When you dock at st martin it will be the dutch side. There are a few shops at the pier. Also there is a water taxi nearby that will get to the capital of philispburg ? the cost is $5 for all day pass. The capital has western fast food chains ie Burger King, KFC. IF you are a chocolate fan you need to visit a shop called BELGIAN CHOCOLATE BOX it is down Old street by the courthouse. There are also a little french deli next to it. Planning on going back in December. Love St. Martin!
DO NOT go to St. Maareten w/o seeing the French side!!! If you care to eat while you're there, that's the place to do it. They're known for their spicey seafood restaurants. We went through one little fishing village (forget the name) that was one restaurant after another. Marigot (French capital) would be another good place to shop and eat. Give yourself plenty of time for the return trip. Traffic gets bad at rush hour on the island. I posted a couple pics of shopping at the pier and Marigot. St. Maarten ROCKS!!!
St. Martin is beautiful. My husband and I were there last Fall. We took a city bus/van to Marigot.. (I think we paid $1.50 a person over and then another $1.50 back.) Marigot was beautiful and had a very nice market area right by the water. There were many sidewalk restaurants, also. We didn't eat while we were there, but the food certainly looked good. I would love to go back to St. Martin some day.
Have a wonderful time and write a review when you get home!!
Just got back from the Valor in the last week. If there is room the RAGATTA is amazing (America's Cup races on real A.C. ships!). It will be THE highlight.
Shopping is near the cruise dock; just take the water taxi over to it - this will be Philipsburg on the Dutch side. We ate at the 12 metre Yacht Club; reasonable, good.
Shopping is good and its easy to get around. If you like the Star Wars movies make a stop in The Yoda Man's shop. He conceptualized and built the Yoda's for the movies and is an accomplished painter. A life-size Yoda is on display. The street closest to the pier is FRONT street with BACK stree the next one over (Yoda located on this street).
Take a taxi to Marigot on the French side is you have time. Worth your time. Marina Royale is the place to head for; docks, shops and bistros. Tropicana is great for salads. Marigot has several good eating establishments.
Supposedly THE best dining on the French side is in the fishing village of Grand Case; about 20 min. from Philipsburg.
Both sides of the island are good. See both but opt for the French side with your extra time. Grand Case is great. There is shopping at the docking area on the Dutch side that will satisfy your capitalistic desires.
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I recommend taking the island tour which stops off for shopping near the end of the tour. I loved the views and you get to see alot of the island. I think it was only $20.00. Quite a deal. I booked right from my cabin.
The last time I was at St. Martin, I opted to go right over to the French side as soon as I got off the ship. Hopped a taxi for $5 pp along with about 5 other people.
We found the market down on the waterfront and it was wonderful. There was so much to choose from and the prices were way cheaper than the stores.
We ate at a little open air Brassiere across the street, they had wonderful quiche's for about $5. They were so big, nobody could eat the whole thing. We had fun wtching the cat chase the chickens through the restaurant. We even fed the chickens french fries.
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