This post is sponsored by Princess Cruises.
In any of my three Caribbean cruises in partnership with Princess, I have never seen water as blue as the waters of Belize. At 6:49 a.m., Caribbean Princess dropped anchor about an hour outside of Belize City, and for whatever depth we were at I could not believe how the shimmering turquoise water glowed. It was easy to see that we were in for a treat of a day as soon as I looked over the railing of our balcony, morning coffee in hand.
Michele and I had been back and forth deciding on a shore excursion to take, and I can’t recommend the Princess crew members at the excursion desk enough. On any Princess cruise, there are so many shore excursion options available that it can sometimes be overwhelming to pick just one, especially on a Caribbean cruise itinerary (although depending on the times, you could potentially do two in one day). The excursion team knows just about every detail about every excursion, such as how much walking or driving will be involved, which ones are higher- or lower-activity, which ones include lunch and which might be best suited for all the ages in your party. The desk is located right in the piazza, so it’s easy to swing by on your way to or from dinner the night before. However, I do recommend booking as early as possible, because excursions can sell out! But even then, we had a list a mile long of our top choices nailed down, so you’re bound to end up on a remarkable adventure no matter what.
We decided on Snorkeling Wonders of the Barrier Reef, and since I couldn’t tell how near or far we were from Belize City, I wasn’t sure what to expect—but we didn’t go anywhere near the mainland. Instead, we took a ferry boat about an hour out from where Caribbean Princess dropped anchor and arrived at an absolute treat—a tiny private island in the middle of nowhere! We could see land off in the distance but we could also walk the entire circumference of the island in three minutes. It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime day. The sands were white, the water was translucent, and the beach chairs were ready and waiting for us. It absolutely doesn’t get more picturesque.
Belize hosts the second-largest coral reef in the world behind Australia, and because of this, our excursion was quite popular. Thinking ahead, the crew divided us into two groups so the snorkeling wouldn’t get too crowded, which was a smart and thoughtful detail. Michele and I got to relax on Rendezvous Caye for the first half of the day before the second round of snorkelers paddled out to the reef.
It’s funny to think of relaxing as any kind of “activity,” but there were truly a lot of options on the island to do so—including in-water hammocks. Swaying along with the waves in that little pocket of fabric remains at the top of my list of memories from the trip. I could have stayed there from sunrise to sundown—but not without sustenance! You can buy drinks and easy meals like hamburgers and hot dogs at the island food stand, but make sure to bring cash.
How to cap off the perfect day? Dinner and a show back onboard your home at sea. We had a thoroughly entertaining experience at the Princess Theater featuring the entertainment crew. They are truly Broadway-quality performers and performed a ton of popular songs with spectacular costumes, lights, and dancing. It’s not to be missed, and if you stop by the Skywalkers Nightclub later in the evening there’s a pretty fair chance you’ll run into them and get to tell them how much you loved it in person. Between dancing to Backstreet Boys and Stevie Wonder, of course.