We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of our Norwegian Getaway Western Caribbean cruise and I never finished writing about my experience. So I’m diving back in, just in to time relive what I was doing 365 days ago through the magic of Facebook Memories.
We had a busy cruise itinerary. Our cruise was embarkation, a day of cruising, four days of excursions, a day at sea and disembarkation. That meant four full days back-to-back.
We woke up on Wednesday morning and we were docking in Belize. This port was a little different because it is a small island, Harvest Caye, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. Our excursion didn’t start until 10:30 a.m. and we arrived at 7 a.m. so we weren’t in a rush to get off the boat and to our next stop.
We were clearly not the only ones without an early excursion. The breakfast buffet was crowded. After we are, including bear claws (roar! yummy, yummy in your tummy, tummy) we packed up out stuff and got off the boat. It’s quite a long walk down the pier.
*Screeeech* Back Up, What did you take?
So, both days I’ve posted that we packed up a bag and headed out. What did we take with us?
- Camera. We had a waterproof camera with us. We took this with us wherever we went. I also had my cell phone and a waterproof case for that, which I took to most of the stops.
- Towels. We took the towels from our hotel room. It’s important to bring them back! Generally you can exchange them as you are coming back onto the ship so you aren’t lugging wet towels back to your room.
- Water, water, water. You just never know where you are going to get the next bottle.
- Passports. You’re in a foreign country so don’t travel without it.
- Ship keys. You need these to get on and off the boat, not just to get in your room.
- Money. Cash is king, though you can use credit cards in many of the shops.
What was it like on Harvest Caye?
There were several shops on the island, but they seemed small, limited stock and overpriced compared to what we had seen in Honduras. Most of the shops were curated and seemed to be run by the cruise line.
There was a well-stocked beach with plenty of chairs, a swim area and probably areas for snorkeling, volleyball and other activities. On the island there was also a huge zip line. It was way up in a lighthouse on the far side of the island. The zipper, which was definitely not me, would run from a window in the lighthouse, back across the beach and down. It looked like it would be an amazing view, but my fear of heights made it a no-go.
There was also a large pool and a restaurant. There weren’t very many food options on Harvest Caye.
We did a little browsing before we had to meet up for our excursion: A Wildlife and Mangrove Estuary tour.
There were were 30 people crammed into a very small boat. The boat tour was run by a gal named Sue, who was knowledgeable and entertaining for such a unknown tour. We headed into a lagoon area where we saw bat rays, starfish and jellyfish. Then we went into a manatee protected area. We saw about four manatee surface in the area. This part included a lot of waiting and watching. Sue kept us interested the entire time, though she had no idea what, if anything, we would actually see.
Once we were done watching the sealife, we headed across the bay to a mangrove, which is essentially trees in the water. We saw plenty of birds, tangled root infrastructures and jellyfish.
It was a short excursion, especially compared to our others, but we saw a lot.
Afterward, we bought a few things in the shops and had lunch at Landsharks, a sit-down restaurant in the caye.
The weather was beginning to look threatening, but we decided to check out the giant pool available on Harvest Caye. Just before we got in the water, the sky looked really gray so my husband and I parted from our friends and returned to the ship. On the walk back, we realized just how tired we were and went back to our room to sleep a bit before we watch the boat undock and head toward our next port of call: Costa Maya.
Back on the boat
Our dinner that evening was at Le Bistro, a French restaurant on the ship. The food was delicious.
My husband had cream of mushroom soup with shrimp, asparagus and potatoes. I had a shrimp, asparagus and lobster bisque appetizer and scallops with potatoes for my entree. Dessert was an ice-cream filled puff pastry with chocolate sauce.
After we rolled out of Le Bistro, we attempted to see the dueling pianos, but it was crazy and packed so we just went up to the rooms. We had an early port call in the morning and we were setting our clocks forward an hour.