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

SonictheGT's Port Reviews of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Grand Cayman
Carnival Legend cruise in November 2012
Member Name: SonictheGT
Cruise Date: November 2012
Embarkation: Tampa
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: SonictheGT's Carnival Legend Review
Cozumel
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Here we met up with a few Cruisecritic members for a KaoKao Chocolate Factory Tour. It wasn't much of a factory tour, but more a history lesson on how chocolate was made. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was very fun. And the chocolate will blow your socks off!

After that, we went out on our own to Wet Wendy's Margarita House and Restaurant. That might have been the best decision I could have made in Cozumel. The port as a whole is just okay in my opinion, that's why we didn't do an excursion. The margaritas here are the best that I have had anywhere on this planet. Just absolutely stellar. The wait staff was super friendly and very lively. The prices are a bit high for Mexico, but for what you get, I think its very fairly priced. Don't miss the Peanut Butter Chocolate Margarita. Be warned however, you must drink them fast, because they are huge, and will melt all over otherwise. So put your drinking pants on, and have a darn fine time!

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Belize City
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Once you find your way through the crowd and find Vitalino you are good to go. They take you right to your van, and off you go. We had a group of about 12, and we had 3 guides. Well within your 8 people per guide rule. Our guys were very fun, and informative. Very quick witted as well. The ride is easy except the last 7 miles is bumpy like whoa. Especially when you have to use the restroom. Lesson learned, but I made it! The area were you get your tubes had very nice restrooms and changing areas. There was a lot of people with different tour groups all over. I was very glad I made the decision to use cavetubing.bz, if only for the nicer equipment. And when I mean nicer, its night and day difference. Their tubes were new and nice. Very wide and comfortable, and have a back support so your neck doesn't strain. I didn't see any other tour company with that feature. Also most everyone takes the same trail to the caves, and we got passed up a lot, because our guides were teaching us about the rain forest, and trying to get some tarantulas to come out of their holes to show us. Sadly it was a bit damp, and too much vibration to get them all the way out, but we did get a glimpse. The only negative, was the same negative in any rain forest I have been in. Ants.... and lots of them in certain areas. There was leaf cutter ants, fire ants, and army ants. We saw all three. If you watched where you put your feet you were good, but if you stood in one area for a while, you risk getting bit. Luckily this year I didn't get bit once, but other members of my group did. It isn't exactly painful, but it doesn't feel very good, and they can itch like crazy if they get you a lot. So bring real nice water shoes, and some good insect repellent specifically for ants. Now back to the good parts. Once you got in the water and begun the tour, it was clear that we had great guides. There was someone policing the entry into the water to make sure they don't take more than 8 people per guide, but once they got into the caves I think groups combined, and the guys got out to bring more guests. I saw as many as 14-16 per guide. Many of the guides too pulled you through as fast as they could, and didn't bother to try to stop and explain much. Our guide took it nice and slow, and showed us all the cool formations and the waterfall. After we finish our two caves (a lot of companies only do 1 cave) we head back to get something to eat. I don't like rice at all, but their rice and beans was awesome. They had this hot sauce on the tables that was amazing, and also for sale for only 3 dollars. Good bet! Their chicken and rum punch was also fantastic. We took a gallon of rum punch back on the van with us for the ride back. It was fun. Word of wisdom though, don't try to take a drink when we are going over a pot hole, haha. Also please try the local beer if you like beer. I quite liked it, and it was only 3 dollars. Worth it for sure. So back to the only other partially negative on the trip. They got us back a little late to the tender. Last tender was supposed to be at 4, and we got back at 4:15. We stopped to pick up some other guests from a van that had a flat tire. That being said though, there was over 100 people on our late tender, and 1 more tender even later than ours, so it wasn't even a big deal. All in all, they did a great job, and if I ever find myself back in Belize again, I'll go again for sure.
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Roatan
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
After reading a lot of these reviews, I have to think that many people haven't really ever snorkeled at any places worth snorkeling at to call this the best snorkeling ever. It was an average experience overall. From the start it was a bit rocky. It rained very hard as we pulled into port. Once we got off the boat, it had stopped raining. The drive to the north shore was very short. Most of it was on the nice paved roads. The last bit was on a dirt road. It looked to be a type of reddish clay mud after the rain. We tried once to get up the hill and we didn't make it. We backed down, and tried again. This time, we slid into the ditch. Luckily for us, there were workers surveying the road to be paved, so they were able to push us out, otherwise we would have been really hosed. Al came in his pick up truck, and took us the rest of the way. Most of our group decided to ride in the back so we could get on with the tour. It was kinda sketchy. Also, just thought it was worth mentioning, to get to their retreat, you have to pass by the garbage dump. The smell was pretty foul, and it was very gross looking. I am not a travel snob by any means, but that was just not something I wanted to see on my vacation. Once we got there, the owner Barb came out and explained a bit about this place. It basically is a holistic wellness retreat. After a bit, we went on to the tour, where Al was our captain. He was nice and knowledgeable. We did two snorkel sites, which were not nearly as far out as I was thinking. We left from a dock off a mangrove. I was hoping for a little beachy area. The two sites weren't nearly as wonderful as I was hoping. I saw lots of great sites on the Internet to go explore, and I was hoping they would take us somewhere almost as good. I was let down. There was almost no fish or wildlife of any kind in the water, just coral. It was pretty decent coral, but not the best I have seen. I don't think it helped that it was very cloudy, because it did not allow the colors to really pop. After we finished we went back and had some food. It was some noodles and chips and salsa. Nothing very filling, just more of a light snack. My favorite thing once we returned was the "Monkey La La". It is one of the local drinks in Roatan. It was very delicious, and only charged a reasonable 5 dollars each for them. Also, I didn't want to forget to mention that she gives out a board game that she created as well for free for anyone who wants them, so if you like games, leave a bit of extra room in your luggage for this. I haven't played it yet, but look forward to breaking it out at Thanksgiving. It looks fun. We made it back to the boat with plenty of time to spare. All in all, it is probably about a 3.5 star experience for me, but that wasn't an option. I am not regretful that I have done this, but next time, I will be looking for someone else to help guide me through better places in the reef.

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Grand Cayman
Stingray Swim Rating: 5+ out of 5+
So I was on the Carnival Legend, which really wasn't a very great experience. It wasn't all together bad, but I kind of felt like my vacation wasn't all it could have been. Then I get to Grand Cayman. We met Chip the captain right at 11:15, and we proceeded to pick up 2 more guests from a hotel, and we were on our way to the Far Tortuga. We only had 6 people on our tour, and we had 4 crew members on board. His Catamaran was nice and roomy for 6 people. I'm not sure how it would be with 15+ because you'd be fighting to lay on the trampoline up front. We sail out to the sandbar first, and Chip explains how to handle and interact with the stingrays. I admit I was a bit nervous about this, because who can forget Steve Irwin? My girlfriend did it once before though, and said it was a must do... She wasn't lying. It was such an amazing experience. I will note that there was many boats around the sandbar. Most boats had between 25-50 guests on each. Again ours had 6! You can't beat that kind of personalized attention. Since there was many boats, there was many waves. The water was around 3 or so feet deep, but the waves sometimes made it 6 feet plus. That was the scariest part, because you could run into the rays. That did happen to me, a ray actually was pushed into me by a wave. It felt about like a sharp finger nail. Nothing serious at all, and it wasn't anyone's fault. We got to feed a lot of the stingrays, and hold one for an extended period of time and got some great photos. There was also on onboard photographer that would sell you his pictures if you did not have an underwater camera like we did. On the way back they had great fresh fruit, and a lot of beer. Good selection too of American beers like bud light and miller, and also had some red stripe and some girly Smirnoff's. All in all, this trip was amazing, and I would go back again in a heartbeat!


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