As a port we give St. Maarten five stars - but with six ships in port, all carrying over 3000 passengers, it was crowded. We went via water taxi to Phillipsburg after lunch and the crowds had thinned somewhat. We perused the shops - didn't buy a thing, had a $1 beer and went back to the ship. We have been there so many times that we weren't there to buy - just to get off the ship. It is a wonderful port with lots to offer on both sides of the island. Shopping is the best in the Caribbean. Beaches on both sides are lovely. The French side has an open air market on Wednesdays that is fun to go to. That side is very quiet but expensive. We enjoy it every time we go.