We just got off this ship on the 15th and it was our best cruise (except Alaska...and how do you beat Alaska).
If anyone in your family is a singer .... look out!! Usually the karaoke and piano bar run at the same time. Not on the Miracle. You can karaoke from 8:30 or 9PM until 11:30 or so and then go do the piano bar until 1:30AM.
Adam is the karaoke host and he is lots of fun. His Mom and I are the same age...so we really bonded. (tell him his Cruise Mom says HI!)
Michael in the piano bar is a sweetheart. Watch out ladies, he will steal your heart. (Tell him Aretha Franklin said HI and to learn "Islands in the Stream!!!)
The food was good. The staff was excellent. Angie is the director of the Club O2 and she is wonderful. Laura and Phil are 2 of your social hosts that have more energy than the Energizer Bunny. They are both funny as can be!! Phil is still new (that will be his 5th week I think) so go easy on him. He is a real cutie.
We had never been to Belize or Costa Maya before.
Belize is still getting its feet wet in the cruise ship business. The general population there is very poor...so they are going to have to learn to be less aggressive, if they want the tourist to feel comfortable. I would stay inside the fence, if you are not on an organized tour. I would recommend a ship tour, if you are doing something that is going to cut you close on time.
If you just want a trip around the city (maybe to the tour) and past some ruins...you can always grab a tour with Gilly. He is inside the fence at the Wet Lizard (restaurant and bar). You turn right as you get off the tender pier and you will see the sign. Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America....lanuage is not a problem. You can email Gillly at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you want to discuss some plans with him. Or you can wait and grab a tour with him when you arrive.
When you arrive, there will be about 5 tour operators trying to get your attention. I only talked with Gilly (for about 30 minutes), so I don't know how the others operate. I told Gilly that the 2 most important things that tourist want is safety and to get back to the ship on time. Of course, he and the other tour operators are wanting people to be comfortable with Belize immediately....but I told him unfortunately it takes time to build that trust. Yhonney has done an excellent job of building a good reputation for folks who want to do the cave-tubing and he is a lot less expensive than the ship tour.
Costa Maya is what I would describe as a sleepy little beach village. The people there are more laid back. You can shop around the pier and swim in the salt water pool there or you can pay $3 a person and grab the bus into town (not very far). It is safe to do that at Costa Maya. It is $3 to get back to the port.
No matter what port you go to....be sure to keep your watch on SHIP TIME. The Miracle did not change times from Eastern to Central and back again when we were on board...so the ship time and port time will be different.
Grand Cayman now has a Jimmy Buffet place that you can not miss. It is right across from where the tender lands.
Cozumel is as wonderful as ever. We just spent the day at Paradise Beach. We are going back in December on the Fantasy and I am thinking about surprising hubby and oldest son with a charter fishing trip. Island Jim does it for $400.00 for 4 hours. In December it is best to bottom fish...since the big 4 sport fish aren't running then. But you will still get fish with a lot of fight!!
Have a great cruise folks...wish I was going with ya!!!!!