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Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 #205178
09/22/2019 06:38 PM
09/22/2019 06:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
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avp1234 Offline OP
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avp1234  Offline OP
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Hi! We're wanting to visit Feb. 2021 and stay in St. Martin and a few days in Anguilla. I've visited St. Martin several times while on cruises post Irma, but am looking for a TA/Planner to help with the trip. Looking for someone that specializes in the area and knows the island, not just someone who is able to book accomodations but has never actually stayed there. If this isn't allowed, Admins please delete, but any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205180
09/22/2019 07:12 PM
09/22/2019 07:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 386
Michigan
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cacapasa Offline
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cacapasa  Offline
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Michigan
If you have visited several times, then the very first thing you must decide is whether you wish to stay on the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, or the French side Saint-Martin. Once you have made that decision, then find someone familiar with THAT side of the island.

The mistake we made the first time we went was to take our TA's word for it that we "wouldn't like the French side." She knew nothing about it; she just substituted her own tastes for ours. Well, that was in 1995 and we have been back almost every year since then--on the French side.

Familiarize yourself with what each side offers and then, only then, after you decide which side you prefer look for a TA who is familiar with what is available for that side. That's my advice. Nonetheless, wherever you stay, consider that you're still not much of a drive away from the other side.

However, you should also be aware that the French side seems to be recovering from Hurricane Irma at a slower pace than the Dutch side, so bear that in mind. The town of Grand Case, the "culinary capital of the Caribbean," for example, is still nowhere near what it was pre-storm. So be sure any TA you select is up-to-date on SXM as it is and not on what it was. Of course, if you are not planning to visit for a year or more then all is subject to change.

Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205191
09/22/2019 09:44 PM
09/22/2019 09:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,814
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Todd  Offline
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Vancouver, WA
It really does come down to what "your " type of vacation you are looking for.


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205192
09/22/2019 10:42 PM
09/22/2019 10:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
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avp1234 Offline OP
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avp1234  Offline OP
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We would stay on the French side. That's where we always spend our time on day trips. I need someone who is familiar with planning a split stay between the French side of St. Martin and probably Anguilla. Transportation, accommodations etc. We are beach people and have done the basic island tours. I've thought about even doing a boat charter at the beginning of our stay as a way to see other islands and then doing a weeks land stay on St. Martin.

Before Irma, I was looking at staying in the Orient Bay/Grand Case area. We liked the beautiful beaches and different little bars and the laid back vibe. Now, that area of course isn't the same. We've been to most of the islands on cruises and we've done all-inclusive resorts. I need help planning something different.

Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205193
09/22/2019 10:59 PM
09/22/2019 10:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,563
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Bahston Offline
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If you're interested in the Orient area on the French side then try Jim Ruos at Carribean Island Travel Service. Jim has been specializing in the Orient area for over 30 years, but he may also have the familiarity with Anguilla which you're looking for. http://www.info-res.com/cits/ It costs nothing to make a phone call and ask. 800-476-5849

Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205198
09/22/2019 11:27 PM
09/22/2019 11:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 750
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SammyM Offline
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SammyM  Offline
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It really wouldn't be too hard to just plan this and do it yourself. You have a lot of time to do this (almost a year and a half). If you like the French side then stay on the French side, and if I were you I would make online reservations at the newly refurbished Palm Court Hotel which is a very short walk to Orient Beach. Plenty of restaurants around, but Grand Case and the restaurants that will be open there by 2021 is just a short 15 minute drive. Day trips can include Loterie Farm and even Anse Marcel if you wish to experience another very nice beach. I'll assume you'll be renting a car, and if so I would recommend either Hertz or Kennys. If you don't rent a car, you can always take a taxi from the airport to the Orient Bay area, but the ride will cost you around $35 USD. Then, you'll need to take taxis for whatever day trips you plan.

When it comes time to depart for Anguilla, drive or take a taxi to the port in Marigot and book the ferry roundtrip for the dates you have set aside. The ferry runs from Marigot to Blowing Point on the south side of Anguilla and it departs every 45 minutes or so (or at least it use to). The cost is something like $20 per person. On the southwest coast of Anguilla there are many nice hotels to choose from, but the prices vary greatly (from expensive to ridiculous). Might want to check out the Anguilla Great House Beach Resort which is a short taxi ride from the ferry point. It's not a four star hotel, but it's relatively nice and right on Rendezvous Bay and will run about $290 per night in February.

Sometimes things work out better and are less expensive when you plan these trips yourself so it's something to ponder.

Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205382
09/24/2019 10:25 PM
09/24/2019 10:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
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avp1234 Offline OP
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avp1234  Offline OP
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Thank you! We may try to plan it ourselves. Fly to SXM then ferry to Anguilla for a few days the stay the rest of the time on St. Martin. The ferry with luggage etc. may be a pain though. Theres an AI opening in 2020, could just stay there and let them guide us. Just hate to get stuck at the resort.

Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205413
09/25/2019 01:17 PM
09/25/2019 01:17 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,844
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
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jazzgal  Offline
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Posts: 3,844
Portland, OR
The conventional wisdom on this board is that one should NOT do AI on Sint Maarten/St. Martin. There are just too many great places to eat all over the island.


[Linked Image]
Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205428
09/25/2019 03:18 PM
09/25/2019 03:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 141
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Tammy Offline
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Tammy  Offline
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I second that.
We've done AI at the Sonesta on two occasions and on both we had only one dinner on property (arrival night), and no lunches.

We did have breakfast daily but mostly felt trapped as the food though varied choices felt monotonous.
Food quality was poor.
Service sucked, sometimes this happens at an AI as many guests don't tip so employees feel there is no incentive to do well.

Too many wonderful choices all over the island, AI nooo.


Be the person your dog thinks you are 💫
Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: Tammy] #205432
09/25/2019 03:51 PM
09/25/2019 03:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,596
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
The reviews from the Sonesta have NOT been good since they reopened after Irma. I think the original poster was possibly talking about Secrets though, which should be a whole different situation, much higher class. BUT I concur that in general, a/I in SXM is not a good idea.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: avp1234] #205437
09/25/2019 04:58 PM
09/25/2019 04:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 760
Harriston
megamania Offline
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megamania  Offline
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Harriston
if you are counting on the AI at Anse Marcel in first part of 2020..Its Secrets,,and it will not be open until late 2020 at the earliest from what I have read and heard. If you like nice beaches,,,simpson bay beach on the dutch side is stunning,,,with so many options nearby to eat....just saying, if you happened to want to try Dutch side. Good luck with your planning and have a great time.


Randy and Meg Young
Re: Trip Planning Help Vac 2021 [Re: megamania] #205443
09/25/2019 06:49 PM
09/25/2019 06:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,596
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 72,596
Central Florida!
Meg--look at the title of the post. They are going in 2021...


Carol Hill

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