Mom And Son Nemos Reef; mom hugging son; laughing
  • On May 12, 2012
    Mary from SC Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are first time cruisers. It is not clear if we can just dis-embark and then walk around St Maarten and St Thomas and see the sites (shopping, beaches, etc) or do you have to pay for seperate tours? How far is ship from the beaches/shopping?

    Hi Mary!
    Congratulations on your first cruise adventure with Disney Cruise Line!  I had a lot of questions when I first cruised with Disney, and I'm thrilled to help you with yours!  When the Fantasy pulls into port and the ship is cleared by the authorities, you will be free to disembark the ship at your leisure.  The gangway is usually located on Deck One for your convenience.  When your crew heads ashore, you will want to carry your "Key to the World" card along with photo ID (for Guests over 18).  Disney Cruise Line does offer a wide variety of Port Adventures for your time on the islands including sightseeing tours, nature excursions, splashtacular experiences and family-friendly opportunities.  By reserving through the cruise line, everything will be taken care of for you.  But, Guests are free to explore on their own if they choose to do so. 
    St. Maarten is a gorgeous island, and if you want to venture out for shopping and beach time, taxis and tour buses will be available when you disembark.  Front Street has shopping, restaurants, casinos and a beach.  This area is located on the Dutch side of the island, Philipsburg.  If you want to travel to the French side, Marigot, you will pay a bit more for the ride over, but once you arrive everything is within walking distance.  From my experience, traffic can be a bit congested on this island so make sure to leave plenty of time to get back to the ship before all aboard.
    In St. Thomas you will find some shopping at the pier, but not a beach.  Maagen's Bay is one of St. Thomas's most known beaches and can be reached by taxi or bus. 
    I hope this information helps with your planning!  Please let me know if I can help you further!
    Have a magical day!
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Meet the Panelist: Nancy, Georgia

Ahoy there!I'm excited to help you plan a magical voyage filled with pixie dust onboard one of the magnificent Disney cruise ships. As a mom of two,I love planning a Disney cruise and can't wait for you to experience all that DCL has to offer. Learn More About Nancy

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