Climb on the Pirate Tour and hold on tight! This was a great day with a great guide. As the other reviews caution, the boat (which has nothing to do with pirates, by the way) is a high-speed powerboat that does about 55 mph at points. You will find yourself holding on for dear life and bouncing up and down. You (and your camera and clothes) will get wet! (But your guide can put everything in the hold that you need to keep dry.) The speed allows the tour to cover a lot of ground during the day. We started with a quick tour then on to Tintemarre Island. We snorkeled there, but, unfortunately, there were very few turtles. We then headed to Pinel Island for a quick stop of this tranquil and beautiful island. Then on to Creole Rock for more snorkeling. Our next stop was in Grand Case, where we lunched at a scenic little restaurant (Enold's?) on the beach. We then headed back to Phillipsburg, with a tour of the high-end properties in the Lowlands and a quick stop near the airport in Maho to watch the planes take off.
A word about the high speed and bouncing: as a group of four near-60 year-olds, we enjoyed the ride. However, be warned that anyone with back problems should think twice about taking this ride.
Our guide/captain/waiter was Fab, a young French native. He pointed out all the highlights, told us a few local stories and gave us all a great experience. There were only about 11 of us on the boat, so it was much more personal. (As an aside, he also featured a great selection of classic rock on the sound system.) He was extremely accommodating and a great host.
A warning: there is no bathroom on the boat, so make sure you take advantage of the facilities on Pinel and in Grand Case.)
Perhaps the only negative about the day was the "bar" on the boat. This consisted of beer, water and soda. For those who do not favor beer, there's not much to drink. No wine, no rum punch, nothing.
We had a great time on the Pirate Tour. If you're okay with the speed and bouncing, it will be the highlight of your St. Maarten trip.
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