My wife and I are sailing on the March 27th Exotic Western Carib. on NCL. We're looking for a bit of advice regarding the excursions w/ NCL. We are young (I'm 30...wife is 27) and we're also certified divers. I'm wondering if anyone has any insite on which ports are best for diving on this intinerary and which are best for doing an excursion or going into the city. The intinerary is as follows:
George Town, Grand Cayman
Roatan, Bay Islands
Belize City, Belize
Any advice would be great. We're thinking of the Cave Tubing in Belize because everyone says it's great, but we'd also like to see the Mayan Ruins. Anyone know of a way to do both?
I haven't gone yet, but this is what I've heard, diving is supposed to be spectacular off of Belize and Roatan. The cave tubing (which is about 30 bucks cheaper when done thru xtreme in Belize) is a long outing. I've already been whining about only being able to do the one thing. There may be Mayan ruins shore excursions also when in Cozumel, but then the diving there is supposed to be wonderful. Caymens I know nothing about, except so many people rave about the stingrays.
Don't think you'll have time to do both in Belize - I believe the cave tubing is quite far away and the ruins take at least one hour each way (scary ride by the way). We did all four of your ports last Sept. on the Carnival Paradise. We did the ruins and city tour in Belize - it was good, but next time, will try to see the rainforest or some of the tropical beaches on the islands just off the coast. Roatan we didn't like, but only because we took a ship tour of the botanical gardens and butterfly farm - BORING!! our friends hired a cab driver (from the many who will be waiting for you at the docK) and he showed them around all day for $20 - took them to a beach and then to a nice restaurant. THey loved it. Make sure you get a guide who speaks English! In Grand cCayman, you MUST do stingray city - it's amazing. Consider using Nativeways - $25 for three hours with a snorkelling stop at coral gardens. In Cozumel, I did a short snorkelling trip from the ship - it was really good. Rest of the day was shopping. Not really into partyling but if you are, Carlos & Charlies is the place to be. One piece of advice - when you're in these places, remember not to drink the water. I forgot in Grand Cayman and ordered a fountain coke (with ice) and drank the whole large glass. Four hours later, I had major stomach cramps - lasted for two days. I knew about the water, but you forget when it comes to fountain drinks or ice cubes. I'll remember next time!
Has anyone ever been cave tubing in March? I'm concerned that it may be too cold (or at least the water anyway). It does sound like a long drive to many of the excursions in Belize, but I guess that's just the positioning of the port. Everyone has been raving about this Stingray City in Grand Cayman. Is that anything like the Shark Ray deal in Cozumel?
I would save the stingrays for Grand Cayman because there you really get to interact with them. We're looking at the Buccaneer catamaran for stingray city because you get three snorkeling stops and A CASH BAR onboard!!!
In Belize we have already booked the X-Stream trip for Cave tubing
In Cozumel I really want to see Tulum and have no idea about Roatan as we don't go there.
Did NCL exotic 2 years ago. We did the Shark Ray Alley in Belize. You swim with sand sharks and sting rays. It is not like in Grand Cayman, this is 20 to 30 foot deep water. I would go on a cruise again the Belize just to do this excursion. It is not cheap about 95.00 per person. We booked through the cruiseline because you did not have to tender into the city to catch the boat.
Honduras, we did the beach thing. The reef was about 20' off shore and absolutely beautiful.
I, too, have done all these ports. Diving is considered good to excellent at all. At your age I would do the cave tubing in Beliez - plan on sending 25/28 yr daughters on that one. I have read on numerous boards about this with www.reggietours.com I did do the ruins ther and really did enjoy my first ruin trip. There is a limited amount to do in Roatan so i would definatly plan on diving there. Diving is reputed to be quite good in Grand Cayman, but if you have not done swimming w/ the stingrays this is considered a MUST do for this port. Ruins tours are $$ and take much time in Cozumel. This is a good day for a down (lay on the beach) day if it is mid trip. Try Chanakaab Park. All this stuff is MUCH discussed on the port forum of this board and other cruise travel boards.