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First Trip to St. Maarten #235638
09/28/2020 12:50 PM
09/28/2020 12:50 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 48
Palmetto, FL
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jbutah Online content OP
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jbutah  Online Content OP
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 48
Palmetto, FL
Well, I went ahead and booked our first trip to the island for my 40th birthday in late January. Hopefully everything will be at least somewhat operational by then. If not, we'll just push it back. It's just a quick trip, Wednesday through Sunday. We are ins SW FL and will be flying out of Miami so it's an easy trip. We have actually been on the island before, but it was just a pass through on our way to St. Barths for our honeymoon 13 years ago .Right now I just have the plane tickets and reservations at Residence Adam & Eve. I am thinking about not renting a car. We'll probably spend most of our time at the Club O beach, but would like to see a few other spots. I haven't even looked into rental rates. Would the cost of Taxis for a few trips make a rental car worth it?

SXM Sponsors
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235640
09/28/2020 12:59 PM
09/28/2020 12:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,302
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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In a word, probably.

It’s an easy drive island and the rental car gives you more freedom and flexibility plus you aren’t dependent on taxis which always run the risk of being hit or miss.

Enjoy your stay.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235641
09/28/2020 01:10 PM
09/28/2020 01:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,957
Central Florida!
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jbutah--rent a car! Taxis are expensive, versus a car rental and they are inconvenient. It's not like NYC, where you can just walk outside and find a cab. You will have to call one and wait for them to show up. Especially if you want to visit the Dutch side, it's not very convenient for example to go eat, then have to call another cab to come pick you up to take you back to the French side. I'm not personally familiar with Residence Adam and Eve, but I believe it is a decent walk to the beach from there, and to Orient Village. Renting a car gives you the freedom to just explore. Do it!!


Carol Hill
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235642
09/28/2020 01:12 PM
09/28/2020 01:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 13,871
Auburn, WA
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For sure rent a car and drive the island at your own pace.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235647
09/28/2020 01:33 PM
09/28/2020 01:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,156
CT
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I would rent a car. I just looked it up on-line. It is about 3.1 miles to ClubO so for me, that would be quite a hike in the heat.


[Linked Image]



If life hands you a lemon, just squeeze it on a lobster!
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: pony600] #235648
09/28/2020 01:45 PM
09/28/2020 01:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,957
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Check out this LINK
in which Chuck talks about A & E and people addressed the walkability to Orient Village and Club O. If it's inside the gate there for Orient Village, I don't see how it could be 3 miles to Club O??


Carol Hill
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #235652
09/28/2020 02:08 PM
09/28/2020 02:08 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 48
Palmetto, FL
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jbutah Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Check out this LINK
in which Chuck talks about A & E and people addressed the walkability to Orient Village and Club O. If it's inside the gate there for Orient Village, I don't see how it could be 3 miles to Club O??


Thanks Carol. Chuck's review was one of the reasons I chose Adam and Eve. I believe their website said its about 3/4 mile to the beach. From all the suggestions thus far, I think I'll be renting a car.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235660
09/28/2020 02:39 PM
09/28/2020 02:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,957
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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OK, I didn't think it could be 3 miles to the beach. Enjoy your trip!


Carol Hill
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235685
09/28/2020 08:53 PM
09/28/2020 08:53 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 921
Cobourg Ontario Canada
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My .50 cents worth (inflation & all) for your first time there & only there 5 days I would take taxi when going off beach so that you both can enjoy looking around instead of driver maneuvering around motorcycles & other cars & cows. Lots of taxis from orient beach especially high season. This is what we did first time there & you don't have to find parking.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jeepers] #235686
09/28/2020 09:11 PM
09/28/2020 09:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,957
Central Florida!
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jeepers--Sorry, this year, parking????????? Parking at Orient is never a problem and elsewhere this year, I don't think that will be a problem.


Carol Hill
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: Carol_Hill] #235688
09/28/2020 09:30 PM
09/28/2020 09:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 921
Cobourg Ontario Canada
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jeepers Offline
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I just meant driving to say Philipsburg they wouldn't have to figure out where the parking was located the taxi would let them out at bottom of front street & pick them up there. Keeping it simple for first short trip.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jeepers] #235692
09/28/2020 10:31 PM
09/28/2020 10:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 13,871
Auburn, WA
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Maybe for a normal high season but not this year.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235704
09/29/2020 07:17 AM
09/29/2020 07:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,260
Massachusetts
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The freedom associated with having a car, to me anyway, far outweighs the cost of the rental. Great way to explore the Island and experience some unplanned side trips. If this is not your bag and you want to spend your time in one place (the beach) and rely on a cab for the infrequent trip somewhere then don't bother with a car. That's fine also but on my first (kinda) trip to SXM I would like to spend some time wandering around the Island, any Island, but that's just me...

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235710
09/29/2020 08:47 AM
09/29/2020 08:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 504
PA
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Originally Posted by jbutah
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Check out this LINK
in which Chuck talks about A & E and people addressed the walkability to Orient Village and Club O. If it's inside the gate there for Orient Village, I don't see how it could be 3 miles to Club O??


Thanks Carol. Chuck's review was one of the reasons I chose Adam and Eve. I believe their website said its about 3/4 mile to the beach. From all the suggestions thus far, I think I'll be renting a car.


It's a bit of a hike especially if you are carrying anything e.g. cooler. I agree, get a car! Glad my review is a help!
Chuck


Chuck and Joni
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235715
09/29/2020 10:45 AM
09/29/2020 10:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 661
Perryman, Maryland
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bdeeley Online content
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We are going down to visit the island again in November for a few weeks. This will be our 41st trip to the island in 20+ years of visiting and each and every time we have rented a car. This November was the first time that I gave any consideration to not renting a car, but that consideration was short lived. Rental prices have gotten crazy compared to prior years and I understand that the rental companies are trying to survive by increasing their rates, but we actually drive the car so few kilometers while we are there. But then I thought of Covid, and continuing to protect ourselves while we are on the island. When we pick up the car, we can wipe the whole interior down with sanitizing wipes and then no one else will be in that car while it is rented to us and we can limit our own risk of infection. If you are relying on taking the buses or taxis than you are greatly increasing your odds of acquiring the infection. So for us, I will spend the money, rent the car, and reduce our chances of seeing the infection passed on to us. We are adapting for this trip and plan to eat fewer meals out and just let sand gravity take hold.


DREAMS are made of SUN & SAND

[Linked Image]
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: bdeeley] #235716
09/29/2020 11:04 AM
09/29/2020 11:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,957
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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bdeeley--I would never NOT rent a car in SXM, but you do have a good point there regarding Covid and taxis..


Carol Hill
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235717
09/29/2020 11:19 AM
09/29/2020 11:19 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 48
Palmetto, FL
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jbutah Online content OP
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I'll reach out to some of the sponsors for rental prices.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: bdeeley] #235718
09/29/2020 11:21 AM
09/29/2020 11:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,914
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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I found that the rental prices were less than I have had in the past, starting in November into December. As for renting a car, we are actually going to start our trip for the first 3 nights with out a car staying in Grand Case before we pick up a car for our next 3 weeks. Goal is to bring down our heart rate to "barely fog a mirror" levels to start the trip.
Cheers!


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: Todd] #235719
09/29/2020 11:56 AM
09/29/2020 11:56 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 17,955
St Maarten
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St Maarten
Not going to Saba?


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: Todd] #235721
09/29/2020 12:02 PM
09/29/2020 12:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 661
Perryman, Maryland
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bdeeley Online content
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Carol - We have never been on the island and not rented a car. This year, when I first started enquiring about pricing and saw that there was such a serious jump in prices from last November, than that is when I started to think about it. But with Covid, and knowing that I can have a vehicle that I sanitize and no one else will be in it but us for our stay, that was the decision maker. I'm just going to search out other providers and find a car that meets our needs at a reasonable price.

Todd - for the same number of days as last year, I am getting price quotes that are 50% higher than last November. The car sits most of the time that we are on the island except for going out to dinner in the evening and a few shopping trips.


DREAMS are made of SUN & SAND

[Linked Image]
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: Todd] #235765
09/29/2020 08:02 PM
09/29/2020 08:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,756
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
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Originally Posted by Todd
I found that the rental prices were less than I have had in the past, starting in November into December. As for renting a car, we are actually going to start our trip for the first 3 nights with out a car staying in Grand Case before we pick up a car for our next 3 weeks. Goal is to bring down our heart rate to "barely fog a mirror" levels to start the trip.
Cheers!


So happy to hear this; we might actually keep up with you two for the three weeks that follow.....nah.....


[Linked Image]
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235874
09/30/2020 11:04 PM
09/30/2020 11:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,914
Vancouver, WA
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Lol, no Elaine, not this trip mostly because there is no way we can beat that last trip. Great memories, but you and Bill are a bad influence on kids like us.

As for car rental, noting we have friends going for their second time which the last time was four years ago and they got a car for about $24 a day all in. We got an SUV for $30 per day. You need to shop! I 100% get loyalty, and in a rare time we are switching where we get our car from but there are more cars then there are renters in the off season. Deals are out there, if the rates above are 50% higher than you paid before, wow.

GK, we are going to Whoooooooooop it up with you two! You can rest when you get back to NC! lol Really looking forward to seeing you two.

Pat, somebody warned me today that John is already working on finding a place where he can play "bingo" with MJ. Keep your eye on that guy!

Cheers all, looking forward to being on island and visiting with our island friends.
Todd


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #235894
10/01/2020 08:59 AM
10/01/2020 08:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,302
Brookfield, CT.
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Methinks John has been looking for another Bingo date with MJ since that first one at Marty’s so long ago. So sad that we will miss seeing the early November group but looking forward to touching base with the Thanksgiving crew again, too.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #244644
01/11/2021 06:27 PM
01/11/2021 06:27 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 48
Palmetto, FL
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jbutah Online content OP
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Our departure date is quickly approaching and I have a few more questions.

Is it possible to get a local sim card for my phone? We can use wifi calling, but I was thinking a sim card would be helpful for navigating in the car around the island.

How is driving around the island? Pretty straightforward, or is some sort of navigation necessary?

We are driving down from the Bradenton area to fly out of Miami. Does anyone have any suggestions for long term parking near the Miami airport?

Can anyone that has flown recently from Miami offer some experience on how long the check in process is with the added testing protocols?

I think I have everything else in order. We have our COVID tests scheduled for next Monday morning, and my wife finally received her renewed passport. That was stressing us out for the last few weeks. We sent it in in mid-October and just received it today. When we sent it in, the site said 6-8 weeks. Well, it ended up being almost 11. I am going to spring for the expedited service from now on.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #244645
01/11/2021 06:36 PM
01/11/2021 06:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 168
Upstate, NY
Mikel Offline
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I will try to answer the last question. We flew from MIA last Friday, Arrived shortly after 8 for an 11:09 flight. We were through check-in and security (TSA Pre-Check) in about a half hour. The lines did get longer as we were finishing. We probably did not need to be there that early, but we like to get there early and then find some breakfast. AA will tell you to be there 3 hours prior to departure in one of their pre-flight emails.

Hope that helps some.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #244646
01/11/2021 07:11 PM
01/11/2021 07:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,165
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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SIM cards were readily available at many places, from the UTS offices to the Mailbox to the small groceries and Tech Hub (inside Carrefour grocery). Prices (20-$30) will vary and should include 10 minutes or so on the card. Make sure you have an unlocked phone.

UTS Stores

TECH HUB

Driving is pretty easy, just pay attention and watch others as turns can happen any time and any place and you will see people stopping to talk to other drivers, which can back things up some.


J.D.
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #244655
01/11/2021 10:05 PM
01/11/2021 10:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 99
Arlen, TX
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Sounds like you're nervous about navigating the island. Relax. Study the online maps that a lot of us here didn't have access to when we first drove on our favorite island. You'll do fine.

If you stick to main roads, you'll have to try very hard to get lost. And if you do, you'll likely find your way to where you wanted to go to. Relax. You're on vacation.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #245659
01/24/2021 02:40 AM
01/24/2021 02:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,093
Westchester /NYC
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From the airport to Orient it's one road just a little left right in Marigot and you're on your way!! Now some words of advise. DO NOT leave your car with your luggage inside! If you want to stop a long the way, make sure one of you stays with the car!! Never ever leave anything in the car, before or after the beach!!! This holds true for all the islands, be proactive. You'll have a great time!! 20 years and counting!!


Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #246045
01/29/2021 10:11 AM
01/29/2021 10:11 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 48
Palmetto, FL
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jbutah Online content OP
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Well, that did not go as planned. My wife and I got our tests done Monday the 18th, for our departure on the 20th. We got our results back mid-day on the 19th. She was negative, and I was.........positive! Fortunately, I was completely asymptomatic and just finished my quarantine. We went from expecting to be on the beach in St. Maarten to pulling the kids out of school and isolating in our house. I would never have gotten tested had we not been going on this trip, so it was a good thing I wasn't continuing to spread it around. We'll re-schedule for sometime in the next few months. If anyone is looking for testing in the Sarasota area we used Passport Health. It was $50 with insurance and a 24 hour turnaround for the pcr test.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #246047
01/29/2021 10:14 AM
01/29/2021 10:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,957
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Wow, sorry to hear your trip was cancelled, but, as you say, good that you got tested. Sounds like you are physically OK though.


Carol Hill
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #246054
01/29/2021 11:43 AM
01/29/2021 11:43 AM
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Did they ask you if you needed the test for travel? I'm asking because when I called Passport Health in Tampa to get info regarding a rt-pcr test they quoted me $150.00 and said that they don't take insurance. If the Sarasota office does I'll get in touch with them.

I hope you are better soon.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #246057
01/29/2021 11:51 AM
01/29/2021 11:51 AM
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Posts: 16,165
Ohio
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Sorry it turned out this way. Good luck.


J.D.
Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: MrWhiskerssammy] #246063
01/29/2021 12:14 PM
01/29/2021 12:14 PM
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Posts: 48
Palmetto, FL
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jbutah Online content OP
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I am pretty sure we told them it was for travel. They came out to our car took our insurance card and took our nose swabs.

Re: First Trip to St. Maarten [Re: jbutah] #246153
01/30/2021 10:03 PM
01/30/2021 10:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 327
Massachusetts
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While I can see the benefit of keeping it simple and about each other by staying just near the hotel, I have to agree the benefit is outweighed by the freedom of getting around, if only locally.


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