Christmas Cruise Day 4 – Belize

“Butts and Nuts Up”  That is the theme for today.

Bryan woke early today to go up to the dining room and get us a ticket for an early tender off the boat.  In Belize there is a huge coral reef, so no docking at the actual town.  The boat had to drop anchor out about 5 miles and then all these ferry – sized ‘tender’ boats came to pick us up.  Well, my wonderful husband got us tix for the first tender out!

The kids were also up bright and early…so Bethany delivered Avi to us around 6:30 and then mom and dad opened our adjoining door soon after.  I started packing stuff up for the kids; today they spent their time with Nan and Grandpa Joe.  They were all booked on an excursion with NCL to go to the Lamanai Mayan Ruins.  It seemed fun – they met in the Spinnaker lounge around 7:30, boarded a special tender to the mainland, and then got aboard a little speed boat.  The boat sped along up the river for almost an hour until they reached the ruins. Dad and mom were both super impressed…they got to climb up, too!  I guess the kids did fine as well and had fun wandering around.  I can’t wait to see the pictures.

Bryan and I, on the other hand, were booked on an excursion through an outside company.  Major Tom and Minor Tom’s had a great deal on a cave-tubing and zipline combo tour at half the price of the cruise line.  The challenge, of course, was getting of the boat in time.  This is why my wonderful husband was up early for the first tender tix…and we were on the first boat out.  Funny, we saw mom and Zoe on the other boat as we left. Arriving at the port in Belize is very different from the one in Roatan.  Here it was much larger, with tons of shops, restaurants, and people within the port area.  We rushed past these and went out into the main town where we found Major Tom!  He directed us to a meeting area where we waited for others a bit and then boarded our bus for our adventure. 

The drive out to the Sibun Caves Archaeological Park was about an hour. At first the scenery was super flat an covered in scrubby little plants, but the farther inland we drove the bigger the trees became and then the mountains appeared.  During the bus ride out our guide Mikey talked about Belize, its history, the people, the food, and the plan for our trip. Mike was hysterical!  Everything was a joke and he made the bus ride feel quite short.  Once we arrived it was off to the zipline…we were each hooked up with a climbing harness and walked to the first zip.  There are actually two lines – one for a backup. The ziplining was super fun and milder than I expected.  We did 8 lines total – they got higher and longer as we went along.  The setup was pretty cool, too.  Many of them started up in trees up the mountain – the platforms were like treehouses. 

After that we got changed into our swim stuff, hooked up with some tubes and walked to the cave.  The walk to the cave was pretty crazy – we forded the river (with a not insignificant flow) a few times.  Our tour guides also didn’t leave time for stragglers.  It was too funny that we were zipping past huge groups of other cruise passengers and taking shortcuts through the jungle.  When we arrived at the cave entrance, the other groups were all linking up in gigantic groups of 20.  We were split into manageable groups of 6.  Much nicer!.  And, since there was time Mikey led a few of us interested over to a boulder in the cave for a nice dive into the cold water. Yippee!!  and cold!  Once the big group was out of the way we got ready to go.  6 in a group, linked by the legs in a train.  As we floated into the tunnel we were reminded that when Mikey said “butts and nuts up” he meant it.  The depth of the cave changed quickly so we needed to listen if we wanted to avoid getting bumped from the bottom.  Inside the cave was cold and big!  Much bigger than expected with great stalactites, sparkley formations, and even a waterfall.  We floated along in the cave for a long time…I got cold.  Then we finally emerged into the sunny jungle.  The warmth felt so good.  The rest of the float down the river was fun, too.  We unlinked and enjoyed ourselves.  At the end was another big boulder to jump from.  The rest of the trip was quick – we were given some chicken, rice, and beans for a late lunch then boarded the bus for a nap trip back to the boat.  We returned with enough time to wander a bit at the dock and catch a tender to our ship….4pm again. 

Tyler and Rosalie came over to our room to hang out for a bit and gave their gifts to the kids for Christmas. Thank you!  It was neat to catch up with everyone to see what they did today.  I think this vacation has had a good blend of time with everyone, time with a few folks, and just time with our little fam. Today is mom and Dads anniverary, so they are on their own for a date!   In the evening Zoe wanted to go to Kids Crew again, so after dinner at the buffet we droppped her off and Avi, Bryan and I went to the “Band on the Run” 60s & 70s show.  We sat up in the balcony close to the stage – Avi loved it!  He had a spot to stand and watch and dance. This boy loves music.  Eventually he fell asleep during the show.  We wandered back to our room – got Zoe from Kids Crew where she was busy dancing – and went to bed.

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