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  #1  
Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:19 AM
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HRHMadonna HRHMadonna is offline
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Thumbs up Go Yhony! Cave Tubing Review 1/18/06

We can only add our most enthusiastic recommendation for Yhony and all the guys at cave-tubing.com. It was a great, fun-filled and most informative excursion. $45 pp for groups of 5 or more.

There were 9 ladies in our group ranging in age from mid-50's to mid-70's. Two were non-swimmers, but we all felt safe and comfortable throughout the excursion.

Yhony was prompt and thorough in all of his email communications. We were met exactly when & where promised. The bus ride (about 1 hour) was great fun and included a brief stop for some cashew wine samples as well as Yhony's interesting and humorous narration about Belize.

We were quickly outfitted with equipment (inner tubes, head-lights & life jackets) at the park and were on our way. The hike through the rain forest was lovely (about 30-40 minutes)...They even carried one of our lady's tubes much of the way....And we stopped several times to hear about plants, termite nests, etc. & to take photos. The cave tubing was amazing! We would all go again...and again...and again!

Yhony and his team gave clear instructions. They were right there to help our "chain" of tubes manuever safely through the caves and little rapids along the way.

He allowed our group of 9 and the others on our bus to vote on whether to hike the extra 10 minutes to do a second cave and we also voted on whether to stop for lunch...We were all happy that our group voted "YES" both times. The lunch...chicken & rice with lime juice was an extra $5 US and was delicious. I'd also suggest you try a Belikan beer -- another $2 US. FYI: The Dove ice cream bars were $5 at the restaurant..."Belize it or not", beer is cheaper than ice cream in Belize!

Belize is a beautiful country....I strongly encourage you to plan a shore excursion...if you see only the shops at the tourist mall at the tender docks, you will have missed seeing the real beauty of Belize and its people. We returned in time to shop for approx 2 hours before returning to our ship.

Most of us wore Tevas or old tennis shoes for the hike and tubing. Be sure to take insect repellant & sun screen. No need for hats....it is shady much of the time & hats get in the way of the "head lights". The rest rooms & changing facilities at the park were large & clean.

Glad to answer any questions.
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  #2  
Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:57 AM
NCEdwards4 NCEdwards4 is offline
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Default How Many In Group

Hi,
A group of 10 of us are booked for this tour on Feb 9th. I have a few questions ...

How many people did Yhony take out total? You mentioned there were 9 in your group, were there others besides that? What time did you meet? Did you have to wait long for others to join you?

Thanks for your help, we're so excited!
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  #3  
Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for the great review. I hope you don't mind if I paste it into our roll call. We've got a group going there next week from the Sun. You make it sound like we've made a good choice!
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  #4  
Old January 23rd, 2006, 02:44 PM
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I just came over to this board to do a search on Yhony. Glad you had a great excursion. Did he pick you up at the dock and did you do the Belize City tour?
Quote:
The lunch...chicken & rice with lime juice was an extra $5 US and was delicious.
I've always heard that you shouldn't eat food off the ship.
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  #5  
Old January 23rd, 2006, 06:17 PM
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Arrow Answers to questions

How many total?
My best recollection is that Yhony had about 22 people on the bus the day we went. There were 9 in our group and about five in another group and I think 8 in the third group. Each group had a guide...most of the time in the water, the guide was up front, but sometimes to help navigate the little rapids or around the walls of the caves, the guide would rush to the back of the "chain" of tubes to assist those in the back. The water was quite shallow in most places and we frequently heard "butts up" when passing over shallow areas or rocks. Stiil, I would place any non-swimmers up front near the guide..for their own comfort level.

What time? Pick-up location? Wait time?
Tendering from our ship began at 7 AM -- only those with excursions booked through the cruise ship were allowed on the 1st tender, so we were pulled aside for a short wait and then boarded the 2nd tender for the approx. 45 min ride to tender docks.

Yhony will email you details about where & how to meet....we walked a short distance through the tourist shopping village at the tender dock area and turned right into Reef Terminal. Yhony was waiting just outside the front door with a sign with my name on it. We had a very short wait on the bus...maybe 10 minutes. Your wait time could vary, however, dependeing on what time ships start tendering and how quickly Yhony's clients get onboard tenders. He encourages you to get off ASAP and to have your group assembled BEFORE you leave the ship.

Belize City Tour
We had what I would describe as an informal tour of Belize City...we drove around to get gas, pick up park admission tickets and bottled water...during this time Yhony told us some things about Belize City. Actually, I don't think there is a whole lot to see in Belize City -- others in our group who booked a "Belize City Tour" said there just wasn't too much to see on their tour either.

RE: Eating Food off the Ship
Well...this is clearly a personal decision...this food was quite good and hot (as in heated) and previous posters on these boards recommended it....no one complained of food poisoning or "Montezuma's Revenge"...so we ate it and truly enjoyed it. Over the years, I have become more adventuresome about eating in less developed areas of the world...I try to exercise reasonable judgement, avoid poorly cooked or raw items, and I always travel with lomotil...just in case! Bon appetit!
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  #6  
Old January 23rd, 2006, 07:15 PM
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WOW 45 min to shore
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  #7  
Old January 24th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for a great review HRH.

One quick question - the jungle walk to the cave-tubing, is it a flat terrain, steep or what???


Thanks
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  #8  
Old January 24th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Default Jungle Terrain

Well...the terrain was mixed.....I wouldn't call it steep, but in places there was definitely an incline...some spots were muddy...and some spots a bit rocky...in (maybe) 3 different places we had wooden steps...not many...maybe 10-12 at a time. Early in the jungle hike, we crossed through a river...about knee deep water, but a rather strong current.

The walking itself was not challenging for me, but I am a "walker" back home....For most in our group...especially the short ladies...carrying the large inner tubes with life jackets was the more strenuous part....altho as I said in my review, one of the guides carried the tube for one lady. As for the trail itself, Yhony and his guys always seemed to be there to reach out a hand if the trail was slippery or steep.

I hope this helps...I realize that my descriptions are quite subjective...For me, the jungle walk was less strenuous than expected, but another person might have left with a totally opposite impression. Keep in mind too, this info is coming from a "60-something princess"....a 20 year old could probably hike the trail barefoot & backwards without a rest stop & think nothing of it.

One other point...Those who wore aqua shoes or water mocs regretted it...they were fine for the tubing part but uncomfortable for the hike because of the thin soles...I suggest old tennis shoes or Tevas.
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  #9  
Old January 24th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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HRHMadonna - Thank you so much for all your help. Great tips! No Belize City, no water shoes, and "yes" to eating the native food.

One more: Did you or anyone carry a backpack for shoes, clothes, camera?
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  #10  
Old January 24th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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HRHMadonna HRHMadonna is offline
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Default RE: Backpacks

I assume your question refers to backpacks while tubing....The answer is no....we left virtually everything.... backpacks, purses, etc. on the bus.
I think it would be most difficult if not impossible to tube with a backpack. I think it would be uncomfortable and when they say "butts up" a backpack would probably get soaked.

A few of us tubed with small plastic water wallets like snorkelers use for bills, credit cards & our RCI sea pass, but everything else was left on the bus. Some of us also tubed with disposable underwater cameras and left our "real" cameras on the bus.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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Thanks once again! I have a water wallet. I don't feel good about leaving my things on the bus though.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 06:58 PM
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Thanks for the great info.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 07:27 PM
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When you made reservations did you give a CC number or do you pay them in Belize?
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Old January 24th, 2006, 10:44 PM
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Default payment

Yhony does not take credit cards....no deposit necessary....He requests cash the day of the trip....best if you have exact amount....He collects on the bus AFTER the tubing on the way back to Belize City....he says he wants you to pay AFTER because he wants to be sure you were totally satisfied.

The $5 for the optional lunch we paid directly to the restaurant. The $45.00 we gave to Yhony...we gave our tips to one of the guys who followed Yhony down the aisle of the bus...Y made it clear that the tips would be divided among all the guides.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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Default Thanks So Much Timmy and Junior

Hey just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful time. We are the two heavy set girls in your group on Jan 17th from the RC ship Explorer of the Seas. I was the one that slipped in the mud on the way to the river. Anyways it was fun and I met alot of great people from our ship. Thanks to the woman from South Carolina who helped me up. And a big hello to Anne and her husband in Chicago. But most of all thanks Timmy and Junior (Hey Momma!) for a wonderful time and a safe time. Kim in Toronto Canada
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:36 PM
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Are kids 12 and under any cheaper?
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  #17  
Old January 26th, 2006, 08:55 AM
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Default payment

We also just returned from cave tubing in Belize with Yhonny. He wants to be paid in cash when the tour is completed. It works out best if you have $45 for him and IF you want to give a tip, it goes to his other guides, so you can give the tip money directly to them. Don't worry about leaving money, etc on the bus. Everyone is off in the river to worry about taking your money. Yhonny told us that one guy didn't trust him and he took his wallet with him on the river in a ziplock bag and ended up losing it in the river. Enjoy your trip.
Tracy
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  #18  
Old January 26th, 2006, 11:23 AM
angieb5 angieb5 is offline
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Default Yes

Your stuff is totally fine on the bus! Really! Enjoy this is so much fun!!! Ang's partner Kim
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Old January 27th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Default great review!

Thanks for this great review! I was concerned because my whole family has Teva's and I wasn't sure if they would be ok. I think I read somewhere that closed toe shoes were recommended.

I plan to show your review to my parents because they were somewhat concerned about their ability to do this. My kids, DH and I can't wait!!

Thanks again!
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  #20  
Old January 27th, 2006, 09:37 PM
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Default Tevos?

Can you tell me what tevos are? Am considering the cave tubing, but not sure what type of shoes to bring.

Thanks.
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