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dem372

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About dem372

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  1. Just looking for anyone who has gone with the Guarantee rate and wondering how it turned out for you. Did you get upgraded? Did you get stuck in the worst room on the boat? I have just booked a cruise with this rate and am just wondering how it worked out for others in the past. Thanks!
  2. Thanks for the reply and the welcome. We have 6 people. The price through NCL is $159 per person. The Lamanai Belize tour quote is $70 per person with the kids being slightly cheaper. So, we go from about 1k to $400 using the independent company. And you do a great job expressing my exact concern with using the independent company. So many little things that could cause a delay, on a trip that doesn't leave a whole lot of wiggle room. They say they have never had someone be late, and I have no reason to not believe them. But, that won't keep me from spending the whole trip staring at my watch and watching the time tick away. I don't know if I can justify $1000 getting it through NCL. They do have a similar trip, up the Wallace River and to Altun Ha for $129 per person. Still much more expensive than the independent Lamanai trip, but it at least takes a bit of the sting out of it. I don't know if Altun Ha is worth it though. Lamanai seems to be held in much higher regard. Another thing I thought of though is the next port after Belize City is Harvest Caye. So in theory, if worst case scenario we miss the ship, it wouldn't be that tough to hire a boat to get us down to the next port. Although the idea of being stranded in Belize City for the night with my kids is not appealing at all. This is a tough call for us. I appreciate the input though. Thank you.
  3. We will be in Belize City from 8-5. We would really like to do the Lamanai/river boat tour, but the Norwegian excursion is really expensive. We would save $600 doing it through a tour company I found through Trip Advisor (Lamanai Belize Tours, great reviews and very responsive). The tour time is listed as 6 hours. I don't know much about cruising though. Does that 8-5 time mean we have to be back on the boat by 5 at the latest? Or do we need to be on before 5 because of security, like on embarking? Can anyone else who has done the Lamanai tour chime in? Did you feel at ease time-wise? I would normally just pay the extra cash for the security, but $600 is a ridiculous amount of money to save. Any opinions are really appreciated. Thank you.
  4. We are cruising out of New Orleans at the end of March. We are staying at a hotel a few miles away from the port and are really hoping to get to the port early enough that we can still see some of the French Quarter before boarding. Our official check in time for the boat is 11:30. I am just curious if that is also the time they will allow us to check our bags? Or is there a way to check the luggage early in the morning? If not, anyone aware of any way we can "store" our luggage somewhere until we are allowed to check it? Really don't want to be walking around the french quarter with suitcase dragging behind us. Thank you!
  5. I heard from someone else that outside the gates at Belize City it is a little rough. I definitely want to avoid anything like that, particularly with the kids being with us. So, our itinerary is Cozumel, Belize City, Harvest Caye, and Costa Maya. My wife really wants to see some ruins and said something about wanting to see a rainforest. I dont know if it is possible to combine the rainforest and the ruins, but if so great. I have seen some pictures of the Tulum ruins and that looks great, but I am reading that it is a serious trek there. We will have three kids with us, so I am really hoping to keep the travel time as limited as possible when it comes to the ruins trip. This is all mind boggling, trying to figure out the best place to see the ruins while also not wanting to miss out on the best beach excursion or something else interesting by traveling for hours out to a site. Any info I can get is really appreciated. And if there is somewhere better to be asking these questions just let me know. Thanks!
  6. This is an interesting comment. I have never done this, so I really have no idea what I am dealing with. If we are talking about some Mayan ruins at, for example, Belize City, can I just get off the boat, get a taxi, and have them take me out to the ruins? Do these ruins have "ticket windows" where anyone can just stroll up and purchase entry? So by skipping the tour I basically replace a tour guide with a pamphlet from the welcome center? But that brings up a bunch of other questions. Are taxi services reliable? Or reservable? I assume I could arrange for a van to take us to the site and back to the ship, serving as a driver only? Also, thanks to all the replies I am getting on this. There is some really helpful information here and I appreciate it. This site is great.
  7. This is another thing I am concerned with. Safety. We will have the whole family with us, including kids, and I don't want to end up in a sketchy situation with them. I am even considering things like seat belts in the vans/busses. I don't know if that kind of thing is standard or not, but reading about the bus crash on the way to some ruins last year has me concerned about things like that.
  8. I guess I should do some research on the ports and see which ones offer ruins closest to the port. I would feel much better about it if there is a few hour buffer between the end of the tour and the departure time. Thank you for the information.
  9. I am planning our cruise in March on Norwegian to the Western Caribbean and am really tempted to use independent companies for things like the ruins tours. It is almost half the price and we could do so much more if we go this way. I am concerned though with the idea of getting ripped off, and someone mentioned the idea that if the bus breaks down on the way back from the tour the cruise ship would have no way of knowing and would leave without us. Just wondering how many people use independent companies for these types of things and if they have a way to contact the cruise if there is a big problem with transportation or something. Are there any other negatives to doing this that I should know about? Thank you all.
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