Our journey from Playa Del Carmen through Chetumal to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Where do you pee on a speedboat? Our journey to Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye, Belize By

She had to pee. It was a 90-minute speedboat ride with at least 40 other people on board. There is no toilet. There is no stopping. We are 15 minutes from shore. She had to pee. She now was screaming and crying and drawing the attention of the crowd. She had to pee. What do you do when your daughter has to pee in the middle of the ocean on a speedboat?

It was going to be a long Valentine’s Day and not the long day filled with romance and movies and love that you might imagine, but a long day filled with travel. Travel with 2 toddlers. Happy Valentine’s Day.

After a very late night at Xcaret and packing we had to get up early to finish our packing. The Property Manager arrived at 8:15am and kindly offered us a ride to the bus station. We arrived at 9am for our 9:20am bus ride to Chetumal.

We purchased the tickets at the station. It was $50 for Josh, Mia and I (I think Mia was half price), Caius was free. And then we sat down to wait and wait and wait. Finally about 9:50am the bus arrived and we were loaded on. Baggage was stored in the bottom with set seating in the top. The bus was a super comfy coach. Plush seats that recline, toilet in the back - pretty comfy.

It’s the first time we had ever taken a long journey on a bus and it was pretty easy. The kids had iPad & George (our android tablet) while I blogged on my laptop. The first part of the journey Caius and Mia shared a seat then when a few people got off at the first stop there were spare chairs and they had their own.

The 4.5 hours went surprisingly fast. As it was over lunch I had brought a loaf of bread, paper plates, plastic knife and our trusty nutella and peanut butter jars, which made everyone happy. My only tip was try to pick front or middle tickets, the toilet can get a little smelly. 

Of course we arrived late in Chetumal and after a $5 taxi ride to the ferry port we stood in line waiting to buy our tickets to the last ferry of the day at 3pm. 3pm came and went but we were promised a ride on it so not to worry. It was a long process I am not sure why, but finally we were served. Ferry tickets for 3 were $155, Caius was free. Then we headed next door to the Immigration department to depart Mexico, which was a $50 exit fee (Josh & I), with kids free.

Finally with stamps out of Mexico we headed down the pier to a large number of people waiting.

The luggage went on board and then the pile of people were let on. There was not much room. Luggage took up a lot of room at the front of the boat and walking to the seats there was hard. I ended up with crappy seats at the front with 2 kids while Josh took a back seat. There was nowhere to put my legs and soon I realized that was the least of my worries.


It felt like we were hitting concrete. The front of the boat slammed hard on every wave and I found a small measure of comfort in the two pillows the staff handed out. Mia quickly fell to sleep on one chair leaving Caius and I to share the single seat.


After an hour the ride calmed down and the staff sweetly hand out cookies and a cup of coke. It was a welcome relief. I got chatting to some New Zealand girls on their way to Caye Caulker and we shared travel stories.

The staff announced we were 15 minutes away from land on our 90-minute journey when my daughter wakes up in a panic. She has to go to the bathroom. With 5 minutes of pleading with her to wait and there is no bathroom and nothing I can do, she escalates from sobs to screaming and clutching.

I see no solution. I am not going to ask them to stop a speedboat of people to drop her over the side; I doubt she could even work under so much pressure. She can’t wee on the floor. So I ask her if she would like a nappy. Hysterics! She is not a baby; she will not use a nappy. Another 3 minutes pass and she is still crying. I told her a white lie.

“Mummy has used the nappy before, it’s okay to use the nappy. You don’t have to wear it, just wee into it.”

Sobbing she finally has no choice and proceeds to wee in the nappy. What a relief! She grinned, “That wasn’t so bad.” No kidding!

We pulled into San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize as the sun is setting. It made a remarkable pink and orange swirling reflection across the ocean.

Immigration took a long time, and luckily we were on a beach waiting outside a shack so the kids were happy to play in the sand. Finally we got a stamp and were allowed into Belize.

After a short taxi ride we arrived at Xanadu. Starving, we headed to the closest restaurant, Rico’s on the Beach. It was a gorgeous restaurant on a pier and was decked out for Valentine’s Day. They had a set menu and we didn’t care we were so hungry we agreed to the ridiculous price. They scrambled to find us a table and chairs, because everything is, of course, reserved on such a romantic night.

Valentine’s dinner with 2 exhausted kids, not so romantic for us or anyone else. Well at least I got to celebrate Valentine’s Day sunset on a tropical island right?

What would you have done?

We asked our Facebook friends what they would do in this situation. Here are some of the great answers we received:

  • "That's why it's awesome being a guy"
  • "Ask them to stop and let her pee over the edge...or if you have at least one in diapers pull out a diaper and let her pee in it... Poor girl!"
  • "Depends, who else is on the boat? Also, are you already getting wet on the ride?"
  • "Pop her bottom over the side of the boat (ask them to stop, of course) .. We used to do it all the time when we were kids"
  • "Cover her with a towel or shirt!"
  • "Let her wee in the corner? Ahh I don't know lol Oh wait ur not in Asia... Maybe that wudnt b acceptable haha"
  • "lol, over the edge?"
  • "Pee in one of Caius's nappies?"
  • "One of ours decided she had to pee about 2 minutes into a 15 minute romp in a trampoline jumping thing at a local carnival. She's older than yours, but I told her "too bad, so sad" and made her wait. I am a mean mom for forcing her to jump instead. :P"
  • "A cup?"
  • "Turkish style! Hold the kid over the side of the boat. OK, OK, you can slow down first."
  • "Yeah hold her over the edge or find something to pee in/on. Boys are so much easier!"
  • "Hold her over the edge."
  • "U can't hold her over the edge surely... It's a speed boat!"
  • "one of these might come in handy: Go Girl Female Urination Device, Lavender."
  • "Tell her to "toughen up princess""
  • "Times like these you need a mintie"
  • "Go swimming?!"
  • "Squat over a cup. Hold her over the edge. Pee in your swimmie and go swimming after rinsing off the boat deck."
  • "Pee on a towel??"

So what would you have done? 

Reader Comments...

"I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" -

oh my poor Mia, she was very good to do this .

karin Holmes Feb 24th, 2013

Ask her just to hold it cross her legs hold her crotch

Ughubfghy Sep 6th, 2019

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