Good, took a local taxi for $20 with a charming and well-informed local driver who showed us the island and its many impresive facilities ranging from sports stadiums to a university. A buzzing and friendly place
This is California's Silicon Valley in the Caribbean! The port is central in the town, which is clean and modern with plenty of good shops and places to visit. We hardly saw a building which was not new and fully maintained. Seven mile beach is great, from there we caught a $1 local bus to the turtle "farm", somewhat overpriced but interesting and with an excellent restaurant.
We never got to the falls! After being told by a ticket "tout" at the ship that entrance to the falls was included in the $20 fee, the bus crew said it was not (the falls are about 2 kms from the ship) Following a major scene, most had their money refunded. We opted to stay with the bus which after negociation took us on a tour of Ocho Rios area instead, including a beach stop.
The port itself was the worst we have ever seen, it turned out that it was a bauxite-loading pier. The corrugated metal sheeting which formed the abandoned buildings waved gently in the breeze! In the run-down and dirty town we were constantly accosted by beggars, drug sellers and street vendors.
Why the cruise visits Belize City is a total puzzle. We found almost all the passengers we spoke to felt the same, and were quickly back on board. We opted for Costa's "City Tour" - this was in a ramshackle ex-US Greyhound coach with broken seats. The hour's tour was at walking pace, obviously to make it last. The one stop was at the unimpressive brick "cathedral" to which there was no access! Otherwise the only thing to see were run-down houses with rotting woodwork. One gets the impresiion that nobody has lifted a paint-brush or hammer since independance, and the gardens were full of eveything from the day's garbage to overgrown, crumbling cars!