We just finished a cruise on Carnival's Valor. Great cruise, incredible ship. Stopped in Belize (yes, cave tubing!), Roatan, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.
We enjoyed both Belize and Roatan, and neither of these stops had the typical 1mile buildup of tourist/shopping center around the port. We did shore excusions at each stop which allowed us to get away from the port and really see some of the area.
I would warn people planning on booking in Roatan to beware of Subway Watersports. We had a terrible experience with them...nothing like what they're website described.
Having said that, Roatan is a beautiful place to visit. We managed to see some of the various resorts around the island, and will do more research for a potential follow-up land visit.
If you are considering a land-based vacation to Honduras, the Pacific side is quite undeveloped and absolutely gorgeous. The area is called Gulf of Fonseca, Tigre Island, and Amapala Island. Any questions feel free to ask.
We found the most amazing beach in Roatan, that I cannot say enough about!! One of the waitresses on our ship (Valor) recommended it. To be honest with you, we were not even going to get off the ship there, it looked pretty boring!
West Bay Beach is the most heavenly location we have come across at any cruise port. It was a $20 per person taxi drive (round trip) to get there, but our driver was amazing, he stopped along the way to show us some beautiful sights that were tucked away along our route. The driver even waited there for us, we stayed 3 hours, then walked back to the taxi for our return to the ship.
Be sure and negotiate the cab fare up front, the ship waitress told us it should be $20 per person round trip, and that is what he offered as well.
We found a spot on West Bay Beach to relax in some lounge chairs next to a little cart that was serving $1 beers, and amazing homemade pina coladas, that we even watched them cut the coconuts to make!! My husband and I both were in heaven....he enjoyed his $1 beers, me my pina coladas, and we both enjoyed the beautiful, beach that obviously not too many people have found yet.
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