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Rules of Cruising: Be Sure To Read the Port Not the Country

I booked a cruise 4 months ago.  It was a Western Caribbean Cruise.  It was billed as Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.  What I got was not what I expected.  Be careful to read the port not the country.  This is the lesson I have learned the hard way.  Although I booked it and I am a Certified Travel Agent it wasn’t until I was on the cruise the day before we arrived I realized we were not going to Belize, but instead to Harvest Caye.  Whereas technically Harvest Caye is part of the country of Belize, it may as well be anywhere in the world because there was nothing that said Belize other than the name.

Main pool at Harvest Caye in Belize

Pool at Harvest Caye, Belize

Harvest Caye is one of the new breeds of Ports the cruise lines are developing.  Harvest Caye is owned by a business entity of Norwegian Cruise line.  It is a beautiful place.  Picture a large resort style pool with a swim up bar, surrounded by restaurants and shopping.  Steps away, is a large sandy beach with plenty of lounge chairs.  A lighthouse overlooking the beach and it’s patrons.  Opposite the beach is the lagoon where kayakers, paddle boards and electric boats all for rent.  This place has zip lines over the Beach, a Ropes Course, even a Village Stage for live performances.  Fresh green plants, tropical colored flowers and the smell of sea air from the ocean breeze.  Why you can even hear the sweet sound of music being played throughout Harvest Caye.  This is truly a beautiful place.  That is unless you wanted to go to Belize.

Swim up Bar at the pool in Harvest Caye, Belize

Swim up Bar at the pool in Harvest Caye, Belize

Belize is not one of my favorite places.  Contrary to popular belief Belize is not an island.  It does not have natural beaches.  You can actually drive to Belize from Texas by crossing Mexico.  However, some people like to tour the city, learn about the culture, see the landmarks and learn about the country.  Others like to shop the local stores like Brody’s or purchase items at the Pharmacy such as Antibiotics or other medicines that prescriptions are not necessary for.  Some even like experiencing the local cuisine.  I did not get to experience any of that.   

The main gate at Harvest Caye in Belize

Entrance Gate to Harvest Caye

Here is something to remember.  Be aware of names such as Harvest Caye, Belize; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic to name a few.  This is the lesson I have learned the hard way.  Ask your Travel Agent if you are not sure.  That way you can make an educated decision about where you want to go and what you want to experience. Be careful to read the port not the Country!

Belize ground sign at Harvest Caye in Belize

Belize sign

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Bill Collins

Bill Collins is a former Army Officer turned veteran traveler. I have traveled to 34 different Countries mainly concentrated in Central & Latin America and have spent the last 16 years exploring the Caribbean Islands.

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