don't overextend yourself trying to cram everything in! We limit ourselves to one excursion per island. We will book a morning excursion so that we can have the afternoon to explore and wander on our own.
St. Maarten is your shopping & beach island - great duty-free shopping - especially on gems, linens, perfumes, cosmetics,liquor & t-shirts. Good snorkeling & SCUBA diving around the shipwrecks, a couple of fun things to consider- America's Cup Regatta ( race sail boats) or the Golden Eagle Catamaran sail ( we did this and Loved it). Orient Beach is the "happening" place - but parts of it are clothing optional - prefer Dawn Beach
St. Thomas/St. John - breath taking beaches with silky white sand and turquoise waters. Trunk Bay ( St. John) is my personal favorite - beautiful, full facilities, good snorkeling. Found the merchants to be very snooty unless you were droping a huge chunk of change in their stores. Can be very crowded if there are lots of ships in port that day. Plan your time accordingly - traffic problems.