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  1. In April when we were on a cruise visiting Sint. Maarten we decided to go on a tour we booked before arrival on the Island. We had read good things about the tour on trip-advisor and decided to go on a snorkeling tour with the Swaliga 2 with a group of 4. When we arrived at Bobby's Marina (very close to the cruise facility) we were welcomed by the crew. Captain JP and his mate / hostess Jessica introduced themselves and after waiting for some other groups that were also going on the excursion in the same boat we left the marina around 9.30 AM. The boat was a fast motorized yellow catamaran and before we knew it we were on our way with a total of about 30 people. After about 25-30 minutes we arrived at the airport location were the boat stopped for a while so we could take pictures of the planes that were landing and arriving. After the short stop the boat headed on to the other side of the island, the French side. It was a beautiful experience floating along the beautiful beaches of the French side of the island. Around 11 AM we arrived at a location called Creole Rock where we were able to snorkel and swim in the beautiful blue waters. We stayed there for about 45 minutes before the boat left again to go to Pinel Island. We arrived at Pinel at about 12.15 and enjoyed a very good lunch at a restaurant called karabuni's which is located on Pinel Island. The options for lunch were Mahi Mahi (fish), Chicken or Ribs. Our group choose the fish and we really enjoyed it. The atmosphere on Pinel was really breathtaking. After lunch we were able to swim and snorkel in the waters around Pinel or enjoy the sun on the beach in one of the many beach chairs available. While in the water, the crew took excellent care of the passengers, there were plenty of free drinks and the boat was clean and nicely equipped. The rum-punch was the best! Also very nice was the knowledge the captain shared with the passengers by telling things about the history of the island and telling about the nature that surrounds the island. Around 2 PM the boat left again, taking the passengers to another island that was called Tintamarre. We really had the most wonderful experience there while swimming with the turtles that are living in the waters near that island. After about an hour, the boat left back to Philipsburg and dropped us of very close to the cruise facility. We really had a great day and were on time to be back on the cruise ship in time. If we ever will be on St. Maarten again, we will definitely go on the Swaliga 2 snorkeling excursion again! Because of the good experience we had on that tour, i decided to share this with other people that will be on a Royal Caribbean cruise to St. Maarten and that would love to see the Island in a special way.
  2. I'm wrapping up planning for Sint Maarten on a stop on Freedom in June, and am leaning toward renting a jeep to get around the island verses some of the other options. If you have been there, how is the parking situation around Maho Beach? Google maps shows what looks to be a decent parking lot next to Sunset Beach Grill, but their website doesn't have a lot of information about it.
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