On the last trip to Belize we went cave tubing and it was such a blast that we couldn't wait to go again. The water was much lower this time, though and there wasn't much current, so our poor guide wound up towing us through the caves. There has been a lot of development at the site with a fancy buffet restaurant area and a much nicer bathroom/changing facility.
We have always done ship sponsored excursions in Belize, because the trips can be a bit long and the roads a bit rough.
Make sure that you pick up some Marie Sharp's hot sauce and exotic sauce (yum!) and try the Belikan Beer before you get back on board the ship. Too many and you might easily succumb to Belikan Sleeping Sickness!
I prefer to hire a cab driver for the day to take us across to the wild (ocean)side of the island. There is a beach restaurant called Playa Chen where the beer is cheap, the margaritas pack a punch and they serve delicious seafood that was caught that morning. This restaurant has a swimming area that is protected by some large rocks, so the water is calm enough to be safe.
We booked this cruise last minute on the last weekend of Mardi Gras, so I was unable to find an affordable room pre-cruise. We stayed in Covington which was an easy 30 minute drive. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Royal Street before we headed home, which gave us a little New Orleans time to unwind before heading back to home, work, and real life!
The Holiday Inn is not the most fabulous hotel, but is conveniently located within walking distance to many things and has parking available.
Make sure to visit the Acme Oyster Bar, and Johnnie's Po-Boys. Fabulous music is on every corner...it's the vacation before and after the vacation!