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Rockysoap

Understanding Harvest Caye

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I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how Harvest Caye works. From what I understand, it's a relatively new port, and the only excursions are the ones sponsored by the cruise line. So far, nothing has really stuck my fancy on the excursion list (at least not for the price points), but I can't stand the thought of going all the way to Belize and not even getting off the ship. I've only been on a cruise once, and it was MANY years ago, but I think I remember that at one port, we just got off and wandered around and did some shopping within walking distance without doing an actual excursion. Is that something we could do at Harvest Caye? Just wander around a bit? Is there any shopping? Restaurants? Open beaches? Or is there literally nothing there unless you do an excursion? The vibe I've picked up from reading is that it's the latter, but somehow I'm having a hard time believing that can be true...

 

Can anyone shed some light on this port?

 

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I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how Harvest Caye works. From what I understand, it's a relatively new port, and the only excursions are the ones sponsored by the cruise line. So far, nothing has really stuck my fancy on the excursion list (at least not for the price points), but I can't stand the thought of going all the way to Belize and not even getting off the ship. I've only been on a cruise once, and it was MANY years ago, but I think I remember that at one port, we just got off and wandered around and did some shopping within walking distance without doing an actual excursion. Is that something we could do at Harvest Caye? Just wander around a bit? Is there any shopping? Restaurants? Open beaches? Or is there literally nothing there unless you do an excursion? The vibe I've picked up from reading is that it's the latter, but somehow I'm having a hard time believing that can be true...

 

Can anyone shed some light on this port?

 

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HC is a purpose built tourist trap that gets laughed at by Belizeans. It is for those that are afraid of travel.

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Please Google Harvest Caye - it will answer many questions you have once you see it. The short answer to your questions is an absolute YES. Shopping, food, beaches are all there - and many other activities too such as snorkeling, zip lines, pool, etc. Again, do a bit of research (even on NCL's site) to see the pics and descriptions.

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Please Google Harvest Caye - it will answer many questions you have once you see it. The short answer to your questions is an absolute YES. Shopping, food, beaches are all there - and many other activities too such as snorkeling, zip lines, pool, etc. Again, do a bit of research (even on NCL's site) to see the pics and descriptions.

Thank you! I did some basic googling, but what I was having trouble figuring out was if these things were available if you just walked off the ship. Some reviews made reference to a ferry, and I just couldn't get a mental image of the layout. Especially since some reviews were complaining about lack of food. I was trying to determine if I had to sign up for something just to get a ferry ride to where there's actually stuff, or we could sign up for nothing, walk off the boat, and still have things to do. It sounds like it's the latter, which is wonderful news. :)

 

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Thank you! I did some basic googling, but what I was having trouble figuring out was if these things were available if you just walked off the ship. Some reviews made reference to a ferry, and I just couldn't get a mental image of the layout. Especially since some reviews were complaining about lack of food. I was trying to determine if I had to sign up for something just to get a ferry ride to where there's actually stuff, or we could sign up for nothing, walk off the boat, and still have things to do. It sounds like it's the latter, which is wonderful news. :)

 

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Have someone show you how to use gmaps. The thing is only a few thousand yards long so it won't take long to figure it out.

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Shopping, beverages for purchase and beach, Zipline. It was a nice walk around for a couple of hours. We chose to return to ship for lunch. We did purchase beverages while there, and didn' t find them anymore expensive than elsewhere. Nice shops, and a small enclosure with guided tour of local flora and fauna, free.

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Shopping, beverages for purchase and beach, Zipline. It was a nice walk around for a couple of hours. We chose to return to ship for lunch. We did purchase beverages while there, and didn' t find them anymore expensive than elsewhere. Nice shops, and a small enclosure with guided tour of local flora and fauna, free.

Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for!

 

 

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You can take a ferry to Placencia if you want to escape the manufactured island in favor of the real Belize... It takes only about 15 minutes, and there are restaurants and a nice beach away from the hustle and bustle of cruise passengers...

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You can take a ferry to Placencia if you want to escape the manufactured island in favor of the real Belize... It takes only about 15 minutes, and there are restaurants and a nice beach away from the hustle and bustle of cruise passengers...

 

Please provide more information - which beach, how to get there, cost, etc. At this point we are considering not even getting off the ship as I don't want a 45 minute boat ride to get to a beach after a 1/2 hour tender ride just to get to the port.

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Thank you! I did some basic googling, but what I was having trouble figuring out was if these things were available if you just walked off the ship. Some reviews made reference to a ferry, and I just couldn't get a mental image of the layout. Especially since some reviews were complaining about lack of food. I was trying to determine if I had to sign up for something just to get a ferry ride to where there's actually stuff, or we could sign up for nothing, walk off the boat, and still have things to do. It sounds like it's the latter, which is wonderful news. :)

 

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You can absolutely just walk off tbe sbip and choose to do something or nothng. The ferry takes off from a marina to the left, after enter the main entrance. There are signs. We were looking for a wander around time here. You do need to bring some cash for lockers or food purchases. Don't know how you pay for ferry. The shops took visa.

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You can take a ferry to Placencia if you want to escape the manufactured island in favor of the real Belize... It takes only about 15 minutes, and there are restaurants and a nice beach away from the hustle and bustle of cruise passengers...

 

 

Do you know if someone who uses a walker/wheelchair would be able to get on and off the ferry and get around in town?

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HC is a private island that was developed by NCL for its use. It is not connected to the mainland in any way. NCL has total control over the island and excursions offered there. The one thing that you can do is to take the ferry to the mainland (about 25 minutes) and possibly book an excursion there.

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When you get off the ship in Harvest Caye, walk (or take the tram) down the long pier... When you get to the island, The ferry terminal is around to the left a few couple of hundred feet. Purchase your round trip ferry ticket (it was $20 last time, but I have heard that it's $25 now) they will give you a wristband with your return ferry time. The trip to Placencia takes about 15 minutes. They drop you off at the far South part of the area, and there is a sidewalk that goes North closest to the beach. If you follow the path, you will come to some small beach bar/restaurants. There is also a road that goes the same direction, with shops and roadside stands, as well as restaurants. You can't really get lost there, because these are the only real modes of travel. (the road and the sidewalk) There are several cross paths that go from East to West intersecting the Road to the sidewalk. Edit to add: Just google a map of Placencia to get an idea of the beaches and restaurants. I made myself a self drawn paper map to remind me of points of interest while I was there. The people of Belize are so nice and helpful if you need directions as well...

Please provide more information - which beach, how to get there, cost, etc. At this point we are considering not even getting off the ship as I don't want a 45 minute boat ride to get to a beach after a 1/2 hour tender ride just to get to the port.

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When you get off the ship in Harvest Caye, walk (or take the tram) down the long pier... When you get to the island, The ferry terminal is around to the left a few couple of hundred feet. Purchase your round trip ferry ticket (it was $20 last time, but I have heard that it's $25 now) they will give you a wristband with your return ferry time. The trip to Placencia takes about 15 minutes. They drop you off at the far South part of the area, and there is a sidewalk that goes North closest to the beach. If you follow the path, you will come to some small beach bar/restaurants. There is also a road that goes the same direction, with shops and roadside stands, as well as restaurants. You can't really get lost there, because these are the only real modes of travel. (the road and the sidewalk) There are several cross paths that go from East to West intersecting the Road to the sidewalk. Edit to add: Just google a map of Placencia to get an idea of the beaches and restaurants. I made myself a self drawn paper map to remind me of points of interest while I was there. The people of Belize are so nice and helpful if you need directions as well...

 

okay, thanks. I looked at it. Still seems like between the tender ride in, the ferry ride, a ride to find a beach, we will spend 1/2 the day in some sort of transportation with only a couple of hours of beach time.

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There is no "Tender ride in" there is a dock at Harvest Caye... Also, the walk to the beach is about 5 minutes from the ferry dock in Placencia.

okay, thanks. I looked at it. Still seems like between the tender ride in, the ferry ride, a ride to find a beach, we will spend 1/2 the day in some sort of transportation with only a couple of hours of beach time.

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There is no "Tender ride in" there is a dock at Harvest Caye... Also, the walk to the beach is about 5 minutes from the ferry dock in Placencia.

 

okay, our ship must not go into Harvest Caye then. We are on Royal Princess into Belize City and it says we have a tender.

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When you get off the ship in Harvest Caye, walk (or take the tram) down the long pier... When you get to the island, The ferry terminal is around to the left a few couple of hundred feet. Purchase your round trip ferry ticket (it was $20 last time, but I have heard that it's $25 now) they will give you a wristband with your return ferry time. The trip to Placencia takes about 15 minutes. They drop you off at the far South part of the area, and there is a sidewalk that goes North closest to the beach. If you follow the path, you will come to some small beach bar/restaurants. There is also a road that goes the same direction, with shops and roadside stands, as well as restaurants. You can't really get lost there, because these are the only real modes of travel. (the road and the sidewalk) There are several cross paths that go from East to West intersecting the Road to the sidewalk. Edit to add: Just google a map of Placencia to get an idea of the beaches and restaurants. I made myself a self drawn paper map to remind me of points of interest while I was there. The people of Belize are so nice and helpful if you need directions as well...

 

Thanks for the advice!! We were on the Escape with you in May 2016 as you were the Meet and Mingle Leader. That was a great cruise. We will be on the Getaway April 22nd and was looking to do something other than a beach day.. This sounds like fun.

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If you are interested in snorkeling, it appears that NCL has finally introduced a snorkeling excursion that leaves directly out of Harvest Caye, instead of having to take a ferry over to Placencia and then going from there. We have booked it for our trip in early July, and I will update everyone after we get back.

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Can anyone tell me if, after taking the ferry to Placencia, are there any types of beach clubs to visit for the day? Or do you just head over to a beach and plunk your stuff down? Also, would love to do an excursion, but we are a family of 5. Doing the math, most snorkeling excursions run around $90 pp, not including the $20 pp for the ferry to Placencia. I am not cheap, but for $700 when all is said and done, seems expensive for maybe 5 hours for excursion. Anyone have other ideas of things to do in Placencia?

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okay, thanks. I looked at it. Still seems like between the tender ride in, the ferry ride, a ride to find a beach, we will spend 1/2 the day in some sort of transportation with only a couple of hours of beach time.

 

There is NO tender to get onto Harvest Caye. You just walk down a beautiful pier. There is also a tram if you do not wish to walk. There is a large, nice beach with lots of loungers and umbrellas all for free. There is also a large pool, bars, shops, clean bathrooms, etc. You do have to pay for food and drink. There are also very nice misting stations if you just need to sit and cool off. If you want to take a ferry, you can cross over to actual Belize. If you just want some beach time, Harvest Caye is great. The further you walk down the beach, the fewer people.

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The port is very nice. There is a wonderful pool, the restrooms are clean and beautiful. We bought 1 drink at the Landshark at the swim up bar, because. Everyone on the island seemed to take cash or visa. The beach was nice, but we were there seaweed season so we didn't actually swim in the ocean there. It's easy to hop on and off the ship there for going back to eat. We enjoyed this port.

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When you get off the ship in Harvest Caye, walk (or take the tram) down the long pier... When you get to the island, The ferry terminal is around to the left a few couple of hundred feet. Purchase your round trip ferry ticket (it was $20 last time, but I have heard that it's $25 now) they will give you a wristband with your return ferry time. The trip to Placencia takes about 15 minutes. They drop you off at the far South part of the area, and there is a sidewalk that goes North closest to the beach. If you follow the path, you will come to some small beach bar/restaurants. There is also a road that goes the same direction, with shops and roadside stands, as well as restaurants. You can't really get lost there, because these are the only real modes of travel. (the road and the sidewalk) There are several cross paths that go from East to West intersecting the Road to the sidewalk. Edit to add: Just google a map of Placencia to get an idea of the beaches and restaurants. I made myself a self drawn paper map to remind me of points of interest while I was there. The people of Belize are so nice and helpful if you need directions as well...
Thank you for this very informative post

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Thanks you so much shadowmeboy! That was a great review with photos of your cruise. The best! We are going on the NCL Getaway on May 27th and you answered all my questions about Harvest Caye!

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Here is the map given on board the ship.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2516206&page=10

This is my NCL Escape review from last June, post 181 starts Harvest Caye.

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