It's an easy walk round to your left to the beach (or get a water taxi). The sea and sand is lovely. The shopping area is is very nice. There's a Hard Rock Cafe - very friendly staff. St Martin is famous for 'Ride the fence' at the airport - check website video's!
As you get off the ship, there are dedicated taxi vans to take passengers to Cane Garden Bay beach on the other side of the island, over the steep hill. They'll bring you back when you want, as they more or less just run between the ship and the beach. It was a bit grey and we had the odd downpour, but still got a tan. The sea was lovely and filled with feeding pelicans, which were fabulous to watch.
We had a walk around the small town (right in front of the ship) before going on our (expensive) P&O trip. Our driver "Useless" who took us to the scenic railway by minibus was great fun. Your bus is numbered and allocated to the matching carriage number. There is plenty of room for everyone on the open upper deck (lower deck air con), so let the others push their way on! The double-decker railcars follow the old sugar cane train tracks, with views of the Caribbean Sea and mountains. Everyone comes out to wave to the train! I had read on the website that the Pina Colada is not to be missed and even though I don't like them usually, will vouch for them! Delicious and strong!
Taxi's and Mini busses available to take passengers to the beach: we went to Long Beach on the East coast, which was very nice. Sea and sand lovely. Had a bucket of beer on the beach. Agree a time for the driver to come back and pick you all up. Easy, no problems.
As one website review suggested it's a long drive, we did the (expensive) P&O Catamaran to see the Pitons, calling into the attractive bay of Marigot on the way for a looksee.
On the way back there was a lot of rum punch - I found this quite nice when mixed half and half with sprite!
Rather than a walk round to the town (Bank Holiday not much open), we hit The Rum Bar near the ship, which appeared to be where most passengers and the catamaran crew were, sat outside at tables or on the grass enjoying the music, the beer/punch and the sun! A fabulous afternoon was had by all!
Per website reviews I was interested in going to Baleine Bay and the waterfalls there, however, following a landslide, it's unfortunately 'closed'. Taxi's and boats take you to Villa beach, however, as our new friends had been there before and suggested there wasn't much beach, we asked tourist information and headed off via taxi to Catell Beach. We were a bit worried when we got there as there as it's completely undeveloped; just one makeshift bar to get a local beer from. No loungers. However, we did have the place to ourselves, apart from a local family with loads of bonny kids that came for an hour or so. It's a pretty bay with rocky sides. The sand is darker here, but very pleasant and the sea is lovely. We did a bit of snorkelling and it's some of the best snorkelling we've experienced! Excellent variety of fish and corals.