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Home > Member Reviews > MeloDrew's Port Reviews of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Grand Cayman

MeloDrew's Port Reviews of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Grand Cayman
Carnival Liberty cruise in September 2012
Member Name: MeloDrew
Cruise Date: September 2012
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: MeloDrew's Carnival Liberty Review
Cozumel
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I would like to say that it makes me sick to my stomach to see Carnival and other cruise lines building these mega shopping terminals that they lock you into. You have to be savvy to find your way out of the maze of Diamonds International, Fat Tuesday, Del Sol, etc.

They are taking business away from the local economy by doing this. They are also (intentionally) confusing their own passengers who are afraid to leave the little cruise town they have built up to line their own pockets. Cozumel and Roatan were despicable approaches of these big titans of the sea trying to find more ways to separate you from your money----Carnival and RCI get a 40% split of all port / terminal sales--you better believe it. Why else do they only give you a shopping guide for the little terminal town they built up? Ask the locals---

Ports of Call:

Cozumel:

We were dropped off at Puerta Maya Cruise Center---the all new tourist and trinket rip off center brought in part to you by Carnival. This place has over 50 retailers...they even force you to walk through Dufry ( a duty free cigarette, alcohol and trinket store) before you can go anywhere.

Once you find your way through the shopping maze, you then get to the taxi maze---yes there are taxis waiting for you at the end of the pier---but they also work in conjunction with Carnival and the terminal. We had to actually leave the whole area and walk a block or so to get a taxi that would take us to Playa Palancar. Sadly all the taxis at the terminal refused to take us where we wanted to go--because they get a kick back from some of the resorts. They also charged higher than normal prices.

Playa Palancar was awesome!--Great beach with a dive platform in the ocean, great beers and margaritas with great service and plenty of lounge chairs and tables---and it was all free--(except for drinks---but they were cheap)---we will definitely return there again.

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Belize City
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Belize:

We booked with Island Marketing Ltd. and did the Goff's Caye beach break and snorkeling at the barrier reef. Pretty straight forward...board tender from ship arrive to Belize City and meet up with tour guides. I can not recommend Island Marketing enough---great service--great prices--($40.00/person) and great people.

They took us to our own private island in the sun that was 1.75 acres of paradise. Once there you re-board the boat and go snorkel the barrier reef then return to hang out on the island and do shallow snorkeling or just chill--Awesome time!-

Aside from that Belize is not too exciting as you must bok an ecxcursion of some sort to go anywhere.

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Roatan
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Roatan:

Again--- I was really upset that Carnival has built this big mega pier called Mahogany Bay. It's a big tourist trap dump with all the wretched places like Diamonds International, Fat Tuesday, Del Sol. etc. What's even worse is that they have specifically designed this pier to block out local taxis. You now have to walk up the hill and around the block to catch a taxi that you can make a deal with. They make it look like you are stuck at this pier and must use one of the tourist operator taxis. I did not like this at all. When we went there in 2008 it was at a different pier and you could just walk right out and grab a taxi or walk downtown and go shopping. As our taxi passed through the downtown area we saw that most of the stores were closed and out of business since the last time we were there. I wonder how much "Mahogany Bay" has contributed to this.

Aside from that once we "escaped from Mahogany Bay" we caught a taxi to the Roatan Butterfly garden....don't waste your time---apparently all the butterflies have died and it's closed.

So we headed to BananaRama beach and just went right into the water and snorkeled. They also have a huge water slide, trampoline and water activates that are $10.00/person that some others in our group did. The best snorkeling in the Caribbean is in Roatan by Tabyana beach or by Bananarama beach. Sadly Roatan always has an early departure and we had to be back by 2:30.

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Grand Cayman
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Grand Cayman:

It was very easy getting a tender off the ship and getting to Grand Cayman. Once there we passed through the mini tourist trap to get out to the street and catch a taxi to Cemetery Beach. I love the taxi's in GC---they are always super nice, very informative and only charge you 2.50/person to go anywhere on the island.(I always give an extra tip because they are so nice and cheap)---

Cemetery beach was great and the water was exceptionally clear---more than it has been in previous visits. I like GC and would go there for a week or so. We finished out our day by going to Breezes by the Bay---best damn Category 5 Hurricanes, Conch Fritters and Fries with a garlic aioli sauce. We ended up being the next to last tender back to the boat--and that was fun. Buffet for a sncak...YUCK!

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