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Dutch or French side?

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My husband and I will be visiting beginning of April during our carnival cruise-we will be not doing a shore excursions during this port. I am trying to decide if we should go to both sides of the island or stay on one side and if so which side. We plan to walk around and take in the sights, shop and have lunch at a local restaurant. I would love some input -it will be our first time there together. I went years ago and did a shore excursion on a snorkel trip. 

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The Dutch side is fine, but the French side more interesting.  Marigot for instance.  See websites.

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Get a rental car (Hertz has a pick-up at the cruise terminal area).  Download Google Maps for offline use to your phone and use it as a GPS to navigate around both sides of the island.  With our AAA discount, it was less than $80 for rental and gas for the day.  I would suggest going to Orient Beach in the morning, Marigot area for lunch, and then spend part of the afternoon at Maho Beach watching the planes coming in/out (the larger planes tend to arrive in the afternoon).  I would leave yourself a couple of hours to get back to the cruise terminal in case you run into unexpected traffic.  

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