Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French) is a favourite cruise destination due to its ability to accomodate many cruise ships including the new mega ships. It is divided with a Dutch side on the south and French side on the north.
Where You're Docked
The cruise terminal is on the Dutch side close to the town of Philipsburg. It is an easy half mile walk into town or you can take a water bus to get you directly to Philipsburg. Cruise ship schedule here http://www.portofstmaarten.com/schedule.htm
Money and Tipping
Minibuses are the best way to get around if you want to go to Marigot on the French side or to Maho Bay. Fares are $1.50-$3 depending on distance travelled. They pickup along the main roads (Front St and Back St) in Philipsburg. You will probably need to take a taxi if you want to go to Orient Beach.
A water bus service will take you from the cruise terminal directly to Philipsburg. It is $4 one way or $6 for an all day wristband (Nov 2011).
Be careful when visiting the western part of the island since swing bridges have to open to let boats pass through the bay which causes long delays in traffic. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to your ship.
Search hotels in St Maarten here
Shopping and Restaurant
You can find shop and restaurants throughout Philipsburg. There is a Sang's supermarket across from the Greenhouse restaurant if you walk back to the cruise terminal.
Free wifi is available at some restaurants and cafes for customers.
Suggested Port Guides