Adventurous Try Fish Therapy
We werent brave enough to try it, but many people were and it was quite the spectacle. Near the beach is a small building that has several tanks of water lined up. As you walk toward it, you might think that people are just soaking their feet. But a closer inspection reveals there are fish in the tanks.
This is fish therapy where people soak their feet and dozens of tiny little fish eat all the dead skin cells. Predictably, the spot had many people talking and lots of people stopping to take a look. Its something that you dont see every day, so if you get the chance and have the urge, try it out. Those who tried it raved about it afterward.
Get Adventurous With Water Sports
Mahogany Bay is the ideal spot for you if you have water sports in mind. The clear water near the pier makes it suitable for snorkeling. You can rent snorkeling equipment from the dock and enjoy a round of water sports with your friends.
The coral reefs make this place enticing for scuba divers as well. You can get a brief training and then take a dive to discover the magnificent beauty of the coral reef. If you are a novice in scuba diving, Mahogany Bay could be the best place to start. Clearwater and suitable weather make Mahogany Bay the ideal location for scuba diving.
You can also spend a couple of hours playing water polo near the jetty with your friends.
Bring A Towel Keycard And Id From The Ship
For a day at the beach you dont need much, but there are a couple of important things to bring. First, you want to bring a beach towel from the ship. You are allowed to bring them with you , and its something youll definitely want as we didnt see any towels available at Mahogany Bay.
Second, youll want to bring your room keycard. This is scanned as you get off the ship so there isnt a real danger of forgetting it. But, youll also need to bring photo ID. The cards and ID are checked as you head to the beach and again as you go to return to the ship to ensure that youre with the cruise and not a tourist who happened to wander into the wrong area.
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Map Of Mahogany Bay Roatan
It helps to have an idea of the lay of the land before you get off the ship. Fortunately, the area is relatively small, and the ship is always visible so you dont really run the risk of getting lost. In total, it only takes about 15 minutes to walk completely from one end of the port area to the other, with the ship right in the middle.
Need A Shower Or Restroom Yep They Are Available
If youre planning to hit the beach, its good to know that showers and restrooms are available to visitors for no charge. Youll pass the restrooms as you make your way to the beach and go through a tunnel between two buildings. Showers are farther down the beach, past the restaurants. There is a line of about 6-8 stations where you can rinse off the sand and salt water. While they are nothing fancy , it feels amazing to get all the sand and salt off the body after a day at the beach.
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Food And Drink In Roatan
Editor’s Note: Addresses in Roatan do not exist the way we know them. We’ve included pertinent location information locals and cabbies will be able to point the way.
One of the best drinks on the island is Salva Vida, a famed local beer. It can be found at just about any bar or restaurant. If you’re not the beer-drinking type, pina coladas are always a sure bet.
Eldon’s Supermarket: In the center of Coxen Hole, Eldon’s Supermarket’s cafeteria scrambles up eggs, along with fried beans and tortillas.
The Lighthouse: The Lighthouse, located in West End on the south side of the point, offers some of the best fish tacos, grilled lobster and conch soup on the island.
Trattoria da Piero: This restaurant, found at the Las Rocas Resort, is set on a rocky point at West Bay and known for authentic Bay Island dishes like shrimp with rice, chicken in coconut milk and beef in coconut milk.
Pura Vida: Pura Vida, at the Splash Inn in the center of West End, cooks up homemade pasta, pizza and seafood.
Dale’s Restaurant: Located along the water on the road from Coxen Hole to Little French Cay, Dale’s Restaurant specializes in Honduran food, buffet style.
Fruit Carts: Just outside the Coxen Hole port gates, you’ll find local vendors who drive by with fruit carts. Try fresh, sweet slices of local pineapple for just a dollar or two.
Shopping In Belize City Belize
Youll find the typical cruise port shopping destinations, Diamonds International, Del-Sol, Pirhana Joe, within Tourism Village. Look for the souvenir shops offering hand-made goods such as mahogany or rosewood carvings, or baskets. Note: dont buy items that are made from sea turtle shells, Tritons trumpet shells or black coral.
Moho Chocolate & Cafe stop here for some wonderful local chocolate, made in small batches. They also offer specialty hot beverages and a couple of small tables. Watch them roast the cacao beans on their front porch.
Pharmacy Express the hot-spot for inexpensive over-the-counter medication
National Handicrafts Sales Center artwork and crafts
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Hug A Sloth At The Sloth Sanctuary
- Location: French Cay | Cost: USD 13.00
What better way to enjoy a lazy day in the Caribbean than mingle with the worlds slowest tropical mammal, the sloth. Native to Central and South America, sloths spend their days in trees and sleep up to 18 hours a day. AJs Monkeys and Sloths, and Daniel Johnsons Monkey and Sloth Hangout are both located in the French Cay area.
While visitors are rarely allowed to hold a sloth, each visitor has a chance to hold one at the sanctuary. While the sloths have incredibly long nails, they wont scratch or dig in. Just be very gentle holding the sloth. Youll also have a chance to hold a parrot, macaw, and monkey, as long as the monkey is willing.
Sloths are gentle creatures that always look like theyre smiling. At Daniel Johnson, travelers have the option to add on other activities, such as ziplining, snorkeling, and an island tour.
Think Of Mahogany Bay As Two Sections
As mentioned, the port area of Mahogany Bay is designed for cruise passengers. It has everything that you could need and is essentially broken down into two areas.
As you exit, youll follow the path to the first section, which is a large open area surrounded by a number of shops, including those selling everything from high-end jewelry to a craft market with locally made goods. There is also an exit here to grab a taxi or tour bus for excursions to other parts of the island, along with a few spots to get a drink.
Then there is a pathway that takes you over to the second section of the port, which is the beach area of the port. Its just a few minutes walk, or there are alternate ways to get there . This section is likely where youll spend most of your time should you decide to stay near the ship.
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Where You Dock In Belize City Belize
Ships anchor off the coast of Belize and tender their passengers into the port, about a 20 minute, often choppy, ride. The port itself, called Tourism Village is quite small, with souvenir shops and Diamonds International and restaurants offering cheap drinks and Caribbean specialties. There is a high guarded fence around Tourism Village which they dont recommend tourists venture outside of by themselves.
Is Mahogany Bay Honduras Safe
Mahogany Bay is a private port and is a segregated resort area in Roatan. It is safer than other areas of Honduras. The vast majority of cruise line passengers have no problem. However, it is also true that incidents of robbery and theft have been reported. It is always good to monitor your bags and follow the guides who knows the safe areas.
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Theres A Nature Trail To The Beach You Dont Want To Miss
If you are walking over to the beach area, then you have two options to get there. Theres a regular pathway that most people take, but theres also a nature trail thats worth checking out.
As you head down the main paved path, youll see a rocky path off to the right for the trail. It has some elevation change and uneven ground, so it may not be for everyone. But if you can handle it, the trail takes you slightly back into the woods toward the water. In our visit nobody was there at all, giving more peace and quiet. The best part is that it offers some neat views of the ship that most people dont see.
Spend The Day At West Bay Beach
- Location: West End, Roatan
When seeking the best beach in Roatan, pass on Mahogany Bay Beach in favor of West Bay Beach. As the name suggests, its located on the west side of Roatan and rated one of the best beaches globally. With white sand, turquoise waters, and endless beachside patios, I could understand why readers voted it one of the best beaches.
With calm currents and crystal-clear water, West Bay offers the best snorkeling opportunity on Roatan, with spry coral and vibrant tropical fish. Whether you want to lay on a beach or take to the water, West Bay Beach has something for everyone. The tranquil waters are perfect for young swimmers, but there are plenty of adventure tours for thrill-seekers.
It takes approximately half an hour to access West Bay by taxi, and the drive is picturesque. Should there be more than one ship in port , the beach area becomes quite crowded.
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Enjoy A Zipline Adventure
- Location: Outside the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center | Cost: USD 89.99 for adults USD 79.99 children
While Cozumels port excursions are centered around the ocean, Roatan has some adventurous activities. It has some of the best zipline parks in the Caribbean, and most are available at reasonable prices. The Clip N Zip adventure, located outside the Mahogany Bay, Roatan cruise center, allows cruises to enjoy this adventurous activity within walking distance of their cruise ship.
The Clip N Zip zipline has eleven zip lines ranging from 150 feet to 1,600 feet. This course offers one of the safest tours on the island, using three cables instead of two. So, enjoy soaring through the rainforest with a chance to see birds, iguanas, and agoutis. At the end of the one-hour excursion, the last zip line travels over the water and ends at the beach. Since its located within steps of the cruise terminal, this zipline adventure commands the highest prices on the island.
Other companies include King Kong Extreme Zipline, South Shore Canopy Zipline, and Mayan Eden. At Mayan Eden, zipliners can feed the monkeys, see a sloth and tour a butterfly sanctuary.
Dont Want To Walk Take The Chair Lift
One of the unique features of Mahogany Bay is one you can easily see from the ship. The port offers a chair lift that takes you from the main shopping over to the beach. You catch the lift near the exit from the shopping area. It costs $8 for kids and $14 for adults.
One thing to know is that the ride is a bit slow. It goes at about the same pace as walking but also stops to load and unload passengers. That means being up in the full sun with no shade. It will give you a good view and is a neat experience, but just take note of the weather. If its hot and still, you might be more comfortable walking.
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Drinks/food Are Available In The Port Area
One the highlights of any port is being able to grab something to eat or drink somewhere other than the ship. While we think the food on a cruise ship is overall pretty good, eating anything for several days in a row can wear on you.
So if you want to hit the beach, the good news is that there is a bar/restaurant that serves cruise passengers and its just steps from the sand. Just keep in mind that youll pay tourist prices. While many ports offer cheap drink specials for those passing by, with only a few options available, we found the prices were inline with what youll pay on the ship.
Mahogany Bay Cruise Port Map
On arrival, cruise passengers will easily see the ports main attractions from the decks of their ships. They are the cruise center, the beach and both the bridge and the Magical Flying Chair that connect the cruise center with the beach.
Cruise passengers on board their ships also will see a partially sunken ship in the harbor. It attracts quite a few photographers.
Duty-free shopping is impossible to avoid at Mahogany Bay. Cruise passengers must pass through the Dufry duty-free shop to get to the other attractions. From there, visitors have a moderate uphill walk from the cruise docks to the cruise center.
The cruise center is a 20-acre, open-air complex with a variety of shops and restaurants. We found the prices, products and services mostly in line with other cruise ports.
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Do I Need To Book An Excursion In Mahogany Bay
Mahogany Bay was developed by the Carnival Cruise Line. Their goal was to create a haven for tourists so that they wouldnt have to leave the port area. There is plenty to do here including shopping, dining, swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and other fun water activities. If youre on a budget, you could definitely not book an excursion here and still have an amazing day!
However, as tempting as it is to stay in the port area, we urge you to get out of the area and see the REAL Roatan, Honduras. The island of Roatan is much different than what Carnival portrays. While the island is a little rough around the edges, it is absolutely stunning.
We suggest visiting the Stone Castle Cameo Institute, ziplining, or heading to the West End for snorkeling.
Top Rated Caribbean Port Destination
Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands in Honduras and a popular western Caribbean cruise destination. Cruise ships depart from their home ports such as Miami, Tampa, Galveston, Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, and Port Canaveral. Cruise lines visiting the Mahogany Bay Cruise Ship Port include: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, Holland America Cruise Line, Costa Cruise Line, P& O Cruise Line, etc.. The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center allows for two docked cruise ships at a time and up to 8,000 passengers. This port of call is diverse in services and offers a variety of bars, restaurants, and shops to enjoy during your stay.
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Things To Know Before You Go
There are two cruise ports on Roatan: Coxen Hole and Mahogany Bay Cruise Center.
Both Roatan cruise ports have terminals with restrooms, ATMs, duty-free stores, souvenir shops, Wi-Fi, and restaurants.
Bring plenty of reef-safe sunscreen. These formulaswhich dont include ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxatewont harm the coral.
Malaria is present in the Bay Islands. Safeguard against mosquito bites with insect repellent and protective clothing.
If youre planning to do any hiking or zipline tours, bring a sturdy pair of closed-toe shoes.
Many beach tours cover beach fees and offer access to facilities, in addition to providing transportation.
Recommended Excursions In Mahogany Bay
Canopy Tour & Tabyana Beach
Man, I love ziplining! Theres nothing quite like having the wind blow through your hair as you are zipping through the canopy. This tour takes you to the Gumbalimba Park where youll complete 7 traverses. Afterwards, youll be taken to the Tabyana Beach where you can explore the reef.
Tabyana Beach Break
If zip lining isnt your thing, you can take a tour that just hits the beach. Tabyana Beach is where the jungle meets the beach. It has crystal clear waters as well as an amazing reef just off the shore.
Top 10 Best Attractions of Roatan
I enjoy booking the Best of excursions so that I can see all that the port has to offer. This tour takes you to an iguana farm, a chocolate factory , and several other attractions. We enjoyed checking out the Cameo Factory, which is the only one in the Americas. The craftsmanship is impeccable. The tour includes a pit stop at a private beach.
Big French Key Island with Watersports
If the thought of booking a tour outside of the cruise line scares you, consider visiting Big French Key, the neighbor to Little French Key. The beach here is everything you imagine a Caribbean beach to be. Youll have access to snorkeling gear, kayaks, paddleboards, and beach toys. The bay includes features Maya replicas for you to explore underwater.
Monkeys, Sloths, & Macaws
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Best Way To Spend The Day In Roatan On A Carnival Cruise
ROATAN | HONDURAS
Roatan is a small island that lies off the coast of its mainland country of Honduras. It is the largest island in the Bay of Honduras and a popular vacation destination. It is also a popular port of call for Carnival and other cruise lines sailing to the western Caribbean. The island is surrounded by the second largest coral reefs in the world which makes it ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. Mahogany Bay is the name of the development in which the cruise ships dock and most excursion depart from. In this post, I will give you some ideas about how to spend your day on Roatan, whether you are looking to spend the day just lounging on the beach, exploring more of the island or some of the underwater world.
Last November we took a Carnival cruise from Tampa, FL to the western Caribbean. We stopped in Grand Cayman, Roatan Hoduras, Belize and Cozumel Mexico. The…
BEACH DAY | ROATAN
HOP ON HOP OFF | ROATAN
For those looking to get out of the Carnival-owned Mahogany Bay and explore more of the island, the hop on hop off bus is a great way to see a bit of the more developed western half of the island. It makes it way through Coxen Hole, the most populated city on the island, before continuing on to West End and West Bay Beach. The guide gives you a bit of history of the island and teaches you about the culture. It is a great way to mix exploring and beach time. You can read more about my review of the hop on hop off bus here.
SCUBA DIVING | ROATAN