My family and I have our first cruise ever scheduled for August, 2008 on the Enchantment of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale. I've been reading the posts on this forum for quite some time and have learned so much from you all. Thank you for this.
My first posted question has to do with deciding between the Xunantunich excursion in Belize or Cave Tubing. My husband has some minor health issues, not too serious, but I always try to cover all bases for him when taking on new adventures. My husband wants to go to the ruins but I am concerned with the 1 1/2 hour bus ride and the heat at the ruins. Can anyone tell me if the bus to the ruins is air conditioned or has rest room facilities? As well, once you get to the ruin site is there anywhere to get out of the heat or any rest room facilities?
My preference was for the Cave tubing as at least I thought the water might keep things cooler. If we signed up for this excursion with RC, does anyone know how we are taken to the cave tubing site, how long to get there and once there what are the facilities like. How much of the day does this take in Belize?
And, of course, I would appreciate anyone's opinions on how they liked either excursion. Was it worth the money?
My husband and myself, 40 somethings and our son 10 went on the Belize Cave tubing in Feb/2007 and loved it!!!!!! I did not book with Royal Caribbean but chose a private company, we prefer smaller groups to the large gatherings from what the ship offers, and it was cheaper and we got free T-shirts "I survived Belize Cave Tubing". Our tour also got to go to one additional cave, which meant we walked further up the trail. It was awesome, my icon picture to the left is from that spot.
The ride to the river is at least 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour. Our driver stopped at a small establlishment and everyone got out to use the bathrooms and get a refreshment and continued on to the site.
When you arrive at the river there are again bathrooms and a place to change, but I would not recommend leaving anything of value in the van/bus. Our driver also said that people routinely lose jewlery cave tubing because of the current. Our driver was our tour guide on the river.
Then you chose a large black truck inner tube, which YOU then carry on a forty-five minute jungle walk, it's like a thing out of Survivor. My husband & I were both slightly amused that this tour was ranked by RCCL as easy. We noticed many older people 60's ++ sorta of struggling. Our small group were able to keep together, but we passed stragglers from the large bus tours. One of the members of our 12 person group was a sixteen year old girl from Boston that complained so much about her tube my husband finally carried it for her.
So once you make it to the spot, it's a nice float down the river, which some areas of rapids. The river takes you almost right back to the park and it's just a short walk back to the buses. Our tour provided a fruit lunch with water after the excursion. It was the BEST pineapple I've ever tasted in my life!! They just opened coolers and took machete's and cut the fruit right in front of you.
Belize was my favortie stop on our last cruise, I was sad that we couldn't have spent a bit of time in town but from the moment we tendered in until when we returned was spent on the excursion.
I think I have read on this board about people almost drowning on this excursion during the rainy season because the water level and current is much stronger and higher at that time. So I would read those posts also before committing.
If you think you can take the hike with an inner tube and enjoy absolutely breathtaing Pristine and Remote scenery, I highly recommend this tour.