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Thad409

Help me feel better about Belize and Mohogany Bay

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I'm thinking about changing my Itinerary, My DW was wanting to go somewhere else so I booked June of 2020 on the Glory, but my DW has read a few negatives on safety at theses ports and isn't to sure of our booking know. 

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I posted in your deposit post, Belize is great.

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For Belize: There are excursions you can book through Carnival that pick you up from the ship, no reason to even go into Belize City. We loved Cay Caulker (although we didn't do it on an excursion, we walked through Belize City to the water taxi and took it over. Never felt unsafe).

 

For Mahogany Bay - there are lots of things to do there, or just stay in the port area, it's all owned by Carnival. We usually go to Maya Key - you have to book that through Carnival now, but it's a private island, small beach, a small zoo area, a small beach, a pool, and some fabulous snorkeling. 

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1 minute ago, beachbum6264 said:

For Belize: There are excursions you can book through Carnival that pick you up from the ship, no reason to even go into Belize City. We loved Cay Caulker (although we didn't do it on an excursion, we walked through Belize City to the water taxi and took it over. Never felt unsafe).

 

 

you don't need Carnival for shore excursion, we did Caulker Cay, swimming with sharks and had an excellent local lunch on a private charter, never felt unsafe. We also flew a private plane, on a non Carnival shore excursion for a dive trip to Ambergris Cays for a spectacular dive trip, 30% less than Carnival. Never felt unsafe

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I worried about these two ports as well, even considered staying on board.  Glad I didn't.  Really enjoyed the excursions I did both places, especially the Mayan Ruins in Belize.  It was great!

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Belize is safe as long as you take care in where you go. Our first time there a tour guide told us not to wander the city or go into the countryside by yourself, it’s not safe. If you wish to see the countryside book an excursion. We went cave tubing and to a monkey sanctuary and had no problems. Mahogany Bay, have heard be careful where you go. Next trip there will be a beach day.

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In Mahogany Bay, take a Carnival excursion to Tabayana Beach, Gumbalimba Park, or use one of the reputable tour guides that are mentioned in the port of calls threads or on trip advisor.

 

In Belize, do a Mayan ruins, cave tubing or snorkel expedition from the port.  There is so much to see from both of these ports, it's a shame that some unknowing pax bad mouth both of them.  Usually it's people who do not venture from the immediate port area.

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I forgot to mention we will have 12 yo DS also as far as things to do, thanks for all the advice

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Mahogany Bay... check out Little French Key, paradise. I think this is one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean.   Belize.  Check out “Butts up” cave tubing ... awesome and very safe.  This has been my favorite itinerary so far

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In Belieze we did the River Boat tour and Mayan ruins.  Even my kids loved it.  Got to see a lot of wildlife on the river and even climb up the Mayan temples.

 

Mahongay Bay...just stay in the port and enjoy the beach.

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Roatan is one of our favorite ports. There's so much you can do there - from ziplining to cool zoos to beaches to snorkeling. We really like booking tours through Victor Boden. On our last trip to Roatan, we were literally able to do it all through him and the price couldn't be beat. 

 

When we cruise, we usually have one port where we just sort of "take it easy." And on that itinerary, it's usually Belize. We'll take the tender ride into the port, walk around the shops a bit, get a drink or a bit of something to eat and then get back on the boat. We learned several cruises ago that we enjoy our vacations more if we don't try to cram something in to every single port day.

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Most, but not all, the issues of safety on Roatan come from the connection to the mainland Honduras. 

Roatan is somewhat isolated from these issues. 

 

Most, but not all, the issues on safety in Belize come from the fact that Belize city is a working city not a tourist city. Cruisers are also affected by the somewhat aggressive behavior of the independent excursion hawkers hanging around the outside gates of the Tourism Village where the tenders dock.  These folks aren't your preppy frat boy types.  But once you go beyond the immediate blocks of the cruise ports, you are not bothered as most people in the streets are heading to work or on their own errands.  Just cross over the swing bridge and you'll find yourself in a true city not a tourist trap.

And yes in ALL Central and South American cities and on Caribbean Islands, the police openly carry automatic weapons. Many are military units.  Just the nature of the culture, laws, lay of the land.  You have a greater chance of being mugged or shot in large American cities. 

 

Be cautious , yes but leave your crime noir/ Quintin Tarantino induced fears at home.

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We love Belize and Roatan. Belize is still one of my kids favorite ports. We used a local vendor there for our excursion (King David) and part of our day we were in the jungle feeding the wild howler monkeys. They would come down from the trees and take fruit from my kids hands. That's still something that my 8 year old talks about. Also we spent some time at a local school donating some supplies and interacting with the kids and staff. It was something very memorable for us. The ruins were cool too. It was nice doing all of that with just my family. 

 

In Roatan, holding a sloth was on my bucket list and we did a whole island tour with Rony's and loved it. Never once felt close to being unsafe at either place.

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Posted (edited)

Another vote for Little French Key in Honduras. We have cruised many times in the Caribbean and this was our favorite excursion ever, by far. Book privately on their website, DO NOT go to Big French Key through Carnival. Totally different experience.

Edited by amyotravel

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1 hour ago, teknoge3k said:

We love Belize and Roatan. Belize is still one of my kids favorite ports. We used a local vendor there for our excursion (King David) and part of our day we were in the jungle feeding the wild howler monkeys. They would come down from the trees and take fruit from my kids hands. That's still something that my 8 year old talks about. Also we spent some time at a local school donating some supplies and interacting with the kids and staff. It was something very memorable for us. The ruins were cool too. It was nice doing all of that with just my family. 

 

In Roatan, holding a sloth was on my bucket list and we did a whole island tour with Rony's and loved it. Never once felt close to being unsafe at either place.

We used King David in Belize.  Went to Altun Ha and Howler monkeys.  The monkeys were awesome.  Much better than monkeys anywere else where they are all in cages.  Our tour guide at the Howler monkeys got a good tip since all i had were $20 bills.

 

In Roatan we used Victor Bodden and did all the usual stuff there.

 

These two ports are our favorites since they seem more authentic than most other places

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Posted (edited)

Wow starting to fell better , thanks for all the positive replies and comments

Edited by Thad409

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We've been to both multiple times and yes, we do leave the shopping area and have never felt we were in any kind of danger. The people in Belize City were very friendly as were the folks we met on Roatan. 

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I was at both these ports in April for the first time and am returning in September.  I read all the same warnings and watched the videos about issues and was concerned as well.

 

While in Belize in April we did a snorkeling excursion which the tour boat picked us up right at the ship and returned us there.  We could have not even gone into Belize city had we chosen not too.  We did tender into the port once we returned from our excursion and while we had only and hour an half or so we found it to be just fine.  Prices on T-Shirts and the like were higher that we wanted but the people were friendly.  Due to our limited time we did not leave the little shopping area right at the tender dock.

 

Honduras was also fine.  We did an all inclusive resort there and it was as safe as any we have been to.  We would not recommend that particular resort again but that is not for safety reasons but more for value.  The staff here was wonderful.

 

This September while we are in both ports again we will be doing snorkeling excursions in both.  The one in Belize is a different one than we did in April.

 

Use good common sense and stay on the beaten path or with a good tour operator and you will be fine.  Research what you want to do in each port and then look at reviews for those tours specifically and make your own decision.  What we do is we google search the exact excursion name and look at many review sites.  Right here on cruise critic and Tripadvisor but there are others including all the cruise lines own pages.  Don't just look at the reviews on the line you are sailing.  almost all these excursion are open to all lines.

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River Wallace cruise, Altun Ha Mayan ruins & Belize city tour and is our favorite excursions to date. Amazing! 

This was actually - thru Carnival. 

 

In Roatan, Victor Bodden tours is THE way to go, personalized to a T. Very inexpensive too. 

Our guide was fantastic and went out of her way for us several times when an issue came up! 

The only master cameo carver in the Western Hemisphere has a shop in the port area and a studio and shop in Coxen Hole. 

Franco Tamaro - we purchased several of his pieces and they’re always complimented on.  

He also has fantastic things carved from shells, like lamps. 

 

Otherwise, if you’re into beaches, there’s one right there and others not too far away. 

Yes, both of these ports seem a bit unnerving, but are actually fine if you make a plan! 

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I have been to both before and I would personally not worry. We went out on our own and got a taxi in Honduras.  The island of Roatan is very touristy and nothing like the mainland. Our taxi driver drove us to where the locals go... supposedly. It was an awesome place off the beaten path where you could snorkle right off the shore and there was a restaurant with super cheap drinks. I really wish I could recall the name.  On the way back, we even stopped at a ramshackle convenience store.

 

As far as Belize, I would personally do snorkeling or some sort of boat expedition but that is simply because the water, I believe, is rather muddy looking near the city itself. We did some sort of cave tubing thing and I wasn't impressed.  I also ate a taco I bought from some guy selling them off the side of the road and my husband was convinced I was going to die, but I was fine. (I grew up in Laredo and traveled a lot to Mexico and always drink the water and have never had Montezuma's revenge so maybe my gut is already infiltrated with appropriate fauna.)

 

Plus, you might as well take advantage of the barrier reef.  

 

We are going both places in December. I plan to do snorkeling in Belize (maybe shark/stingray adventure) and some sort of beach something in Roatan.

 

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