Roatan Island Tour Excursion Reviews
In Roatan, we took the "Botanical Gardens, West End Village, Cultural Show & Cameos" excursion, booked through Princess. This provided a nice view of the island as you drove around to four different locations. I'm not sure what they expected us to get out of the West End Village & Cultural Show stop. Mostly, that seems to be a place for scuba divers, with every third business being a dive shop. The "Cultural Show" included a few traditional dancers, not much different than what you see right off the ship in the shopping area for free. The Botanical Gardens and Butterfly/Bird/Animal sites, however, were very interesting and well worth the visit.
We had booked driver for the day (Juan Carlos). He wasn't at the gate where the independent operators meet with the tourists. However, the independent operators called him and we got set up with Ismael Matute firstname.lastname@example.org. He was great. We told him that my wife wanted to take some scenic pictures around the island, we wanted to see the monkeys, butterflies and get in some shopping.
At first he took us to some of the normal tourist traps to shop. But, in the end we found the best deals to be at the monkey park (they were about half the price of the other locations). We handled monkeys at both the monkey park and the butterfly sanctuary. The guides at both locations were great and gave us all the time we wanted. We did the zip-lines at the butterfly sanctuary and was one of our best memories of the trip. They took pictures and video of us on the zip-lines and then sold us a dvd for only $10.00. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
We arranged for a van to pick us up and take us to several locations, including an iguana experience where we could feed dozens of iguanas that were walking around freely and another small wild animal park where we could interact with capuchin monkeys, a gentle sloth, and several varieties of tropical birds. Our day ended at Parrot Tree Plantation Resort, which is situated next to a beautiful lagoon near the ocean.
We visited Maya key through Carnival. We got to hold monkeys but only for a very short time. It was our kids fav memory of the trip. We also snorkeled here but the water was very choppy. They have a rope down below leading the way out to the drop off. It was very helpful. A good amount of fish and really pretty at the wall. The lunch that was included was delicious! Sea bass, chicken, beans and rice. YUM.
Andrea Nelson & Claudia Sanchez of Island Quest Tour (right outside the port terminal) set us up with a personal driver to tour the island, we were thrilled. Howard Brooks our driver was knowledgeable and took great pains to personalize our tour.
Roatan is not a resort island and this may not be the place to venture on your own. Our private tour took us all over the island, stopping many times for photos and shopping. We also held the monkeys which was nothing short of amazing. The day was completed with a delicious lunch and a couple of hours at the beach. If I had seen this beach first, we would have stayed there. Walking distance from the ship, clean, drinks and food brought to you, great areas for snorkeling as well as paddle boats, inflatables, paddle boards and snorkel equipment for rent.
The excursion was good. We had never been to Roatan, so we wanted a taste. Our Tour Guide, Patricia was informative and very pleasant. We saw highlights, wonderful views and 2 beaches. At the last beach, we stayed 45 minutes to relax, take in the sun and put our feet in the water
"Sightseeing for people with limited mobility" which we are not but took the tour because it was a nice overview of the island. 3-1/2 hr $74 well worth it.Went all over east, south and north side. Stopped at Half Moon Restaurant but didn't eat there. We thought it was a tourist trap with high priced food. But it was a nice stop, very picturesque. Stopped at Roatan Rum Co. Straw Market, El Faro Lighthouse and another shopping place. Our guide was knowledgeable but in my opinion too accommodating. Ex: one couple was ALWAYS late getting back onboard 10-20 mins. We made an extra stop for one lady trying on skirts at the market then asked to go to the restroom. BAD! We all had to wait on these socially inept individuals. The guide should have rounded them up and not make extra stops while we all wait on them., I should have given this tour a lower rating but the tour guide was just being too nice while the very few tourists being inconsiderate.
we toured the island but didn't do any beaches or parks.
I was a little apprehensive on this port as the port area was build by Carnival and they only let Carnival partnered tour operators into the area to pick you up. I booked my own tour with Victor Bodden Tours and I have to say I had the best time of my life. Not only did I get to see the entire island, we had our own private driver who took us anywhere we wanted to go which included snorkeling, beach, restaurant, etc. Of course these extras cost a little more but I would have paid 4 times as much if I went through Carnival and the excursions would not have been customized to what I wanted to see. Victor Bodden Tours. Look him up here or even Google him.
We did the "fun in the sun" tour with Victor Bodden. Island tour wasn't all that but had a couple scenic areas to take pictures. Went to the monkey business and could have passed on that but that's where they collected the money.
This company has over 3000 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the excursion, I was not aware that I would be touring the country in a sedan, or not learning a thing about the history of the country. Our tour guide was very nice, but he didn't even know about the archaeological sites in his own country or the population. We did hit the Iguana Farm, which was more of a concrete slab with Iguanas all over the place. There was also a monkey in a cage that looked emaciated. Very sad! Monkey business was excellent though. I thought the guide was nice enough, and he was very informative. We also asked to do some shopping. I wanted to purchase some local goods to support the community. I picked up some lovely jewelry pieces that I thought were handmade, however I saw the same ones in the port shops. Needless to say, I was upset about that.
All in all, a decent excursion, but no where near as spectacular as the reviews I read.
Then onto Roatan. Well this was a little difficult as it was New Years Day and it was a very early docking 7am ship time. We got off the boat at 8am and made out way out of the port and about a 350 yard walk over a steep hill to a slew of Independent Tour Operators. We were looking for Bodden Tours and found them easily. I had booked a private driver for the day (so worth the extra money) so he did what we wanted all day long. We went everywhere that day. Tex took us to where he grew up, West End, The beach, scenic drives, gave us lots of history information. We even stopped at a local gas station to get a local beer and Plaintain Chips (yummy). Bought a few things from local vendors way up on top of the hillside although I do have to say that the same things are about the same price in the actual Port. And actually there were lots more choices of the Mahogany Wood Items in the port. Just beautiful stuff.
I did the Taste of Trujillo. My tour was on an air conditioned bus that had a tour guide who shared with us about the history of the area. We got to stop and explore at the Spanish fort and prison which was fascinating. I think the tour guides will get better as they go along but the information shared was kind of all over the place - it made it hard to get a good chronology of events but I still loved all the information I got. We stopped at a fair trade crafts coop that had local things to buy. Then we went to the "nicest" hotel in Trujillo - Christopher Columbus Inn, where there were two local dance groups that performed for us. Then we had a buffet table with local delicacies made in kind of appetizer size things for all of us to try. They were delicious and I did not get sick, nor did I hear of anyone else getting sick. The setting of this Inn, on the beach with the cruise ship in the bay was like a picture postcard. Then a short drive back to the beginning.
took this after our original choice was cancelled..... very interesting and included the carambola gardens .... the information for that alone is worth it. the west key and the town are interesting but be prepared to be asked to buy things by everyone....
Unless you are a water or scuba person, Roatan is not the port for you. While the scenery is pretty, there is very little to do on the island. We booked an Island Tour through Shore Excursions Group. Cleve, our guide, showed us his island from east to west, and all points inbetween. He was a wonderful guide, full of enthusiasm and love for his home. We saw how the residents actually live - and visited areas where tourists seldom go. The tour lasted a little longer than expected, but it was a good experience. BUT, there is nothing else I would every want to do in Roatan, and will probably not take another cruise where Roatan is on the schedule.
We booked a private “Best of Roatan” tour with Victor Boden tours. Our scheduled driver wasn't available, but we very quickly had a replacement and who was great-- very informative and he drove us around the island in a nice comfortable car. The iguana farm and V.B.’s Monkey Business were fun with great photo opportunities. We went to the highest point on the island for some more photo ops, walked the public beach and shopping area and then a nice lunch overlooking the bay across from the public beach. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
In Roatan we booked a private island tour through Bodden Tours. For $80 my wife and I had our own driver and a car for the day. He took us to all the standard sights on the island plus at our request he took us to a grocery store to buy some drinks and a small ice cream shop for a very tasty handmade banana milkshake. He also took us to a wonderful snorkeling beach where we spent several hours enjoying the tropical fish and the impressive reef. We really enjoyed getting away from the crowds at Mahogany Bay and seeing the rest of the island.
Our excursion was the Roatan Island Tour and Highlights. Transportation was in a VW type van. The air conditioner barely worked so it was pretty warm. The tour made 4 stops. The first was Panorama Hill at what appeared to be a mostly abandonded shopping plaza. This stop was primarily for taking pictures of our ship in port. The second stop was to the Pirates Bay Tourist resort. There was a small beach here. The next stop was Cyndie's Paradise Point. The owners are a couple formerly of Fort Lauderdale, FL. They bought the land and had the house built a few years ago. They have great porches and views of the north and south coasts. Very reasonable prices for rum shots, coke, and bottled water. The final stop was Parrot Tree Beach Resort. This is a resort owned by Century 21. Not sure if these are condos or timeshares but there was no sales pitch involved in the tour. Nice man-made bay and beach. Lounge chairs, tables and chairs, and covered areas. This was a nice excursion for an overview of the island. Frankly, we weren't that impressed with Roatan. We were warned by our dining room waiter not to venture out on your own. A few months ago, one of the Carnival cruise line employees got shot in Roatan. There's nothing much to see within walking distance anyway. Most of the shops of interest are right at the port.
We paid a cab driver to drive us around the island. He picked up a "local" at the port gate to narrate the trip (be sure to tip this young man as this is the only payment he receives for his time). They drove us through town and to many scenic spots on the west end of the island. It was a nice way to see a slice of Roatan life. We had plenty of opportunity to buy local crafts, play with monkeys, and ride in a glass-bottom boat if we'd wanted to. If it's a hot day pick a newer looking cab as the a/c is more likely to work!
I can't say enough good things about Roatan Trips and Tours. We wanted to get away from Carnival's sanitized Mahogany Bay as quickly as possible and see the real island. Our driver, Jonathan, picked my wife and me up outside the gate for our private island tour. We saw some magnificent views and beaches but the best part was seeing the neighborhood where he grew up and other spots that most tourists don't see. This company's owner, Steve, gives part of the profits to fund a soccer league for underprivileged kids. Really cool. We would do this tour again in a heartbeat.
I have a KYSS bag, purchased with this trip and our June cruise in mind. This excursion was when we test drove it. I love it. So did the girls. I will be purchasing one for each of them. I highly recommend it. It held everything we took with us (including 4 Carnival towels and Colton's Batman towel) and still had room. The lock was easy to use and it held fast. Don't know why I didn't invest in one before now.
We are rule followers (and I detest being late to anything) so we sat in our room and patiently waited to hear a "we have been cleared and you can leave the ship" announcement which we've had on past cruises. At about 9 o'clock, knowing our excursion was at 10) Kristie called to check with Guest Services to be told, "Oh, we didn't make an announcement today but you can leave at anytime.". O-Kay. Gathered up and headed out.
After checking ship's time with my watch (mine was a minute faster) left the ship, had our photos taken, and then we scurried to the meeting spot at the end of the pier for our tour... only to find we were late! Luckily only a few minutes late and they hadn't left yet so we hurried to the little boat we were taking and climbed on; we were not the last 4 passengers to arrive. It seems others had been waiting for an announcement, too. There were announcements the other two days, by the way.
I began investigating underwater cameras months ago. After lots of research and many recommendations I settled on the Olympus Tough - 820. This trip was our first experience underwater with it. It did so well I bought a second one during the cruise to give to Kristie to take to their new home on the Persian Gulf.
This excursion was great.from the moment we got on the boat until the moment we got off. The food, the beach, the snorkeling, the hospitality, everything. LOVED it and will do it again.
We were diverted to Coxen Hole rather than Mahogany Bay due to high winds. This was inconvenient to passengers who were planning to stay right at the Carnival beach at Mahogany, but was a benefit to us because we planned to head for the west end anyway. We had pre-arranged a private driver to cart us around for the day, and the driver was waiting for us at Coxen Hole just as nothing had changed. We used the same operator as on our first visit, Dixon Tours. Our driver was Carmel and she was amazing. We decided to drive to West End and do some shopping there before everyone else got there. Great spot to buy Lencan pottery, although I was disappointed the cigar bar was closed. We then made arrangements to water taxi to West Bay with Frank, $3pp one way. Nice way to see the beautiful water and coast, and this day as gorgeous. We enjoyed a lunch at the Thirsty Turtle at Bananarama then spent time enjoying the gorgeous water. Didn’t want to get out but the time came and we drove back to port via the north and east side for sightseeing. Gorgeous island and we want to return for a longer visit.
Roatan was also a nice place. However, we did not leave with the feeling that we would miss not being able to return one day.
People were very nice, but as we have been in many caribbean ports, this one did not offer anything particularly special.
We took a little tour of the island, offered by one of the taxi stand that awaits you when you get off the ship. We paid $30 per person, but once we got in the taxi, a young lady came aboard with us, as our guide for the day. It was not explained to us that she was an independant and that we would have to pay her on top of the taxi ride. We found it was a bit chicky from them. But she did a good job explaining the island and took us where we wanted to go. Julyvet was a nice person.
We went to a Iguana Farm where we spend only 15 minutes as there was many iguanas but that was about it (it is a preservation center). They charge $10 per person. Too much in our opinion, but it is for a good cause. And they give you one big leaf each for the Iguana to eat! Wow, isn't that exciting.... You had to laugh, they really thing we are stupid. But after all, it is vacation.
Then we went to Maya Eden. Another little zoo with a few Mayan statue, a couple of racoons, and a butterfly conservatory. There we had the chance to hold a Honey Bear (Kinkajou), funny little animal that looks a bit like a lemur, but they call it a night monkey. Very placid little animal. They also offer zip lining there.
We drove in a nice part of the island where they have some nice houses, and changed our mind to go to the beach on the west end of the island.
I guess we were not fascinated by the island but we were glad we went.
Good tour guide on smaller approx 12 pass van/bus. Did small shopping stop, visited retired US fireman's garden ($1 soda and beer deals), then fed the iguanas and had a long stop at a quiet beach with safe walk out warm ocean.
West Bay Tours was absolutely amazing - Marco was our tour guide. Very informative and personable. He would stop along the way and offer us tidbits of information about island life. We would even pull of the road for longer stories or to let us take pictures. He stopped at a local market so we could do some shopping with the locals.
Took us to a semi private beach where we paid a small fee to use the facilities offered - the one down fall to this area was that the locals bothered us constantly offering to sell us their wares. Did book with a local to take us snorkeling.
Awesome experience - this turned out to be our favorite stop.
Rhotan: ten of us booked a tour when we arrived. I believe the driver name was Angel and the guide was Alyssa. One price all day. We drove around island went zip lining at canopy zipline . (Probably OSHA nightmare) but our group had a lot of fun and would do again. Ate a great lunch of lobsters calamari and conch went parasailing. Sat on beach went shopping visited a barbershop and nature preserve. Back in Port with 45 min. To spare. Sorry forgot name of company. (Advise from our tour guide when at beach getting deep massages leave all valuables with your spouse including wallet. )Alyssa was very informative about island life and history.
This was a city tour with a couple of stops for tourist shopping and to see some native dancers.
Good tour of the area, both the city and outlying areas. Monkey park was ok, just small. People seemed to enjoy having the monkeys jump all over them. One jumped at the speed of light from 5 feet away and landed on my chest. Nearly knocked me over even though it was only about 10-12 lbs. Not too sure I would let little kids in the cages. Monkeys are tame, just jump around like crazy. Next stop was at Bananarama Beach Resort. Very nice. Definitely recommend the tour. Price was only $30 for 4.5 hr excursion and you can book online at Victor Bodden Tours.
Highlight of this tour was Sherman's Iguana Refuge. Tour guide did not talk much.Visited a private residence-not sure why, nothing special about it, the owner had a bar set up where you could purchase drinks and there was a lady selling trinkets. Only saw one side of the island and not much to see!
After extensive research we booked a private driver through Victor Bodden Tours. Tex met us at the port and we were off to our wonderful Roatan adventure. This was our first trip to Roatan and Tex tailored our tour to meet our wants and desires. His love of Roatan and his knowledge helped us get a feel for the local culture, see sites that might otherwise have been missed, purchase coffee where he went with us to make sure we were safe and to make recommendations, took us to Tabayana Beach where we enjoyed lunch, drinks and snorkeling and got us back to the ship in ample time. I would highly recommend Victor Bodden Tours and the private tour as well as Tex.
This was such an interesting tour. It incorporated a boat tour and several encounters with the island's indigenous population including a dance performance, a cooking demonstration and a great deal of fun..
Our tour guide, Karla, was so informative, and nice. She always made us feel comfortable and safe. There are some beautiful places on this island, but overall, it was another sad, poor place.
Booked beat of Roatan with Victor Bodden. Laura was our driver and she was great. Went shopping, to Victor's monkey business, lunch and island exploring. It is a beautiful place and the people are so nice.
Steve was very professional from the minute we found him on line to when he dropped us off at the ship. Very knowledgeable of his island and culture. Clean, well working vehicle. He let us make up the day and went with it. Check him out at Roatan Trips and Tours and consider his service as part of his income goes to supporting troubled kids through a soccer and school program. Don't have good grades? You can't play in his league, and soccer is huge in Roatan.
We got to learn a little about the island on the tour, but it wasn't all that great for the price. The tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly. Mostly shopping with just a few stores. Lunch on the water - which made it worth it. The view was exquisite!