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Old 03-03-2003, 08:17 AM
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We're cruising on Rhapsody of the Seas in April. I seem to find plenty of port ideas for Key West and Cozumel...but would appreciate any ideas YOU have as well. I am having trouble finding info / or perhaps feeling comfortable with the choices offered for Belize City. Have you been there? Can you help me?
Thanks! txtraveler
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:03 AM
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I am going on a cruise next week that has a stop in Belize. I have done quite a bit of research on what to do there and here is the list of most popular things to do:
1. Cave Tubbing - Reggie is the guy to book this with.
2. Snorkeling/Diving off the Cayes - may be a little more expensive because they Cayes aren't close to port.
3. Mayan Ruins - There are a few in this location and if you have never seen them it can be an educational trip. Be careful of the mosquitoes because they say Belize is one of the countries where Malaria is found.

Personally I wanted to see they Mayan Ruins so we are going to the Western Border (near Guatemala) to see the Xunanunitech Ruins! The travel there is a little long (1 1/2 hrs) but I've heard the views and ruins are breath-taking. I'll make sure to post again after I return from my Cruise to let you know what I thought. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:09 AM
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Thanks for the reply..you've found the same things I have; I would REALLY appreciate your thoughts after you come back. I don't want to spend 3 hours total in a bus? to get to the ruins, and my husband doesn't seem too jazzed to see those anyway. I'll check for your post in a couple of weeks. Have a wonderful trip! Which cruise are you taking? I bet you're REALLY looking forward to the warm weather, looking at where you live!
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:17 AM
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I am VERY excited to get out of this cold weather...after the freezing rain this morning, anything over 40 would be a nice change! I am leaving on Saturday March 8th on the Norwegian Sun! I will be sure to check back and post after I'm back!
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Old 03-05-2003, 12:32 PM
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We went to Belize last Summer on the Carnival Pride. We hired a taxi driver (in a Van) to take us to see things you couldn't find on a tour. We also went shopping downtown. My boys were 14 and 10 and got to experience Central America in a way they could not other wise have. Make sure you go with a certified taxi driver they have strict laws about that. Belize is a 3rd world country and not that developed like other places just remember that and use common sense about saftey. I would not just get off the boat and walk around
for saftey and there is not much to do. Belize is an English speaking country so you will not have a problem communicating. Good luck and have some fun.
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:05 PM
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Thanks for the Belize tips....how do I know if a taxi driver is certified?
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Old 03-06-2003, 06:23 PM
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The taxi drivers all should have badges at the port when you arrive. That is their certification is what our taxi driver explained to us
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Old 03-10-2003, 05:16 AM
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Here's a piece from my review of our 2/23/03 sailing of Carnival Paradise about Belize:

In Belize we decided to take the ship’s excursion of Goff Caye Snorkeling. We tendered from the ship directly to a small island. Anyone who did not want to snorkel off the boat got off on the island at that time. The island was very small – you could see all the way across it. It had maybe six palm trees on it, and a small open-air hut where they were selling drinks, snacks and crafts – you need cash to buy any of this – I heard the brownies there were fabulous. Lots of sand, water and sun – but not much else. There were two port-a-potties on the pier for restroom facilities, but no toilet paper!

The tender then took us out by the Barrier Reef in the middle of the ocean, and we offloaded from the side of the boat. I’m not a strong swimmer or confident snorkeler, so I was afraid to jump off the side of the boat, and another passenger finally agreed to give me a shove which got me safely in the water. For those like me who lacked confidence, they had us wrap a regular orange boat vest around our waists. This worked fine, but if you want to take this wonderful snorkeling tour, I would strongly recommend you bring your own snorkeling vest, because those are so much more comfortable.

We snorkeled out there for a long time. Our tour guide joined us in the water. He would swim down and point at things, then come to the surface to explain what it was – he was great! After a while, he said he was going to take us to even deeper water, so anyone who was tired or just ready could swim back to the boat, which I did. About half of us waited in the boat for the others, including Roger, to complete the deeper water snorkeling. They saw some really neat things. Then after everyone had loaded back on the boat, we returned to the island, where we all soaked up the sun and drinks, while the tour guide took those who had unloaded on the island on an hour-long snorkeling tour right off the island. Throughout this excursion, the tender boat operators were giving us cold water bottles, which helped keep us all well-hydrated – a nice service!

When we returned to the port, we cleaned up to take a tender into Belize City. Belize is not really a shopping port. They have a small shopping mall right off the tender port with mostly crafts, t-shirts, etc. Nothing exceptional. It was nice visiting their little shopping area and buying postcards for friends and family.

The Belize excursions most talked about back on the ship were the Shark Ray Alley snorkeling and the Cave Tubing. Mixed reports on cave tubing, younger folks seemed to have enjoyed it more than some of the older folks. (This was simply my observation -- don't be offended by the stereotype. The younger folks simply took the challenges more in stride and gave this excursion high praise, while some of the folks 45+ talking to us complained about the same challenges.)

Happy cruising!
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Old 03-10-2003, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for all the info! It sounds like you had a great time in Belize...I spent a lot of time yesterday poring over all the choices I've been presented with..and will try to book the Wildlife Adventure Tour in Belize..Through the ship, and it includes a 20 mile motor launch ride on the Old Belize River, lunch, and the Belize Wildlife Sanctuary. 6 hours, includes lunch, for $81 each. It will certainly be different! We both like animals, botanicals, etc...And, maybe I'll see Jeff Corwyn!
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Old 03-11-2003, 08:26 AM
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I just returned from a cruise on the Carnival Paradise where we visited Belize, Roatan, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. In Belize or Roatan, you must take a shore excursion! Friends of ours did not and did not enjoy it as they were unable to experience the view or the culture. In Belize, we took the Altun Ha Maya/River Wallace tour. It was a 2 hour river tour (a bit too long) where we saw exotic birds, crocs, dolphins and even monkeys! We then took a bus to the Mayan ruins which were awesome. This experience was wonderful for my children. In Roatan, we did a beach party and saw some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. As I mentioned, some friends missed out on these beautiful ports of call. Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind as someone else mentioned, that this is a third world country and not anything like Grand Cayman or Cozumel where you will find expensive shops and American restaurants and bars. This is a place that is all about culture and beauty. Now..in Cozumel, if you like to party, you must go to Fat Tuesday's or Carlo's and Charlies. We actually took a cab for $8 to the beach, paid $8 to get in and had access to paddle boats, snorkeling, kayaks, floats. They even rented jet skis and had parasailing. Plenty of food and drink!
 
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