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Home > Member Reviews > hyker1's Port Reviews of Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya, Cozumel

hyker1's Port Reviews of Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Norwegian Dawn cruise in November 2012
Member Name: hyker1
Cruise Date: November 2012
Embarkation: Tampa
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: hyker1's Norwegian Dawn Review
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
This was my second visit. As stated above, I found Roatan to be rather frightening with all the armed soldiers carrying loaded guns. There were lots of hecklers and children wanting hand-outs. It just didn't feel safe. There was just a real uneasy sense of "Nobody can trust anyone around here" type of feeling in the air.

We didn't have a shore excursion at this port, so we walked through town and went to the Yaba Ding-Ding store. I did like that place. Proceeds help support women in Honduras who are in battered marriages or relationships and the crafts are stunning. My Mother-in-law loved the place.

Here's my concern: if so many armed guards are toting guns in the streets, there's either a serious drug traffic problem or crime rate, or risk of assaults on tourists. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know when you feel endangered. I think NCL needs to get the "Heck out of Dodge" so to speak before something serious happens there!

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Belize City
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
This was my 2nd time in Belize and it's still my favorite! We did the Lamanai River Cruise for the 2nd time. It was just as fabulous this time as it was before!

You are tendered ashore and then go to a waiting bus. Once aboard, you travel 75 miles north into mainland Central America to the New River. There, you get on a riverboat with two 200 horsepower engines that haul ASS! For 25 miles, you jet through some narrow canals loaded with indigenous wildlife: black-necked stilts, shovel-billed herons, tiger-herons, crocodiles, you name it. You are truly in a hardwood jungle and I guarantee you'll see some crazy stuff! The plant life alone is phenomenal. Once the river opens up wide (I swear, you'll feel like you're on the Discovery Channel!!!), there's a Mayan pyramid rising over the canopy, and you arrive at Lamanai Archaeological Park. As you walk through the jungle paths, you can photograph Howler Monkies swinging through the trees screaming. And don't step on the lines of Army Ants parading over the trail! No lie! We took photos of some! You can climb up the Temples, but take care. They're steep and there's no medical help for 100 miles or more. Keep your children CLOSE and take bug dope. Your will seriously get a taste of the jungle and what it's like. It's fantastic! It's also the longest Belize shore-excursion. I HIGHLY recommend this one. You also get a traditional meal served at the boat dock.

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Costa Maya
Snorkeling Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
I really liked Costa Maya. There's really not much there, but I found it to be a friendly place with very beautiful water and a lovely beach club. We went on a power-boat/snorkel combo. They bused us to a very nice, new Beach Club where we were immediately fitted with equipment. You get to keep your snorkel, which makes for a fun souvenir. They also had an "open bar" policy, meaning unlimited drinks... whatever you wanted. Food was extra, and the nachos were only mid-grade. Not worth the $8 we were charged. I won't mention how many Pina Coladas I had, but let's just say I got my money's worth and didn't need any on board the ship!

The power-boat ride was really fun! It's a fifteen to twenty minute jaunt to the little floating dock they snorkle from and they cowboy in a zig-zag pattern so everyone gets a fun ride. My husband loved it, and I laughed the whole way. Totally awesome! Once at the floating dock, we brought the boats up and started the snorkel. Not the best snorkel I've ever done as far as seeing sea life, but there were some really lovely conchs and sand-dollars.

I highly recommend this shore excursion. Someone else on cruise critic mentioned that bugs were bad on this trip. Be sure to take bug dope for the beach. There are some awful flies there. My bites itched for a week and I had huge welts. They also sell some nice crafts and jewelry at the Beach Club. Mexico's a great place to buy silver. I purchased a lovely pendant and chain for a very reasonable price. You can bargain with them... it's expected.

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Snuba Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I did this excursion with my sister-in-law. I always love Cozumel, but this particular location had very poor sea-life. The reef was badly damaged and the sea-life disappointing. I did get to see a lobster, but there was very little living coral. Most was dead. :( Also, we had to wait nearly and hour before even getting into the water. One lady in our group was freezing. It was actually warmer in the water than out of it! Temps were in the low 70's that day with breezy conditions. Anyway, the snuba only lasted 30 minutes max. It's truly enjoyable, but awfully short. They take your photo underwater, so my sister in law and I got a cute photo souvenir shot of us holding hands underwater with a tropical fish swimming by. Cute. If you've never done Snuba, definitely go, but I don't advise going at this particular location. I went in Roaton another time, and the reef was spectacular!

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