One of my favorite ports! We had to tender in because the piers were destroyed by Hurricane Wilma. They used their ferry boats for tenders, so they could take lots of people. Damage is visible on the island, but the people have made a huge effort to clean up. Who needs an excursion? We got a cab and went to Paradise Beach. They have done such a tremendous job of restoration here, if you had never been before, you would hardly know they had a devastating hurricane. We asked for Elie, he was our waiter last year, and he once again took great care of us. I played with the snorkel gear again, and saw lots of fish, but no coral. PB Tom showed up & we had an enjoyable conversation with him and met his wife and baby son, Christian.
We did a little shopping back at the pier area. I try to get a little decoration for our outdoor kitchen from each island, and Wess found a cool T-shirt.
We and 3 other couples I had been talking to at www.cruisecritic.com booked a cave tubing tour here independently with Greenwood Adventures, www.belizecavetubing.net.
We were met at the pier by Major Tom and Elvis. They took us all for an hour’s drive in an air-conditioned van to the park where you can visit the caves. Elvis narrated the whole way, telling us all about Belize, he even passed around pictures. We had a short stop about half way, where Tom bought bottled water for the group. At the park, we were fitted with life jackets, flashlights, and tubes. We took a walk through the rain forest, even crossing the river holding on a rope at one point. It was beautiful, but hot. When we got to the place where we hopped in the tubes, we were glad to get in the “refreshingly cool” water! Tubing through the caves was a great adventure, too bad it’s dark & too hard to take pictures. After the tubing was over, we had a huge lunch of BBQ chicken with sides. Then we got back in the van and returned to the port for some souvenirs before hopping a tender back to the ship.
There was a big bathrobe party on Lido tonight, we stopped by for a while, but didn’t wear our robes!
Finally a port where we can dock instead of tender! We stopped in the fake tourist village to book a snorkel excursion, and then hopped a bus to Majahual. This used to be a small fishing village until Carnival built the port nearby, now it’s more of a tourist village. There is only one road, all sand. The beach is on one side & the buildings on the other. All the restaurants/bars have places set up on the beach with chairs & umbrellas.
We found Olinca Water Sports and the manager, Memo, who hooked us up with some others for the snorkel excursion. We met Roberto, our captain, and took the short trip in his small boat to the reef. It was a bit choppy, so not as clear as I had hoped, but we still had a good time. When it was time to go, poor Roberto broke the rope that starts the outboard and we were stuck! Another boat came along soon and towed us to the nearest pier. Roberto knew Memo would send someone if we were late. They sent a jet ski that towed us back. We were never worried, we could swim to shore if needed, it wasn’t that far.
After this adventure, we stopped at Oxtankah, where our waiter, Jerry, took great care of us. I showed him a review I had brought from Cruise Critic, where his name was mentioned with a recommendation. He got very excited & showed it to his boss. Then he bought us a round of drinks! We shared a plate of delicious steak tacos, and then wandered down the rest of the street, shopping along the way.
It was easy to get a cab back to port where we took some pics and then went back to the ship. We wanted plenty of time to get ready for dinner, as it was the second formal night.
We had been meeting Bob & Lori most nights in the casino for a drink. We had early dinner and they had late, so it was a perfect way to catch up at the end of the day between dinner seatings.
After dinner, I went to the show, “Ticket To Ride”, which was a medley of Beatle’s songs and very enjoyable. Wess went to the casino and made a donation.