The reason we booked this particular itinerary was because one of the port stops was Belize.  For several years we wanted to snorkel in Belize which has the second largest barrier reef in the world; only the Great Barrier Reef off Australia is bigger.

The cruise ship did not dock in Belize; the ship anchored a couple miles off the mainland.  It was strange to walk off the ship right onto another boat for our shore excursion snorkeling trip.

A tender boat docked right below our balcony:
Our snorkeling excursion would take us to Goff's Caye, a "Gilligan's Island" type island or caye (why is it pronouced "key"?) about a half an hour's boat ride from the ship.  And this was no ordinary boat ride.  This boat had three 200 horsepower motors attached to the back so we were moving at quite a brisk pace...Hold onto your sun hats!

I sat at the back of the boat on the way back from snorkeling.  That's our little island in the far distance...look at the waves those three boat engines created!  On the other boat in the photo were Carnival Glory passengers doing the same snorkeling trip.  Remember: Carnival Glory followed us everywhere.
Goff's Caye off the coast of Belize.  Can't you just picture Gilligan, the Skipper, Ginger, Mary Ann, the professor, Thurston Howell III and Lovie living here in their grass huts?

The color of the water here is just beautiful.  Have you ever seen water this turquoise?  I love this photo showing the white sand of the finger of beach jutting off the island, the turquoise water (as clear as bath water!) and then the darker blue water where the coral reef is.

Though looks can be deceiving here: it was not easy walking in the waters right off the island: lots of pieces of coral in the sand.  OUCH!

DANGER ALERT: Two people got stung by micro-sized jelly fish while just walking in the water.  One was a young girl of about eight years old...Oh, she was in such pain as they treated her.
Did the snorkeling live up to its hype?  Yes and no.  Yes, the coral reef is spectacular with coral in all shapes, sizes and colors.  However, we snorkel to see fish.  Yes, there were opportunities to see many varieties of fish (some snorkelers said they saw a barracuda) but I was disappointed that we didn't see more fish.  It was usually a single fish at a time.  The highlight was a school of about 20 rather large fish gathered around a large piece of what looked like brain coral. 

And the snorkeling was tiring.  The snorkeling was separated into two options:  you could be dropped off on the caye's pier...
A feathered friend sitting on the end of the pier probably searching for breakfast.

and then snorkel from the island or you could remain on the boat and the boat would go back out onto the coral reef.  We chose to remain on the boat, but then you snorkeled all the way back to the island which it took about 45 minutes.  It was windy so the waves were sometimes three to four feet.  But once we got going in the right direction with help of the current, we had a great time.  Well worth the excursion fee.

When we reached the caye there were refreshments and food to purchase (who knew a $2.00 freshly-grilled hot dog wrapped in a soft taco shell could taste so good?) and trinkets for purchase.

For $10.00 I bought this necklace with the shell ornament.
Nothing tastes better than a Belikan beer in the hot Belizean sun!  (It IS good beer and I'm not a beer drinker!)

Since the snorkeling excursion was in the morning (8:15 a.m.!! Boy, we had to get up early!), so we were able to return to the ship, change clothes and take the tender boat over to the mainland.

The shopping area of Belize City is the same as most cruise ports, with the same familiar stores painted the same bright colors of the Caribbean...

So we bought a few souvenirs, stopped for a delicious strawberry daiquiri at "Mamacitas" to get out of the blazing sun...
The pineapple from the strawberry daiquiri was delicious!

And then we returned back to the cruise ship for lunch, all the while gazing upon the most beautiful turquoise water we had ever seen and remembering our visit to Belize...

And when we returned to our cabin, we still had a spectacular view of the turquoise water!

Our day in Belize is over.  Two ports down, two to go.  Tomorrow morning we dock at Isla Roatan, Honduras. 
Until then...

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