timpson - We just got back from the SEA a few days ago. It was great. In Belize we went to the Altun Ha Mayan Ruins. We got on an air-conditioned bus, saw lots of the countryside. Altun Ha was pretty interesting and climbing up the pyramids was fun. There were a lot of kids your kid's age there and they seemed to really enjoy themselves.
In Cancun there is a beach right by where the tender drops you off where you can swim or snorkel. The water is beautiful, the beaches white sand. Very nice. I don't know the cost. There are also free shuttles to the "shopping mall" .
I posted some of the pictures, several of Belize and Cancun. Here is the link:
Read above where I posted about Sea Sports Belize and the Baboon Sanctuary. That's the only organized tour I did. It's very low-key and would probably appeal to the 'older crowd'. You do get to see some of the howler monkeys, but mainly it's a tour and talk about the flora and fauna in the area and what medicinal qualities each has. It was interesting (for me) to do one time, but I would choose something else next time.
When we were there in January, we did the Tulum tour as well as the Altun Ha tour through the ship. In Roatan, we went to Tabyana Bay (not very good weather that day, rather disappointing). In Cancun, we just hired a taxi to drive us around the city (not worth doing, in my opinion).
Depending on what your interests are, our waitress that we liked so well had gone parasailing in Cancun. She said it was lots of fun. We aren't quite that adventuresome. Our friends who were with us normally go to Tabyana Bay for the snorkeling.
Here's my 2 cents on shore excursions. We just returned last week-end from the Sea, which, by the way, turned out to be our best cruise yet. In Roatan, we did the Tabyana Beach trip. The snorkeling was awesome. It was led by a very knowledgeable crew member. In Belize, we did Shark Ray Alley snorkeling, and again, amazing. Our time afterward on Ambergis Caye was wonderful. We also snorkeled in Cancun, but don't know if we'd do that again. The parasailing in a previous post sounds interesting. The crew on the Sea was the best!
Your pictures were awesome! I get giddy with excitement every time I look at them.. and trust me I look at them alot just imagining what it will be like. This will be our first cruise and I can't wait! We cruise for the first time next Saturday, July 17th. I will send you our positive experiences when we get back!
We are back from the Sea and what a wonderful time we had !!!
I wanted to add some comments on the shore excursions that we took. In Cozumel we rode the ATV's through the jungle. This was an unbelievable experience but perhaps not for the faint of heart. We had never ridden ATV's before but after about 5 minutes of explanation we boarded thise things and set off on an extremely challenging trail consisiting of rock, roots, mud puddles, gulleys and I think there might have been about a 25 foot stretch of smoothe trail but Don't quote me on that. It was quite fast paced. The jungle was beautiful and though the "ruins" were a bit disappointing the guide was very knowledgable about the Mayan culture. We came back absolutely filthy but really exhilerated. ( I am a 53 year old grandma who is not particularly active and I was able to do this. ) The excursion brochured does not say so , but closed toed shoes are required for this excursion.
The next day in Roatan we went on the Dolphin Encounter & Tabyana Beach tour. The resort, Anthony Key, where the dolphins are trained is quite lovely. The encounter with the dolphins is something I know I will never forget. A 5 year old was in our group and I am not sure I have ever seen such a huge smile as when the dolphin kissed her !!!
The following day we went Cave tubing. This was more challenging than I expected since the water was quite rapid. It started with about a 25 to 30 minute walk through the jungle carrying your own inner tube. The was actually quite less challenging than it sounds.. the canopy of trees blocked to sun so it was not too hot and it was gently sloping up not steep at all. Then it was into the river in the inner tubes with two guides. The caves were quite interesting and dark when they asked us all to turn off our head lights. There were two rapids and that was fun. Having not been tubing in 30 or so years it took some time to get used to navigating but all in all a nice excursion.
Kathy, sounds like you know how to have a good time. Glad you experienced new or forgotten thrills. We are going in November with 2 other couples. Being about 15 years older than you I don't think we will be quite as advenusome, but we too are active for our age and will find lots of fun excursions. NMNita