We booked this Cave Tubing excursion about 10 weeks before we sailed for myself, my wife and our 3 kids (7, 12 &14). We had some questions we emailed and had answers in 1 day. We wanted to add zip-lining to our adventure but we were travelling with a 7 year old. The cruise line will not take kids that young but the Zip-Line company had no problem. Also, one of our party was over 250lb and that is usually another hiccup. Again, no problem. We got a confirmation email and a map of the Belize cruise dock explaining right where we were supposed to meet at 9am.
Waking up in Belize, the cruise director announced that due to recent rains, the caves were flooded and no tubing was allowed. WHAT!! What were we supposed to do now? It was a relief that owner Dave at Cave Tubing R Us didn't ask us to pre-pay...like the cruise line does. We decided to get off the boat and check in with who ever showed up from Cave Tubing R us.
As an aside: The cruise lines these days are making it difficult for the private tour operators. Especially in Belize where we all have to get tenders off the boat to the mainland. Cruise booked tours get preferential debarkation so I was a bit worried about meeting the Cave Tubing R us guys by 9am as arranged. We got our debarkation tickets #3 and began our wait. It was obvious that hundreds of guests if not a thousand debarked before us. But to the cruise line credit, we were off the ship by 830 am and thru the port by 905.
The owner Dave was there to meet us and explained that the caves were closed. But he had a plan. Instead of tubing and zip-lining we would go to the Belize Zoo and Zip-lining. What could we say...we were on vacation, lets be open and accept the new adventure. So sure, were are still in! Owner Dave handed us off to one of his tour guides 'King David'. We jumped into an older model 12 person van - thankfully it had good air conditioning.
Now King David was great. He grew up in Belize but had spent some time in Chicago so his English was great and his knowledge of local customs and culture was fantastic. During the hour drive out of Belize City to the Zip-Line company King David easily filled us in to what every day life is like in Belize. Much of what David told us was scripted but when we asked questions King David was engaging and helped to really fill in our picture of Belize.
Arriving at the zip-line company, we still hadn't paid any money. King David was taking care of everything for us. After the zip-lining, he even arranged for a buffet lunch for $5 per person, again pay later. The food was fresh and yummy. Not extravagant but good. But I'm getting a bit ahead of my self.
King David decided to zip-line along with us. There weren't many people there since the caves were flooded. Let me explain that. The cave entrance is close to the zip-line companies. So if the caves are closed, most people stay away from the zip-line also. We weren't rushed or crowded. This flooding thing was working out for us!
So we all got geared up. Gloves, harness, hat. My wife forgot to leave her purse in the locked van so threw it into an unlocked closet...it was still there with all the money when we were done. I brought my own camera and was never discouraged from taking my own pictures. Seven zip-lines later, thru the jungle and over the rushing river we were all exhilarated and feeling hungry, buffet time. We did some souvenir shopping. There was an official gift shop along with a few vendors providing some real local flair.
Time for the Belize Zoo. I think that King David had been to this place a hundred times. He was our personal tour guide and knew every exhibit and name of every animal there. It was so cool being led around by a knowledgeable tour guide.
Finally time for our drive back to Belize City and the cruise docks. 30 minutes later we were all tired and ready to get back to the ship for a nap. Finally its time to pay up. We paid for the zip-line, the zoo and lunch. And it was worth every penny. Everyone of us had a memorable trip. I couldn't recommend Cave Tubing R us any more! Give them a call or book by email. You will have a great time.
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