In planning our Carnival Magic cruise excursions ahead of time, we noticed that there were not a lot of options for families with children 3 years old. Most of them were beach trips, which are nice, but having done that for Cozumel, we wanted to be a little more adventurous. So we looked online and booked a tour with Cave Tubing R Us. They seemed to have good reviews and we checked with them, Little Brother would be able go on the tour.
Disembarking in Belize was definitely different than we had imagined. Instead of the dock, like we had in Cozumel. We anchored about five miles off shore, then we boarded tender boats that shuttled people back and forth from Belize City to the Carnival Magic and back. It was an interesting way to get ashore (I can’t imagine the logistics it takes to get that many people back and forth, but someone figured it out).
Once we got to shore we had to find our tour guide, Ralph. Interestingly enough, Ralph is actually of Mayan descent, but with a very American sounding name. In Belize, the official language is English, so that made communication very easy.
On our hour or so ride out to the national park, Ralph shared with us all about Belize, history, culture, nature, climate, and every question that we could ask. He was extremely knowledgeable, but share it with a humility that was very easy to talk with. We were so glad that we booked this tour.
While many of the other passengers were on large tour buses, we were the only ones in our tour group. That meant that we weren’t at the mercy of 50 or so other people, but rather that we were able to move at our own pace. (Anyone with kids knows the freedom that is had when you are not on other people’s schedules.)
Once we got to the national park, we had a half hour hike to get to the caves. It was a very pleasant hike with a lot of shade, but not a lot of hills. Along the way Ralph pointed out different plants, insects, and wildlife and share with us about them. The pauses to look at the different things we were seeing allowed the trip to not be so tedious and it also kept the boys from getting too tired.
Reaching the spot in the river where we got in the inner tubes was welcomed, as well as the water temperature. I hate cold water so I was not looking forward to getting in the river, but it was actually very refreshing. Ralph clipped our inner tubes together so we looked like a train of six tubes. He then proceeded to guide us down the river and into the cave.
We were provided with flashlights, which the boys were excited about and once we were in the cave, we were able to shine them wherever we wanted to look. Both boys spent most of the time shining their flashlights into the river.
To say it was beautiful would be an understatement. The whole experience was fascinating. We were able to see different stalagmite and stalactite formations, many of them which resembled different objects or animals. The whole time, while pushing us or pulling us, Ralph would share different facts or point out different formations that we should look at while floating by.
(Apologizes for the fussy pictures, my camera was in a waterproof casing that got foggy in the cave.)
When we reached the exit of the cave, we noticed that many of the tubers that had booked with the bigger groups had to climb up stairs with their tubes, we on the other hand had a leisurely float down river to the place where we began our hike. The boys (including dad) had the opportunity to swim and play in the river as well. We could not have asked for a more relaxing trip.
Getting back to the ship was simple and we made it back with plenty of time. We did not want to have to wait for the rush of people that would be coming at the last minute.
After getting a late lunch, we played cleaned up and went to the Magic’s Showtime Theater to catch an illusion act. The great thing about the cruise has been that we have been able to do so many different activities, like the illusion act that we were watching. The show as very entertaining, however half way through the show Little Brother looked up a dad and asked when the magic was going to start. I don’t think he was able to quite see all that was going on, yet he watched intently through the entire show.
After the show it was back to dinner with Igor (our server) and the rest of the amazing wait staff. As has been typical, the food was delicious, the servers were excellent. Perhaps the only downside is that we were given an 8:15 dinner time. While that is fine for the adults, the boys have been very tired at dinner and both nights, Big Brother has almost fallen asleep at the table.
(Big Brother eating shark, Little Brother and the waiter who made him a ‘pirate gun’ out of a napkin, and our nightly towel creature (a lobster). The workers here on Carnival Magic REALLY know how to entertain and bring FUN to just about everything!)
All in all, it was another great day! If you would like more information about Cave Tubing R US, please click HERE!
Disclosure: Our family received a cruise through Carnival in return for our family’s review and sharing of our trip. All thoughts and opinions are our own.