Carnival Magic: 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise
Saturday, December 3 - Saturday, December 10, 2016
Day 4: Belize City, Belize
Tender Boat to Port
We had never been to Belize before, so we were excited to see a new place. After eating breakfast at the Lido Buffet, we headed to the gangway to get to the tender boat.
Day 4: Lido breakfast buffet on Carnival Magic
Day 4: Lido breakfast buffet on Carnival Magic
The ship is anchored pretty far from shore in Belize, so it’s a few minutes ride on the tender boat. (One thing that is not good about having our cabin on deck one was that the fumes from the tender boats fill the hallways on deck one, and even creep into the cabins; it’s pretty smelly and strong.)
Ship is anchored quite a distance from shore - Carnival Magic in the distance
After getting off the tender boat, we walked around to find the typical port shops, and some distinctly Belizean shops. We hadn’t booked a shore excursion, and, as usual, there were people selling tours. The only problem was that all the tours were with groups, and I still had a headache from Saturday night’s fragrance exposure, so we weren’t going to take any chances with being in a group in a van where I might be exposed to more fragrance.
An Un-Belizable tour guide!
The Belizean people are very warm, we quickly discovered, and they knew of someone who could give us a personal guided tour in her car to the Mayan ruins. Our tour guide was Rose, and she was such a joy to be with! Rose is very knowledgable about Belize; she gave us an informative drive through the city before driving us to the Mayan Ruins. She was very conscious of what time we had to be back at the tender boat, and she made sure that we could see and do as much as possible in our limited amount of time.
The ride to the Mayan ruins took about 45 minutes. Rose explained the different ecosystems along the way, pointing out the changes in plants and so on as we drove through them. The drive to the ruins was very enjoyable and interesting thanks to Rose as our guide.
Our super friendly un-Belizable tour guide
Rosaline (Rose) Rowland
Belize Mayan Ruins Tour
Once we got to the ruins, Rose walked us past the restrooms just in case we had to use them. Then it was on to the ruins! I was so excited to see them! Of all the cruises we had been on before, we had never taken a tour to any ruins, and finally we were standing in front of these impressive looking ruins. Rose explained how they were discovered, and the history of the ruins, including the rituals that the Mayans practiced. She also explained why the ruins are shaped the way they are, which I had never known before. She pointed out and explained the different ruins at that site, offered to take photos of us, and then gave us time to go off on our own and climb the tallest of the ruins.
If you ever go to these ruins, and you’re able to climb to the top, I recommend it because the view of the Belizean jungle from up there was great to experience. The day we went was pretty warm, so we were all sweating, and that was in December, so I'm thinking that’s not even as close to as hot and humid as it gets there in the summer. Having said that, while I recommend climbing to the top if you can, I also recommend that you know your limitations; I say that because I’m pretty physically active, but the heat was getting to me, and I know there’s no way I could have climbed that ruin in the summer heat - I would have probably passed out! And no matter what, I highly recommend that you wear some sort of hat that shades your face. If you visit in the summer (or any time of the year), you might want to bring along some water bottles.
Rose explains the history of the ruins (I bought that hat on the ship during a special sale - it rolls up and fits easily in a backpack.)
We were allowed to walk freely onto most of the ruins (Mayan Ruins in Belize)
Stone stairway to the top of one of the ruins can be dangerous to climb for some. (Mayan Ruins in Belize)
View from the top of one of the ruins (Mayan ruins in Belize)
View from the top of the one of the ruins (Mayan ruins in Belize)
Faces in one of the Mayan ruins in Belize
Interesting trees in the ruins park (Mayan ruins area in Belize)
Here we are at the ruins with our much needed head coverings. (Mayan ruins in Belize)
After we toured the ruins, Rose took us to a very small museum that is at the ruins site. She explained some more about the ruins using items on display at the museum.
Then she walked us over to the edge of the parking lot where a number of vendors have set up small outdoor shops selling various items. We went to one vendor who makes some of the items she sells. The items are made out of a gorgeous wood, and she makes different types of items with that wood. We bought an item from her that we think is so beautiful. We also bought some hot sauce from her; she sells a few different types of hot sauce. She prices her items well, so you won’t go broke buying anything from her.
The hand carved wooden tray from Belize modeled by Preston the cat
The hot sauce from Belize modeled by Preston the cat
We had told Rose that we wanted to try authentic Belizean food, and she knew just where to take us. The woman whom we bought our wood item and hot sauce from also owns a restaurant that’s at the end of where the vendors are. We ordered chicken with peas and rice, along with Belikin beer, a beer that’s made in Belize. According to Rose, Belikin is the only beer worth “trinkin'.” (Rose was teaching us the way Belizean people speak, and she taught us that “drinking” is “trinkin'.”) The food was good, and the beer was so refreshing after that warm, humid trek around the ruins!
Then we headed back to the port, but along the way, per our request, Rose took us to a small market that sells Belikin beer so that we could take some Belikin beer home with us.
Rose kindly dropped us off at the closest point to our tender boat that we could be dropped off at, which was very close, and we said our goodbyes. But first we made sure we got her information before we left because I told her I wanted to provide people with her contact information on this blog so that other people could benefit from her expertise, and, most importantly, her super friendly personality. The Mayan tour was the highlight of our entire trip, thanks to Rose! She was truly an absolute delight to be with, and if you ever go to Belize, give her a call. She will make sure you’re well taken care of. She’s so lovable that you will, I sincerely believe, enjoy your tour much more than if you book one of those tours with the large groups in a van.
Her business card reads: Rosaline’s Tours and Shuttle Service. Mayan Cities, City Tours, Belize Zoo, etc. Her phone number is 501-205-5150, and her cell number is 501-627-9142. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously, if you’re heading to Belize, give Rose a call - she is such a joy to have as a guide.
Tendering back to the Carnival Magic in Belize
Relaxing back on the ship
After getting back on the boat we were exhausted from the tour, not that it was very strenuous, it was just that the heat really zapped our energy. So we went straight to our cabin, got into our swim wear, and went right up to the jacuzzis at the rear of the Lido deck. That felt so relaxing after that tour. Even though it sounds strange to me to find hot water relaxing after an outdoor waking tour on a warm, humid day, it really was relaxing. I’m sure the cold cocktails we were drinking while in the jacuzzi helped play a part in relaxing us. Haha!
Day Four Dinner
As for what was served that day for lunch, I can’t say because I don’t know, but I can tell you what was served for dinner at the Lido buffet. We decided to not eat in the main dining room that night. Instead we enjoyed tasty burgers from Guy’s Burger Joint, and then later on we headed over to the Lido Buffet. We climbed all the way to the top of a Mayan ruin that day, we needed to refuel! (OK, maybe the ruin wasn’t super tall, but still, we wanted a second dinner!)
(We took a photo of Main Dining Room dinner menu that night, but the photo turned out black, so I can’t say what was offered that night in the Main Dining Room.)
Day Four Lido Buffet Dinner
The Lido dinner buffet’s featured items were: Roasted strip loin; Linguini Italian sausage; Oven roast Mojito chicken; Grilled salmon; Bbq pork spareribs; white rice; ratatouille; and baked potato. The buffet also offered, as usual, many other items, such as Tomato ‘n’ cucumber creamy peppercorn; Curried rice ‘n’ tofu; various salads; deli meats and cubed cheeses; and bread. (The Bbq pork spareribs were delicious! My husband and I both went back for more of those.)
Tasty BBQ spare ribs in the first rectangle pan on the left
Linguini Italian sausage is to the left of the rice - Carnival Magic Lido Restaurant Dinner Buffet
Roasted Strip Loin was offered at the Carving Station that night - Carnival Magic Lido Restaurant Dinner Buffet
Lido Dinner Buffet Items - Carnival Magic
Lido Dinner Buffet - Soup for dinner is minestrone - Carnival Magic
Some of the items offered at the Lido Dinner Buffet on the Carnival Magic Day 4
Day Four Sweet Spot Dinner Options
The desserts at Sweet Spot that night were: Banana pudding (which wasn’t a typical banana pudding - it was more of a banana bread pudding with a sauce on the side to pour over it. Every day and night the Sweet Spot offers a different type of a bread pudding with a yummy sauce to pout over it, like vanilla sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and so on.); Rhubarb pie; Passion fruit cake; Mango cake; cookies; and sliced fruit.
Sweet spot serves up desserts from two sides, so you can get your sweet on quickly - Carnival Magic Lido Restaurant
Sweet Spot - Banana Pudding with a sauce to pour over it - Carnival Magic Lido Restaurant
The Carnival Deli on the Carnival Magic is open late every night
The Carnival Deli on the Carnival Magic prepares food to order
The Carnival Deli menu items - Carnival Magic
The Carnival Deli
My husband then ordered a tuna melt from The Carnival Deli, because they will make special requests as long as they have the items for it. Unfortunately they didn’t know what a tuna melt is, and even though my husband tried to explain to them how to make it, they didn’t understand. So he ended up with a “tuna melt attempt,” which isn’t as good as a tuna melt. But I do think it’s nice of Carnival to be willing to try to make special requests when possible. Two thumbs up for that!
We then headed back to our cabin and watched a movie on my husband’s laptop - a relaxing end to a long, enjoyable day!
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