This was our first port. We did not book a tour just walked off the boat and for $7.00 a person took the water taxi to the town of Phillipsburg. The beer is only $1.50-$2.50 a bottle. We walked along the beachfront which was full of not very nice lounge chairs and umbrellas placed very close together these were for rent. Most seemed to go for 2 chairs, 2 drinks and an umbrella for $20. But we just walked past and put our ship towels down on some vacant sand and played in the ocean. It seemed very safe. We were not accosted by sales people and were not worried about our stuff being taken. I wish we had walked all the way down the beach and rented chairs at a hotel at the far end but this was as far as my people would walk. It was very nice when we arrived back at the ship to be met with cold damp clothes, cold drinks and be able to exchange our sandy towels for fresh ones before we boarded.
I just wanted to go to the beach and was worried about safety and cleanliness of going on our own so went with the tour. The boat ride took an hour. The lagoon is small and does not front the ocean. You can walk behind the lunch pavilion and get to a small beach on the ocean but it is not good for swimming. Plenty of chairs and umbrellas. Lunch was disappointing after the great food on the ship. It was safe and clean and not so crowded the last hour as many people had to catch the 4:00 boat and we could wait for the 5:15. We walked over and saw the dolphins.