Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Sunny days in Harvest Caye and Costa Maya

Our third port was Harvest Caye, Belize - one of Norwegian's privately owned island (they also own Great Stirrup Caye in the Bahamas).  The island has been developed to permit the cruise ship passengers to enjoy a day at the beach with a few extra attractions thrown in.

For the adventurous, there are several ziplines, for the less so, a large pool, a butterfly and aviary enclosure, and of course, a long stretch of beach to enjoy.

The lighthouse is the starting point for the zip lines.  Two of the ziplines took the riders over the ocean. 

I've never been on a zipline but was told that riding on one's tummy is more difficult that sitting.  I'll never find out...far too terrified of heights to attempt it.

Or one could ride solo across the jungle.  (Again, not me).

This line took the rider past the aviary and butterfly enclosures.  I didn't see where it ended but the lines were busy the entire time we were off ship.

The pool was huge and absolutely beautiful.  In fact, the entire complex was meticulously maintained.  There are no permanent inhabitants in the island and the shops and restaurants are only open when the ship(s) are in port.  There is, however, security on the island at all times.

 K and I took a walk along the beach while J stuck to the boardwalk.   The beach contains a lot of crushed shells, so I think he had the right idea!

We met up at the end of the public beach (and where security was located), and after a pit stop, we walked back along the golf cart path to reach the macaws (no photos) and the butterfly enclosure.
There was something about J's hat the attracted the butterflies.  While it would appear these are different types of butterflies, in fact they are one and the same.  

The blue morpho is among the largest butterflies in the world, with wings spanning from five to eight inches. ... The underside of the morpho's wings, on the other hand, is a dull brown color with many eyespots, providing camouflage against predators such as birds and insects when its wings are closed. - Rainforest Alliance

These butterflies weren't as large as the article would suggest but were so pretty.  They also wanted out of the enclosure!  There was a young man with a butterfly net at the exit to the enclosure to ensure that none escaped.  

On the way to the Landshark cafe we stopped to admire this intricately carved iguana.  Now that's a big one!  For those not in the know (that would be me) Landshark restaurant is associated with Jimmy Buffett, as well as Margaritaville.  J is a "parrothead" as avid fans of Jimmy Buffett are know.  As a side note, this is part of the reason K and J agreed to this cruise, as the ship has a Margaritaville, with accompanying Buffett music on board the ship.  The other reason was New Orleans, a bucket list destination for all of us.

I had planned to have a Landshark beer but the cafe was out of it.  Instead I had a Belikin, while K and J enjoyed a cold Coca-Cola.  It was a lovely afternoon, hot and breezy to enjoy a cold beverage and watch people.  We also did a bit of shopping before heading back to the ship.  

Look what I found in the Belize sign!


The following day we were in Costa Maya, Mexico.  We were in port with two other ships that day so the port area was incredibly busy!  We walked off later to avoid the initial rush but there was still a crowd.  We found our way through the port shops to the ticket office where we paid for our fare on a open-air shuttle to the nearest village, Mahahual.  

I'll be honest, this was my least favorite port on the cruise.  We walked along the path adjacent to the beach, and for every step there was a vendor, or two, or three offering us "massage on the beach, $10" or "come see my shop, everything made in Mexico".  After saying no thanks a dozen times, I was ready to scream, if I've said no to the last ten people I'm going to say no to you too!  J said absolutely nothing, while K continued to be the pleasant one of our trio.  I understand they are trying to make a living but if there had been anything I might have been interested in I would not have dared to go into a shop because of the fear of being mobbed by the next shop.  

We eventually made it to the end of the beach street, and grabbed a cab back to the port area.  Here the vendors were less aggressive, but there were no t-shirts that would fit Eli.  K had already picked up vanilla in Cozumel so no one made much money from us that day.

Instead we sat at one of the sea-side restaurants, where I enjoyed a Corona, and K and J had....wait for it...Coca-Cola.  :)
 We were early enough to miss the crowds returning from their excursions so it was relaxing.  There was a young couple sitting nearby with two small children.  The kids were digging in the sand and flipping it every which way.  They were entertaining and managed to miss tossing sand in our drinks.

We walked back to the ship (the one in the back) and headed for the balcony.  Just after we boarded, an ambulance pulled up to the ship.  We heard later there had been one that morning when we first pulled into the dock.  It's sad when someone gets ill on board, but the medical staff are good, and they ensure the passengers (and crew) are well taken care of.
Waves crashing on the shore - just beyond the restaurant.
Despite the over zealous vendors, it was still a lovely day in Costa Maya.  The sun was shining, it was lovely and hot, and we got in a good walk. I probably don't need to go there again but am glad I got the opportunity to do so once.

Next up, "almost Grand Cayman" and Jamaica, the final two ports of our cruise.


  1. The butterfly enclosure would have been my favourite spot, I think. Their blue colour is stunning!

    I wouldn't be zip-lining either, unless I was only 3 feet off the ground. Ha. No head for heights at all.

    The aggressive vendors in Mahahual would put me off too, I admit. I don't even like store clerks here to hover (I like to be acknowledged, then left alone). But the sun and WARMTH would make up for it, I think. :-)

  2. I think I'd try a zip-line before I'd try bunji-jumping, though that's not saying much! I would have been turned off by the aggressive vendors, too. Like telemarketers, they are just trying to earn a living, but it doesn't make them any more agreeable.


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