We are going on this cruise in August. Couple of questions:
Do you think the beach at Progresso is any good for snorkeling?
Do you think that there is a real danger of someone arranging their own shore excursion (not through Carnival, but privately) missing the boat, literally? My husband insists that we can do any shore excursion cheaper by arranging it ourselves. I've heard so many stories of excursions getting back late (Carnival-sponsored ones) that I'm afraid a privately arranged one might, too, and then we'd be stuck in Belize and miss out on the last two days at sea (which are among our favorite cruise days)....
Since we've never been to Belize before I'm concerned about not utilizing Carnival on this one stop....especially since we're going the 2nd week in august, and I've read that the hurrican season begins about then! Yikes!
Thanks for the tip about the one electrical outlet, and the idea of taking an over-the-door shoe bag
We're planning excursions through other sources - much less expensive. I've also heard that if you only plan one excursion it should be in Progresso. The reason for the stop there is to see the Ruins, so be sure to do that.
Natalie, What were your little complaints? We leave this Sunday and I'm so excited. My husband says I'm building myself up for a terrible dissapointment, as I've got it so huge in my brain! Warn me about the negative, so this doesn't happen! Thanks!
I really didn't want to get in to any negative whatsoever, because people get so cruel and personal here. And, really--it didn't effect my cruise experience. E-mail me and I'll be glad to pass it on.
I know it is just opinion. I went off on my own in Progresso and in Cozumel. In Cozumel we hired a guide I just heard about through the boards, so it was a total trust thing. But, in Belize--I wouldn't go off on my own. If you go to some port of call boards, people have used companies they rave about. But, we were on a full ship and waited 1.5 to get on our tender and that was with the excursions getting off first. Then we were late getting back. yes, I think it would have left without us, had we not been on a Carnival excursion. Even the cruise director warns that the ship has left people behind. It's the whole tender situation, it's not like you can run or jump in a cab. You don't have control of your destiny. Plus Belize is a newer port in an underdeveloped country. They built a little shopping village at the tender port and that's about it.
I would say--especially without kids--go for the cheaper excursion, get some good advice and go off on your own on most islands, but not in Belize. Again, that's my opinion.
I didn't actually swim. But, the snorkeling I heard is not very good in Progresso. The water was a little murky, but I heard they had a pretty beach.
Carnival has a beach party and two ruin excursions. Chitzen Nitza which is supposed to be awesome but it's a 7-hour excrusion, or a smaller closer ruin. We saw a very nice Mayan ruins on our tour in Belize. They also do a city tour of Mereida (which you can do on your own, through the company that runs the free shuttle buses), that a lot of passengers liked.
It supposedly makes a king. Didn't feel crack at all. Was very comfortable, and the water kind of rocks you to sleep! I stored my suitcases in front of the bed though, so getting to my window spot was a bit of a challenge!
It was quite a large collasable one. We put all our wine in it and carried it on. Then emptied the wine and put a couple of water and soda bottles in there. Our room steward kept fresh ice in there twice a day.
Thanks. I believe from a previous message that you mentioned that there were a few things that you did not like, I take it that these were minor things. If not would you be willing to "share" your thoughts on those things?
I read your comments on the message board which have been really helpful. I and my wife are going on Elation this Sunday(May 9th, 04) and this will be our 1st trip. I have pretty much same questions as most of the people and I am not really sure how the excursions will be and should I pre-reserve them right now or wait until we get onboard. The problem ofcourse is the small budget we have and we have heard that on-ship excursions can be twice as expensive... Regarding Excursions, so far, what I have gathered from reading all the different message boards is
1) In Prograsso, sounds like the ruins are worth visiting so I am thinking to visit Chichen Itza. Are there people on port who provide a cheap tour to the ruins. Also, is it safe enough to go with the tour guides and do they bring passengers back on time?
2) In Cozumel, I am planning to just rent a car, but than I have seen people's postings where they rented cab for $10-15 and take a city tour. Do you think if its worth paying $50-55 and renting car or is it better to just get the cabs and they know which locations are worth seeing. Also, if renting a car is a better option, is this a small enough island to just drive around and not get lost?
3) In Belize, this is the location with big confusion. My wife wants to check out the Mayan Ruins and I want to go for Xtreme Tubing. On the Xtreme tubing website, they mention that this will take about 5.5 hours. Our ship will be docked only for 8 hours so (i) Is 5.5 hours enough time to get off the ship, have a tour and be back to get on ship (i) is there any way we can squeeze both excursions in there ..
I apologise for throwing all these questions at you!
Thanks a lot,
I did different things from you on all the islands so I am not sure. There is another cruise website that has a seperate ports of call section for Cozumel and also progresso. Here there is a mexico ports of call section. Maybe they can help you for a tour operator to Chitzenitza. Everyone I heard on the ship that did the ruins in Progresso took Carnival's tour. In Cozumel, a friend I met on these boards rented a car, also a travel I spoke to recommended renting a car. They didn't get lost they went to 2 or 3 free beaches, did a little snorkeling, etc. and had lunch. They did book it on line though before they left. In Belize I have said many times, and there are a lot of people that disagree with me. But, if you splurge for one Carnival excursion do it in Belize. For us during Spring Break we had a full ship. It was a nightmare getting off the ship on to the tenders. Our tour and the cave tubing were late getting back to the tender site, but since we were with Carnival, it wasn't a problem.
If you book a progresso tour and a car, research on line type mexico.com, etc. Go to google and type in Cozumel, Mexico/Progresso, Mexico and get recommendations. Then come back here or a TA and get an opinion from someone that used them. And, book ahead! I personally would not walk off the ship in any of these ports and book a tour with someone cold like that!
Forgot to answer--You'll never make both tours in Belize. Why don't you split up. We did the Altun Ha (nice ruins in Belize) with the River Wallace carnival tour that was neat. They also have just the ruins and the ruins with a city tour. You have to be willing to do the cave tubing, it was too adventurous for me!