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National Geographic Quest Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
22 Reviews

Discordance between goals of passengers and goals of expedition leaders

National Geographic Quest Cruise Review by scallop87

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: South America

After doing substantial research, including talking extensively to a Lindblad employee who had been on this trip, we chose this "expedition" to see as much of the Belize reef as possible. However, we did much less snorkeling than expected and only some of what we saw was worthwhile.

Our first day of snorkeling was cancelled due to supposedly windy conditions at the reef. Instead we were taken (no options were provided) to the Monkey River where we saw 2 monkeys up in a tree and a few birds and iguanas. Not very interesting. In the afternoon we were told to explore Placensia, a "charming" small town with a few uninteresting shops. We chose not to swim at the beach in Placensia due to the visible trash in the water. The next day we were taken to a beat up storm damaged caye for snorkeling in the morning. We were divided into groups by ability but were not allowed to stop and observe the marine life as we chose. We were forced to stay with our group and move on at the guide's direction. There were few coral or fish species at this location. In the afternoon we went to Laughing Bird Caye, which was much better (undamaged coral and fish diversity) and we were given more latitude while in the water. After a 1.5 hour bus ride the following day, we were taken to the Cockscomb Jaguar preserve. We went on a "rigorous" hike of about 2 miles and saw a waterfall. Not wildlife there other than a few birds. Our guide was excited by a few iguanas we saw on the way back.

Our last day we snorkeled at the Ranguana Reef which we thoroughly enjoyed. The guides were good and we saw some interesting corals and fish. However, in the afternoon they didn't take us back out until 2:45, when of course the wind picked up. They hadn't divided our groups by ability so everyone was forced to leave due to "strong" currents. Strong swimmers (like us) were not given the option to stay.

Other passengers who had been on previous NatGeo/Lindblad cruises concurred that this cruise paled in comparison to the others. Our previous experience with Uncruise was much better.

The staff and crew (other than the Expedition Leader) were excellent and went out of their way to meet everyone's needs,

Overall -- not enough time snorkeling and the snorkeling sites chosen could have been better. Boring land excursions. Expedition leaders/planners did not appear to be adequately focused on the goals of the passengers.

scallop87's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

very nice cabin; beds somewhat narrow; great water pressure.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Belize City

This cruise did not have standard ports of call. We went on snorkeling trips. As noted above, the snorkeling was not great and was cut short.

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