I first came to Belize in Sept 2000 – spent a week on Ambergris -stayed at the Seven Seas Resort – dove with Gaz Cooper’s Dive Belize -did the tours to Altun Ha and Lamani – then did a week long liveaboard on the ill-fated Wave Dancer just a month or so before it sunk. I came back in Dec 2005 with a group this time and first did a week on the dive boat Nekton Pilot then did the jungle tours . I had a ball both times and always planned to come back again soon.
It been way too long but my wife and I are traveling with fourteen other people on a Norwegian Cruise that stops in Belize City on Wed Oct 5th at 10:00. I have no idea if they dock or if they use launches to send passengers out into town.
Any information you folks have on “the drill” would be most appreciated. I’m wondering if there are any tour vendors either on Ambergris or Belize City who pick up cruise passengers and take ‘em diving or over to San Pedro or Cay Caulker.
Looking forward to soaking in the water again. Pat Wikstrom
The cruise ships stay outside of the reef and passengers are brought to shore on tenders. The tenders drop you very close to the water taxis that head to Caye Caulker (45 minute trip) and Ambergris Caye (1.5 hour trip). Some cruisers just water taxi to the islands (usually Caulker because of the shorter travel time) and go with their choice of guides. Another option is to take a taxi to the municipal airport and fly (8 minutes to Caulker).
I don't know about Ambergris but here on Caye Caulker the snorkel and dive boats that cater to cruisers tend to be huge and jam packed (as opposed to local tours of 6 or so people). Cruise-related tours also make snorkelers wear life vests in the water regardless of swimming ability.
It's true that you mitigate the risk of getting back late if you go with a cruise tour, though.
The cruise ships anchor off Belize City and they stopped doing SP excursions ages ago due to the distance. They have ready made "exotic" islands along the reef off Belize City. You can go independent but if you're a minute late for departure the ship sets sail. If, someway, you can reach the ship by phone and get them to wait a few minutes expect a bill in the thousands. I speak from experience, where the phone call alone was over $1000.
Odd question - Are those folks legally married? I thought the rules of Belize stipulate that both parties must be in the country for 72 hours BEFORE applying for and being issued a marriage license. Is that still the law?