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Home > Member Reviews > Darshan1's Port Reviews of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Grand Cayman

Darshan1's Port Reviews of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Grand Cayman
Carnival Glory cruise in December 2012
Member Name: Darshan1
Cruise Date: December 2012
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: Darshan1's Carnival Glory Review
Cozumel
Mayan Ruins Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Tulum was nice if not incredible after Chichen Itza. I think it may not be as amazing now (although this was the first time I've seen it) because you can't get close enough to the ruins to take photos with the dramatic blue, blue Caribbean in the background. The water is indeed gorgeous and the guide was friendly and informative if a bit un-involving. The tour took all day, so perhaps do your souvenir shopping on the way to Tulum (a 20 minute break) or right after seeing the ruins. If you're not into shopping, you should have ample time after seeing the ruins to swim or have lunch (there's a good, inexpensive restaurant very near where the buses park). If you're out of a shape, touring Tulum can be a longish walk and rather hot,so be careful and bring water and bug spray. The ferry from Cozumel to the mainland is comfortable.

Best thing about Cozumel appears to be the water, so next time I'll probably try the beaches of Playa del Carmen.


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Belize City
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Belize is beautiful, but appears very poor. Last time (2005) we did the combination of the River Wallace boat cruise (incredible) with the Altun Ha ruins (eh). I would still recommend that tour. This time we did an independent tour through Coral Breeze Tours called Taste of Belize which was fun if not for everyone. I would not recommend it if you're looking for a lot of history (cultural or, really, culinary) and definitely not if you're looking for the country's natural beauty. However, if you have seen Belize before and you want a bit of the "real Belize" you will be taken to the south side of Belize City (the less wealthy area) to visit a market for locals (sample exotic fruits and buy unusual spices), to a "hole in the wall restaurant" (clean and modern though - called KC's Deli) to sample johnny cakes and meat pies, to a rum distillery to sample local products, and then to a short class back at the dock to learn how to make a delicious shrimp and conch ceviche. Our guide, Melvin, was friendly and gracious and tried very hard to make sure we all had a great experience.

Because tendering takes a relatively long time in Belize, make sure you coordinate independent tours carefully so you aren't late for your tour nor late back to the ship.

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Roatan
Port Rating: Not Rated
Like Belize, Roatan seemed poor, but was surprisingly clean and well-kept up except for pot holes. I'd heard that it's already getting over-developed, but it did not appear touristy and bland in the way Grand Cayman and St. Maarten feel. Roatan is not as mountainous as Dominica or St. Vincent, but is nearly as lush. The water is that incredible Caribbean blue (or it was that day). Our excursions was Gumbalimba Park (a nature preserve - mostly monkeys and beautiful birds) and Tabyana Beach. Carnival has apparently improved this excursion because we had ample time on the beautiful beach and that had been a past complaint. Great!

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Grand Cayman
Port Rating: Not Rated
Grand Cayman is great if you like getting in the water or like sailing on it, but other than that it can be boring, and if you've already had too much sun and sea, there's not much to do. Shopping for jewelry is fun here, but our price range (about $125) and the store we typically like (Effy) didn't mesh as well as in the past - still found something nice there. Unfortunately, not much for sale is truly from the Caymans, but there is a souvenir store across from the Royal Bank of Canada on Shedden Street (very near the cruise terminal) which has a few shelves of local wood crafts.

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