We did the tour to Altun Ha and LOVED it. It was thru Carnival and well worth it, IMHO. It is a 3rd world country, and we enjoyed the Belize City tour as well, but it's not for everyone. If you are looking for the sanitized version of being a tourist, Belize may not be your favorite stop.
We loved it....read my review of our cruise on Carnival's Miracle September.
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I have to disagree with the previous posts in my experience. Yes, Belize is a third world country, however you can have a great time. I don't usually do organized shore excursions and spend a lot of time researching my destinations in advance. When we went to Belize 2 years ago we went on our own down the street to the water taxi/bus station. We took a water taxi to Caye Caulker and it was awesome. (beware, the boats go FAST... they have to keep to a schedule!) After much cruising, it is my favorite destination. I think that if you keep to yourself (in port) and behave as you would in any major international city and respect their country (after all you are a guest!) you will be OK. I would not strap a camera around my neck, fall for any "tours" from those on the street, or go in any back alleys/roads. Yes, folks will pester you in the city, as on other islands. That being said, we found the local folks (especially the children!) to be great out on the Caye Caulker. It is a TINY island with not much to do but have some simple beach time. The snorkeling is great and Amergergis Caye is beautiful too. It was so awesome to actually discover the local culture. I would highly suggest it if you are careful and up for an adventure. That being said, you need to watch the time to get back to the boat on time and do your research if you are consider ing this sort of adventure!!!
Well unfortunately you don't enjoy the 2 "must do's" in Belize. But I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with the others, BOOK A TOUR in Belize. Do not wonder around on your own! The port is fenced off with the locals climbin the fence to get at tourists and armed guards holding them back. Whatdya suppose that's about? Belize is a great stop, but yah gotta use your noodle.
You are right Cleveland Rocks....Fleaberry please remember there are a lot of new visitors to this site who read this.If you have visited Belize you certainly know that 1 percent of what you said is the norm.
We did the "Land Rover & Cave Exploration" excursion in Belize and LOVED every minute of it!!! My goal on the cruise (my first, as well as my bf's first) was to do/see/experience things we'd never find at home and this was it!! The good thing about this excursion is that you're escorted from the pier all the way through and we saw NO beggars or other folks who tend to freak out most tourists.
I know I've posted quite a few times about this excursion, but there are a lot of people out there who choose to stay on the ship and bypass Belize all together. That, IMO, would be a HUGE mistake! Seriously, Belize was probably my favorite port on our cruise - don't miss it!!!
Life isn't measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
Carnival Valor April 2006
Contemplating a cruise wedding in 2010
Caye Caullker is a great place IF you want to snorkel, or just sit on a quiet little beach, eat lunch (yummy conch) and have a Belikin (local beer, and its good)
Ya know I think that even if you don't want to snorkel, it would be a heck of a lot of fun just to sit in the boat and watch the folks swim with the stingrays and the sharks. If you book this tour with Ecotours they stop at Caye Caulker and have lunch and you can opt to stay at the beach rather than go out to where they snorkel.
You could also do a zip line canopy tour in the rain forest. Which I will probably try the next time we visit Belize.
I wasn't terribly impressed with the shopping in Belize. But if you just want to sit at the waterfront in the village and eat and drink you can hang out at the Wet Lizard.
We did the monkey sanctuary tour - through Carnival - and really enjoyed it. We saw several howler monkeys - some with tiny babies. You can get up really close to them - but they are noisy
The bus ride alone was worth the money. Our guide gave us lots of info on the way. Belize is a very poor country but beautiful in its own way. We stopped by a small school and the children came out and sang for us. Naturally there was a box for donations but it looked liked a great cause. Anywhere away from the dock area was scary so we were glad we didn't attempt it on our own. There is a shopping area right at the tender dock and we got some nice souvenirs and some liquere.
Sorry Will... I stand by my opinion of Belize and have been there several times as well. I recognize the fact that there are newbies to the board however I said do your research. I find it hard to believe that "beggars" and people that "harass" tourists bother cruisers. That is the case everywhere in the Caribbean and Mexico and I have never had one bother me after I ingnored them or said No thanks. Yes, where you get off the tenders it is gated, but I don't think the gates are to scare tourists! IMO I felt more threatened in some areas of NYC!
Fabrizzi....since you don't enjoy snorkeling, I would suggest booking a land based excursion thru the cruiseline. On our cruise in July, we booked the excursion to Altun Ha...the 1-1/2 hour bus ride thru the country on the bumpiest road I've ever been on was not enjoyable at all. The ruins were o.k. but bring lots of bug spray, the bugs start biting as soon as you get off the bus. There were restrooms onsite but the floors were flooded which made this experience a challenge for women. We were dreading the long, extremely bumpy ride back to the ship. Contrary to some positive comments by a lot of posters, Belize is not my family's favorite destination nor will it ever be. The same rules apply in Belize as they do in any other foreign port, use caution and, if this is your first cruise, I would suggest booking an excursion thru the cruiseline. If I ever book another cruise that includes Belize, I will definitely stay on the ship.
I'm with fleaberry...I have never been "harrassed" any more in Belize than in any other poorer country. Use caution and if you are nervous, find a ship tour to the zoo or tour the city. No need to stay on the ship as it is a beautiful country.
10 more days until I'm there again and can't wait!