None of our party cared to look up the ports of call our New Years celebration aboard Norwegian Cruise Line was to visit. I happened to do a Google Map search of the ports a few days before our embarkation and had a difficult time finding Harvest Caye, a private Belizean Island owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines, one of four total ports visited during our adventure.
The wife and I were excited to be finally stopping in Belize since it was removed from another ship’s cruise itinerary a couple of years before due to other additional itinerary changes. We were thinking we would have an opportunity to experience Belizean cuisine, do some shopping and finally say, “we went to Belize”. But no, we still haven’t been to Belize.
Harvest Caye is a nice island that you can get off the ship, walk the island in about 30 minutes, see some murky water and pay very expensive prices for anything you want to do, eat or experience while on Harvest Caye. The island is set up nicely with a large and very clear (good filtration system) pool, some activities like kayaking, zip-lining, manatee watching or even just relaxing on the man-made crushed shell beach (extremely coarse sand).
We quickly realized that our all-inclusive drink and dining packages used aboard the ship were invalid for anything on the island as our only beverage purchases cost $11 US dollars each . . . for a beer. Some of the cuisine offered on the island included Belizean fare, but most were Americanized burgers, fries and hot wing type stuff. And the prices were not cheap. After spending about 2 hours exploring the island we decided to head back and get our food (…and much better food) and booze for free included with our on-board packages.
Heading back to the ship, we decided to try to find what we wanted from Belize as souvenirs; Marie Sharp’s Belizean Habanero Pepper Sauce. As we toured the island and looking at menus and cuisine in some of the restaurants, we saw they had Marie Sharp’s on the tables . . . In all of the restaurants, but as we shopped our way back to the ship, we found it is not available for purchase on Harvest Caye.
What a waste of a day. We would have rather spent the time underway enjoying more ship’s activities and our included drinks and dining packages on the ship. Here’s a couple of links to what Harvest Caye is all about: