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  1. So there are four different catamaran excursions that Royal offers while in St. Maarten, and we've narrowed it down to two based on the descriptions and the Trip Advisor ratings (both 4.5 stars with hundreds of reviews) -- The Mirabella catamaran sailing, and the Golden Eagle. But we're having a hard time figuring out what each one does exactly or if the descriptions don't reveal anything we should be aware of. It looks like the Golden Eagle trip is a bit more "upscale" and the crew pampers the guests a bit more. But if I'm reading the description and the reviews right, it only goes to one beach (which you have to swim a fair distance to reach), and all snorkeling is done at that beach. Haven't really seen if you get to see any more of the island apart from what's en route, but it looks like no. That excursion goes for four hours. The Mirabella excursion looks like it isn't as "upscale" as far as what they provide the guests, but I think it's the more interesting one in that you visit four different snorkeling spots (including one with a sunken sub and helicopter). It seems like this would be the better option, although with this one I've read that the places it visits tend to be more crowded with other cruise ships sending their own excursions to the same locations. This excursion is a little shorter at 3 1/2 hours, so I'm not sure how much actual snorkeling time you get at each spot. Has anyone here done either of these trips, where you could give some more details about the actual places you went, what the pace was like, how you were treated by the crew, etc? I'd love for the family to have something like the trip my wife and I did on our honeymoon, where it was a few spots with about 45 minutes at each to actually snorkel and look around / take underwater photos / relax and enjoy the island views. I'll be sitting on the catamaran the whole time due to my mobility issues (which pretty much make snorkeling impossible for me now), so a steady supply of mojitos / margaritas / rum punches would be welcome! I'm trying to book it this month / on the current billing cycle, so we can move on to picking another port's excursion in mid-May. Appreciate whatever feedback you can give! [EDIT] if there's another excursion of this sort that you can recommend but doesn't happen to be through Royal / has to be booked on my own, please let me know! I'm certainly open to an "external" booking if it's a better option! Especially if it avoids the crowds and gives a more private / secluded option.
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