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Home > Member Reviews > Annalise's Port Reviews of Half Moon Cay, Montego Bay, Costa Maya

Annalise's Port Reviews of Half Moon Cay, Montego Bay, Costa Maya
Nieuw Amsterdam cruise in December 2013
Member Name: Annalise
Cruise Date: December 2013
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: Annalise's Nieuw Amsterdam Review
Half Moon Cay
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

DH and I were in the first group to tender in and we immediately hit the beach. Kamal did not leave HAL beach towels in our room so I had to run up to the Lido deck and take 2 towels before we left (true to form). Anyway, Half Moon Cay was bee-U-tee-ful with powder white sand and cool, refreshing water. I struck up conversations with people nearby and everyone was very, very friendly.

As for the bar-b-que, everything was pre-cooked so the hamburgers were very dry. Long lines were discouraging so I just got a little bit and sat down at a picnic table to eat. Many passengers took advantage of the horseback riding excursion and other excursions. They commented that they were very good, esp. the horseback riding along the beach.

Half Moon Cay proved to be a PERFECT beach day and we enjoyed ourselves just sunning and swimming.

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Montego Bay
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

I prefer to book excursions separate from the cruise because #1. It is cost effective and #2. we like to experience as much local color as possible so we try to deal with natives. Anyway, DH and I walked out of the terminal and hopped a JUTA van with 8 other people. Clay was the driver and half the group he dropped at the local beach ($5). We remained on board and he asked if, for $15, would we like to tour Montego Bay? Well, of course! So for the next 1 1/2 hours, Clay drove us up and down the mountainous terrain of Montego Bay and introduced us to the flora and fauna. We stopped at Rose Hall Great House and we saw how the rich live and how the poor just scrape by. It was very interesting. At tour's end, he dropped us in town to do a little shopping. We strode up and down the narrow street as hawkers tried to get us into their shops to buy their souvenirs but we never felt unsafe or threatened in any way. Quite the opposite actually and DH commented on how attractive the Jamaican woman are. He wanted to drop us by the craft market but we politely declined and went straight on to the ship. We left with sweet memories of Jamaica. Yea Mon!!!

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Costa Maya
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Rating: Not Rated

OMG! If you have even an inkling of interest in ancient Mayan culture, do NOT miss the Chochoben ruins. I booked with Native Choice and was not sorry. We were a small group of 12 and got a wonderful tour and feel for what life was like 2,000 years ago. Maybe I have to qualify this by saying I speak fluent Mexican-Spanish, so we got a little preferential treatment, but even so, it was amazing. The jungle is totally cleared and there are 3 pyramids to see and a plaza. Smart idea to wear bug spray. One warning would be that the steep stairs are very slippery and dangerous to climb but the view from below is just as good. The highlight of the tour came when the van halted along the highway and we bought FRESH pineapple from native women. They gave us a special smoke-flavored chile powder to sprinkle to enhance the sweetness. It tasted like PURE sugar. Also, the honey tapped from jungle trees is s'psd to be excellent but I don't like honey so I can't comment. We ended the tour happy and on a sugar high. I will never eat canned pineapple again!!!

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