We booked an Island Tour with 2 hours of shopping during our recent NCL cruise. Godfrey was waiting outside the cruise terminal as he said he would.
We really enjoyed the open air taxi. Godfrey was more than reasonable on price and collected our fee as we departed. We spent 2 hours in Charlotte Amalie shopping. Godfrey dropped those who wanted to at the top of Blackbeards castle it was $10pp to go in and tour we opted not to do the tour and just walked down to the city. The views were incredible. We had a light snack in town before heading out on our island tour.
Godfrey shared lots of information about the island and its history. The views were beautiful. We stopped at a mountain top store for great views and some souvenir shopping. The place also famous for banana daiquiris.
The views of Magens Bay were amazing. We then did a quick stop at Coral World. For another $5 you could stay there for two hours or two hours at Magens Bay we chose to go back as we need to pick up a ring we had purchased in Charlotte Amalie and was being sized.
The falls are gorgeous. The hike is strenuous. NCL should have more than 3 levels of effort for excursions because this one is more like a 6 or 7 on a 10 scale. You start with a 90 minutes bus/van ride if you are prone to car sickness either take meds or sit in the front or pick another excursion. Lots of twists and turns. Our guide shared information about the island as we went. Once we arrived we started the hike right away. It took us over an hour to get to the falls. We crossed the river three times going and coming back. The water is cool but very refreshing as you are in a rain forest so it was warm and moist. The terrain is challenging. We went up and down the river bank many times. Once to the falls you can view them from the river bank area or go just a bit further to get in the actual pool the falls creates. If you are physically able it is worth is. Our guide was very helpful in getting us to the pool for those of us who wanted to go (half of our group went 6 out of 12 people). The hike back took a bit less maybe like 45 minutes. Just before leaving the river bank we had a vegetarian soup that was delish. Hot soup when already hot from hiking was interesting but I was so hungry by then it did not matter. Then a short hike back to the bus and another 90 minutes ride back to the port (quick stop a beach on the Atlantic to see the ocean). I recommend bringing plenty of water none was provided at all...lemonade was available with our soup. Maybe a small snack like a protein or granola bar. There was only one bathroom stop which was on the way to the river....we were sweating so much not a big deal but we were gone for over 6 hours
We didn't see much of the island so I can't comment on that. For $55 pp we spent the day at the Hilton enjoying their pool and beach. We choose the pool. Our price included lunch and one non alcoholic drink. We got there around 10am and had no issues finding chairs around the pool. There was a brief rain shower while we ate lunch. The pool area was beautiful and clean. The sun was hot and the pool was cold. We took a taxi to and from. On the way there we took a shared taxi van that dropped everyone but us at the Boatyard...I guess if you like the party scene it seemed like a good deal $15. On the way there our taxi driver charged us $20 on the way back $15.
We did the all day Island Tour. We really enjoyed this tour. We saw the much of the island. There were many stops to enjoy the beautiful views. Also lots of bathroom breaks. Adrian was very knowledgeable about the island. We visited Toraille Falls. I guess they had some really nice gardens here that were washed away with the storms they had over the summer. We also stopped at the volcano. It was included in the tour price. Once there they take you on about a 1/2 tour talking about the volcano and surrounding area. You can also go to the mud baths here. The last stop was the beach between the Pitons. We boarded a nice boat that took us to the the beach. The public beach wasn't that great but others said the snorkeling was good and they saw lots of fish. The sampling of the various foods of St Lucia was the best part. All this food and drinks are included in the price. The tour was as described and we were back in plenty of time for sail away
This was our second tour with Bernard's. It was just as good as the first time. DJ was our tour guide. He was a very good guide. We did tour 2 this time. A little more beach time at Orient Beach. There wasn’t anyone at the iguana farm so we didn’t get to feed them. It was sad to see all the work they put into it only to have to move it across the fence to the Dutch side because the French side said it wasn’t permitted. The beach club at Orient Beach was good, chairs very comfortable. For $10 we got two chairs and two drinks. Serafinas in Marigot was closed on Monday but we did get some pastries at the place next door. Don't miss the Soursop juice in Marigot. It was another wonderful tour.
St. Martin is my favorite Caribbean island. The people are super friendly. Their cruise port is very nice and well maintained. And at their shops I never felt pressure by the shopkeepers like I do on other islands. I would definitely plan a full vacation on this island.