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Lamanai Ruins from Belize City


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For those of you who have done the excursion from Belize City to Lamanai Ruins--any feedback on this experience? I know it is going to be a long travel day, but the boat ride portion at least seems like it would be part of the adventure. Please correct me if I am wrong on this. 


We are on the MSC Meraviglia and docking in Belize City---well, tendering actually. I would book through the ship since this is a long excursion during which many things could go wrong. I don't typically do ship sponsored excursions, but this seems like a time to do it. The only other ship excursion I've done (in maybe 10 cruises) was from Cozumel to Tulum for the exact same reasons. 

 

And this may be a TMI question but: I also have some slight concerns about access to rest stops. And by rest stops I do not mean "I need a fancy American-style restroom". A pause in the trip and an outhouse with a hole in the ground will do. I just can't go seven hours without a stop. 

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If you are going on a ship excursion, you'll take an AC bus which should have a bathroom in back, for about an hour, then a 20-30 minute boat ride. There's a bathroom at the boat dock.  Then spend some time at the ruins. And reverse everything.  Maybe a lunch stop.   So no worries about having to lug any "Depends" with you.

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We just did this on Carnival in Sept...  they have you use restroom at the port pier before you leave.  Then its an hour bus ride.  You arrive at the boat dock/restaurant where you again can use restrooms.  Then you take the 20 minute boat ride to the ruins.  At the ruins there is a restroom, didn't go there but guessing it is the more rustic of them all.  Did the full walking ruins tour then back to boat, about 5 minutes to shop or use restroom again before getting onboard.  Boat back to the boat dock/restaurant for lunch, and restrooms.  Then hour bus ride back to port.  You have plenty of restrooms...  now, are they like fancy-American restrooms - No.  But they were clean as I recall, I wasn't grossed out at any of them.  

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6 hours ago, ABQrobin said:

We just did this on Carnival in Sept...  they have you use restroom at the port pier before you leave.  Then its an hour bus ride.  You arrive at the boat dock/restaurant where you again can use restrooms.  Then you take the 20 minute boat ride to the ruins.  At the ruins there is a restroom, didn't go there but guessing it is the more rustic of them all.  Did the full walking ruins tour then back to boat, about 5 minutes to shop or use restroom again before getting onboard.  Boat back to the boat dock/restaurant for lunch, and restrooms.  Then hour bus ride back to port.  You have plenty of restrooms...  now, are they like fancy-American restrooms - No.  But they were clean as I recall, I wasn't grossed out at any of them.  


Great! Thank you! This makes me feel much better. I can absolutely handle that. And thank you for the detailed play by play. That's super helpful!!! 

Did you enjoy this excursion? It seems pretty awesome--to take a boat ride down a river to ruins. My husband is kind of jealous (I'm not taking him on this sailing because I am a horrible wife!) 

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7 hours ago, crewsweeper said:

If you are going on a ship excursion, you'll take an AC bus which should have a bathroom in back, for about an hour, then a 20-30 minute boat ride. There's a bathroom at the boat dock.  Then spend some time at the ruins. And reverse everything.  Maybe a lunch stop.   So no worries about having to lug any "Depends" with you.

 

Perfect. I can handle an hour long bus ride, so no worries about the bus. I just needed to know that there were facilities SOMEWHERE. I watched some YouTube videos and the locations looked pretty remote--which is part of the appeal in my opinion. Can't wait to do this! 

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8 hours ago, elbodans said:


Great! Thank you! This makes me feel much better. I can absolutely handle that. And thank you for the detailed play by play. That's super helpful!!! 

Did you enjoy this excursion? It seems pretty awesome--to take a boat ride down a river to ruins. My husband is kind of jealous (I'm not taking him on this sailing because I am a horrible wife!) 

 

YES!  It is a fantastic excursion, a bit rushed at times but overall a real treat.  We are big history nerds, me DH and DS, so it was a perfect day for us.  We have also done other ruins, but the river ride makes is special.  Enjoy!

Take lots of tip money though, for bus driver and multiple tour guides.  We always take lots of ones and fives to make sure we cover each person individually.  

 

2019_Vista_BelizeLamanai%20(14).Movie_Sn

 

And wear good sneakers...it is over a mile walk loop from one temple to next so you are on gravel patch, roots, and rocks.  

 

2019_Vista_BelizeLamanai%20(19).Movie_Sn

 

There is only one temple to climb, the highest one... but there is a wooden staircase around the back now so you don't go up the front steep steep steep stairs.  Those who don't climb can stay under the shade trees at bottom....like me.

 

DSCF2493-XL.jpg

 

and there were howler monkeys!

 

Enjoy!

 

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2 hours ago, ABQrobin said:

 

YES!  It is a fantastic excursion, a bit rushed at times but overall a real treat.  We are big history nerds, me DH and DS, so it was a perfect day for us.  We have also done other ruins, but the river ride makes is special.  Enjoy!

Take lots of tip money though, for bus driver and multiple tour guides.  We always take lots of ones and fives to make sure we cover each person individually.  

 

2019_Vista_BelizeLamanai%20(14).Movie_Sn

 

And wear good sneakers...it is over a mile walk loop from one temple to next so you are on gravel patch, roots, and rocks.  

 

2019_Vista_BelizeLamanai%20(19).Movie_Sn

 

There is only one temple to climb, the highest one... but there is a wooden staircase around the back now so you don't go up the front steep steep steep stairs.  Those who don't climb can stay under the shade trees at bottom....like me.

 

DSCF2493-XL.jpg

 

and there were howler monkeys!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Oh, that's great to hear! I am so in! This looks amazing. And yes, I'm team comfy shoes for sure! Thanks for sharing. I'll report back after my trip! 

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This is one of the very best excursions we have ever taken.  The bus ride included a very good speaker who gave us history and current affairs of Belize. There was another guy seated up front that was operating the bus door.  He was quiet on the bus ride and then on the boat ride too.  I wrongly presumed he was a staff member of the transport company.  Once we got to the ruins he was introduced as a Doctor of Mayan Studies who had been to nearly every Mayan site in the world.  It was an amazing trip and we sent out kids on it the next year when they were in college.

 

Get you some Deep Woods Off wipes from Amazon.  Spray just goes everywhere.  Mosquitoes are vicious!

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19 hours ago, lifes-a-beach said:

This is one of the very best excursions we have ever taken.  The bus ride included a very good speaker who gave us history and current affairs of Belize. There was another guy seated up front that was operating the bus door.  He was quiet on the bus ride and then on the boat ride too.  I wrongly presumed he was a staff member of the transport company.  Once we got to the ruins he was introduced as a Doctor of Mayan Studies who had been to nearly every Mayan site in the world.  It was an amazing trip and we sent out kids on it the next year when they were in college.

 

Get you some Deep Woods Off wipes from Amazon.  Spray just goes everywhere.  Mosquitoes are vicious!

 

Ok. This is amazing. Which tour company or cruise line did you book through? I'm a huge history nerd so this sounds like my dream. Thanks for sharing! 

And ordering deep woods off wipes right now!  

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I’m pretty sure is was Norwegian but it might have been RCL.  I wouldn’t do this one with a private vendor.  I think we’ve only done 3 ship excursions; Panama Canal on a passenger ferry, zip lining in Jamaica and this one.  I forgot to mention that the boat ride was a blast.  On the way there we stopped to see wildlife and other sights.  On the way back it was just a run.  

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3 hours ago, lifes-a-beach said:

I’m pretty sure is was Norwegian but it might have been RCL.  I wouldn’t do this one with a private vendor.  I think we’ve only done 3 ship excursions; Panama Canal on a passenger ferry, zip lining in Jamaica and this one.  I forgot to mention that the boat ride was a blast.  On the way there we stopped to see wildlife and other sights.  On the way back it was just a run.  

 

Great--thanks! I'm on MSC and plan to do the ship excursion. I also don't typically do ship sponsored excursions, but I have done two--a horseback ride in Jamaica (not recommended) and Tulum from Cozumel (recommended). I did them because any other way seemed unwise, given the time constraints. I definitely want to be back on the ship when it sails! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did the ship excursion through carnival in december 2018. After the hour bus ride we were at a restaurant/bar and we had time to use the bathroom, grab a drink, etc. After like a 20min boat ride we had another opportunity to use the bathroom. Then after the tour we had another opportunity to use the bathroom before getting back on the boat. After the 20min boat ride again, we had lunch at the restaurant and there was time to use the bathroom if needed before the bus ride back to the port. Full review here if interested: https://saintgregtravel.com/a-christmas-dream-belize/

 

 

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I did this excursion last week. I was really looking forward to the boat ride portion of the trip thinking we would see some wildlife. The boat trip to the ruins, we were in the center of the boat and with the speed of the boat and all the people on the boat, I could only see the sky and other people's heads. The boat never slowed down. Same speed on the way back but this time we had seats around the edge of the boat. Saw lots of birds but no water animals. Carnival's description of a river safari gave me a much different idea of what we really got. 

 

The tour guide on the bus and for the ruins was great and we did enjoy the excursion.

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On 1/13/2020 at 3:55 PM, Saint Greg said:

I did the ship excursion through carnival in december 2018. After the hour bus ride we were at a restaurant/bar and we had time to use the bathroom, grab a drink, etc. After like a 20min boat ride we had another opportunity to use the bathroom. Then after the tour we had another opportunity to use the bathroom before getting back on the boat. After the 20min boat ride again, we had lunch at the restaurant and there was time to use the bathroom if needed before the bus ride back to the port. Full review here if interested: https://saintgregtravel.com/a-christmas-dream-belize/

 

 

Thank you! Your blog post is super funny!!! Love it! And love the attention to time detail. Thank you for sharing! 

And yeah, that's A LOT of rest stops. I can definitely manage. Even with a beer or two. Thanks! 

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On 1/16/2020 at 3:55 PM, jafbak said:

I did this excursion last week. I was really looking forward to the boat ride portion of the trip thinking we would see some wildlife. The boat trip to the ruins, we were in the center of the boat and with the speed of the boat and all the people on the boat, I could only see the sky and other people's heads. The boat never slowed down. Same speed on the way back but this time we had seats around the edge of the boat. Saw lots of birds but no water animals. Carnival's description of a river safari gave me a much different idea of what we really got. 

 

The tour guide on the bus and for the ruins was great and we did enjoy the excursion.

Get a seat on the outside of the boat--noted! Thanks!!! 

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