We arrived at Harvest Caye, Belize and was very surprised to find that we were not on the mainland of Belize. The last time we were in Belize, we had tendered to the port, which was your usual cruise ship experience. There was nothing usual about this beautiful cruise port. It is owned exclusively by Norwegian Cruise Line. It took four years and $50 million to creating this paradise. The materials used to construct port were sourced locally from Belize. Our ship docked and there was a long canopied pier connecting us from the ship to the port. It was a good 15 minute walk down the pier or there were carts to take passengers to the port entrance.
On arriving at the port, we were greeted by the lush greens of Belize’s forests, The paved paths lead to different facilities available on the island, starting with the shopping area which features shops like Moho chocolates, Rum testing center and other small shops that sell jewelry, t-shirts, perfumes, handwoven items and beautiful paintings. There are no big shopping names like Diamond Internationals here. The stores, restaurants and amenities are all locally owned.
At the center of the port is a directions board, that shows you where to find everything on the island. To the left of it is the excursions pavilion which joins the marina, where you take boat transfers to Belize’s mainland. While Steve and Fred did some snorkeling , Dee and I chose to spend time here just talking, watching the water, enjoying the pleasant breeze as it blew the surrounding plants.
There was a 15,000 square foot swimming pool. It was huge, beautifully designed and featured an under the bridge section, a swim-up bar with several in water seating mimicking an open air restaurant in the water. Behind, the pool area, across the pavement is a 7 acre beach with at least 2,500 lounge chairs. The beach features white man-made sand, made from crushed seashells, many palm trees and clamshells (for rent).
The Landshark restaurant is next to the pool, the beach volleyball court and jumbo sized chess mat, with chess pieces the size of a 3 year old. This restaurant, an affiliate of Jimmy Buffet’s restaurants, is locally owned by one of the top restaurant’s owner in Belize. The two storied air conditioned restaurant, is where we had lunch and drinks. There were four other bars, the Rum Coco Bar, Cat 5 Bar, Hurricane Bar and the Laughing Bird Bar.