Hi, Hopefully someone on this board can advise me: There will be 6 of us going on the Carnival Legend in November to Belize, Colon and Limon. All of us agree that we are mainly interested in going to a beach and possibly snorkeling. Is it a good idea to plan on using the independent tour guides at these ports - after we get off the ship? I hesitate to book online because of varying weather, schedule changes and the like. If the weather wasn't ideal for a trip to the beach, we could change our plans accordingly.. Has anyone done this? Are these tour guides usually reliable? Thanks,
Colon is not a place to be striking out locally on your own. The city itself is not safe nor is the surrounding countryside. Pananma is definately one place to take a ship sponsored tour. I know there are folks who will dispute this , but that is MY advice.
There may be beach and snorkelling tours available in Belize, there is supposed to be some good diving there. Do some on line research.
There are beaches on the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica , but , I do not recall any snorkel or beach tours offered off the ship. We spent a bt more that 1/2 the day taking the Torteguero canal tour (can be done independently) and found it to be facinating.
I have been to all these ports and more than once since 1990. Today with the internet and credit cards I would not hesitate to book independent of the ship. You will save 20-50%. Check the ports of call on this board for reliable operators. There are also other cruise info boards you can check. Today, if I were on this itinerary I would:
Belize: cave tubing with Reggie or Altun Ha/Rio Wallace river/mayan ruins tour. If you have not done ruins before at larger sites this is a good combo/intoduction with flora and fauna thrown in.
Costa Ricca: Whitewater rafting is the absolute greatest. Did it in 1990 w/ kids 15 & 11 and a white knuckle watersport hubby. They still talk about it. We had a really good guide and got the local history, sights and info on our bus to/from.
Colon: pay the $ and do the ships tour unless you are fluent in Spanish, locals have some some severe ESL problems for people working the tourist trade with predominantly english speaking clients or they don't give 2 hoots and several hollars.
Hi Liz - my sister and I just returned a couple weeks ago from a Carnival Spirit cruise to Belize, Limon, and Colon.
In Belize, we booked ahead of time a snorkeling excursion through www.coralbreezelimited.com . We had found out about them on the cruise critic boards - lots of rave reviews. They offer a great trip to Caye Caulker to snorkel at sting ray alley and also over a coral reef, followed by lunch at a cute little restaurant on the beach there (great food!). Our weather was overcast, but we still really enjoyed the trip!
In Limon, we booked a private driver ahead of time and were driven to the rainforest aerial tram - a hair raising day, because we barely made it back to the ship in time (long story!).
If you are active types, you might enjoy ziplining at Almonds and Corals - everyone we talked to that did this loved it. They will send a driver to pick you up at the ship, drive you to the resort (in the rainforest), where you can zipline. There is also a beach there (rainforest is on edge of beach). I don't have their website, but do a search or look on the Costa Rica message boards on www.cruisecritic.com and you will find lots of info.
In Panama, we booked (ahead of time) a tour through www.goldcoastpanama.homestead.com . We did a city tour, with the Gatun Locks, and a drive to Portobelo. We had a private tour with Skip, the owner of Gold Coast - he was awesome! They also offer a boating/snorkeling excursion - so check out their website. I am sure that any of their excursions would be top notch.
Hope this info helps - Rosemary
To Everyone who posted.... Thank you so much for all of your information. It will be a great help! I can't imagine planning a cruise without visiting these boards first.
The reason we were looking at beaches is because one of us (we are three couples) is recovering from a back injury and he will be happy to sit on a beach (or boat) while we snorkle... although we are trying to coax him into getting into the water; it will be good for his back.
Rosemary, your info for Panama is especially appreciated . I wasn't able to find anything on my own. Thanks again! Liz
Can anyone suggest a beach excursion in Belize that would accomodate an infant. We like to snorkel, but the baby (11 months old) won't stand a long boat ride. Any suggestions for a beach with snorkeling and facilities?
We too are going to be on the same ship Mar 4, check out Colon2000.com and http://www.limon-tours-info.com/ and also belizecruiseexcursions.com. We are doing the cave tubing in belize and in Limon we are doing river rafting, really good revues. In Colon we decided just to laze by the beach and do some local shopping.
Maybe we will see you on the ship.
My husband, and my two kids (son 8 1/2 and daughter 5 1/2) are also going on the March 4th Cruise on Carnival Legend. I thought about the Aerial Tram Ride but it doesn't seem to be getting good reviews on this board. Anyone have suggestions for Limon, Costa Rica that might be more exciting, espescially for the kids? We plan to so Shark Ray Alley in Belize and are still discussing tours for Colon, Panama.
You can book a quick flight from Belize City to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.
Airfare is dirt cheap through Maya Island Air or TropicAir. My wife and I booked a fishing/snorkel trip and it work out just right for the amount of time we have in port.
Ok, I'm going on a cruise that goes to Belize as well and I've done the research. It seems the best thing to do is a tour there. I've decided to do the cave tubing there. We're not going to Costa Rica or Panama but my mother is Panamain.
When we first saw that some cruise went to Panama, we were excited but then when mom and the rest of the family found out it was to Colon, they all said yuck! My suggestion would be to get a taxi or tour to the capital, Panama City. It's a beatiful modern city with loads of culture. That's what we would do if we went there. But then again, we wouldn't want to spend just a day there, we'd need a few weeks to visit with family and see all the sites.
There's some fantastic beaches on the islands of Bocas del Toro but that's too far to do in a day. They have rain forest tours that you might be able to reach and enjoy in just a day. I'd give y'all websites but my I lost my links when I reformated my computer. Just look up Panama in Google.