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8 Belize City to Caribbean - Western Cruise Reviews

It sounded close enough to the US, but varied, with 5 days aboard and 5 days ashore. What no one at National Geographic or Lindblad told me was that this was the inaugural trip; worse yet was that the trip had not been tested on anyone. I ... Read More
It sounded close enough to the US, but varied, with 5 days aboard and 5 days ashore. What no one at National Geographic or Lindblad told me was that this was the inaugural trip; worse yet was that the trip had not been tested on anyone. I paid an inordinate amount, retail, no discount, to be someone's guinea pig. So, I still, after three months, have a really bad taste in my mouth because I've been had. This is not what I expect for two well-regarded tour companies. On board, we experience long delays as the staff tried to find anchorage leaving travelers twiddling their thumbs, waiting, for hours aboard. One group was stranded in a Zodiac during a vicious rain squall. Outside tour companies were hired, on the fly, to take us snorkeling, on bus tours, and to coordinate flights. Equipment and transportation failed as did staff. Again, we were left for most of a day in the airport without information. When we finally arrived at our next destination, 30% of the luggage was missing. The land group leader was dismissive, condescending, and glossed over procedural errors and missteps that were so obvious to many. I used to how these companies up as the gold standard of eco-tourism. This trip will be my last. Their offerings are spreading the company thin. Quality has been sacrificed for quantity across the board. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I had sailed with Blount before on one of their Erie Canal trips. I loved the smaller ship and the terrific crew. Several of the passengers told me about their experiences during their Caribbean cruise on Blount, and I booked the trip when ... Read More
I had sailed with Blount before on one of their Erie Canal trips. I loved the smaller ship and the terrific crew. Several of the passengers told me about their experiences during their Caribbean cruise on Blount, and I booked the trip when I got home. Flying into Belize City was very easy. Staff was there to greet us and help us to our shuttles. The usual tourist port had been damaged by a hurricane a couple of months before, so we were out on the edge of the commercial ships. Normally we would have been close to shopping and exploring on our own. The staff arranged a shuttle to take us from our remote location to points of interest. Lux Hunter, the naturalist, along with two guides, Victoria and Capi, made sure we had opportunities to see a variety of marine life, birds, and animals. I never felt rushed. When any of us lagged behind, they would reassure us that we had time. They explained activities, like a cleaning station with a parrot fish being serviced that I would have completely missed. The food was always excellent. Always prepared from scratch that day. Breakfast was served buffet style with a choice of cold cereals, a hot cereal, yogurt, fruit, an egg dish, and fresh scones or other bakery items. It was nice to come back from a morning of snorkeling to a delicious lunch of a hot soup, warm toasted sandwiches, chips, a salad or two, and yummy fresh baked cookies. Dinner had a choice of two entrees, with usually a fresh baked treat. The chef was always willing to make accommodations for any dietary restrictions. Dining is casual. Most of the tables seat eight, so plenty of opportunities to get to talk with fellow passangers. The cabins are small when compared to the big oceanliners. However, they are roomy enough with comfortable beds. Some of the cabins have wetbaths, but still are plenty roomy for taking a shower. There are a handful of cabins that are for the solo traveler who does not want to share. Blount will also pair you with another solo traveler, if their single cabins are full. The lounge is very comfortable for reading, playing games, or putting together a puzzle with fellow passengers. On top is the Sun Deck to watch the world go by, with a canopy if it is too sunny. It is also a great place for evening cocktails and entertainment from local performers. On the Belize-Guatamala trip we did a lot of snorkeling, went to a nature preserve, climbed some Mayan ruins, went to an organic Cacao Plantation (nothing like I had imagined, my favorite activity right after snorkling), visits to coastal towns, and a visit to the Belize Zoo. Due to adverse weather, we had change a couple of the dive locations and had to cancel one snorkeling day completely. The staff was able to make arrangements for other excursions. I cannot say enough good things about the staff. Every member seemed happy to be there, were always helpful, and answered questions about their jobs or suggestions of what to do. I am a retired female solo traveler with some mobility issues. I never felt rushed, left out, or awkward. They made sure I was supported getting in and out of the skiff and knew how the chair lift worked. A fellow traveler had some medical dietary restrictions; the chef would come out at the end of breakfast and discuss that day's menu with the passanger and together they would decide on any modifications. I feel very safe and well taken care of by the crew. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I would love to share with you what I would have like to have known before I got on the ship. First, Carnival Glory Cruise line has a crew that is dedicated to customer service. Not everything was perfect, but I did have great ... Read More
I would love to share with you what I would have like to have known before I got on the ship. First, Carnival Glory Cruise line has a crew that is dedicated to customer service. Not everything was perfect, but I did have great experience. I read a few reviews about this ship and I got a little nervous. The ship is older than most and it is not the most glamorous of ships, but it is nice. Every member of the ship spent every working moment to keep the ship clean. It is older, but is was a very clean ship. The cabin assistants were all nice and attentive. If you need a friendly smile and someone to make small talk with this is not the ship. If you want a crew to take your needs seriously, remember your name, your preferences, and do whatever it takes to resolve any concerns this is the ship. I did read a lot about smoking and this was almost a deal breaker for me. I am not a smoker. The truth is there is a smoking area on the lido deck...it was empty. There were however; smokers everywhere. Well, to be specific the Lidio deck, sports bar, and casino. There were people who did light up in areas they knew they shouldn't. They did anyway. In order to maintain a good experience for all, the crew did not stop the smoking in non-smoking areas, and they probably won't. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. The shows and entertainment were amazing. My husband is not a 'show' person, but he enjoyed every minute of the entertainment. The host and cruise director were fun and engaging with the entire ship; young and old. The movies at night were also a good choice. They only negative I would say is after midnight the only real place for food is the pizza bar, which usually only had one person working it. This would be my suggestion. Don't be picky. If you ask the pizza person for whatever they have available, they always took care of me. I have a personal secret. I didn't mind the cramped showers. The stewards kept them very clean (x2 a day). I did sneak away to the spa and took a shower in the spa area. The showers were large and private and the pressure was perfect. Also, there were times that I did not like to share my hot tub with people under the age of 6. The adult pool had more kids in it then the kiddie pool. If you are like me and want some adult rest, go to the gym. They have a hot tub in the gym area and no kids! Hope this helps. The Glory is a great ship, but not the newest ship with all of the frills. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Carnival has a great thing going. Overall my famy of 7 had a great time, but I feel like they are constantly trying to sell you SOMETHING! Which is not very relaxing for mama. You can eat all you want, but for up charge pay more and eat in ... Read More
Carnival has a great thing going. Overall my famy of 7 had a great time, but I feel like they are constantly trying to sell you SOMETHING! Which is not very relaxing for mama. You can eat all you want, but for up charge pay more and eat in the steak house or Italian resturants. (We did neither) For breakfast we did room service or the morning buffet. For lunch we did mostly buffet. The pizza & burgers were the kids favorites, ususlly a long line. There's a very nice sandwhich shop at the back of the boat, the line moved quickly. I never did get to try the Mongolian BBQ, the line was always a mile long! For evening we ate in the Northern Lights Dining. The service was amazing, but the atmosphere was alittle underwhelming. If I'm going to get 7 people dressed in formal wear I want to see flowers, ice scriptures, candlelight....like the movies. It was not at all like the movies. We had small state rooms on the 9th floor. Plenty of room for 2-3 people. Room stewards were attentive and kept us well cared for. Now my shower no matter how I tried flooded every time! Just have extra towels. MOST IMPORTANT!!!!! We did a 7 day cruise to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. We did NOT get to do our last port ROATAN. Excursions books, everyone up at 7am, sunscreened up, captain announced about 8am we would not be disembarking. Ugh!!! The weather looked beautiful, but it was to windy (I've seen worse) & the captain chose to skip it. Whereas I appreciate safety being a priority I was very sad. Later that day the captain announced we would stop in Costa Maya to replace this stop. 7:30-1:30. So we spent a great deal of time stressing about excursions, time shorten, and I had done no reserve on area things to do....ugh! I heard from one gentleman that Carnival is unable to make this port 40% of the time. I do not know if this is true, but I didn't get to go there. On our Belize day you have to go to dining room for a tender (a small boat to take you to shore). This was very slow. We arrived about 8:30 to dining room, did not get to Belize until 10am. Nothing worse than waiting when you can see it right there! Overall ship days seemed crowded. It was hard to move around the boat during busy times and lines were long!!!! There also appeared to be a lot of unsupervised children everywhere, screaming up and down halls at 11pm, jumping into hot tubs, cutting in lines. Not sure how carnival get fix that. Show times and comedy was probably our favorite family times. The do a nice job here. My only suggestion is do not do bingo right before a show. There was a huge mess after bingo and showtime people are coming in and bingo always ran over! So as I write this we are back to Galviston and waiting, again for hours to disembark. We've been waiting since 8am, it's 9:13 and they are only on area 3 (we are 11) So to summarize I had fun, the kids had fun, but carnival is in NO hurry to get you anywhere fast. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past during spring break and had an amazing time. This year cruised the end of February (spring break traditionally two weeks before and two weeks after Easter). We cruised before that. We were ... Read More
Cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past during spring break and had an amazing time. This year cruised the end of February (spring break traditionally two weeks before and two weeks after Easter). We cruised before that. We were celebrating our honeymoon. Our cruise cost us $5,000 not including hotel, flight , dog boarding and taking time off work. The ship holds around 3,000 and there were 1800 kids between 18 and 21 It was a booze cruise. Our experience was horrible. We could not get near a pool, dance floor and forget about getting near a bar. While in the two ports, the kids took over, we went back on the ship. The staff could not keep up with the kids/ ship was dirty, bad service (EVEN ON THE SUITE ONLY SUN BATHING DECK) the kids took over. After putting up with five days of hell, we contacted Royal Caribbean customer service. They totally agreed with the ships circumstances but refused any reimbursement. They agreed that it was a rough cruise They agreed that the kids usually cruised on Carnival, but with the buy one get one 1/2 off and a great drink package (one price you can drink all you want) the kids came to RC. I also witnessed bunk beds in the rooms which means four to a room.. These kids paid next to nothing and received a booze cruise. They had a ball. RC should have never put the two cruises together. In the end 18 kids were kicked off, the ship was delayed in Cozumel and two were brought back by police, two girls were IV'ed , there were 6 custom guards in Ft Lauderdale to take 6 kids off for who knows what and the staff admitted to taking handfuls of drink cards away for abuse or misbehavior This was not a cruise for adults and they should have compensated us for that. We were offered nothing. Looks like RC has downgraded to Carnival Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We should have known this going to be a bad cruise when we got to our state room and there were no hand towels, ice bucket, or listing of the TV channels. The air conditioning wasn't working properly, we had no hot water, and were ... Read More
We should have known this going to be a bad cruise when we got to our state room and there were no hand towels, ice bucket, or listing of the TV channels. The air conditioning wasn't working properly, we had no hot water, and were kept awake the first night because the ladder to the bunk bed (not being used) was not stored properly!. When we went to the Crown Grill Steakhouse, we ordered rare steaks and BOTH came medium-well. The maitre'd had to cook us new steaks because he was so ashamed this happened. A good steakhouse should know how to make a steak. Then, to make matters worse, my wife burned her hand on a dish of vegetables that was put on the table without a warning that it was scalding hot! And we paid extra for this. The food in the dining room was acceptable, not great. The coffee was horrible everywhere on board, even in Sabatini's, the other specialty restaurant. We did have a wonderful meal there. There were a lot of little annoyances that occurred throughout the cruise such as no straws on board, wines on wine list not available, being unable to hear announcements, not being able to disembark in Cozumel for forty minutes while another ship docked next to us (we ad a short day there as it was). All of these combined made this (our 7th on Princess) cruise ship one we won't be going on again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Background: My husband and I are in our 30's and were traveling with our 2 daughters, ages 8 and 10. We have taken 2 cruises previously with Carnival (once out of Florida and once out of Galveston) and fell in love with cruising on ... Read More
Background: My husband and I are in our 30's and were traveling with our 2 daughters, ages 8 and 10. We have taken 2 cruises previously with Carnival (once out of Florida and once out of Galveston) and fell in love with cruising on those ships. We plan to take many more cruises in the future as budget allows. Embarkation: Embarkation was simple even though it was delayed. Unfortunately, our cruise was delayed by a day after we arrived in Houston because the Port of Houston had closed due to fog. We were sent an e-mail that embarkation would begin 24 hours after the originally scheduled embarkation. Princess did their best call everyone as well. The port opened before the expected time and we were allowed to begin the embarkation process as early as 6:00 pm that evening rather than the next day, but because most passengers were already informed of the 24 hour delay, we did not leave until 24 hours after the original sailing time. Princess made sure everyone got to the ship before sailing. We received a phone call about 2:00 pm in addition to the e-mail to make sure we knew. We arrived in the terminal around 8:00 pm and boarded within about 20 minutes of that. They served dinner in the dining room and dress code was not enforced that night as everyone was arriving late. Cabin: Our cabin was more or less what we expected in terms of size, although there was a bit more storage space than I expected and was pleased about that. We had an interior cabin at the front of the ship with beds that folded down from the walls. My biggest disappointment here is that the cabin did not strike me as particularly clean. There were small tar-like areas on parts of the carpet, the drain had hair or fuzz or something in it and there were stain-like marks on a few of the walls. After the first shower, there was standing water that was almost overflowing within the first 5 minutes of the shower and it took greater than 15 minutes to drain. We asked our steward to fix this and had to ask again the next day as it was still the same issue when we went to shower again. It was "fixed" (still a very slow drain, but at least we could take an actual shower) and then the next day it was slow again. I finally figured out that I needed to clean the drain of any residual hair or whatnot after each shower and it helped a little. Our room was also very noisy (probably due to where we were located on the ship). But we would often hear loud bangs with a vibration when the ship would rock. It was also very noisy at port as they were working with the equipment. Service: The service on the ship was pretty good overall. But another disappointment was that we did not get our luggage until sometime close to 3:30 am. It's understandable that it would be a bit late because we boarded the ship so late due to the delay and everything was off schedule. But we had to sleep in our clothes that night because we were all too worn to stay up until that hour of the morning and no one told us when we might expect our luggage. After midnight we finally went to bed and I awoke at 3:30 to find it. I know it was likely close to that time when we got it because my family members in other cabins stayed up and didn't get theirs until about that hour of the morning. Dining: We had anytime dining because other members in our party preferred it. I would have preferred traditional and we might have had a different experience if we had - I don't know. However, if you didn't get to the dining room when they opened, you were likely to have a long wait. We did have a large party (there were 9 of us), but the line was always a way out the door regardless of the party size. We compensated by eating dinner around 5:30 every night and were able to get a table in a reasonable amount of time. But I would highly recommend traditional dining if you want to eat later because there was always a long line waiting for a table. The actual service was very good. Because of our party size, we typically ended up with the same waiter and he was phenomenal. He really doted on our youngest child and made everyone there feel welcome. His service was top-notch. Eating in the dining room for breakfast or lunch always resulted in great service as well because it was never crowded. The buffet, on the other hand, was lacking. Having previously sailed Carnival, we didn't realize there wouldn't be lots of drink fountains. It took forever to have a waiter bring you a drink and you could almost forget about refills. There was never enough seating and we could rarely sit with our entire party. The food was pretty good and there was always a great variety, but the fancier foods were of course served in the dining room. Entertainment: The entertainment was more or less what we expected, having cruised before. The dancing at their big show was the best dancing I have ever seen, but it wasn't bad and was entertaining. There was plenty to do on sea days, but port days were lacking in the evening. I found that there wasn't a lot more to do other than dance or hear live music on those evenings. And I was disappointed to only find one comedy show, which was the headliner that night. I had expected more shows in the clubs and lounges. We did attend several dance class sessions, and those were really good - easy enough for anyone to do. Children's clubs: The children's area was OK, but I had though our 2 children both being in the Shockwave age range would get to be together. This ship had a different lay out which required our 8 year old to be separated from our 10 year old. Our children our very shy and do not like to be left alone, so we didn't end up using this very often. It did look like it would have been lots of fun, though, and was convenient if you needed a few kid-free hours. General information: One notable thing is that I found this ship to sway a lot more than any other ship we've been on (not that we've been on a lot). I think the waters were slightly rougher than normal, but even when it seemed like smooth waters, there was always a fair amount of swaying. I like, too, that the demographic was more fitting for us. It was nice to not see crazy drunk people everywhere you went all the time. I felt good having my family aboard this ship. One general thing I did NOT like was that you could smell cigarette smoke almost everywhere you went. It made sense, I suppose, in the casino and the lounge, but it seemed to waft everywhere. I don't know if this is because it is a poor design of the ship or if smoking only in designated areas is not well enforced. Also, the main entrance to the theater was through the casino which made it difficult to avoid smoke if you have allergies or just don't like it. Also, there were smoking areas on the outside of the promenade deck which also happened to be the walking deck. This did not make sense to me at all as those who are trying to walk/jog for health are getting hit in the face with unhealthy cigarette smoke. The public restrooms on the ship were generally clean, but there was almost always 1 or toilets out of order in any given restroom at any given time. There were a few times I had to travel to different decks just to use the restroom. That was frustrating. In general, public areas were kept clean, though. Disembarkation: Disembarkation was pretty simple. We walked off and found our luggage easily (except for the one bag that had accidentally been taken by someone else). The lost bag was handled relatively well and was returned. Getting through customs was quick and easy. The line of passengers moved quickly. Overall, I was just less impressed with this trip than the ones we have taken with Carnival. Maybe it was just because this ship was booked to capacity which made wait times and such longer and created more maintenance situations. However, if this had been my only experience with cruising, I don't know that I would be as excited to cruise again. I've heard very good things about Princess in general, so I don't why our particular cruise was what I would consider to be below average, but it definitely wasn't my favorite cruising experience. I heard other people on board make similar comments, so it could be it's the ship as well. In any case, I can't decide whether we will take another cruise with Princess, but if we do, it won't likely be on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Our cruise initially started out as a traveling nightmare, but thanks to NCL, the Jewel's onboard staff, and some wonderful CC friends, it turned out to be the cruise of a lifetime! I feel that it's important to share the ... Read More
Our cruise initially started out as a traveling nightmare, but thanks to NCL, the Jewel's onboard staff, and some wonderful CC friends, it turned out to be the cruise of a lifetime! I feel that it's important to share the background of our trip before/as I do my review. We are both in our 50's and this was our fourth cruise, all with NCL. This time we were meeting my son and his girlfriend (both in their mid-twenties) in Fort Lauderdale and then heading to the ship together for our cruise. We always fly a day ahead due to the weather here in Upstate New York, and this year was no different. When we arrived at the Buffalo airport on Saturday morning for our flight to Fort Lauderdale, we were told that our flight was cancelled (they gave us each a round-trip ticket for our trouble) and we could be put on a stand-by flight (which was already overbooked) on Saturday evening. An Air Tran supervisor saw how upset I was and offered to arrange a flight for us from Akron, Ohio (a four hour drive) to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday morning so we would not miss the cruise. I contacted the NCL number on our cruise docs to be sure that arriving after 2:00 PM would be okay. We arrived at the Akron airport early Sunday morning, and while waiting to board our flight, an announcement was made that our flight would be delayed. We finally flew out of Akron at 1:00 PM and arrived at Fort Lauderdale at 3:30 PM, too late to board the cruise. We spent nearly five hours at the airport trying to make arrangements to get to Roatan for Tuesday (impossible, we were told) or Belize for Wednesday. Again, I contacted NCL and they told us it would be possible to meet the ship in Belize on Wednesday morning. A very nice Air Tran supervisor, not only made arrangements to get us to Belize on US Air, but because it was Air Tran's fault that we missed the ship, they flew us at no charge! We arrived in Belize on Monday afternoon and stayed at the Princess Hotel and Casino, which was arranged through our trip insurance representative. The hotel was nothing fancy, but was clean and acceptable. We spent Tuesday at the Belize Zoo, a trip worth taking, also an excursion option from the ship, which we arranged through the hotel. It was a nice way to spend a day and the tour guides were knowledgeable and pleasant. Wednesday morning finally arrived and we were at the pier to meet the first tender at 8:30 AM. Our names were on the list and we got on the tender and finally headed off to the beautiful Jewel! Once on board the ship we were escorted to the reception desk where we checked in and were given our ship cards. We wasted no time getting to our cabin, 8054, an obstructed ocean view. Imagine our surprise when neither of our cards would work to open the door! The room steward let us in, and lo and behold, someone else's belongings were in our cabin. Could this vacation get any worse? We headed back to the reception desk and Joy, a great customer service rep on the ship, apologized for not telling us that we had been upgraded to a complimentary BB Balcony cabin. Needless to say, we finally felt that our vacation was really starting! We arrived on the tenth deck to find John O'Hara (the hotel director), Mickey (the restaurant manager), and the assistant concierge standing outside our cabin waiting to welcome us aboard. Both John and Mickey gave us their direct phone numbers and told us to call with any needs we might have. After living out of a suitcase for five days, I couldn't wait to unpack and get settled, which we did very quickly so we could enjoy the ship. We took a walk around looking for my son and his girlfriend (who had boarded on Sunday). When we couldn't find them we went back to the cabin and found a phone message from John O'Hara. Some CC friends had to leave the ship due to illness and wanted to give us their AF mini-suite to enjoy for the remainder of our cruise (thanks Mike and Shelley). A couple of room stewards came up to help us pack and move to cabin 11578. Once there, we were truly treated like VIP's. We were invited to eat breakfast and lunch at Cagney's, normally only a perk for full suite guests, and my son and his girlfriend were welcome to join us. Daniela, the Concierge, made arrangements for us to have seats at the shows we wanted to see, and Mickey called me every day to see where we would like to eat dinner that night so she could make our reservations. And on top of all of this, each afternoon we were treated to gifts such as a fruit basket, bottle of wine, chocolates, etc. from the senior officers, John O'Hara, and Daniela. John even arranged for a second CC Meet and Greet since I had set up the first one and missed it! We all met again on the second sea day, and that was a lot of fun. We found the Jewel and her crew to be absolutely amazing! Everyone went out of their way to be sure that all guests were enjoying themselves. We enjoyed all of the meals we ate on board, especially the Cagney's breakfasts. The steak and eggs was my husband's and son's favorite! We also ate at Teppanyaki and Tango's, both surcharge restaurants as well as both main dining rooms. All were very good; Teppanyaki is a great show as well as a meal. We loved the dEcor at Tsar's, having a table right at the window. We didn't see too many shows since we boarded so late. We did see Cirque Bijou, and that is a show that should definitely not be missed. It was, without a doubt, one of the best shows I have ever seen! The ventriloquist/comedian was also very good. Once on board, my husband and I both enjoyed massages at Bora Bora Spa; they were a little pricey, but good. I attended the Martini tasting and felt that it was well worth the cost. For $15 they served five ½-3/4 sized martinis. They were all delicious. We're not big gamblers so we only spent a little time in the casino; the slot machines were not paying out at all. In fact, we didn't see anyone who appeared to be winning anything. We went to a seminar on ammolite which we thought was quite informative, and I even won a glass bracelet at Columbian Emeralds on the last night. We went to Costa Maya on Thursday and enjoyed the day at Maya Luna Resort, a place we've been to before and really enjoy. We also got to Great Stirrup Cay, and although it was quite crowded, the weather was beautiful; in fact, it was the best weather day of our cruise, with bright sunshine all day and temperatures in the 80's! Disembarkation was easy even though we were first escorted to a "special" customs office. I was quite nervous about it, but it turned out, they just wanted to know why we embarked in Belize instead of Miami. Once we told them our travel saga, we were through customs in no time and they simply told us to have a safe trip home. We had arranged for transportation back to Fort Lauderdale from Steve at SAS Transportation. It took him about 30 minutes to get to the port, but once in the van it was only about 30 minutes more to the airport. All in all, we had the cruise of a lifetime (once we got on the ship). As far as we are concerned, Norwegian Cruise Line, and especially the staff of the Jewel went out of their way to make what was left of our cruise the most memorable we've had. There is no doubt that we will always cruise with NCL; in fact a few days after arriving home, I booked a cruise for next spring on the NCL Dawn. One final note...I definitely recommend trip insurance as you never know what can happen, especially with winter weather! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010

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