Day 3 – Belize:
This was probably my overall favorite day in port. We booked an independent tour for cave tubing and zip-lining. My main concern was getting off the boat in time because of the tenders. Belize is 2 hours behind ships time so we ended having plenty of time. Tendering is done by going to the lounge on deck 5 and getting an assigned number. We got there right at 8 (when the first tenders were scheduled) and got assigned #9. It took them a good 30 minutes to start calling numbers, but they called 4-6 numbers at a time. This whole process took maybe an hour to get on the tender. Once on the tender it takes about 15 minutes to get to shore. The port area itself is very unimpressive and the locals yell at you through the fences to book tours with them or buy their goods for sale. Take note however this was the only port on our itinerary where I saw an abundance of fake “designer” hand bags and luggage if you’re into that sort of thing.
We booked our excursion through VIV Tours. My only negative is that you pay when you get to port, I don’t like having large amounts of cash on me. We had to exit the cruise area to meet with the group. Once we paid we had to wait for a few minutes, which ended up being a non-stop barrage of “buy this, do this, look at this, let me braid your hair” by many different people, some would absolutely not take no for an answer. Once we met up with our tour guide (Favoulous, or Fab as we called him) we climbed in a van and started off. There ended up being 7 total people in the van, the additional 3 persons only booked the zip lining I believe. The drive out of the city and into the rain forests was rainy and very bumpy over the last couple of miles. Once you turn off the main highway the road is horribly rutted and filled with pot holes. I was glad we were in a van, and not one of the busses we saw, which had to be an awful ride. After an hour or so drive we arrived. You can leave everything in the van, though VIV had arranged lockers should you wish to use them. The group ended up being just the four of us and two employees of VIV, though the other one was just along for the tour. We pretty much had a private tour, awesome! VIV no doubt, has the best tubes of any company. The bottom has mesh so your butt doesn’t fall through, they have headrests, and they hook together so you don’t have to have someone’s feet under your armpits. Another nice touch, my buddy and I had to carry our tubes but VIV had some waiting at the river so the wives didn’t have to hike through the jungle and carry a tube. The hike was easy and we saw no creepy crawlies or animals. Again, our guide was fantastic and really knew his stuff. After the river we did the zip lining which was also awesome. Note; the only lunch option they have is a $10/pp buffet style, no sharing. Do yourself a favor and snag some snacks off the boat to eat on the way back, prices on snacks were outrageous, $2 for a tiny bag of Cheetos or Doritos. On the way back we took a nice tour through Belize City before we were dropped off over an hour before last tender. I’ll have to admit I was worried about the time, but Fab did a great job getting us there and back, and the price we paid ($75/pp) was again way cheaper then the cruise line and instead of a group of 20+ it was just the four of us. If you plan on doing any type cave tubing or zip lining in Belize, please do yourself a favor and use VIV!
Back on the boat we went to a late dinner, no wait. The wife and I checked out the show again, which was way better then the previous night, but still worse then I remembered.