The boat ride is just a boat ride - the airplane ride is MAGIC. The boats do not have a lot of space for cargo (luggage). The internatinal airport is at least 20 miles from where the boats depart, and the timing of the flights and boat departures is if-y. You won't know if there is room for you on the boat until you get there ...... all in all, if you are arriving in Belize and coming straight to San Pedro, it is not advisable to try to catch a boat. It's a hassle. Thje flight gives you a stunning overview of the islands, mainland coast, and the reef. The water is so clear that from the plane you can see eagle rays swimming in the sea. Get on a plane, sit on the right hand side and get a window seat. It's fabulous.