The third stop on my 7 day Carnival Glory cruise was Belize. We had to take a tender boat to the cruise port and we were determined to get as much as we could out of this port. The first thing I noticed when we were arriving at the port was the state of the water. It definitely wasn't crystal blue like it was in the Cayman Islands. The water didn't look so inviting and that's all I'm going to say about that.
At the port, it was very busy. There were lots of shops and tour companies. We were stopped by a lady offering tour packages. We stopped and listened and it sounded like a good deal to us. She was from the Belize Cruise Ship Taxi Guide Association/Co. The package she offered us was a city tour, rum package, and access to Old Belize City Beach all for $35 USD. Sounded great to us so we we took her up on that offer. She beckoned to a guy to lead us to the tour desk to pay and get our tickets. We followed the guy through the port to the ticket desk. We paid the fee and got a ticket and was told that the bus will leave in 45 minutes. They said we could walk around if we like and told us the time to come back. So we walked around looking at various shops. They had everything you could think of from souvenirs, clothes, handbags and other accessories. I ended up buying a nicely decorated shot glass made out of clay. A parrot was carved in it with the name Belize City on it. Unfortunately the next day part of the clay broke. I was so upset, especially since I paid $14 for it! By the way that is not a good price for a clay inspired shot glass. If I had looked around some more I could have gotten it for $5.
After walking around window shopping we headed back to the tour desk just in time for the tour. We were loaded into a mini bus by our tour guide along with 6 other people. By this time it was around 10 am. Our city tour started as soon as we drove out of the port. Immediately it kind of reminded me of Downtown Jamaica but less developed as it seemed to be a poor area. We passed old buildings and what looked to be tenement buildings. We were stopped by the police twice as the tour guide explained to us that the police have various check points along the city as they have gun issues that spanned from a drug issue that they use to have in the country. When he was stopped by the police he had to show his drivers license along with some other documents. He had to explain he was coming from the cruise port and transporting passengers to Old Belize City on a tour. The police checked his documents and his license plate and then we were allowed to continue our journey. Our tour guide stopped for gas and showed us what their money looked like.
No surprises here, their country is a British Colony. Their money kind of reminded me of Jamaica's money being colorful and all that. $2 Belize dollar is equivalent to $1 US dollar which is not bad compared to $1 US dollar worth $125 Jamaican dollars.
We continued our tour through the city and we were shocked to learn that there is only 2 stop lights in all of Belize! Imagine that! How they control traffic is through the British method of round-a-bouts. If you don't know what that is, it's literally a road that's a circle with roads turning off to other directions. You basically have to yield to traffic, when its free to go you go. Below is an example of a round-a-bout.
Continuing on our tour an American in the bus asked if Belize has electricity. Marinate on that for a moment. Everyone looked back in the bus to the person like "really! Do you not see the light posts?" I guess the tour guide was not trying to be rude because he just laughed it off and answered her question, but the rest of us shook our heads in disbelief. So we finally get to Old Belize City where they have a man made beach called Kukumba Beach. Now this is where the fun begins. They had a museum, a bar, restaurant, restrooms and yes a "beach".
Now let me explain the "beach". So remember when I mentioned the water earlier, well yea that's why they had to make a man made beach that was tourist friendly. So the "beach" is basically inland surrounded by the natural beach or should I say a waterfront. On the "beach" they had water trampolines, water tubes and they had a slide called 'The Slippery Conch'. I tried the slide and it was fun, however I didn't go again after the first time because believe it or not, the slide gave be the BIGGEST wedgey in life. I mean that wedgy lasted for about 10 minutes.
What I liked about the beach is it was chill. They had a DJ playing upbeat music, you could get food and drinks, you had various photo op spots, hammocks, life guards on duty, and lounge chairs; it was all there. Oh how could I forget, they even had free WiFi. I also tried Belikin beer, which is the beer of choice in Belize and it was actually nice. If you decide to go to Belize be sure to try their beer! Old Belize City was definitely fun and we stayed for about 3 hours. We decided to head back to the port a little earlier than expected because we were a little confused with the timezone difference and we wanted to make sure to catch the tender boat in time back to the ship, so we ended up missing th rum tour which was fine with us cause other tourists told us it was like only 10 - 15 mins and we wouldn't miss anything much.
All in all my day in Belize was fun. I got lots of pictures and a sun tan :) Check out my video below for highlights from my day in Belize and be sure to check back next week for the final part to my Ready! Set! Sail! series where I talk about my last stop on the cruise, Cozumel.