The Siberian American: New Year’s Caribbean Cruise: Belize River Cruise

Monday, March 16, 2015

New Year’s Caribbean Cruise: Belize River Cruise

After our New Year’s Eve celebrations the night before, our 6 a.m. wakeup call for our all-day shore excursion in Belize came way too early. Even so, I was excited to go on a river cruise and visit the Lamanai Mayan Ruins.

The tender to Belize City from our ship was long (about 25 minutes), but our excursion was through the boat, so we were on one of the first tenders of the day. (I have heard others complaining about not being able to get on an early tender if your excursion is not through the ship, so we kept that in mind).
We jumped off our tender boat and got straight on a bus headed to the river. On the bus, our guide shared facts about Belize, such as its education system, places to visit, and biggest exports. I was surprised to hear that Belize has a large Mennonite community that is a huge factor in the country’s economy.
After over an hour on the bus, we were eager to get on the boat. When I first read the description for the river cruise, I thought it would be a leisurely boat ride to the ruins. It turned out to be a 25-mile speedboat ride with many narrow passages, with our boat tilting to the left or right just to squeeze through the passage.
Our boat driver was entertaining but also prided himself on being the wildest of the group. He loved taking fast corners and passing as many boats as possible. The other drivers knew this about him, so they let him pass as quickly as possible. I was seated in the middle seat with nothing to hold on to, so I kept flying up in the air when he turned a corner. On the way back, he got there so much faster than the other drivers, so he decided it would be fun to do donuts…and I literally thought I was going to fall out of the boat. I think I would have had more fun if I had expected a speedboat ride because I usually enjoy speedboats, but I thought it was going to be a calm ride. No wonder they had me sign a waiver!
Although most of the time we were going way too fast to take photos, the scenery on the river cruise was beautiful. The area was extremely lush with gorgeous trees and flowers. Our boat driver did stop a few times to point out birds and plants, but it would have been more interesting if we had time to admire the landscape. The devil's gut cactus on one of the trees really stood out to me.
We took the river cruise because it was the fastest way to get to the Lamanai Mayan Ruins, which deserve their own post because they ended up being one of the highlights of the cruise.

Catch up on our New Year's Caribbean Cruise:


  1. One of the reasons I love cruises is because you get to see so many locations that you wouldn't see otherwise and this sounds like one of them! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. Such pretty pictures! I pictured Belize to be more tropical.

  3. Okay, that speedy driver is crazy! That would be fun if you were expecting it but being surprised is a whole different thing. How did you manage to hold on to your things?

  4. oh my goodness, that sounds terrifying lol. like you said, if i had expected it i might have enjoyed it, but not being prepared i would have been so scared - especially without anything to hold on to!

  5. Great pictures! I am excited to catch up on the other cruise posts, I am always looking for tips and reviews on the different options!

  6. Such gorgeous pictures and it sounds like a great adventure! The one cruise I went on years ago went to Belize!

  7. Ugh, my comment just got deleted! Anyways, I just wrote that my mom and I went to Belize last year and loved it! We spent half the time on an island and half the time up in the mountains exploring the ruins. The people were lovely and very diverse - as you mention, everything from Mennonites to Mayans! I'm plenty happy that I missed your wild speedboat ride, though... as someone who gets terrible motion sickness, that sounds awful!


  8. Great pics girlie!! But I would have been terrified as well if I didn't expect a speedboat ride. Seriously!

  9. I've never done a river cruise! This looks so pretty!! And totally different scenery than I saw when we went to Belize! I believe we did cave tubing there!

    1. My parents did cave tubbing in Belize! They really loved it, so we really want to go next time. :)

  10. We did (what I think was) the same excursion, but our boat was definitely not a speed boat. Our issue with the tour was that going from the bus/ruins portion of the tour, after lunch, to the boat aspect was very unorganized. We got passed over at least twice for a boat, even though we were there first. Also, the "restaurant" was very overpriced and served...hamburgers? I don't even remember anymore but I I do know that we were very upset with how that all worked itself out. I think I would choose a different excursion if in Belize again.

  11. Nature can be seen in its whole wonder while going through the regular style of Caribbean.Lake Fishing


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