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Car rental return at cruise port in SXM

Posted By: RobT

Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/10/2019 05:33 PM

Just got back from at Caribbean cruise where we rented a car from Hertz at the port. Everything went well until we returned to the port. I thought the gate guard was telling me to go around the opposite side of the guard stand to get in. That is until she yelled at me to stop, and wait in the really small area in front to the guard house for someone from Hertz to escort us into the port area. This was brand new to me and seemed like a not very well thought out idea. It did not take too long for someone from Hertz to come, but it was not a safe place to wait.
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/10/2019 05:49 PM

Sounds like a port rule and not a fault of hertz. We're other rental companies required to do the same?
Posted By: soualigacapt

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/10/2019 06:01 PM

Did you show your ship pass? That should have cleared you into the port.
Posted By: RobT

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/11/2019 02:14 AM

The ship pass would not have cleared us to drive in. I did not intend to say it was the fault of Hertz, though they could have warned me. Maybe the morning staff is not around in the evening as the cars come back. It was definitely a new procedure at the port. The guards knew we were on a ship, although I do not remember them even asking to see our ship pass, even as the Hertz representative drove us into the port.
Posted By: pwarrick

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/11/2019 10:14 PM

Great info, since time is of the essence when you're getting back to the ship! Can you advise how you located the cruise port location and an idea of the 1-day cost? I assume you had a car, not a jeep or van?
Posted By: RobT

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/12/2019 01:41 PM

The total cost was $73.43 for a one day rental. That includes a $20 concession fee. I have always used Hertz through my insurance company (USAA) and credit card. It worked really well last year when my wife backup into a tree at Orient Beach.

Driving around the island is difficult because most of the road signs have not been replaced since they were destroyed by Irma. We stopped on the way to get directions, and were only sure we were heading in the right direction is when we saw the ship. We were mostly driving by memory.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/12/2019 01:59 PM

I'm kind of confused. I have never rented a car at the port, but I always thought you had to go out of the port area to pick up the car and return it?
Posted By: deputydog1157

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/12/2019 03:05 PM

Haa backing into a tree at Orient Beach seems to be a common thread. In our first Club O beach foray in September we met someone else who had backed a Jeep into tree there too.
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/12/2019 04:11 PM

Rental companies like trees. LOL
Posted By: phillygirl7

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/12/2019 06:34 PM

We recently rented a car at the port, a local saw us in line, asked us if we were renting a car, took us to the back of the building, and pretty soon drove us to the rental car place. Definitely off-site, and told us to return the car at 4 p.m, not to the port, but to the rental place. That worked perfectly, we got there at 3:55 p.m, they drove us back to the port area, we had time for a couple of cocktails outside while we were getting our group back together again to see everyone's purchases (a lot of 1st timers to SXM), and then headed back to the ship.

I want to say the company was called Sunny rentals. Worked great for us. About $80.
Posted By: RobT

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/12/2019 10:03 PM

Access to the port area has been getting harder as the years go by. We have friends on the island. They used to be able to drive into the port area. Now they have to pick us up outside the port area. Not an easy place to get picked up.

I do not know about Sunny, but there are about 3 or 4 car rental companies in the port area. I always reserve a car from Hertz before I go. Maybe Sunny does not need to pay the $20 concession fee. Fees on rental cars are an easy way for governments to get money from travelers.

I could not get to upset with my wife backing into a tree. I did something similar on St John a few years ago. That tree just jumped out at me.
Posted By: ruralcarrier

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/12/2019 10:09 PM

Quote
Maybe Sunny does not need to pay the $20 concession fee. Fees on rental cars are an easy way for governments to get money from travelers.


How do you now for sure the $20 goes to the government?
Posted By: RobT

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/13/2019 01:37 PM

The fee either goes to the port or to the government. I thought the port was under the control of the government. Now if you are asking if Hertz might keep the fee and not pay it to the port, that I would not know, but all the billing is automated, so it would be harder to cheat.
Posted By: pwarrick

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/13/2019 04:11 PM

RobT, thanks again for the great information. This will be the first time I arrived into SXM by cruises ship. Unless there's been a lot of road rerouting due to the hurricanes, I should be fine getting around without street signs. Sorry about the tree!!

Not to get too granular, but one of our party has difficulty walking long distances, so my question is, with security, how close to the gangway can you either drive or be escorted by the Hertz rep? In Aruba, we had to walk a pretty good hike to get to where the cabs were, but on the return, the taxi driver managed to get us right to the ship.

I appreciate your help!
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: Car rental return at cruise port in SXM - 02/13/2019 04:35 PM

You might be able to request assistance from the cruise ship personnel to help with transporting that person to the rental area.
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