Can anyone tell me about Belize? We are looking at the Galaxy sailing and were really excited about this port until I read that the port was so polluted it was brown and that you had to drive 2 hours to get to a beach.
How about shore excursions and safety there? Any comments would be appreciated.
My 12 year old son and I returned from the 8/9-8/19 Galaxy sailing a week ago and I have to say that Belize was the highlight of the trip. Much depends on your expectations. Belize is not a port where you can just get off the ship and walk and shop around although there is a nice new tourist complex with shops , f ood and drink right at the port. We went on the New River Safari and Laminai tour and found it to be fascinating. I also heard many positive comments from folks who went snorkeling, cave tubing and from those who visited other Mayan Ruin sites.My advice would be to look at the shore excursions offered by Celebrity and see what interests you , any thing you do will require a tender to shore(a fast fun ride!) a bus trip and perhaps another boat ride .
We enjoyed this cruise so much that we would like to do it again next year and focus more on snorkeling ,especially in Belize as it has the second largest live coral reef in the world second only to the great Barrier Reef in Australia. Have Fun!!
I was on the same excursion (Lamanai and New River Safari) and I can concur wholeheartedly. By the time we got to Belize, I had heard so many urban legends that I thought for sure I was going to pass out from heat stroke and/or contract malaria from a giant spider. The heat was NOT oppressive on our tour. We were on an air conditioned bus, then a partially covered speed boat (the breeze was nice) and then we found refuge from the sun at Lamanai under the canopy of the jungle. The bugs were minimal with adequate bug spray and the only spider we saw was pointed out by our guide (and it subsequently ran into a hole). The only thing I did not like about Belize was the tender to and from Galaxy. The water was pretty choppy, and with the high-speed ferrys, we had to keep the windows closed, so it got pretty stuffy in there.
I heard very few complaints about Belize from any of the passengers (save my mother). It seemed the only people who didn't quite enjoy the port were people who did not do excursions. That new tourist facility is nice, but it looks a bit on the small side, so it may have been a hassle to go to-and-from the ship for just a short time.\
Belize gets the thumbs-up for me. I would definitely go back.
Dee, I just have to add my two cents worth. I went to Belize on a cruise last year and it was by far my favorite port and I can't wait to go again. However, I took the shore excursion offered by the ship to Ambergris Caye to the Banyan Bay Resort, which included a 2-hour snorkeling trip to the marine reserve where we swam with stingrays, nurse sharks and literally schools of gorgeous tropical fish, then enjoyed lunch at the resort on the beach, use of two condos for showering/changing, pool, hammocks.......... in short, after 34 cruises, it was the best shore excursion I have ever experienced. The boat ride from Belize City to Ambergris Caye took about 45 minutes but it seemed much shorter because all along the way in both directions, dolphins would appear from nowhere as if on call to jump, play and "perform" for us to the squeals, cheers and delight of everyone. I am also a scuba diver and I am anxious to go back to dive the famous blue hole with Blue Hole Divers, one of the dive operaters located in the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. But I would also want to go back to snorkel at the marine reserve. It was an unforgetable experience. Yes, parts of Belize City are sadly impoverished, but this wonderful country and cayes have so much to offer and I am so thankful to have been able to experience its generous beauty.
I was on the Galaxy in Belize this past month. We had been there in December on Carnival, and the only reason we got off this time was to meet a friend who was on the Norwegian Sun and arriving in Belize the same day.
I would not get off the ship otherwise. Belize is a developing country. The tourist village is very nice but very small. We took a walk into Belize City, but were so harrassed by people asking us if we wanted a taxi, hair braiding, etc., we turned back after a few yards.
I was traveling with my husband, elderly parents and 2 young children. We did not want to take 7-1/2 hour trips into the jungle for biking or cave tubing that cost nearly $100 per person.
Maybe one day they'll do something with Belize. But right now it's not so great.
I was in Belize several years ago for a week on a Windjammer. I (and my friends) though Belize was the biggest hellhole we had ever encountered. This was in October and very, very hot and humid. Unless you go to the cays, there are no beaches to speak of...tall sea grass up to shore. My friend and I paid for a snorkle trip cause it went to a national park on a small island and we thought maybe there would be a beach. There was a small beach but it was a filthy place...garbage everywhere. Friends who went on the Mayan tour about passed out from heat (and we have travelled extensively through the Caribbean and South America). Perhaps the interior is better. My friend who dives wasn't real impressed either.