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Cruises to Belize City

2,385 Reviews
Belize City (Photo:Tami Freed/Shutterstock)

About Belize City

Bordering on Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean, Belize is the second smallest country in Central America (after El Salvador), with an area of approximately 9,000 square miles that includes numerous small islands -- known as cayes -- off the coast. More than half of the mainland is covered with dense forests, and at its longest point Belize is 176 miles long while its greatest width is 88 miles. Long a strong advocate of environmental protection, the government has set aside approximately 20 percent of its land as nature reserves.

Belize has been attracting steadily increasing numbers of U.S. visitors as it has become better known as a reasonably priced destination offering some of the best diving in the Caribbean. It also continues to increase in popularity as a cruise destination and is often included as one of the ports of call on Western Caribbean itineraries.

Diving is Belize's main claim to fame due to an almost unbroken line of reefs and cayes extending for 150 miles along its coast that make up the longest reef system in the Western Hemisphere (and the second longest in the world). While many cayes are tiny and uninhabited, some like Ambergris Caye are sufficiently large to have built resorts that attract divers from around the world.

Several important Mayan sites on the mainland, such as Altun Ha and Xunantunich, make for excellent day trips and are included on shore excursions by most cruise ships. As a matter of fact, Belize has the highest concentration of Mayan sites of all the countries in Central America.

Belize City, with its wooden and brick buildings, exudes some colonial charm but the downtown area also has many seedy neighborhoods, and tourists should beware of walking around the city after dark. For cruise passengers, Belize City is primarily a jumping-off point for tours and excursions to its many natural and historical attractions.

  • More about Belize City

  • Why go to Belize City?

  • Belize City Cruise Port Facilities?

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Adventure of the Seas
Adventure of the Seas

7 Night
7 Nt Western Caribbean & Perfect DayDetails

2,176 Reviews
Leaving:Fort Lauderdale
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Ruby Princess
Ship Exterior on Ruby Princess

7 Night
Caribbean - Western CruiseDetails

1,919 Reviews
Leaving:Galveston
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Feb 26, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Azamara Onward
Azamara Onward (Photo: Azamara)

16 Night
Central & South America VoyageDetails

34 Reviews
Leaving:Lima
Cruise Line:Azamara
Feb 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina
Marina

18 Night
South America CruiseDetails

737 Reviews
Leaving:Lima
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Mar 19, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Western Caribbean CruiseDetails

1,749 Reviews
Leaving:Tampa
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Caribbean - Western CruiseDetails

1,919 Reviews
Leaving:Galveston
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Western Caribbean - MiamiDetails

364 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Mar 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Caribbean - Western CruiseDetails

2,684 Reviews
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Caribbean - Western CruiseDetails

2,684 Reviews
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Key West, Belize & Grand CaymanDetails

110 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
7 Nt Western Caribbean & Perfect DayDetails

2,176 Reviews
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
Classic Panama Canal PassageDetails

1,110 Reviews
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Dec 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
7 Nt Western Caribbean HolidayDetails

1,930 Reviews
Leaving:Tampa
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Dec 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Western Caribbean CruiseDetails

1,215 Reviews
Leaving:Galveston
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Caribbean - Western CruiseDetails

1,719 Reviews
Leaving:Galveston
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Dec 17, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Belize City

Why go to Belize City?

Pros:

Beyond the city itself, beautiful natural wonders -- caves, waterfalls, lush rain forests -- abound

Cons:

Poverty and crime can be problems in Belize City, so visitors should be cautious

Bottom Line:

Venture out of the city, and you'll be pleasantly surprised

Belize City Cruise Port Facilities?

After tendering, all passengers disembark at docks in Belize's Tourism Village. Here you'll find dozens of shops, bars and restaurants from standard cruise venues like Diamonds International and Del Sol to stores with handmade Belizean crafts and foodstuffs. Other than shop for souvenirs or hang out in one of the bars or restaurants, there's not much else to see and do in the Tourism Village. If you're up for a short walk, you can exit Tourism Village and head to the Holy Redeemer Cathedral or Baron Bliss Lighthouse & Gravesite, which are both within walking distance.

Good to Know?

When using cash -- particularly with merchants that accept U.S. dollars -- be sure you get change in U.S. currency. And, if you're at all concerned with wildlife conservation, don't buy items that are made from sea turtle shells, black coral or Triton's trumpet shells.

Also, almost all the major attractions are at some distance from the city; so if you're exploring independently and hiring your own transportation, make sure you are back in time at Tourism Village for the last tender departure for your ship.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The only way to get around the Tourism Village is on foot, but its small, taking no more than 10 minutes to get from end to end (without lots of browsing, that is). You can also get around Belize City on foot fairly easy, though streets are not well marked and you might need to ask a local for directions.

By Taxi: Taxis are readily available at Tourism Village as well as in the city and at hotels. Taxis do not have meters and although most drivers charge a standard fare, make sure you determine the fare before getting in so as to avoid being burned upon arriving at your destination. Look for the green license plate of licensed taxis. There are also water taxis and ferries that depart from the Marine Terminal to the outlying cayes, including the larger resort cayes such as Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. A trip from Belize City to San Pedro, the largest town on Ambergris Caye, takes around 80 minutes.

By Rental Car: It's also possible to rent a car although drivers should be wary. The poor condition of many roads leads to many traffic accidents. Hertz-Safari (#1, Goldson Lane; 501-223-5395) is your best choice in town.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Belize's currency is the Belizean dollar; visit www.xe.com for currency conversion figures. However, all shops and merchants readily accept U.S. dollars (most also accept credit cards) so it is unnecessary to change money. ATMs are plentiful in both the Tourism Village and the rest of the city.

Language?

English is Belize's official language and is spoken by virtually everyone.

Where You're Docked?

All ships anchor in Belize City harbor and passengers are whizzed from ship to shore via speedy Belizean tenders; it takes approximately 20 minutes to tender to shore.


Belize City Cruise Reviews
Belize city was absolutely beautiful amazing people amazing drinks amazing food would 100% take a stand alone vacation thereRead More
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Matthewbladow
I don’t really recommend going into Belize city if you don’t have an excursion. I recommend getting in a boat at the port. We did the snorkel reef, rays and sharks experience and private island and it was awesome. GRead More
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sunloveratlanta
We took the Celebrity Trolley Excursion. It was a way to get off the ship and learn a bit about Belize. Belize City is not my favorite port. Read More
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Nashna
We looked forward to this port because of the snorkeling, and it did not disappoint. We booked independently through Belize Exotic Adventures since the ship did not offer the type of excursion we were looking for. Read More
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ahjs73

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