We went with X-stream and they asked our group if there were any that couldn't swim and just made sure they wore the life vest. You'll be fine, you are in the tube and with a life vest and you really don't have to swim at all.
Paul's right, there is no swimming involved, unless you fall out of the tube, which is highly unlikely.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
I can speak from experience. I'm not much of a swimmer and I didn't have any problems. I was a nervous before the trip also. I did wear a vest incase. It was funny my cousins I was with (that could swim) we're freaking out. I was just sitting back on my tube taking pictures with my camera. =) It was a great experience, I recommended that excursion to everyone! ENJOY!
Carnival Legend 6/2005
Sovereign of the Seas 8/2004
Carnival Inspiration 1/2004
You don't need much in the way of swimming skills(you will have a life vest to wear) but this is no "lazy river'' experience . It requires quite a bit of paddling. Several in our group found it too taxing and had to take a short cut and/or be towed along by the guide. If you are in reasonable shape,it shouldn't be a problem. A non-swimmer, though, might find it too much. right now the water in quite a few places is very shallow. wear an old bathing suit in case you boTtom out.
It would have been impossible to swim in that river even if you had to. It was only about a foot deep most of the time. The deep parts were just short distances and you would have to WANT to fall outta that tube. We had 2 people with us that didn't know how to float let alone swim and they loved it!
We just got back last Saturday and we went with a couple that does different tours in Belize (including cave tubing). They were really really nice and gave historical information about the island and also about things you see along the way. Their names were Nacho and his wife Cynthia. It was the best excursion of our trip. If I ever go back, I will hire them to show me more of the island!
Swimming was not an issue, most areas you can stand up in, although there are a few that you cannot. It really depends on what season you go in. Later in the summer, the water gets lower.
Someone else posted a great description of their trip and it also applies to ours:
Prior to leaving I contacted “Nacho” and his wife in Belize and made prior arrangements to met at the Port. A personally escorted tour of Belize to include cave tubing, all for a lot less money and aggravation than the cruise shore excursion package. We were skeptical at first, having made arrangements via e-mail contact only, but had not exchanged any money. We paid (cash) after we were there. Nacho & his wife met us at the port (you have to tender in) with a big sign with our name on it. How convenient and easy. So our group of 6 and another couple were off for cave tubing in Nacho’s mini-van. The cave tubing is about an hour ride or about 40 miles outside of Belize City. During the ride, we learned so much about the country of Belize, the people and all there is to do. Also after you leave the city; the mountains look like a large sleeping Giant, hence the nickname, Sleeping Giant. You won’t get that on a bus ride to cave tubing. If you have read other cave tubing excursions, you probably already know that the cruise or even other private excursions use the gov’t facilities (bathrooms/changing facilities-not super clean!)and have to walk a bit further to start your trip. We went to the Jaguar Paw resort to begin our excursion.. This resort had 12 or so cottages located in the rain forest near the river. The few miles or so or your journey to where you will begin your trek in the rainforest is on a bumpy dirt road, but no big deal. When we arrived at the resort, we changed in the resort facilities and set out on the 30-45 minute walk. Yes, you have to trek through the rain forest to the drop in point on the river. Several things were cool: Nacho’s wife came with us and a tubing tour guide from the resort- 2 tour guides for 8 people. The water in the river is beautiful and a comfortable temperature. The total tubing experience was about 1 1/2 hours maybe a little longer; I lost track of time. You end up finishing your journey right at the Jaguar Paw resort. We returned our inner tubes, got changed and went into the air-conditioned resort restaurant/bar for lunch(which was included). This is also different from what the other cave tubing vendors offer-they eat outside. After this we headed back to Belize City again learning more about Belize and what else there is to do. We had plenty of extra time, so Nacho & his wife took us into downtown Belize to shop (the right price for many souvenirs). We then drove around the city for some sightseeing, with our guides pointing out the history of Belize. We even went by the oldest church and the governor’s house. We were returned to the port area with plenty of time to spare, we wandered around the port shops and then headed back to the ship to relax. This excursion was GREAT. Nacho and his wife were so pleasant and helpful. Since we’re not suppose to give out personal info, anyone who wants to contact Nacho, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the info. He has an e-mail and web site. He also offers many other things, he’ll customize the excursion to what you want (shopping, ruins, zoo, cave tubing, etc.) Just ask he will also answer any general questions you have about Belize. Some of you may have seen his responses to other people’s questions. This is in fact how I stumbled upon him. Good Luck.
Myself,my wife and 4 friends went on the Belize cave tubing Feb. 2004 from one of the Voyager of the Seas. You don't really need any SWIMMING skills because once you get to river you will be in large truck tire type inner tubes and you don"t get out until the end. The river is very shallow,most of it was hardy abouve my knees and I'm only 5'10". There are a couplw of things to be aware of: you have to be able to manuver the tube with your hands.one of my friends is very short and she had a hard time even touching the water.At times my bottom scaped the river bottom the river is so shallow.You have a rather long walk through the jungle to get to the river carrying the tube,and wearing the life vests that are provided(I think you have to wear theirs) and the miner lights they give you strapped to your head because the caves are very dark.
I've given you the downside,on the upside the walk is interesting if you get a guide who makes it so. the river is fairly quiet and slow moving for most of the trip,very relaxing.There is at least one point where it moves pretty fast and they station one of the guides to keep peoples heads from hitting the wall. they will warn you. try to keep to the left at this point. I know this because my wife got bruised by the cave wall at this point.
If you are going with a group, be aware that you will almost certainly be seperated in the cave because of the darkness.
Dispite all this I had a fairly good time tho I wouldn't do it again.
PS. The lunch afterwards was truly awful.
We did the river tubing trip last week (not cave tubing). The river is very slow moving at the moment and we had to be pulled along in our tubes all the way. Sometimes we had to get out and walk for a bit where the water was so shallow. We had been worried about rapids etc but that became a joke when we realised we didn't move at all on our own. In the end we all held on to one another's tubes so that the guides just had to pull from the front! We enjoyed it though.
I am the only one in a party of four, that is interested in the cavetubing. Being a single female, will this excursion be safe? I will be signing up with the carnival ship group. It mentioned on the carnvial website to bring a change of clothing for your ride back to the ship. Will a regular camera, money, etc. be safe to leave with the tour guide or bus?