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jsterrito February 22nd, 2009 11:07 AM

Isla Roatan & Belize itinerary or Ocho Rios?
I am trying hard to decide between 2 Western Caribbean itineraries. Both go to Grand Caymen, Cozumel. One goes to Ocho Rios, other to Isla Roatan and Belize. We have only been on 1 cruise, which was Eastern Caribbean.....loved St. Thomas! Any opinons would be greatly appreaciated :)

beentravelin February 22nd, 2009 11:24 AM

If you prefer the rugged outdoors go for Roatan/Belize. Plus you get 4 ports instead of three. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Jamaica but to me the more ports the better.

jsterrito February 22nd, 2009 11:29 AM

I'm more of a lay on the beach girl..My Husband however is total opposite! Which of these ports have the best beach? We loved St. Thomas, our tour guide was amazing. The beaches were so beautiful! I'm so afraid we won't find anything as nice. However, we have only been on the one cruise. I can't really compare St. Thomas to anywhere else.

travelgalSue February 22nd, 2009 12:39 PM

We have been to Jamacia twice which was enough for me. We have selected the Legend to Belize and Roatan for our cruise in Jan. 2010. I agree with the idea of getting 4 ports rather than 3. We've never been to either of these ports so I can't give you any suggestions but I'll find out when I get there. Whichever you pick any cruise is better than none!

beentravelin February 22nd, 2009 12:41 PM

Well you probably won't find beaches as pretty as St. Thomas at any of these three ports. But they do offer some pretty nice ones. Try googling each island for beaches close to the cruiseship pier. St. Thomas spoiled you! Which beach did you go to in St. Thomas? Magen's bay?

Snoozeman February 22nd, 2009 01:19 PM

Interesting. I think the beaches in the Cayes of Belize are far superior to St. Thomas.

misguidedangel February 22nd, 2009 01:26 PM

You have to ask yourself what you want to do. Your activities will guide you, so if you want to explore Mayan ruins then the best place to do it is in Belize. Belize still allows tourists to climb up the ruins at Altun Ha and I do believe it is the same at Xunantunich (Zuni for short). Belize also has the coral reef and cave tubing which everyone raved about.

Roatan has some good beaches and is a relatively new port. The tours are plentiful and the the people are friendly.

I have been to both twice now (in a four month period) and I would gladly go back to Belize and Roatan again. I love Jamaica, and Dunn's River Falls is amazing to climb. The only problem s there are lots of tourists, and on a port day it gets crowded....

I suggest you do some online searching for info on the ports, but Belize/Roatan were well worth going...

jsterrito February 22nd, 2009 06:16 PM

We went to Sapphire Beach. Our tour guide (Sonny Liston, which I highly recommend) he took us up to to the top of the mountain where we could see Megan's bay, it was stunning!!!! The drinks offered when we got to the top were almost as good as the view! ha.ha..

Trip February 22nd, 2009 06:32 PM

I'm not sure I can remember anyone really raving about Jamacia beaches for a port day.....They do have beautiful beaches, though, at resorts, so maybe a day pass at a Sandals, or Beaches Resorts could work for you.

jojob February 22nd, 2009 08:31 PM

We went on a Western Carribean cruise in July of 2004. One of the prettiest beaches I've ever been on was in Belize. I am not a diver, just like the sun and the sand. I remember it was in a bay or cove.


Thoth February 22nd, 2009 11:56 PM

Personally, I found Belize and Roatan were both far superior to Jamaica.

colorcrazie February 23rd, 2009 02:05 PM

We went to Belize and Roatan a few months ago. I haven't done the Belize Cays, but the weat end of Roatan has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Jamaica's beaches don't even compare. I love Jamaica, but for beaches, go for the alternative. Just be aware that these are very diffferent from St.Thomas, which is a US territory and very developed and "civilized". Jamaica, Belize and Roatan are third world, which I prefer, but just do a little research beforehand. Any specific questions, I will try to answer.

BobMiller February 25th, 2009 04:34 PM

The only place I like better than St Thomas is St Martin. So far I would say I like the eastern Caribbean better than the western.

Belize is building a port but currently still uses tenders, and unless it has changed, you tender in from a long way out. Unless you are really interested an up close experience with life in a 3rd world country you should stick to a tour. Belize City is not primitive but is very representative of a capital city in a poorer developing nation. Not a place to wander around alone. Belize is very conscientious about preserving their natural and historical resources even to the detriment of financial gain so there are many beautiful locations that include natural jungles and beaches.

Ocho Rios has a nice cruise ship pier and well developed shopping near the port. The Dunns River Falls is a top tourist location but pretty will fills the day if you take a tour that climbs the falls. We took a private tour with a short stop at the falls then went on to see the rest of the city and surrounding area. It is true that the sales people can be insistent, even in the shopping malls, but the pressure was only uncomfortable in the flea market area at the terminal. Up the road from the pier the shopping village was great and the shops and restaurants near there were great. There is a small cramped beach near the ship but I would recommend checking out tours to one of the beaches away from town.

I have not visited Isla Roatan so I can’t help there.

A similar itinerary stops at Costa Maya. It’s primitive but we had a great time at the nearby beach. Lots of packages are offered at the cruise port but it’s best if you can just get a taxi to take you there and choose the “package deals” once there so you can see what you get. The women in our group loved the open air massages under canopies on the beach.

bguppies February 25th, 2009 05:52 PM

Re: Isla Roatan & Belize itinerary or Ocho Rios?

Originally Posted by jsterrito
I am trying hard to decide between 2 Western Caribbean itineraries. Both go to Grand Caymen, Cozumel. One goes to Ocho Rios, other to Isla Roatan and Belize. We have only been on 1 cruise, which was Eastern Caribbean.....loved St. Thomas! Any opinons would be greatly appreaciated :)

Anywhere but Ocho Rios.

Just got back from 6 day western and Ocho Rios is by far the worst port we have been to so far.

Haven't been to Belize or Rotan yet, but have heard great things about each, that would make them head and shoulders better than ocho Rios.


Trip February 25th, 2009 07:51 PM

Montego Bay would make it a tie.......

jsterrito February 26th, 2009 06:51 AM

Thanks everyone for your help!! I think we have decided on the Triumph April 26. $1600 for 4 ppl...cannot beat that! Well, Triumph or Liberty :) Liberty is more $$ but I would love to see Grand Turk and half moon cay. I need to decide TODAY or I will miss these rates..
Thanks again,

mrmusic February 28th, 2009 04:28 PM

While I never been to Belize or isle Rotan, I did go to Ocho Rios for the experience of climbing Dunn Rivers Falls. A 900 Ft water flowing waterfall. It's beautiful but challenging. Tough decision, but if it's on a Carnival ship, you'll have extreme fun either way!

Reyguel Nious

tartisst March 1st, 2009 04:44 PM

We are booked to go to Belize & Roatan on the Triumph in December. I have heard that the beaches are amazing in both places. I'm also hoping to find a way to get to the "Blue Hole" while in Belize.

Ocho Rios is okay -- everyone should do Dunn River Falls at least once.

I'm sure you will have a fantastic trip whatever you decide! March 30th, 2009 09:44 AM

We went last year to Belize and Routan. Whatever you do in Belize, take a tour. We didn't, and if all you want to do is walk around, this is the last port you want to do it in. It is nothing but a tourist stronghold that they put you in, and to walk out, you have to brave the throngs of peddlers. Not nice. We loved Routan, but it was in the middle of a downpour and the streets were flooded, all electricity out, and most stores and restaurants closed. The people were friendly and I think it would have been great in other circumstances.

colorcrazie March 30th, 2009 01:31 PM

You will LOVE Half Moon Cay. One of the most amazing beaches you will ever see. These private islands are in a part of the Bahamas that get very little commercial ship traffic, so the waters stay clean and full of beautiful fishies. A true paradise.

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