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Thad409

Help me feel better about Belize and Mohogany Bay

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40 minutes ago, tattoos said:

evandbob:  I'm not intimidated by retail store employees in the U.S., I just don't trust them. 

 

All I'm saying in response to all the flippant remarks is to be aware of your surroundings and the people you are interacting with in strange countries and do not leave your children unattended.  Do your homework before you leave home and have a back-up plan. 

 

As far as safety is concerned, my father was a firefighter and taught us at a young age to look for and remember where the exit or emergency doors are when going into any retail business, restaurant, theme park, etc., and if it is a closed structure, make sure we know where the exit was if we had to crawl on the floor to get there.  Every house we lived in, we had an escape route in case of an emergency.  As an adult, the first thing I look for when entering a strange building, is the emergency escape exit.  My Dad's training on this and other safety training has instilled a procedure that I have followed my entire life.  Maybe that is why I am super vigilant when traveling.

 

Thanks, Dad, your wisdom has saved my butt quite a few times..

 

 

Well said, as someone who spent 6 decades in NYC I developed a lot of street smarts and it's helpful to use them in real life every day whether at home or away.

 

But statistically, the crime rate in USA malls is way higher than the crime rate in the port area of Belize.  You are certainly correct to plan an escape route due to fire or an active shooter situation in an American mall.  I'll repeat that the locals who are in the enclosed gated port of Belize are security guards, excursion vendors and store/restaurant/bar employees.  The general public is not allowed access.  So while someone's fear might be real, it may not be logical and could be just a waste of energy to ideate an escape plan when there is nothing to be fearful of.

 

A good example of this is sharks vs. coconuts.  Most of us fear sharks and don't think about coconuts that much.  Yet coconuts kill and injure more people each year than sharks.  We all fear the unknown sex molester, but very often, the abuser is a family relative or friend.

 

As to the poster who stated her grand daughter was abducted by a phony vendor while her boyfriend stood by and screamed, why didn't he get in the boat as well?  The boat was tied to the pier, it could not have just taken off and left him flatfooted.  I'm happy her story had a happy ending, but I think some details are shaky and some details may be missing

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8 minutes ago, Triple C said:

We went to the Lamanai ruins in Belize, and they were amazing.  Our ship was unable to make port in Roatan.  We were so disappointed to miss it that we spent our entire spring break in Roatan this past year, and it was amazing.  We felt safe 100% of the time, though we spent most of our time snorkeling or wandering around West Bay.  We did spend a day with Victor Boddens tour driver (one of them) where we held sloths and basically just told him to take us everywhere we needed to see on the island.  There is still more to be done, so we will be stopping at both places again in 2020.  We did all of this with our 13 year old son - that's how safe we felt.  Have fun!  Don't wander into any back alleys, and you'll be fine - just like any city in the US.  🙂

 

 

Agree totally. 

 

Before the tunnel to the Miami port opened, taxis and buses would have to go a few city blocks from the highway to the port entrance where I saw conditions and people in much worse shape than those in Belize City just outside the port's gate.

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15 hours ago, evandbob said:

 

If you return, go enjoy another beach on the isle, you'll appreciate the upgrade. And what's to fear inside of Carnival's port, that's why they built it, to keep pax and their money within Carnival's reach.  Carnival does promote the fear factor if you think of leaving their confines, but wht they are afraid of is your money leaving them.

 

Exactly. Carnival's primary focus in building these new port areas is getting your money when you're in port in addition to on board. Yes, you're going to a developing country and, just as you would if traveling by other means, you need to have your wits about you and be smart. No, you're not going to get shot as you step off the gangway.

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Mohogany Bay was beautiful!  It was one of our best days!

 

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Not gonna lie, Belize is not one of my favorite ports. I was not a fan of Belize City on my first cruise and since then, I only book excursions that go somewhere else, such as snorkeling at the reef, going to an island, etc. I always have a fantastic time on the excursions and the excursion crew always makes us feel safe and happy. 

 

At Mahogany Bay, you don't even need to leave the gated area if you don't want to. There is a beautiful beach right by the ship with lovely manicured plants along a brick pathway leading right to the beach, where there are free chairs, restrooms, etc for your use. 

 

I ventured out on an excursion (cruiseline) for the first time this year in Roatan and I'm so glad I did. We got to do some amazing snorkeling and had an absolute blast. 

 

Just leave your valuables behind and bring some common sense and you'll be just fine. 

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I never felt unsafe in either port.  In Belize choose your excursion wisely as it is a tender port and the tender is approximate 30 minutes.  As for Mahogny Bay, the beach right there where you  dock is beautiful.  We did an excursion that was not Carnival and it was one of the best ever.  I felt more threatened in Progresso Mexico. 

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Our first time in Belize, we did cave tubing, which back then you had to do privately.  We had no issues, other than bumpy roads but really enjoyed the adventure.  Now we take Carnival excursions as we are usually with our grands and need to be a little more cautious.  Highly recommend the River Wallace/Ruins excursion.  

 

In Roatan, we used to do private excursions until we had an incident that could have turned ugly fast.  We were with a reputable tour company in a private car.  Going up an incline, the road was blocked by a "fallen" tree, which spanned the width of the road.  From the looks of it, this was placed in the road to block passage.  Our driver stopped and two young men immediately approached our car.  This was obviously a set up, but our driver told them he was a local and knew who they were.  They then offered to remove the tree for a fee.  Driver told them to move it now, which they did without any $$ being paid.   No harm, no foul, but I was literally shaking.  After that experience, we stay at the beach by the port.  

 

So I am unable to jump on the bandwagon and say I feel safe in Roatan.  In Belize, I never felt unsafe but some of the attractions are a long way from the port so I feel more comfortable knowing if there is a problem, the ship would likely wait for us since we are on a Carnival sponsored excursion.  We are usually private excursion types,  and won't think of booking a ship's excursion in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, etc., but these ports have a different feel to them. 

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20 minutes ago, lazydayz said:

Our first time in Belize, we did cave tubing, which back then you had to do privately.  We had no issues, other than bumpy roads but really enjoyed the adventure.  Now we take Carnival excursions as we are usually with our grands and need to be a little more cautious.  Highly recommend the River Wallace/Ruins excursion.  

 

In Roatan, we used to do private excursions until we had an incident that could have turned ugly fast.  We were with a reputable tour company in a private car.  Going up an incline, the road was blocked by a "fallen" tree, which spanned the width of the road.  From the looks of it, this was placed in the road to block passage.  Our driver stopped and two young men immediately approached our car.  This was obviously a set up, but our driver told them he was a local and knew who they were.  They then offered to remove the tree for a fee.  Driver told them to move it now, which they did without any $$ being paid.   No harm, no foul, but I was literally shaking.  After that experience, we stay at the beach by the port.  

 

So I am unable to jump on the bandwagon and say I feel safe in Roatan.  In Belize, I never felt unsafe but some of the attractions are a long way from the port so I feel more comfortable knowing if there is a problem, the ship would likely wait for us since we are on a Carnival sponsored excursion.  We are usually private excursion types,  and won't think of booking a ship's excursion in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, etc., but these ports have a different feel to them. 

 

So I'm confused. You personally were never asked to pay any money, no money was paid, and you went on with your excursion? That made you shake? 

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You got it. But for having a local driver who stood up to the thugs, no one knows what the outcome would have been. 

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We love Belize and Mahogany Bay and are headed back there first week of Sept.  Beautiful scenery if you go beyond the port area.  We do book with the cruise line in these ports, but I respect the opinion of the other seasoned cruisers who use reputable third party vendors.  

The only negative thing I could say is that when we stopped in one village in Roatan, the local vendors lined up along the sides of the bus and were showing their crafts through the windows.  They were terribly pushy, and it was an uncomfortable situation, particularly since several had their small children with them.  It didn't feel dangerous, but it was not a pleasant experience.  The rest of the tour was fine, though. 

 

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Snorkeling is great in Honduras

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And Altun Ha didn’t feel insignificant when I was standing up there looking down

 

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Keep your wits about you and have fun!

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17 hours ago, sealpup said:

I never felt unsafe in either port.  In Belize choose your excursion wisely as it is a tender port and the tender is approximate 30 minutes.  As for Mahogny Bay, the beach right there where you  dock is beautiful.  We did an excursion that was not Carnival and it was one of the best ever.  I felt more threatened in Progresso Mexico. 

That's funny you mention Progresso ,My wife said she wouldn't go another cruise if we stopped at Progresso or at the least stay on the ship. we thought of Costa Maya , but our last few cruises all have been 5 day we just want a couple of more days.

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Where you go and the experiences you have in any port is relative to how comfortable you feel in any situation.  So while I can understand grandmothers' concerns about either port,  my experiences have been different. Thus my concerns for not getting off the ship at any port are not due to fear of safety.  Most likely due to lack of interest in things to do, especially places we've been too many times.  But that's a rare occasion.

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Posted (edited)

Honesty Belize sucks.  It’s our least favorite port in the Caribbean period.  There is no evidence that it was once a British colony.   But Mahogany Bay is quite nice— free beach, great snorkeling off the pier (bring your own snorkeling equipment).

Edited by Cafedumonde

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2 hours ago, Cafedumonde said:

Honesty Belize sucks

 

 

where did you go and what did you do? What does a British Colony have to do with anything? Belize has one of the top 5 reefs in the world, unbelievable snorkeling and diving. 

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I have been following this thread since it was first started and I have been really mystified at the comments about Belize.  Why do people travel?  Just to go to the beach?  I can do that it in the US for a lot less money than buying a cruise.  I like to travel to see and interact with other cultures.  How do people make a living?  What do they eat for meals?  What is it like in rural areas?  There are not toilets?  Great!  I am up for an adventure.  Why do we need the comforts of home when we have chosen to leave home behind?   Many have written that Belize sucks.  Why?  Are the people uthere nhappy? Why?  How do you know if you never leave the confines of the port?  Other people are worried about safety and do not want to get robbed.  This is understandable but ignores the reality of many unsafe areas in the US.  Do you avoid these as well?  Instead of fleeing criminals, we should try to understand their plight and feelings.  A cruise can help accomplish this!

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3 hours ago, ChinaShrek said:

I have been following this thread since it was first started and I have been really mystified at the comments about Belize.  Why do people travel?  Just to go to the beach?  I can do that it in the US for a lot less money than buying a cruise.  I like to travel to see and interact with other cultures.  How do people make a living?  What do they eat for meals?  What is it like in rural areas?  There are not toilets?  Great!  I am up for an adventure.  Why do we need the comforts of home when we have chosen to leave home behind?   Many have written that Belize sucks.  Why?  Are the people uthere nhappy? Why?  How do you know if you never leave the confines of the port?  Other people are worried about safety and do not want to get robbed.  This is understandable but ignores the reality of many unsafe areas in the US.  Do you avoid these as well?  Instead of fleeing criminals, we should try to understand their plight and feelings.  A cruise can help accomplish this!

 

Nailed it!!! That's why we always do an island tour with a local. We like to see and do things. Not hang out at the cruise ship with all of the other pax. I've never understood that. You can go to a beach in the US much cheaper than a cruise if that's all you want to do. Going even one step further, the ones who go to the ports, and hang out at a Margaritaville. 

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6 hours ago, ChinaShrek said:

Other people are worried about safety and do not want to get robbed.  This is understandable but ignores the reality of many unsafe areas in the US.  Do you avoid these as well?  Instead of fleeing criminals, we should try to understand their plight and feelings.  A cruise can help accomplish this!

 

Actually, I do tend to avoid unsafe areas if I can, but I’m also always carrying something between a 9mm and a .45 at any given time depending on dress code. 

 

Can’t quite do that on a cruise excursion. 🤣

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Two of my favorites on the western routes. For both we get away from the immediate port areas which are touristy in the extreme.

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7 hours ago, teknoge3k said:

 

Nailed it!!! That's why we always do an island tour with a local. We like to see and do things. Not hang out at the cruise ship with all of the other pax. I've never understood that. You can go to a beach in the US much cheaper than a cruise if that's all you want to do. Going even one step further, the ones who go to the ports, and hang out at a Margaritaville. 

 

 

you nailed it too on cruise guests wanting to eat at U.S. chain restaurants, I never understood this. You are in a foreign country, eat local food and beer. Margaritaville is mediocre and over priced

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When I am on vacation and choose to take a cruise and a shore excursion at different ports and countries, I don't really care what the residents of that country eat, if they have a job, or wonder if they have running toilets.  I'm on vacation and am interested in enjoying what is indigenous to that country whether it's taking a bus tour to see the rain forest, snorkeling or sailing in beautiful water.  When I'm on a bus tour, I never speculate what the man standing on the street corner eats every day or if he has an outhouse in his backyard.

 

I'm sure when tourists visit the theme parks in Orlando, they are not wondering what the employees eat, drink, etc.

 

It takes me a long time to save money for a cruise and I want to relax, eat, drink and spend quality time with my family. 

 

Spending time on beautiful islands is enjoyable and adds extra value to my cruise but I'm not going there to save the country from low wages, lack of infrastructure or facilities.  

 

ChinaShrek suggests that we shouldn't flee criminals but try to understand their plight and feelings.  What??  I am going to flee criminals whether they are in the United States or anywhere else on the planet that I visit.

 

A lot of people don't eat local food on the islands because they are on a very strict diet so they stick to the familiar and don't take risks that other people would in strange countries.  Everyone travels for different reasons and I respect the choices they make.  My choices are always based on keeping my family safe while still experiencing the different ports we visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I grew up in Laredo and have been all over Mexico...even the very rural and poor areas. Probably to areas that weren't safe.  But what I am willing to do by myself is VERY different than what I am willing to do with my 5 and 6 year old in tow.  People aren't narrow minded because they want to avoid unsafe areas...especially if they have children with them. Also, I find that often people who have been victims of violent crime before are less likely to want to run the risk of having that experience repeated.  

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Posted (edited)

We are very adventurous, and generally do local tours usually off the beaten path, but I still say no thanks to Belize.  One and done cave tubing.  Sorry just my opinion, and mostly a gut feeling.  Dh has a stronger opinion on Belize than I do.  Lol. We love Nassau and a lot of people feel unsafe there.  We don’t.  In Dominican Republic, we feel a bit unsafe, but there it is more that we do not love the place.  But Belize... there is something really off about Belize.  Multiple checkpoints in the road by guys wearing military garb holding huge machine guns standing in the back of a pick up truck= no thanks.   It is the only place where we wouldn’t get off the ship again.  Interesting but I saw this recently.  Can I put a link?

 

https://nypost.com/2019/06/26/doctor-one-of-several-people-killed-during-week-long-bloodbath-in-belize/

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7179651/Virginia-doctor-fatally-shot-fishing-trip-Belize.html

Edited by Cafedumonde

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