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Home > Member Reviews > Tigerman67's Port Reviews of New Orleans, Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Costa Maya

Tigerman67's Port Reviews of New Orleans, Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Costa Maya
Norwegian Jewel cruise in January 2014
Member Name: Tigerman67
Cruise Date: January 2014
Embarkation: New Orleans
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: Tigerman67's Norwegian Jewel Review
New Orleans
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

New Orleans is a fantastic city, to eat, drink, and enjoy. I would recommend that you spend some time here either before or after your cruise, and book your own itinerary rather than whatever the cruise line has.

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Catamaran tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

I have been to Cozumel multiple times for dive trips and cruise ship stops. This time we did a catamaran trip to passion Island (private island). I'd been there before, so I knew what to expect, and it is a lovely time at a very nice beach with a buffet and an open bar. The catamaran was a motor cat, not a sail cat, but it was probably a good thing since Passion island is all the way to the north end of Cozumel and you would rather get there and enjoy then spend time on the boat. The only downside to Passion Island is that I believe this was a kind of expensive tour, and the island is isolated, and that once you are there, you are there till its time to go back, so other than the services and shops there, you are out of luck. But it is a private island and that is nice as people aren't bugging you during your beach time, and they have a small assortment of shops if you wanted to buy something plus massages etc.

We docked at the older International pier, which is very nice in my opinion since its within easy walking distance of downtown and the square. And when we got back from our excursion, we still had time to have a leisurely stroll down to the square, people watch and have a drink before heading back to the dock. Like the newer cruise ship dock, the international pier now has that same sort of a gauntlet of shops that you HAVE to go by in order to get out of the pier area, I find that a bit annoying, but what can you do, its the same from both piers.

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Belize City
Lamanai Mayan Ruins Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

While tendering to a port isn't exactly a fun time, especially as far out as the ships have to anchor in Belize, it wasn't a bad tender ride other than length of time.

Our favorite excursion of the cruise was the Lamanai Mayan ruins via a boat (I think they called it mayan ruins and river safari). Basically after a long bus ride, they drop you on some boats. The boats held quit a few people, but had twin 200hp outboards on back, and once you got out of the no wake zone those boats were flying down the river, it was sort of an adventure in itself. The ruins were fun, and we must have hit the timing right, as many times, we would walk up to a set of ruins and there were no people around, and you could quickly capture some photos before there were tons of other tourists in them. We were also allowed to scale the high temple, which was a lot of fun and felt like a major accomplishment, although we had a couple of sore muscles the next day from it.

Not a huge amount of time once we got back from our excursion but we did walk around some in the mean time.

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Hiking Rating: 3.0 out of 5+

We had booked with Little French Key for Roatan on our own and not with the cruise line. You have to go outside of the pier area to get picked up by them, where you will get crushed with offers of people willing to drive you somewhere or take you on a tour etc. I would probably use the more reputable people that are inside the pier area offering the same sort of thing rather than some guy who happens to own a car. We missed meeting up with the Little french key people, as we weren't going to stand out in that crush of hawkers outside the gate for long, but it was seriously raining at the time, so we didn't feel to bad about missing it. When the rain let up later in the day, we walked the 10 minute walk down to Coxen Hole. Alot of aggressive vendors, and Coxen hole looked like a very poor area and not a very pleasant touristy area. While not as frightening as Jamacia is when you get off the beaten path, I certainly wouldn't be in that area at night if we had a late departure time. My advise when walking outside the pier area is to keep walking, if you stop moving the more aggressive ones really come on strong. We bought a few nice trinkets from the non-aggressive vendors, and then wondered back to the ship. A few people we talked with later said they just negotiated a taxi for a couple of people to do a tour of the island since it was raining and they really enjoyed it and it wasn't much money (like $15-20 a person I think).

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Costa Maya
Beach Break Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

We did the beach break after the ruins. Beach area included a buffet lunch and an open bar. Beach area was okay, not as clean and pristine as Passion Island was in Cozumel. Also the beach area has not a hotel and there is nothing nearby, its basically just a beach area set up for visiting cruise ships. But it also wasn't exceptionally close to the pier area, so I think it was like another 30 minutes on the bus to bet back to the pier. We got back with basically no time to spare, so we headed back on the boat as soon as we got off the bus. I heard several people say that just taking a cheap taxi to the fishing village grabbing a cheap lunch, having a few drinks, and maybe getting an affordable massage was an inexpensive and wonderful way to spend the afternoon in Costa Maya.

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Costa Maya is basically an effort to create a cruise line stop where nothing much existed before. There is a small fishing village near by, but I have to assume that they are more touristy than fishing these days. As you drive through the town near the pier, you can see streets laid out that are completely unoccupied, I think they hope that they will be the next Playa de Carmen eventually, but right now, not much there. We did another mayan ruins tour plus lunch/beach break. Alot of time in the bus to get us to the ruins and back. Good tour guide along the way and at the ruins. But I think we enjoyed the ruins in Belize more. With all the time on the bus, not a huge amount of time left for the beach break after.

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