back at our leisure. 

The tour was very informative. I just don't like all that sitting. Rccl filled 2 full buses. (Not mini vans)  plus there were other buses making stops were we stopped. 

20190414_092207.jpg

20190414_095744.jpg

20190414_103513.jpg

20190414_105326.jpg

20190414_112954.jpg

Thank you so much!  This is exactly what I was hoping to find out. As much as I don't like sitting, I think this will work perfectly for the group I'm traveling with.  The price is so good, I don't think I can go wrong.

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Thank you everyone for the insight.  As I'm going with someone who has a harder time walking, this sounds like it would be perfect.  Price went even lower today, so I've booked it.  I really appreciate all the advice.

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Definitely worth taking this tour (ship or private) once to see both sides of the island.  You will get a lot of information on the French president's promise to rebuild.  Great people on both sides.

 

The one place that tends to have massive problems getting back is the road between Phillipsburg and the port.  Have seen hour long lines getting back.  Walking was actually faster than riding that last 1/2 mile or so.

 

Only problem we had was rain/AC fogging up the bus windows.  

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We have learned after taking about 35 cruises that you will be better off taking tours either off an online tour guide or maybe finding a good tour at the dock. Try Trip Advisor or some other such site for whatever ports you will be visiting. The scare tactics that the cruise company uses by saying that they will not wait for you is just to get you to pay their high prices for tours. All these private tours could not stay in business if they didn't get people back to the ship on time. Do your research and find the best tour for your group.

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Everything I read about Bernard's tours says or implies that it is private. Is this true? Can a couple just book it like you would a ship's tour? 

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Maplemoose said:

Everything I read about Bernard's tours says or implies that it is private. Is this true? Can a couple just book it like you would a ship's tour? 

A couple can book and you will be in a group with others but the group is smaller than a ship tour group or are you asking if they do private tours for 2?

Edited by Iamcruzin

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