I have mixed feelings about this review. I liked the cave tubing itself - I didn't like the circumstances around it. First of all, I can't really review Major Tom, because he dumped us on another tour operator once we got to Belize, but since I had pre-booked with him, he gets the "terrible" review.
We pre-booked with Major Tom online, and paid 10% down before our trip (cruising on Carnival Legend - which seemed to have an earlier "last tender" than the other cruise lines). It is MUCH cheaper to book privately than through the cruise ship - if you are cruising. However, when we arrived in Belize (4 cruise ships were there in total), we were told it was really busy that day, and the guy who said he was Major Tom took us to another cave-tubing operator and dumped us on them ("Butts Up!"), without really explaining - we found this out later. There weren't enough seats on the bus, so we had to meet another bus (which was held up waiting for us just outside of Belize City - we were glared at by the people already on this bus - I don't blame them, but it wasn't our fault!).
Near the end of the river tubing, Butts Up 'realized' we were with the Carnival Legend, and basically ran us down the river, ran us to another bus, and took us back - not before stopping for 30 minutes for everyone to pay them (and get a 'take on the bus' meal). I had to argue with them to reduce my payment by the 10% I had already paid Major Tom, and they finally did. There were not enough seats on this bus as well, and three of our family had to sit on coolers in the aisle of the bus for the entire 75 minute ride back.
As a side note: the people that booked cave tubing PLUS either the zip line or ATVs only got to do one of the three - it was too busy. There were many annoyed people on the way back to the ship.
We were an hour late for the last tender. Many of us were totally stressed. However, like other posts here, we too found out that a Carnival booked trip to the Mayan ruins was late, and the actual last tender got to the ship nearly two hours late. You can't help but be stressed when you are constantly told you are going to be left behind if you don't book through the cruise line, despite the fact that the local tour guides keep telling you it will be OK.
Overall the jungle walk and cave tubing were interesting - kind of like a real-life 'lazy river' at a water park. We REALLY enjoyed that part. For us, the water was plenty deep, cool but not cold, and we didn't scrape our hands/clothes etc. Our river tubes were linked up with ropes (not our feet) and had little head rests. No complaints with these. The Butts Up tour guides were friendly and fun.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Just know what you're getting into.
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