We were on Independence of the Seas from February 15 - 21, 2009. First day was a day at sea. Our two children did the Adventure Ocean club on Day 1, which was a sea day. 8-year-old stayed all day. 4-year-old stayed just for the morning, then spent the afternoon at the pool. Adventure Club is just OK. I think they could do a better, more personal job with entertaining these kids, but no major complaints.
Day 2 was the port of Belize City. We took an independent snorkeling charter with Happy and Grumpy. It was awesome. They took great care of us and our two children. We felt very safe with them, and they made sure our children enjoyed snorkeling. We saw sea turtles! And touched sting rays. All in the "wild." It was awesome and everyone loved it. If you have children, this is an excellent tour. They really help you with the kids, so you can enjoy your snorkeling, while knowing there are two more adults watching out for your kids. We were the only ones on this tour. They specialize in running a small excursion and offering wonderfully personalized service. I highly recommend Happy and Grumpy. They are wonderful. Check out tripadvisor.com for more information on them.
Our next port was Costa Maya. Here we booked independently from the ship with The Native Choice. Excellent tour. We did the "Mayan Experience," which takes you to the Chacchoben ruins and then to the village, to meet a Mayan family, make tortillas and see how the Mayans live. They are a very poor culture, and it was truly a lifetime memory to experience this. I highly recommend the Mayan Experience. My children brought school supplies to donate to the Mayan children. As we pulled up, the kids hovered around our van and were so happy and excited to get simple things like a glue stick or a pencil. It was so good for my kids to do and see, and The Native Choice was also a first class group. Check out tripadvisor.com for more information on them.
Deck 2, forward. Near conference center and movie theater. Quiet location, but not convenient to main areas of ship. Decks 2 and 3 don't go all the way across the ship. So, we had to go up to deck 4 or 5, then walk across the ship, then go up to deck 12 for the pool (for example).
Snorkeling with Happy and Grumpy. Booked independently from cruise. Awesome!!
Booked independent tour of Chachobben ruins and village with Native Choice. Awesome. Great tour.
Booked independently with Dolphin Discovery. Saved $200 from cruise ship price for exact same tour.