Cozumel, Belize City & Roatan
by Kyle Trem
This was my 4th cruise and my daughters 3rd cruise. I am 33 and she is 14. We booked a balcony room on deck 9. Went Thanksgiving Holiday week 2005. Originally the cruise was departing out of New Orleans, but changed to Houston due to Katrina. (American Airlines really gave me a hard time changing my airfare to Houston, had to pay extra $100 but they tried for and extra $800.)
Upon entering the ship it is a very nice ship, comparable with the other Princess, NCL & Carnival ships that I have been on before. Modern & large this ship was to my satisfaction.
First port was Cozumel we chose the Beach Excursion. Upon getting off the
ship I couldn't believe the condition of Cozumel, it was still wiped out! Most of the roofs were missing and the main street was 1/2 shut down. We took the 6 mile bus ride to
a hotel with a beach & had some fun. The beach was in pretty good condition, warm water, played some volleyball, won at tug of war & got some tequila as a prize. The lunch buffet was average, not bad & not great, drinks were below average but were included in the open bar. Talked with some of the workers who say that since all the
hurricanes that no one comes to the hotel anymore. Overall a fun day.
Next stop went to Belize, it was difficult to tender in because there
were 5 cruise ships there that day and they must require the cruise ships to use the local tenders from the ship to the pier. Once there, noticed the rather large metal gate separating the pier from the locals, Belize is a rather poor country much like Jamaica. Decided to take a tour to Cauker Cay a small island about 45
minutes from Belize. Went swimming with a few stingrays & two large nurse
sharks and snorkeled around for a while. Then ate a fantastic lunch at the seafood
restaurant by the small pier. American money is valued at a 2-1 rate so lobster only
cost about $10-$12 dollars.
Last port on this cruise was Roatan, Honduras which was surprisingly my favorite stop on this cruise. Again did the Day at the Beach & the beach was great,
with chairs, towels, palm trees, showers, non-alcoholic drinks & lunch included. Very nice setup at this
beach paradise is called Tabayana the lost Carribean resort. Brought some of that Tequila from Cozumel & had a few strong drinks. Also stopped on way back from beach & took some really nice photos at an overlook point. Although Roatan was also poor like Belize I felt slightly safer.
A tip for the ship if traveling with a child...
Make sure you purchase the teen passport, which allows them to get 20 non-alcoholic drinks for
$33-$34. My daughter loved the smoothies & strawberry daiquiri-flavored drinks that she purchased via the teen passport.
As far as the food goes it was above average with the highlight being the pay restaurants being the highlight. The after dinner dessert NCL signature
soufflé with the hot chocolate is also highly recommended.
The entertainment was memorable with the comedy of the Black Street Boys leaving me laughing so hard I wish I didn't eat so much at the dinner before. The other comedian was also very funny. The
Broadway style shows were performed by the Jean Ann Ryan Co. and were similar to the shows
I have previously seen on my Hawaiian cruise with NCL. The headliner vocalists could really sing & the dance routine was entertaining.
The other cruise guests varied in age but there
were a lot of Texans onboard and they made it known with their loud way of doing things. Witnessed a Texan yelling at this lady who stole her pool side chair, the Texan really showed no class, it was a simple case of that NCL had taken her towel after 1 hour of her not being with it to open up the chair for other guests. There were a lot of teens on this cruise being Thanksgiving week. There were not too many singles on this cruise but I did manage to find one via my daughter & her daughter who
had become friends and roamed the ship at will. Had some good conversations, dinners & some innocent flirting with each other as we proclaimed ourselves as the only two sort-of single people on the cruise. Had some laughs at dinner when the photographer called her my wife & her the mom of my daughter.
Another tip... Taxi rides from HOU & IAD airports are fairly expensive, $55 & $95 respectively, so you may want to sign up for the airport transfers or find someone on the plane to split the cab fare with (as I did).
All in all, had fun & liked this ship & crew better than the Pride of Aloha which is the previous NCL ship sailed. But the Pride of Aloha has
probably the best itinerary ever seen on a cruise with even an overnight stay in Kauai & an overnight stay in Maui for all you late night party-goers. Next cruise is in April on Princess to Southern
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise
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