Good, Bad, and the Ugly; Belize and Costa Maya ports?
hey Im going the carnival glory to nassau belize costa maya and cozumel. I want to know how nice or bad both belize and costa maya is to visit. If you've visited these ports, let me know. I would like to know are there beautiful beaches near the ship. I would hate to travel miles away to enjoy myself.
Lastly, I would like to know your experience on tne glory compared to other cruiselines.
I don't think you realize that you are posting this (and another post) on the gripes board.
You might find better info on some of the other boards CM has to offer.
I have been to both Belize and Costa Maya. Maybe you could read the reviews on the Carnival Miracle, which goes to both these ports.
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costa Maya is basially pretty much like a private island except you see other cruiselines there. It had a nice pool with a swimup bar and a pretty beach for swimming an dofcourse the straw markets.
Belize was decent too-we did have a long tender there but that was almost 3 years ago and I understand there is a dock there now? but I felt costa Maya an dbleize were just as much fun as St. Thomas and St. Marten were and better then Nassau for sure.
Costa Maya is NOT an island. It is approx 75 miles south of Cancun and is in the process of development. You can visit Mayan ruins, you can have a wonder snorkel experience, you can have great beach day. Lots to do.
Belize...is a tender port..no docking. There is a major coral reef that runs along the coast line, they will not destroy the coral for the sake of shipping. Besides, the tendering is done by locals in high speed boats which means local employment.
Just went on Glory in June to these ports. Costa Maya-we paid for a beach party for the day. Did this in port and had a great time for a great price. Good food, etc. Olinka beach party. Two taxi rides (about 15 mins total for reasonable price).
Cozumel-rented a scooter and did the whole island. Also paid for a beach party set-up (at the beach we just stopped and asked). Cold beer and warm water! Lovely blowholes on the north side of the island.
Belize City-rode a tender for about 20 mins from boat to shore. Booked an ecological snorkel w/ a eco-friendly group on the shore. They are located just inside the harbor shopping area and easy to find. Had a FANTASTIC time and truly the best value (I think we paid about $60US).
Drank some great beer on the lunch break from a little grocery store and enjoyed the company of our guides rather than hang w/ the tourists we were travelling w/ onboard.
Glory is a great ship and I had an amazing time. If you are old enough, White Heat is a good time almost every night. Plus there is karaoke and other fun activities.
Happy sails to you! :o
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Belize is a third world country, very depressing riding around the island and seeing the living conditions of these residents. We toured Altun Ha, it was 1-1/2 hours in a bus over a single lane, very worn, bumpy road, very buggy at the ruins, not worth the money. In Costa Maya, we had planned to just enjoy the pool at the end of the pier but it was drained dry and the bar was closed, don't know if it was for maintenance, we couldn't get a straight answer from anyone. We took a taxi to Majahual, saw the conditions of the town and beach area and turned around and went back to the ship. We loved the Glory but the itinerary changed from the time we first booked the cruise and there was now 3 stops in Mexico. I will never book this itinerary again. Cozumel's pier is in a state of repair and only one ship can dock there, the other ships must tender their passengers. They are slowly repairing the area but have a long way to go, lots of trees and trash everywhere. There is no comparison between the beaches in Mexico and the ones in St. Thomas, St. Marten and St. John, the eastern Caribbean beaches are clean, beautiful water, great activities, friendly people.
Belize is a third world country, very depressing riding around the island and seeing the living conditions of these residents. We toured Altun Ha, it was 1-1/2 hours in a bus over a single lane, very worn, bumpy road, very buggy at the ruins, not worth the money. In Costa Maya, we had planned to just enjoy the pool at the end of the pier but it was drained dry and the bar was closed, don't know if it was for maintenance, we couldn't get a straight answer from anyone.
There is no comparison between the beaches in Mexico and the ones in St. Thomas, St. Marten and St. John, the eastern Caribbean beaches are clean, beautiful water, great activities, friendly people.
I agree ... I did not like Belize whatsoever. The city tour was really depressing. The ruins were interesting, but the ride there and back was awful. And the bathrooms were not working at the site, so after a long bus ride, we had to face overflowing toilets. And we had to wash our hands in a spigot outside.
Costa Maya was nothing but a bunch of stores, a few bars and a pool.
I bought some silver, but I paid too much. I saw the same stuff at Epcot's Mexico pavilion for far less -- and by the same silver company!
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Wow, someone had the guts to express their honest opinion, thanks, Fruitcake, for your honest opinion of your experiences in Belize and Costa Maya. Maybe because I live in Florida which has some of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S., every beach I visit outside the U.S. has big shoes to fill. All the feedback I received from other posters prior to my cruise regarding Altun Ha and the beach at Majahual were all rave reviews. After visiting these locations, I seriously wonder if people are going thru life looking thru rose colored glasses. This cruise was my second visit to Belize...we booked a snorkeling tour the first visit, went to some tiny island where there were no fish just one lonely turtle swimming around and around....couldn't wait to get back to the ship. And, you are right about the silver, we had an annoying vendor follow us right out the door into the street trying to sell us a piece of jewelry at an exorbitant price, I just went to Epcot yesterday and saw the same jewelry at a laughable bargain price. I could go on and on about my bad experience in Belize and Costa Maya which includes rude, unfriendly people but will save it for my review.
I really enjoyed Costa Maya. It is a fairly new port and I've been there twice. At the back of the port facility you can rent a golf cart or a taxi to take you into the small village. On one visit we rented the golf cart and drove all the way through the village (following the coastline) until we were in the jungle then came back and stopped at the beach furtherest from the ship. It was WONDERFUL! (My feeble mind cannot remember the name.) There was a hotel across the road with facilities and a small restaurant. There was a bar for drinks, the beach was very clean and the people friendly. Next trip we stayed in the port facility and did a little shopping, a few beers and "people watched." Enjoyed that, as well. Have a great trip!
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For our first time in Costa Maya we shared the port with 2 other ships. The crowd was so thick that it just moved in a circle around the little fake shopping village (how many DI's do they NEED??). If you stopped to look at anything you were bumped from behind by the rest of the crowd. The swimming pool in the middle was jam-packed. People were being served those enormous neon glasses full of drinks right in the pool. As the day progressed people were leaning over the side, barfing, and then ordering another drink. I can just imagine how many people didn't get out of the pool to attend to their other *needs*. It was a giant petrie dish. Some of the people on our cruise did the day trip to the ruins and lunch was part of their trip. They got really bad food poisoning from their lunch and were quarantined for most of the balance of the cruise (in case it wasn't food poisoning). The last time we were in Costa Maya we didn't get off of the ship.
Desdemona, after reading your post about the conditions of the swimming pool, I'm so glad it was closed when we visited, I wouldn't want my grandson swimming in that polluted water. And, food poisoning? That's all I'd need. I know Carnival offers a Mexican food cooking seminar in Cozumel where you get to eat what you prepare...there is no way I'd ever do this. I would be the one person in a million who would get sick and have the remainder of my cruise ruined. The shopkeepers at the stores on the pier were so obnoxious and continued to badger us as we walked out of the store, and when I said "no" to their offers, turned their attention to my grandson and attempted to convince him to purchase the item. The taxi drivers and people we stopped to ask questions of, were rude and sullen. Our tour operator in Belize stated that the largest contributor to Mexico's economy were dollars spent by tourists. If the residents who come in contact with tourists continue their current operating procedures, the tourists will find somewhere else to spend their American dollars.
I went a good 3-4 years ago... but i remember the little "outlet" style mall they had which out of the 20 shops that could have been leasing space... only 5 had been leased at that time.. we were 1 of 2 ships in port... and the pool bar was empty (no water)... so you had 2 ships of 2000 passengers all running around on the beach right their by the semi finished dock... and HUNDREDS of people crowding into the stores... talk about fire code violations...
And from what i have heard (because i haven't been to belize yet). Unless you Scuba Dive... Belize is NOT the port you want to run to...
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I inadvertantly dumped Belize in with Mexico and Belize is not part of Mexico, it's worse. I agree with Gambitscuba, the water would be the major attraction in Belize, either swimming, snorkeling or diving. I am not a shopper so the tacky tourist shops hold no interest for me.
ROSETATTOO "I know Carnival offers a Mexican food cooking seminar in Cozumel where you get to eat what you prepare...there is no way I'd ever do this. "
I just did this in June when we were there. I have been on 4 cruises and had excursions on all of them.
THIS is by far the funnest and the best excursion my husband and I have been on. We both loved it. The Chef and Sous Chef along with the others were great. Wonderful personalities,,, the kind that want to make sure you have a good time. We fixed a grouper fish in a mango salsa that was fantastic. So good that we have fixed it at home.
All of the food was kept in the kitchen until it was time to prepare it.
On another note:
Due to some meds that I take I stay thirsty all the time. I started to get very hot and felt I wasnt drinking enough water. I was quickly offered an A/C lounge to relax and cool off and several bottles of water.
So except for the heat (please dont say the "heat" & "kitchen" line,)
it was enjoyed and we will do it again next time we go back to Cozumel
Costa Maya - The ruins are okay, but nearly one hour bus ride (each way) to get there...make sure the AC works on your bus! Avoid the tourist-trap (TT) at the pier. The dancers were okay, but the rest of the TT pretty much blows.
We recommend the you go to the village Majuahal (sp?). Golf cart or Taxi will get you there. Nice beach, less aggressive vendors and relaxed atmosphere at the village.
There is also a private beach to the right of the dock area. You actually have to crawl through a fence (beyond the ominous brick wall which is designed to keep tourists corralled in the TT) Beautiful white sandy beach, friendly hosts, cold beer and good food.
Cozumel - Please avoid the mopeds unless you have a death wish. The natives say MOPED stands for "Most Often People End (up) Dead". Panchos Backyard and Coconuts has great food. We now always use Harry at www.CozumelTours.com as a personal tour guide. He is a retired US police officer, owns a home on Coz and knows the island very well. He is a certified dive-master. Coz has become a favored port for us in the Caribbean.
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Okay, I'll defend them.
Costa Maya not my favorite, but I have enjoyed going into "town" and chatting with locals while shopping a bit.
Belize is a very poor country, depressing in a way, and Belize City is not exactly the safest place to go. But, hubby is a percussionist and has jammed with local musicians so often that they remember him, so the last trip, I ventured out into the arts and crafts area with him. Stayed well within his sight. Found some beautiful craft work, including carved wooden bowls. But, the first stall I stopped in was textiles. I looked at quite a bit of stuff, but decided on a couple of small items. Bargained down to $10, handed the woman what I thought was $10 bill and walked away. She came after me and I assumed she was just an aggressive salesperson. But, she seemed so frantic that I went back to her stall with her. She said I had given her the wrong money. Tried to mentally give her the benefit of the doubt, as I was not feeling well. Was expecting her so say I had not paid her enough. Instead, she pulled out a $100 bill and said I had given her that. changed it for a $10 and thanked her profusely. I also returned to her shop when I was done shopping and bought more stuff. Good and people and bad are everywhere and anywhere!
P.S> Belize zoo is cool, too.
We went to Costa Maya on our second cruise in 2005. I sat my butt in a hammock on the beach drinking one of those huge 5.00 cocktails and just plain relaxed swinging in the wind. My friends went shopping and we all met back at the ship. I didn't think the pool bar looked bad at all and it seemed everyone was relaxing and enjoying it and I never saw anyone throwing up anywhere. I did not eat anything. Ro