As soon as we hit the island we headed off to get our St. Lucian rum. After buying a few bottles we decided this time on St. Maarten we would check out the French side of the island. We took a bus for $2 p/p and headed over to Marigot. Just like all of the islands there was plenty of shopping, however on the French side was a bit cleaner and quieter. The beaches on the French side are just as beautiful as the Dutch side. The sole purpose of going to Marigot was to have lunch at La Tropicana in marina port La Royale. We heard great things about this place and we were not disappointed. It was probably one of the best lunches I have ever had. How can you can wrong with pan seared scallops and froie gras, Red Snapper Carpaccio, carrot soup and sauteed Turbot fillet? Just beware, it is not your typical French restaurant portion sizes...they actually give you a lot of food! After lunch we took the bus back to Phillipsburg where we walked back to the port and had a few Amstel Brights
On St. Thomas we decided to head over to Megan's Bay despite the warnings of how crowed it can be when you have five ships in port. We got off the ship ASAP and within 45 minutes we were at the beach. It was and $8 ride to and from with a $4 entry fee for the beach. Understand that the entry fee is for the upkeep of the washroom-shower facilities and the overall maintenance of the beach. Loungers are available for $7 with a $5 deposit. The beach was clean and wasn't too crowded when we arrived. However once it hit about 2:00 the beach started to get packed. Keep in mind some ships don't leave port until 7:00 where as ours left at 5:00. Food is available for purchase as well as cocktails. We opted for the Bushwacked drinks which were frozen, strong and great tasting. The Rum Punch is also a good deal for $6 and it is basically all rum with a splash of punch.
As for Nassau, unless you have a planned excursion or plan on heading to a beach such as Paradise Island or want to check out Atlantis, I wouldn't bother getting off the ship. We are not big shoppers and of the three islands, Nassau's port shopping area is probably the worst. Coming from a big city, it was easy to pick out the people to be careful of. Just be aware when you are there. You always should take caution on any island but take extra caution here.