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We boarded a bus off the ship which took us to the ATV start point. There were approximately 45 of us and we all had our own ATVs. They were all fully automatic which was great relief to all of us females!! They divided the group up into 2 groups. The first was for the ones who had little experience and the other group was for the more experienced. My husband was with the more experienced group (the guys mostly). We essentially followed one another but their group went a little faster and took a few more side roads but we always ended up together at the same stops. Some of the ATVs had a few mechanical problems. My husband's ATV chain kept falling off and had to fix it himself. The ATV people were always right behind us and were quick to fix any problems or would give us a replacement ATV to ride. They were very nice and helpful. We did stop at Orient Beach for approximately 45minutes to 1 hour. The men in the group appreciated the clothing optional portion. Ha Ha!! It was a beautiful beach. After that we took back off and went back through the side streets back to our starting point. I do not believe we ever went through Marigot. We did go through some small villages. Some of the areas were very sad, definately the have-nots. We had to drive through some very muddy areas. One area smelled very much like raw sewage, right next to were some little children were playing. It really made us appreciate what we have at home. It was amazing to see these very poor homes and then right over the hill or next turn were some beautiful, wealthy, large homes. Make sure and not wear too good clothes. My husband wore a brand new t-shirt that he just bought on the ship the day before and by the time the ATV trip was over it was all spotted and caked with mud. Remember, he was in the "faster" group and had a great time going through those mud puddles! My clothes weren't so bad. Even with soaking his shirt and washing it, I still didn't get all the stains out! We had a wonderful time on this excursion and recommend it. Our excusion got back to the ship around noon. We just stayed by the ship and did some shopping after changing clothes and lunch back on our ship. We did not go downtown but some of the others in our group did with plenty of time left to get back by 5:00. I am not sure if you would have enough time to go all the way back to Orient Beach after the excursion. Go to Orient Beach to be suspended on a giant, inflated wing above the Atlantic ocean. The scenery is terrific, particularly with a bird´s eye view under a parasail. The 2 mile long Orient Bay beach offers the largest range of watersport options. Once there, try the water sports concessions at Bikini Beach

0590 270-748, Kakao Beach

0590 274-994 or Kontiki Water sports

0590 874-689.

SunSmile Parasailing at http://www.sunsmileparasail.com/ or call at

0690 714 780

Dutch: For private snorkeling safaris to sunken submarine and shipwrecks: You get an all day wrist band for the water taxi and can come and go as you please price is listed as $50.00-99.00 per person they've built this amazing "Tiki Island" that kinda was our homebase for the day. The snorkel park is all around that. Basically, they have a water taxi that runs back and forth all day from the cruise pier, downtown and the Tiki Island. So, you can come and go as much as you like....http://www.snorkelstmaarten.com/ We were on Pinel Island this past Sunday and went snorkeling in a couple locations. Saw quite a few small fish in that area but nothing spectacular. Rental equipment is available at the ferry terminal and on the island. The ferry to Pinel ($6 each) is located at Cul-de-Sac, past Orient Beach. We also snorkeled out of Grand Case with a guided tour of Creole Rock - offshore from Grand Case. Saw a lot of fish and it was very interesting. We had a calm day with very little current. Snorkeling isn't the greatest on St. Martin, but still can be fun. We saw Segways for rent in Philipsburg last month, along the "boardwalk" (concrete, not boards), that runs along behind the beach. If you can ride a bicycle you can do it. The ride is based on your own body and its balance points. You lean forward and the Segway goes forward, etc. It is not difficult to learn to use. The 'guide' gave us a few minutes to get used to them beore we were allowed to go it on our own. On this one, you had to have a valid driver's license. I think that was just to prove that all on the tour were over 18 as all the ads had said. Some cruisers remembered that riders only have to be 12 years old. Any interest in a Segway tour? If so, take the water taxi when you get off the ship. It takes you across to Phillipsburg. It costs $5 pp and you can go back and forth as much as you want. When you get off the water taxi, look for Holland House Hotel. http://www.hhbh.com/ That's where the Segway guys are. It costs $25 for a 30-min. tour. They take you down the boardwalk, out onto the beach, along Front Street and back. They are really fun. You can spend the rest of your day here, as the beach is nice and there are

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