The excursion began with a bus tour of Belize City. Our tour guides were fluent in English and expert in their knowledge. We travelled out of the city and embarked upon a river safari, seeing iguana babies, a crocodile, many beautiful tropical birds, and yes, monkeys! Complimentary fresh-made juice and gingery-cookies were offered at the boathouse. Items of cultural importance were pointed out along the way, as well. A very refreshing ride was enjoyed.
The highlight was the Lamanai ruins, a guided jungle hike through five amazing ruins sites. Many climbed the ruins, but lacking the agility of youth we did not. Our guides lingered long at each location and we never felt rushed, had lots of time to think and imagine the splendor of the history and technology for each site. I would think this would be a tour not to miss for just about anyone!
We returned to the boathouse after the jungle / ruins hike and were served a lovely luncheon of traditional fare -- rice and beans cooked in coconut milk was fabulous as was the rest of the buffet.
We then boarded the bus for the final leg of the return and tendered back to the ship in plenty of time for the all aboard.
We chose to explore Cozumel on our own, not seeing an excursion that interested us. We hired a taxi driver (his name is Guillermo Ventura Dzib) who spoke impeccable English, who drove us around the perimeter of the entire island, explained the flora, fauna, Mexican and Mayan cultures, and everything else we asked, stopped for pictures or for sightseeing anywhere we wanted -- in short, we had a fabulous "insiders" tour, and both went for about the price of one persons admission to any of the other ship-board offerings. We definitely would recommend this route, the taxi was clean, air conditioned, and the driver was attentive and safe.
Among the stops we made were the two ruins sites on the island, both unique and worth spending some time for learning.
After the taxi tour, we visited the shops outside of the mall. Be sure to visit the jewelry stores, the bargains are abundant and the settings were interesting and different from the standard ones offered in our hometown.
Don't miss this port, and allow a full day for sightseeing here.
That said, we did enjoy walking the village and seeing the public art. I had not been to Key West in about 30 years, so it was interesting to note the changes.
We did buy fare for the trolley, which was interesting but we could only hear about what was there rather than experience it because of the time of day. It was a nice stop, wish we could have been there when the town was up and around (evening into night).