We didn't sign up for a shore excursion because the one's we would have wanted to go on were water-based, but the temperature was only in the 70's that day. So we wound up just walking around the shops and over the bridge to Paradise Island. We were not impressed with Nassau. The streets were really run down, we felt like we were in a slum.
We took the St. John Champagne Catamaran Sailaway excursion. Due to the winds and sea conditions that day, we had to go to an alternative sight -- which was Christmas Cove near Great St James island. We took a 20 minute bus ride to the other side of the island and launched out on the catamaran. We had an American crew led by young captain Eddy. The crew was great -- very informative and lots of fun. The snorkeling itself wasn't that great as we didn't see much marine life. After snorkeling, the rum punch and champagne began flowing. They take a longer route back to the dock and give you plenty of time to drink -- all while dancing and partying to music. Let's just say we drank a little too much, as we don't remember the drive back to the cruise terminal or getting back on the ship!
The main reason we choose this cruise was because of the stop at St Maarten. I have always wanted to go to Maho Beach and watch approaching airplanes up close and personal. This is not one of the offered shore excursions, but for $8 per person, we were able to take a van taxi from the cruise terminal to the beach near the airport. It took about 45 minutes due to all the traffic. We spent the day on the beach taking pictures of the airplanes and watching people get blown away by the jet blasts. The beach itself is nice for lying out and the large waves make for a lot of fun.