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Home > Member Reviews > LanSluder's Port Reviews of Belize City, Cartagena (Colombia), Puerto Limon

LanSluder's Port Reviews of Belize City, Cartagena (Colombia), Puerto Limon
Celebrity Equinox cruise in March 2014
Member Name: LanSluder
Cruise Date: March 2014
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: LanSluder's Celebrity Equinox Review
Belize City
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

I have written a number of travel and retirement guides to Belize, including Fodor's and Moon, and I have come to know Belize well over the past nearly 25 years. However, this was the first time I had arrived by cruise ship, and frankly I was surprised at how well the port area stood up to other ports on the ship's itinerary. The Tourism Village shops weren't anything special, and many items were grossly overpriced (Traveller's Three Barrel "Parrot" rum, formerly Duurley's and my favorite Belize rum) was selling for US$25 a liter in a shop in the Tourism Village. That's more than twice what you'd pay in almost any grocery in Belize.

However, we strolled around the Fort George area, felt entirely safe and weren't hassled at all. We had a Belikin and excellent ceviche at the Radisson Fort George bar. Other guests took tours and seemed to enjoy themselves.

Obviously I'm biased, but to me Belize City is a much more enjoyable stop than most of the other ports on this itinerary, such as Limon, Colon, Grand Cayman and even Cozumel. The downside is that you do have to tender in, and admittedly parts of Belize City are rough and certainly not representative of the most of the rest of the country, but still I'm proud of Belize and laud tourism officials for making the cruise experience there as positive as possible.

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Cartagena (Colombia)
City Tour Rating: 2.0 out of 5+

I had never visited Cartagena before, and I was impressed by both the modern city and the old walled city. However, I was much less impressed with the city tour we took. At best we just saw a few highlights briefly, and the focus seemed to be on getting us in and out of everything quickly (except the "artisan shops" that sold mostly junk.)

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Puerto Limon
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+

We first visited Limon in 1982. We took the old jungle train from San José to Limon (now there's just a short tourist train) and spent the night in this rough port town. Frankly, it hasn't changed much, and offers little for the visitor, but we did walk to Parque Vargas and once again were able to see a sloth in one of the trees, just as we did more than 30 years ago. For all we know, it was a descendent of the same sloth we saw in 1982!

I love Costa Rica, but much of what we loved years ago has been replaced, and prices for everything are 20 or 30 times higher than they used to be. On that first visit in '82, we paid 15 U.S. cents for a beer in the best hotel bar in San José, and the train ride to Limon was, as I recall, about US$2.

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