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Cruise Stop In Philipsburg - Hire Taxi Or Stick With Ship Excursions?

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I will be on a cruise that stops in Philipsburg on Aug. 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We will be a party of 6, with 3 adults and 3 kids (ages 3, 11, and 12). We really don't care too much about going to the beaches, although we certainly could, since we are from Central Florida and see plenty of beaches. But we like the idea of the Butterfly Farm, and the zoo at St. Maarten Park sounds like something the kids would like. Otherwise we would like to see any historical or nature-oriented sites that might be interesting, or go to a beach if nothing else presents itself. Maho Beach would be interesting too, but it's on the other side of the island from the Butterfly Farm and we could skip that if time runs short.

Does anybody know about how much it would cost to hire a taxi for the day for 6 people? The ship has an excursion we could book that would go to the Butterfly Farm and then to what they call Frais Bay Beach (maybe they mean Friar's Bay?) but it seems like maybe getting our own taxi would give us more freedom to go where we want to go when we want to go there. Unless it would be insanely expensive, of course. Or unless we would have to worry that the taxi driver might take us off somewhere and rob us - that would be a good reason to stick with the ship's excursions. I have traveled many places, including India, and know to be careful but having kids with me makes me more protective than usual.

Any advice from those of you who are familiar with St. Maarten/St. Martin would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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