Wonder of the Seas Trip Log Day 5: 7-Night Western Caribbean Royal Caribbean Cruise – Roatan, Honduras – March 14, 2024

Trip log, day five. Roatan, Honduras (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM).
7-Night Western Caribbean Royal Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida 
March 14, 2024
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RCCL Wonder Seas Stateroom TV Map Day 5 Roatan Honduras

Up early with caffeine in hand in preparation for the Summer 2025 Disney Cruise Line Itinerary announcement. Thankfully, the timing worked out on this Western Caribbean itinerary, as we were back a few hours and Disney put had the new sailings online early! I set up shop at the Vitality Café which became my go to spot for coffee in the morning since the barista only “charged” me one punch for an Grande Americano versus the 2 punches downstairs at Café Promenade. It was also nice and quiet and much less busy. I was able to get most the new sailings added to the website except new Fantasy voyages in Europe while Emily was at the gym.

RCCL Wonder Seas Vitality Cafe Laptop

Shore time is 1 hour back from ship time and another hour back from home. Yes, I am still gambling with my time zone/ship differential. Going forward I will reference ship time for the remainder of this trip log entry for simplicity.

There are two major ports in Roatan – Royal Caribbean docks at the Port of Roatan which sometimes referenced as Coxen Hole Cruise Terminal. The other port area is Mahogany Bay Cruise Port which is used by the various Carnival Corporation cruise lines.

We were meeting our tour guide ashore at 9AM (8AM local time). The third party tour booked for the day was from Cleve’s Tours which our friend arranged via email in early January. She contacted them via their website to inquire about offerings on the day we’d be in port. They responded with the following offerings.

Culture Island Tour $50/person.

We as native local tour guides speak English and Spanish, will be with you all day, can stop for shopping along the way, share the island history and culture and take you to places the buses cannot go, why not get of the beaten path and take the road less traveled, you all will love it. Transportation vehicles are Clean, Comfortable & have A/C, they are in excellent shape for ROATAN EXCURSIONS.

We traditionally have a lot of FUN with you, LOVE meeting you all, answering your questions, taking photos for you, making sure you all safely back to your ship with plenty of time.

Opening for any additional activities you all may like to do:

  • Zip-line $45/person
    They have 17 cables 3 suspension bridges super cool adventure.
  • Monkeys & Sloths Sanctuary $12/person
    You get a tour guide, take as much photos as you like, and you get to hold and interact with the animals.
  • Iguana farm $12/person
    A tour guide is with you, telling you all the important facts of the iguanas very interesting.
  • Snorkel by Boat $25/person
    They take you out to the reef on a boat, all snorkel equipment included plus a guide in the water with you.
  • Oak Ridge “Roatan Little Venice” $15/person
    You get to go in a mahogany dug out boat, seeing the only town that the homes are built on stilts over the water and through the pirates hideaway mangrove tunnel where the Mayans use to hide from the pirates many many years ago when they only had Mayans on the island very unique and impressive it’s one of the highlight on the island.

Our team consist of 6 great tour guides one of us will have the privilege to take you all out exploring!

We picked the Culture Island Tour, the Monkeys & Sloth Sanctuary, and the Oak Ridge boat ride. Cleve’s Tours got back to us that it would run $75/adult, and $65/teens. There was an initial $100 non-refundable deposit required to book the tour for our visit with the balance due in case at the end of the tour. There were 3 adults and two teens in our group; I am not sure if the deposit is standard or based on our travel party.

We headed ashore to meet our guide Courtney from Cleve’s Tours. The last email correspondence included instructions on where to meet. The island tour departed from outside of the cruise pier area 1 hour after the ship docked. We walked from the ship, keeping left, and exited the pier area to the left of the building at the street. We were told to look for GATE 1 and exit here then look for a member of Cleve’s Tours team holding up a sign with our name on it.

Our friends went ahead to meet our guide. This was a new port for us and we didn’t really have a clue where to go at first. However, we finally spotted a sign for Gate 1 and started walking. Sure enough, we made it to the meeting spot after a short walk. As you can see in the pictures below, the public tour meeting spot was quite busy when we arrived. 

Once we met up with our group, Cleve introduced us to our guide for the day, Courtney, who then led us on a short walk down the street to a parking area where his van was parked.

Roatan Honduras Tour Meetup Area Black Cat

CAT!!! An adorable black kitten was sitting outside a shop, but we were just getting started, leaving us no time to stop to say hello. Courtney’s van had “In God We Trust” on the hood and before we started out, Courtney said a prayer. We felt like we were in good hands for the day.

Roatan Honduras Tour Van

We set out driving east and pulled over on the side of the road near a school. At this point, Courtney began to share some details about Honduras, and more specifically Roatan such as the 5 cultures which basically live in their own villages across the island. As for schools, there are private schools such as the one pictured below, and government public schools. Only the government run schools may use the Honduran flag colors as part of the uniform.

According to Courtney, all of the money generated from tourism in Roatan, specially the cruise industry, is sent back to the mainland with a fraction returned for the betterment of the island.

Roatan Honduras Roadside Cat
Second CAT!!!

Our next stop was an overlook of sorts that provided a view of the Mahogany Bay Cruise Terminal where a Princess Cruises ship, Regal Princess was docked.

As we drove back later in the day, we saw a different angle of the Regal Princess.

Roatan Honduras Mahogany Bay Cruise Terminal Princess Cruises

We pulled into the parking lot of the Municipalidad de Roatán where there was a cat dead asleep near a door. I can assure you the cat was alive.

Roatan Honduras Municipalidad De Roatán Cat

As we proceeded to drive east on Carretera Principal, we pulled into a parking lot, Courtney told us he’d be right back. We were parked outside Jugos Express, where Courtney picked up snacks for us. He brought each of us a Chicken and a Beef Pastelito with hot sauce and a mango drink. The chicken pastelito was very flavorful, and the hot sauce carried the beef version. The mango drink was rich and sweet, but not crazy sweet – paired well with the savory snacks.

There are a lot of small shops and restaurants along the main road were on, but the most developed area outside of the cruise port was the mall called Megaplaza with shops and chain eateries such as Wendy’s and Papa Johns. Elsewhere we spotted an Ace Hardware and Bojangles.

Time to change course from our cultural tour and embark on an animal adventure with a stop at Daniel Johnson’s Monkey & Sloth Hangout. Monkey & Sloths were just the marquee animals, there were also birds and CATS!!!!

This was a busy spot for obvious reasons, so we had to wait in line. We checked in and were given a number and directed to a waiting area. The line moved as they would take groups in batches to another waiting area where a guide explained the rules and told us more about the animals. While we waited there were cats doing what cats do best, sleeping.

The first meet and greet was with the sloths. There were two that a guide would move from one guest to another. These are extremely fascinating animals, I could just sit and watch them slowly move their heads like Micheal Myers all day long. The sloth at the DMV in Zootopia is spot on.

The next area was the monkey cage. The guide was very clear that you should remain calm, move slowly, and keep your voices down. I opted to wait outside, I saw the movie Outbreak. Just kidding, I think. They were fun to watch.

They also had cages with parrots, that I skipped. Cool to see, and I didn’t feel the need to hold one myself. Besides….

Roatan Honduras Daniel Johnson's Monkey And Sloth Hang Out

I had a feline friend to play with just outside the bird cages.

I enjoyed the cat play time instead of the monkeys and birds. Basically, I checked the box of my desire to hold a sloth, and received an unexpected bonus of hanging out and playing with a cat (see end of video).

There was a dock used for other excursions offered by the Hangout. There were a couple of cool boats docked out back that caught my eye. There is something photogenic about working boats and the uniqueness of each paint scheme and that used look.

We headed back to the van to meet Courtney to continue our driving tour around Roatan. We quickly passed the entrance to Fantasy Island. No, not the real Fantasy Island from TV/film. From the road, it doesn’t look like it has been well kept and even our guide mentioned it was not in ideal shape.

We stopped an overlook to take a picture and Courtney pointed out the reef where they go snorkeling. Behind us, is also a golf resort.

Roatan Honduras Roadside Overlook Vendors

The roads in Roatan are interesting, closer to the cruise ports there are new concrete roads under construction and already completed. However, the further east you drive, you get to a spot where the road changes to asphalt with potholes a plenty. If you are subject to car sickness, may want to take some medicine with you.

Roatan Honduras José Santos Guardiola Welcome Sign

Living in the theme park corridor in Florida, we are accustomed to themed building architecture, but we were not expecting to see a pirate ship on land in Roatan. I wouldn’t blink an eye if Isery Club was at Disney Springs instead of the Paddlefish, but this was a fish out of water for sure. As the story goes, this was once used as a laundromat, not a real laundry, a front for laundering money. Currently, the venue is closed and is really just a photo op for tourists.

Courtney took us on a mini-tour of a local neighborhood. If you don’t already, a trip into these areas really make you appreciate what you have at home, as there are no guarantees of water or power. Then, we stopped at a cluster of cottages and he got out and returned with is youngest son, to probably appeal to our hearts for later in the tour when it comes time to tip. He was also buying time as he was calling a captain to set up or boat tour. We had some time to kill. It was really a sweet gesture and his son was a cutie.

We stopped at a parking lot along the water of which looked like a marina. Sure enough, it was our next adventure, a mangrove tour on Captain Alex’s boat. How can you not trust Captain Alex, his boat was named “Trust Me”. 

Roatan Honduras Mangrove Tour Trust Me Boat

I knew we were boating through mangroves, but I had no idea, 

Swimming hole area looks like it could be a lot of fun. Bring a cooler filled with refreshments, and soak in the sun in this little area. This was not on our agenda, but would be something to look into. While Cleve’s Tours arranged the mangrove tour, you can learn more about Captain Alex’s offerings here.

After the tour, we loaded into the van where Courtney had a cold beer waiting! Salva Vida, basic but refreshing.

Roatan Honduras Van Beer Salva Vida

As we started our drive back, he asked if we wanted to stop someplace to eat. There was a place he mentioned that sounded good. Courtney told us that the women who runs it was from Texas and during a vacation in Roatan and fell in love with the island. She eventually bought property, built a restaurant with an apartment upstairs. Time was at a premium, so we opted to forge ahead with the tour and start heading back as we were at the farthest place from the ship and planned to get back to the port ahead of the mad all aboard rush.

Courtney mentioned he did not have electricity in his neighborhood growing up. He didn’t get power until after the rebuilding of the island following the destruction from Hurricane Mitch in 1998 when the utilities were expanded. 

As we were making our way back towards the cruise terminal, we stopped at an airport across road which had a monument featuring the flags of Honduras. Photo op!

Eventually, we made it back to the “border” as Courtney called it where the asphalt pothole road turns to smooth concrete. The potholes started to wear on us even with Courtney’s great driving, some were still unavoidable. Just something to keep in mind if you or your traveling party are susceptible to car sickness.

Roatan Honduras

Our last tour took us to what Courtney called, “the ghetto”, where tour guides are advised not to take guests. He also mentioned, “not the place to be at night” – I am not sure if this was a legitimate concern, or some strange attempt to show us local life just like earlier when we drove around a neighborhood. At no point did we feel concern for our safety; we’ve walked through much shadier alleys in ports around the world.

Roatan Honduras Don't Get Out Of The Car Area

We arrived back at the terminal with plenty of time to spare. This is always the top concern as I very much dislike to rush; I’m perfectly fine walking back onboard casually with minutes to spare. I am not fine with the clock ticking and I am not even at the terminal. We started off the day telling Courtney when we wanted to be back at the terminal, and reinforced this each time we discussed options for our next stop on the tour. The key is communication. He even mentioned the increase in traffic closer to all aboard time and this is why we wanted to beat the traffic back because traffic is NOT something we can control.

Before Courtney would let us out of the van he made us take a verbal test based on what he taught us during the tour, which was a lot of fun. We collected our belongings, tipped the good man and headed back to the ship.

We were all hungry by this point, because we put sightseeing ahead of nutrition. Looking back, if we spent less time pulled off on the side of the road listening to information from Courtney, we could have enjoyed lunch at a restaurant in Roatan while we heard the same information.

Roatan Honduras Punta Gorda History By Courtney

If I had a mulligan, we would have treated Courtney to lunch to hear more about Roatan rather than pulling onto the shoulder of the road to talk for 20 minutes at a time.

Roatan Honduras Port Pool

Back at the cruise terminal, there were shops, food, and bar locations around the port plus a pool area right by the ships. From our quick walkthrough, it has potential for hanging out during a port day if you do not go out on a tour. Frankly, after driving around, this is a port where I recommend a tour, otherwise there really isn’t much to do outside of the terminal area on your own.

Roatan Honduras Port Wonder Of The Seas

Back on board, I tried to stream The Players from ESPN+, but since the Starlink connection was hitting a data center in Mexico, the content was blocked out. (I forgot I had my VPN available on my phone.)

RCCL Wonder Seas ESPN Plus Regional Blockout The Players

Once we were cleaned up we headed out to the Boardwalk area for dinner at Playmakers, the sports bar onboard. You can sorta see Playmakers in the following picture of the Abyss slide, the venue is located on the right with the brown overhang.

RCCL Wonder Seas The Abyss Slide

This is an actual sports bar with TVs all over playing the games guests want to watch that didn’t switch to trivia or learn to draw during game.

RCCL Wonder Seas Playmakers

Staff at playmakers changed the channel for us on the TV by our table so we could watch the opening round of The Players. Staff in Playmakers had the ability to change channels using a tablet. Like I said, this was in fact a sports bar and I cannot believe sports is such a miss on a cruise line that is owned by the same parent company as the worldwide leader in sports…… The only issue was there was an issue with the CO2 and the draft beer was out of service.

RCCL Wonder Seas Playmakers Beer

Issues happen, and will not let that spoil the fact this was a real sports bar with live sports. The other TVs were airing a selection of sports with heavy coverage of the college basketball conference championship games. Playmakers was a popular spot each time we walked by. I ordered a draft beer from the bar earlier in the cruise and it was also hopping.

Playmakers has a bunch of seating options including al fresco seating just outside the venue in the Boardwalk which also had TVs for anyone to view as they walked passed or sat outside! Seating inside was mostly climate controlled, but there were open doors that allowed in the fresh air and humidity. The food at Playmakers is a la carte which you can see the prices listed in the menu below.

Our table ordered a good cross section of the menu. I found the offerings to be mediocre leaning to a bit of a disappointment for an a la carte option.

Service was hit and miss. Our daughter’s friend was served something completely different than what she ordered, and it seemed like it took longer to refire the correct order than it did to serve us the first time. I was looking forward to the buffalo chicken. If you love fried casing and little substance, then you are going to love these. There are not even remotely a contender to the incredible buffalo rolls at Splittsville.

RCCL Wonder Seas Playmakers Buffalo Chicken Crunch Roll

While we ordered across the menu, no one ordered wings. There were two hightlights to the offerings.

RCCL Wonder Seas Playmakers Poke Nachos

The poke nachos were really good and the highlight of the bar food was the tower of onion rings, they were fantastic. The portion was generous to the point, I worked about half the tower over to another table and gave the rest away. 

RCCL Wonder Seas Playmakers Crispy Onion Ring Tower

To round out what I am generously calling a mediocre dinner was the cookie. In our mind we were thinking Pizookie from BJs Brewhouse, but the cookie was dry & over cooked and the marshmallows were barely toasted. The potential is there, but poorly executed. I think we each took one bite and moved on.  

RCCL Wonder Seas Playmakers Campfire Cookie

When there is a carousel across from your dinner table, you enjoy a lovely after dinner spin on the carousel.

RCCL Wonder Seas Boardwalk Carousel

The adults and kids separated for the early evening, the kids headed out to laser tag. Extremely proud of our daughter who won with some random name. She said it was a blast and would absolutely do this again. This could be something that could be set up in Hero Zone on the Wish Class as fun activity.

The adults headed up to Central Park to Giovanni’s Wine Bar for cocktails. 

RCCL Wonder Seas Giovanni's Wine Bar

We just enjoyed the live music and chatted while we sipped on our cocktails.

Later in the evening, we returned to the Music Hall for Queen music trivia. Once again, this was music trivia with some deep cuts, but not nearly as many as there were during Elton John trivia. This was a lot of fun and it came down to a tiebreaker between an older adult and a high school/college-aged fella who eventually won.

RCCL Wonder Seas Music Hall Queen Trivia

Another day comes to an end, but tonight I figured out the chrome cast option with the stateroom tv. We watched The Hangover from my Plex server and after an initial buffering delay, it played nearly flawlessly.

Tomorrow, we are heading to a port that we have not been to since December 2012, Costa Maya, Mexico.

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2 Replies to “Wonder of the Seas Trip Log Day 5: 7-Night Western Caribbean Royal Caribbean Cruise – Roatan, Honduras – March 14, 2024”

  1. Alex

    We were on the Wish during Master’s week and I cant agree with you more in regard to sports and DCL. I couldnt find a TV with Master’s coverage other then my stateroom. What a shame!


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