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Home > Member Reviews > lovevaca's Port Reviews of Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya, Cozumel

lovevaca's Port Reviews of Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Norwegian Star cruise in April 2012
Member Name: lovevaca
Cruise Date: April 2012
Embarkation: Tampa
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: lovevaca's Norwegian Star Review
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Booked the West Bay Beach Excursion through Island Marketing and was very happy with it. Very nice beach, though a little crowded. Our cab driver was very nice and stayed with us all day. There was always someone there to watch our belongings while we swam. We had originally planned to rent snorkel equipment and snorkel from the beach, but the snorkeling off the beach did not look very good. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, when we learned that for $60 Gustavo Pavon (a tour operator on the beach) would take us on his boat and snorkel with us over the reef, snorkel equipment included, for about an hour and a half. The snorkeling was amazing!! Both the reef and fish were beautiful and there was no one else in sight at our snorkel spot. If you go to West Bay Beach, I definitely recommend finding Gustavo! Our entire family of 4 agree snorkeling at Roatan was our single most enjoyable excursion.

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Belize City
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
In my opinion, this is the one port that I would not be comfortable venturing out on my own and definitely recommend booking an excursion in advance (either throuhg NCL of someone else).

We booked the Cave Tubing and Zipline XTreme Adventure through Island Marketing for $95 per person. This was a total 6.5 hour excursion and was amazing. The excursion began with a one hour tour of the island. The guides from XTreme are awesome - very vunny and full of great information. When we arrived at the rainforest, we got our tubes and hiked approximately 30 minutes, again with a tour along the way. Then it was time to enter the water. Cave tubing was a good, relaxing experience and the water was refreshing. We were divided into groups of 8 and our guides did a great job of keeping us together (which I can't say about some of the other companies I saw). I am very glad we had the opportuntiy to do the cave tubing, but it's probably not something I need to do again (fun, but not very exciting). After about an hour and a half in the caves, it was time for ziplining. This was a great experience - a total of 10 ziplines, the longest 700 feet. A warning though - be prepared to climb up to the top of the zipline! DD, DS and I liked the Ziplining portion of our adventure the most, while DH voted cave tubing his favorite part. After ziplining we were treated to lunch (rice and beans, chicken and fresh fruit and juice) before heading back to port. This is another excursion I would recommend!

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Costa Maya
Beach Break Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We booked the "Beach Break Lounge" at the YaYa Beach Club through Island Marketing. This was the bargain of our vacation! For $32.50 for adults, $20 for children, we were treated to a beautiful beach on a lagoon. The beach was not crowded at all, there was plenty of shade, the unlimited drinks were quite tasty, and the water was perfectly clear. DD and DS announced it was the best beach they have ever imagined and we had to agree with them.

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Culinary Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We booked an amazing cooking class through the website Josephina is the chef. She welcomed our family of 4, along with another couple, into her kitchen. We picked the entree that we wanted to learn to make (Chicken Mole) ahead of time and, in addition, everyone in all of her classes makes about 10 other things (Guacamole, Salsa, Cactus Salad, Cucumber and Mango Salad, Refried Beans, Homemade Tortillas, Quesedeas, Hibiscus tea and, of course, margaritas). Our class started with a trip to the local market, where Josephina showed us how to pick out the best produce and, upon request, also helped my son pick out a few choice hot sauces. Back at her home, we alternated between preparing our meal and eating our creations, until we finally tried our masterpiece - Chicken Mole. While the taste was a bit too unusual for the kids (who continued to enjoy everything else), all of the adults in the class loved this dish. I've had Chicken Mole a few times, but this was by far my favorite. This class was great for the whole family - me (definitely the cook of the family), DH (who usually avoids the kitchen at all costs, and DD(13) and DS(12) who loved making and eating these creations. If you are looking for an authentic experience and can tear yourself away from the beach for a few hours, I highly recommend booking this excursion!

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