What to Expect When You Take A Cruise to Belize: The Cruise Ship Village

Yesterday was THE most beautiful day to visit Belize City.  Bright warm sun, but cool in the shade.  I was wearing my long sleeved shirt and North Face windbreaker, visitors, bikini tops and shorts.  I took the 830am San Pedro Express Water Taxi from San Pedro to the city.  One hour and 15 minutes.  To visit the cruise ship village on its most busy day, Thursday.  A three ship day in the harbor day.  (You can see one of them in this picture below…off behind the fishing boats.)


Ft. George Village is the first stop for all visitors that are getting off the cruise ships in Belize.  So technically, it is the most visited place in Belize.  By far!  So how can I write a blog about Belize without visiting this hot spot?  This hub?  Makes no sense.  In fact, I’m starting to get more and more questions from cruise ship visitors.  Time to get in and take a look around.

One note of warning:  I have never been on a cruise and I’ve never really wanted to.  I don’t really like crowds, it takes me a few days to get a real feel for a destination and…I don’t really like crowds!


Now that THAT is out there…Here was my on view as I pulled in.  It’s almost like a closed in mall on the Belize Water front.   Lots of docks, bars, shops…


Looks pretty good to me.  And Belize City really looked gorgeous yesterday.  The view across the river.   The one that thousands of cruisers were seeing from their bar stools yesterday.  Beautiful, right?


When I got off the water taxi, I headed toward the village and Security Entrance #2.  There were quite a few people on the streets, people trying to sell crafts, hair braiding, tours LOTS OF CITY TOURS, horse and buggy rides…

IMG_7165Some of these horses looked SLIM…and not in a trim, athletic way.  There are also “train” rides and van rides so you do have a choice.

There is a flea market area with a really loud heavy metal band.  Odd to me.  These guys were doing Guns N Roses well…but when you get out in Belize, don’t you want to hear Belizean music?  Perhaps I have no idea what the cruise ship crowd is looking for.  As the day went on…I realized that I really don’t.

Welcome to the Jungle.


At security, the people are NO JOKE.  If you have a cruise ship pass, movement is quite easy but if you don’t, and just want to visit, you don’t exactly seem welcome.  I was told that you needed only your US passport and no weapons.

Check and check.  And as a back-up, I texted the son of a friend who owns a business in the village.  That back-up name was definitely needed.  It seems as though outside visitors are generally discouraged from going inside.

I handed over my passport (it could not be reclaimed until I exited) and was told NO PICTURES OF THE DIAMONDS.   I was searched, went through the metal detector and the wand swipe and I was in…

Diamonds International (THE DIAMONDS) has about 5 stores in the village.  Including Tanzanite International.  Do lots of people buy diamonds on cruises?  The amount of security guards at these shops was pretty unbelievable.



The tender boats were coming in fast and furious.

IMG_7201The cruise photographers took pictures of the departing guests and some loaded onto pre-arranged tours.  Like this river tour of the Sibun River.


Many people took a picture in front of the Blue Hole.  I don’t blame you girls, I’ve never been to the Blue Hole either.


There were plenty of photo ops around the area…


And quite a few shops…

I think these three are pretty standard issue for cruise ship ports.  Expensive!

IMG_7170 IMG_7193For t-shirts, shot glasses and general souvenir stuff…


IMG_7188 IMG_7174

A bunch of pharmacies selling a wide array of things…




from 30 packs of Viagra for $90US to Lipitor to lots of antibiotics.IMG_7192

Three cheers for self medication?  Hmmm…what the heck is Maxalt?IMG_7194Something more up my alley.  There is a LARGE chocolate shop that does Belizean chocolates.  I had high hopes for this place…

IMG_7184 IMG_7186It smells divine, they have cute soaps and chocolate bars.  These cool cacao bean bags…


But it’s tough.  The place is large but not exactly set up to handle such large crowds…particularly if you want to make a chocolate bar.  I couldn’t get close.  BUT, they do have the cutest Belizean made souvenirs that I saw in the area…

$7US for a brightly wrapped bars.

IMG_2846I passed the new frozen yogurt place.   I hear very good things about it.  I bet on the hotter days, this place is hopping!



And I finally settled into what I think it is the STAR of the cruise ship area…The Wet Lizard.  A fun, funky, casual hodge podge of bar signs, brightly painted decor with a great view, reasonably priced beers and a desire to make the visitors have a great time.

IMG_7207This place is MASSIVE.  The downstairs has a DJ, outside bar, inside bar and a huge crowd.

IMG_7175 IMG_7203

More of a younger crowd down here.  I bet once the alcohol really gets flowing this $5us a spin wheel is moving…

I didn’t stick around long enough to see topless Jaeger shots.IMG_7206

Or any beer pong being played.


Upstairs is super bar-cute…it’s got the views and it’s a bit quieter.

IMG_7209 IMG_7211 IMG_7176I really like this shovel decor.  Clever.


The beers are 2 for $5US, standard Belize prices…they make all sorts of drinks and local bar food.  I’d honestly make this my home base if I was spending the day here.


IMG_7179SO…that’s a look at the cruise ship area in Belize City.  If you want to spend the day drinking and eating at a fun bar, good times.  BUT, my advice?  DO THE TOURS IN BELIZE.

Your cruise ship is probably stopping in Costa Maya (Mahajual, Mexico) and a gorgeous beach is just a taxi ride away from the cruise port –> See this post.

Roatan?  Same thing.  Beaches, horseback tours, zip lining or just great shopping, sightseeing in the West End (my recent visit part One or part Two) or an AMAZING beach in the West Bay…a taxi ride away.

In Belize?  Go on the big tour.  The cave tubing is unbelievably cool, the Mayan ruins like Lamanai are incredible.   Go on a river tour.  Look at what someone saw recently in the Sibun River.  A freakin’ BABY JAGUAR!

1535736_654836767891194_385892692_n (1)

The snorkeling?  The best in the world.

IMG_1925 You could have a fun time in the cruise ship village but it also could also be a LONG day.

Or visit the Belize Zoo.  Best zoo in the world.  Promise.


Don’t let this be your best picture of Belize!


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