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Old August 17th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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Default Between These Four Ports...

....I need to select the best two for snorkeling excursions and the remaining two on just general touring.

My Wife and I am sailing on the Legend in October (50th Birthday) and my parents (both 73) are sailing too. They will not be up to any type of snorkeling excursion however my Wife and I want to do something (snorkel / water related) excursion at least twice.

My idea is to do any every other day type of schedule such as: Day 1 & 3 General Tour and Day 2 & 4 Snorkel. This is interchangeable and somewhat flexible.

Our ports (in order) are: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan.

Any suggestions?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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I hadn't been to any of those ports. However, I did watch a show on Belize it has the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. Austria has the largest. Based on this information snokeling in Belize should be pretty darn good.
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sit...rrierreef.html
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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One of the areas in Belize is called the Great Blue hole. The Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef. It's pretty neat looking.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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The Blue Hole is too far out for any kind of day trip from a cruise ship.

In my opinion, Roatan currently has the best snorkeling.

Belize has some great and some not so great snorkeling.

If you have never been to Grand Cayman, the Stingray Sandbar is a must, not really snorkeling but is water based. I'd rank this in the top 10 shore excursions anywhere.

On Grand Cayman, there is some ok snorkeling about 100 yards from the tender docks at Eden Rock. Several times I have done tours and still have time for a snorkel at Eden Rock before going back to the ship.

Cozumel used to have outstanding snorkeling from shore or boat,but then Hurricane Wilma sat on top of the island and devastated the shallow reefs. The snorkeling is coming back, but is still not to the best in the Caribbean. Some parts are really good.

Some things also depend on how experienced of a snorkeler you are.

Here are some snorkel pictures:

Several pages from Tabyana Beach on Roatan:
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/valor_06/RO/ro_1.htm


Cozumel 3 reef snorkel:
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/NCLSprit08/coz/index.htm


Belize:
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/ncl_sun...elize/be_1.htm

I'll have to put together some pictures from Stingray Sandbar.

Grand Cayman: Cemetery Beach (not a ship tour):
http://www.zydecocruiser.com/conquest_07/GC/cb.htm

I have more examples on my website.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I hadn't been to any of those ports. However, I did watch a show on Belize it has the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. Austria has the largest. Based on this information snokeling in Belize should be pretty darn good.
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sit...rrierreef.html
Katlady - is that the reef the Von Trapps swam to escape the Nazis? <smirk/>
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Old August 18th, 2009, 01:14 AM
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We did the stingray tour which had two snorkeling stops in Grand Cayman. Good snorkeling spot where we saw a Moray eel and a nurse shark just outside where we fed the stingrays. We booked this excursion through island marketing ltd. Hope this helps.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd
Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I hadn't been to any of those ports. However, I did watch a show on Belize it has the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. Austria has the largest. Based on this information snokeling in Belize should be pretty darn good.
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sit...rrierreef.html
Katlady - is that the reef the Von Trapps swam to escape the Nazis? <smirk/>
Australia/ Austria why do they have to make the names so similar. You never heard of the great barrier reef of Austria? It's made entirely of strudel.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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Been snorkeling in Cozumel and Grand Cayman....

Cozumel wasn't very good.

Grand Cayman had a BUNCH of great snorkeling spots. (not counting Stingray City)

Belize is world famous for their snorkeling and scuba diving.

Roatan is just south, so it should be decent also....

If you want to do every other day,
I would suggest beach days in Cozumel and Roatan and snorkel days in Grand Cayman and Belize...

Bill
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Old August 18th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bguppies
If you want to do every other day,
I would suggest beach days in Cozumel and Roatan and snorkel days in Grand Cayman and Belize...

Bill
Thanks Bill....your suggestions make sense.

I was leaning the other way (Cozumel and Roatan) inasmuch as I keep hearing bad things about "going outside the fence" in Belize.

Hmmm?
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Old August 19th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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I would definitely do a ship's tour in Belize, whether snorkeling or anything else. I've been "outside the fence" just to get across the street to the straw market. But, Belize is one of the few places I have been where I felt unsafe almost every minute. That fence is there for a reason.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Belize is a poor country, but I have never felt unsafe. There are a number of tours available at the tender dock. There used to be a buggy city tour - maybe there still is.

Lan Sluder (a US ex-pat) has lots of information on his website:

http://www.belizefirst.com/
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Old August 19th, 2009, 06:51 PM
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Just got back from the Legend on Sunday. It was excellent. Not too impressed with Belize, we went horseback riding. So maybe snorkeling there would be good because it isn't on land! We snorkeled at Roatan. Went to Tabyana Beach. You could snorkel right off the beach and it was awesome. Saw alot! We were also impressed with Pasion Island in Cozumel. Took the Twister there. It was alot of fun. Got out to the island and there were only 50 of us there for about 2 hours before more came. If you have any more questions, ask away. After reading all the bad reviews about the Legend.....it was nothing like that at all. It was probably our best cruise ever. Missing it already!!!!!!!!
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Old August 19th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUNINTHESUN1007
We snorkeled at Roatan. Went to Tabyana Beach. You could snorkel right off the beach and it was awesome. Saw alot!
Is getting to Tabyana Beach difficult/expensive?

What other types of activites to they have at Tabyana?

Thanks!!
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Old August 20th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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We went through Carnival. Which we always do. With four people, I like tho know we are getting back to the ship without a problem. I think it was $39 per person. Basically it covers transportation, the beach and chairs, and ice tea or lemonade. You have to rent the gear. There is also snuba there you can rent. I think you can pay to go out on a banana boat also. It was beautiful though. No one bugs you. They have to stay on the other side of the fence with their stuff. There is a alittle gift shop with alot of cool things. We wish we would have had more cash with us. In town they have the same stuff but it is alittle more and not the selection. Lots of fish swimming around you. Roatan is very poor, but very clean and beautiful. Loved it there!
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Old August 21st, 2009, 05:11 PM
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I would not even consider Roatan for water sports of any kind, but mainly because there are better choices. The other three, however, should be perfectly acceptable. Cozumel especially is known for diving and has the unique opportunity to snorkel and dive in cenotes. Check with Deep Blue Cozumel(www.deepbluecozumel.com) for their diving and snorkeling packages. They are among the best on the island. Snorkeling is $52, and SCUBA diving is $73 for the resort course. Cenote snorkeling/diving runs slightly higher.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 05:21 PM
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Thanks all for your input. I selected and booked two excursions...so far.

Grand Cayman - Just tour Georgetown


Cozumel - Deluxe Sail, Snorkel, Beach Party (The Fury)

Belize - Just tour Belize City (Inside the Fence!)

Isla Roatan - Tabyana Beach Day
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Old August 21st, 2009, 06:31 PM
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Grand Cayman may be a good choice for snorkeling as well. I do not know much about Belize, but when I was looking into SCUBA Diving in Grand Cayman a while back, before I had to switch cruises, I noticed a lot of wreck dives available. I know some of these were close enough to the surface for snorkelers to see as well. This may be a good contrast to the coral reef of Cozumel to keep it fresh and exciting. You should definitely check around and look at some guide books if you can. If an area is particularly well known for something it will make the guide books.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 01:26 PM
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On Grand Cayman, the Eden Rock is just about next door to the tender docks if you want to snorkel after the walking part.

You can also snorkel from shore to the wreck of the Cali. It is a little farther to walk but not bad.

Here is a pretty good guide to shore snorkeling in Grand Cayman:
http://caymanislandsdiscounts.com/Of...Snorkeling.htm

And a picture of the Cali

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Old August 22nd, 2009, 04:20 PM
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I used to love snorkeling in Cozumel, but I think most of the reefs got hit really hard by a hurricane a couple of years back. Anyone know for sure?
FYI, touring Belize City is outside the fence, but still okay. Just not terribly exciting, as so much of it is just poverty, ghetto-style. The first time I rode through on a tour bus, the tour director said that cast iron bars are their signature architecture style. And, stores are not open to walk into. There is a hole in the outside wall where people tell an employee what thay want to buy and the sale is done at the hole. Didn't bother checking it out, just what we were told.
FYI, the Belize zoo is amazing. When they say "natural habitat", they mean it literally.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 04:43 PM
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Ivan took out most of the shallow reefs in Cozumel but the ones deeper than 15 or 20 feet were fine.

The shallow reefs are slowly coming back but have years to go and there are still lots of fish.

The faster growing plants have bounced back.

They did drop big chunks of concrete into the water in some places and some reef balls have been placed. There work great for shelter until more of the real thing grow back.


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