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


Jul 4th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 127
Cruise Stop In Philipsburg - Hire Taxi Or Stick With Ship Excursions?

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.
cslasor is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2013, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 470
Here's the thing about the Butterfly Farm on a cruise tour. A busload of you arrive, you get a short tour of the place, and then you all pack up and leave for the next thing (Friar's Bay, in your case).

The magic of the Butterfly Farm is really when you're just about the only humans in the place. It's very tranquil, it's relaxing to just sit and watch the butterflies just flit around.

So if you can, go on your own, and time your visit so you arrive with such a tour - you get the benefit of the tour, but you get to smile and relax when they all leave.

Also check out Loterie Farm.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 06:02 AM
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Just an update - we ended up renting a minivan from Coastal Car Rentals and were very, very happy with our decision. The car rental place is right at the end of the pier, the employees were friendly and professional, the van was perfect, and we all enjoyed the freedom of going where we wanted to when we wanted to.

The roads and attractions weren't marked as well as they could have been and I had to turn around several times, but that led to the discovery of a friendly family of donkeys that totally charmed all of us, especially the kids. After a delightful and relaxing stop at the Butterfly Farm we made an impromptu stop at a roadside bakery, then headed on around the outside of the island (heading counterclockwise) until we go to Maho. Then I sat in the shade in the Sunset Bar while the family played on the beach and we watched the planes land and take off. After that the kids were tired and we headed back to the ship.

I'll be back there in January with DH and probably would rent a car again. I'm sure he will want to go different places than the kids wanted to, since he's more interested in photography than butterflies or airplanes.
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Oct 18th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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We always take a taxi to the best beach and resort on the islands and it works GREAT. We've been to about 25 or so and done that on 20+.
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