My wife and I will be going into Belieze on the Elation in January. Was just wondering if anyone could tell me about the cave tubing and how much it cost. Also if they went through the ship or made resurvations on their own? Thanks
We went through the ship and were very happy with the tour. The cost was $79pp but it included the bus ride on a new bus, all equipment, guides who will help you not only with the tubing in the caves but will also inform you of the various fawna you will encounter on the 'jungle walk' portion, and a typical Belize lunch served at the "Cheers" restaurant. The tour take about 6 1/2 hours.
Just got back and did the tour through XTreme Cave Tubing **URL Edited**The cost was about $65 a person, and we had a lot of personal attention (only six people in our group). The Carnival excursion was about $93 a person, and the group was much larger (probably about a 100). Also, we started further down the river that goes through the caves than the Carnival led groups did. I would highly recommend this tour. I also posted more comments a few minutes ago about my trip on the Elation you may find interesting.
We did cave tubing in Belize in July with Reggie. His website is **URL Edited** It costs $65. There were 10 people in our group and Alan, the guide, was friendly, competent and informative. We had a great time. I would highly recommend Reggie. Have fun!
We did it in April 2004 with X-Stream and had a great time. Cost was $65 and we did two caves instead of one. We paid an additional $5.00 for a chicken barbeque lunch.
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
We also did the tubing with Reggie, it was $60 pp when we went in February 03'. We enjoyed it very much. The guides always make sure you are safe. They will stand to catch anyone when the current is taking you towards rocks. Some places we had to really paddle. You get to wear cave lights on your head(dark in caves). It is the clearest water you will ever see. Its about a 40 minute walk to start of cave. Good thing is its about a 2 minute walk when you get done Be sure to pack water shoes or old tennis shoes that you dont mind getting wet. There are bathrooms to change when you are done. You can leave all your stuff in the vans, they have rangers that watch over things at the park. I think Reggies tour lasted about 6 hours or so. We were back in plenty of time to do a little shopping at pier. His tour gets you back about 2 hours before the ships tour. He also has his own tender boats if you were to run late, but he said that is very rare that would happen. We had no problems, vans are airconditioned. Nice things about reggie is its a small group, ships is a large group.
You will love it, it is a great experience. I booked through the cruise only because the excursion was 6-7hrs and I wanted to be sure I was able to return to the ship and since the ships tender further out. If you book with another tour company, make sure you get back in enough time to get back to the ship. Remember you go by ship's time not the island time.
To all who have reported on cave tubing, thank you. I am just getting excited to think about taking this trip. If anyone else has had an experince other then cave tubing that you might recomend I'd love to hear about it. Thanks
Understand that advertising IS NOT allowed on these message boards nor is the posting of their URL's. CCL is NOT $93 or $100, it is $79pp and includes transportation, guides, lunch and the provider has insurance and has passed safety standards. In addition should something happen the ship will wait for the tour if delayed unlike independant tours. The choice is yours but gather all the facts and take everything into consideration. As for this supposed 100 people on a ships tour, our tour had one busload of maybe 30 people.
Just to add my 2 cents, when Carnival suggests you take a tour in Belize through the ship, there are reasons for that, which I found out the hard way. I won't mention the name of the tour company I booked with, as they bent over backwards to make things right, however, there are some very disreputable people there. Our tour company overbooked and hired a sub-contractor to be our guide. He was "licensed" but we had an extremely frightening experience with him and never even made it to the cave tubing park before making our so-called tour guide turn back. Let's just say, he took the money and ran. However, when the owner of the tour company found out what happened, we did get the money back, along with an apology. Apparently, what happened to us is not all that uncommon in Belize. If you are going to book on your own, be very, very careful. As it was, we spent the whole day in Belize being scared out of our wits, then dealing with the Belizean Port Police (who were extremely helpful and competent btw). Thank goodness, we just shook the incident off and had a fabulous cruise but it really turned me off of ever returning to Belize. Certain ports are more "tourist-friendly" where it's ok to to do things on your own, Belize is not one of them.
Suzanne, sorry this happened but glad the contractor was able to work things out with you because of the sub-contractor did not fulfill his part. Many people do not understand why the ships tours are more expensive and look only at the pricing. Yes there are many reputable independant tour operators which many folks have had great experiances with. There are also many horror stories. The thing to remember is that whenever you are on an independant tour, you are quite literally on your own with no recouse should anything go wrong. On a ships tour they send a supervisor from the main office to visit with the contractor, have the tour presented to them, check references, safety equipment etc. All this before the agent is even allowed to operate a tour for CCL. They also send crew on the tours and check up on them quitely to see that they are doing what they tell the cruiseline they are doing. If for some reason the tour operator does not fulfill his obligation you have recourse through the ships Shore Excursion Manager to get it corrected or receive compensation. Understand they get lots of silly complaints but they do insist that the operators provide you with everything they say they will.
If its your first cruise, I would book with ship. The cave tubing was the first time we have ever booked on our own. We have since then booked with the ship because its just easier. Heck we booked all our excursions three weeks before our last cruise with Celebrity. Just do what you feel comfortable with. I hope my post helped you with knowing what the excrusion was like.
We also sailed the 10/24 Elation that returned Sunday 10/31/04. We booked cave tubing thru an independent provider. There were supposed to be a group of 6 with us but when we arrived slightly late (930am outside the terminal-rain and tender delays) , the provider had witnessed Xtreme sweeping away the other two couples before they could meet up with the rest of us.
Given it is a tender port, I would also suggest using the CCL tour, regardless of cost. We came aboard on the 4pm tender. The last was supposed to be 415pm. From the sports deck we stood and watched several more tenders arrive from shore as late as 6pm!
Just a note about the total time of the tour. Part of the problem is the very rough gravel road to get to the site. This can take up to an hour to travel. Not sure if the ride was easier in a large bus thean it was in the minivan we rode in.
With the Belize Port authority getting $5 a head to get into the park you would think the gov't could pave that road.
It was a great experience tubing thru the caves. We will be doing it again!
LSU Fanatic, in which case I will defer to your more recent pricing. This is the reason that CCL does not post exact prices for their tours as they can and do vary slightly depending on seasons, contracts, etc.
Hi, Just got back from the Elation 10/24 sailing. We went with Xtreme and had a great time, only 6 of us. Carnival does charge 93.00 for the Cave Tubing. Xtreme made sure we got back on time and he was very informative about the country and the fawna, we also went thrugh 2 caves. We had a great time.
Phil & Liz,
I beleive we were the other 2 couples you wrote about. Let me explain what happened. We were late arriving in port, our independent tour guide emailed me said we needed to be on the first tenders so when we arrived we were late, we did not see anybody holding up a sign with my name on it (we did not know he would be outside the gate waiting for us, I know we were clueless!). when we did not see anyone with my name we figured he had to go on without us so we went with someone else, let me say right now Xtreme did not wisk us away or badmouth the other tour operator. I feel bad that it turned out the way it did but how were we supposed to know he would be outside the gate and not where everyone else was. I did email him and apologized for the misunderstanding. Just wanted you to know that it was not Xtremes fault.
I went cave tubbing when I went on the Elation (to Belize) in August...and originally it was supposed to be around $80....but my friends dad, who is very good at negotiating a resonable price, bargained it down to $50.....It was 1 of the cave tubbing things when u get off ur ship and everyone is standing around asking you if you'd like to go in their excursions or to certain places....We took the "shuttle" about an hour away....walked up through the rainforest (it was about a 45-50 minute hike...and it was hot out...carrying our big ass intertubes lol)....and then we finally went in the cave...It was a lot of fun, but u should defintely negotiate/bargain to get a good deal!!
First Time Cruiser: Elation Ship (Aug. 15-22, 2004)
...Soo many guys....too much fun...
To everyone who has reported on this board. Wow I never thought I would recieve so much info. It sounds like there are going to be many options for me when I arrive there. Thanks so much for your info. I really appriciate it. Sounds like the cave tubing is worth the money and the experience.
I was on X-stream about two months ago and when we got to the meeting spot they were constanting being approached by people asking if they could take the tour and they were turning people away so I can't seem them "sweeping" away others:-)
X-Stream was great and I have nothing but praise for how well they treated us and showed us an excellent day in Belize