February 03, 2023

Day 5 Roatan, Honduras

Roatan is an island off the coast of the mainland of Honduras. It boasts two ports and is often a destination for western Caribbean cruises.  We arrive about 10 AM and are greeted by a band and drummers on the pier. The NCL Getaway, another large ship is already in port when we arrive and a Carnival ship soon docks at the other dock several miles away.

With a tour at 12:45 we wait until after 11 to get off the ship. The port area is very small and it doesn't take long to see it all even when it is jammed with people.

Our tour is to a botanical garden where we, as guests, will make chocolate after a tour of the grounds.

The drive to the gardens is what you would expect in Honduras. Very poor and run down. Driving past their hospital it looks like a falling down condemed century old wooden building. With the siding falling off and parts of the roof missing we would think it very risky to enter such a building. Broken windows were boarded up. Be thankful we live as we do.

The gardens are nice. Mahogoney, teak, spices, etc. the chocolate making experience was a slow process from removing the shell of the beans to grinding them into a fine paste. The hand grinder was very difficult to turn. Making one cup of chocolate this way would easily take 2 hours.

The end product was definitely chocolate, but grainy as we skipped the third and fourth grindings, and despite sugar being added, still a little bitter for my taste.

Our tour took us around the entire island. Back on the ship, it is time for a shower and then off to the Coastal Kitchen. No time for cocktails first.

The braised short ribs were excellent, as has been all the food in the Coastal Kitchen, A change in my medications has left me with little appetite. So far a good thing. I usually lose a few pounds on a cruise, I expect no different this time.

After dinner is is directly to Studio B for the ice show. Without question one of my favorites. Busy but not full, The best part was watching some very young children in the first row. In total awe of the skaters.

Again the weather remains excellent. The skies are partly cloudy and the seas slight as we begin our trip north with our next stop in Costa Maya, Mexico.

Day 4 Cozumel

I have no idea what time we docked, but it was long before our scheduled docking at 7:00 AM. Again the skies are partly cloudy, a nice breeze and temperatures in the low 70's.

The ship is cleared by 7:30 and passengers start heading ashore. We leave the ship about 9:00. No specific destination, just some shopping. Initially I had considered purchasing some vanilla, but recent news articles have pointed out that labeling of such products is most often fraudulent, and more often than not the ingredients are not what the label says. The conclusion: just buy in the US, at least you know you are for the most part getting what you pay for.

By the time we come back to the Celebrity Constellantion has pulled along side of us. There are now 5 ships in port.

We try El Loco for lunch. The line is long, the nachos and the cheese sauce tasteless. Probably not again. 

After a much needed shower, off to the Suites Lounge to write and answer emails.  Surprisingly I have yet to find the lounge full either during the day or early evening when appetizers are served.  Unlike on other ships in the past, the bar is open here nearly all day long. A nice quiet retreat overlooking the pool decks.

Royal has increased pricing substantially for a number of items. The "all access tour" which was free about 10 years ago is now $250 per person. Giovanni's cover charge is $50, Chops $65. and Johnny Rockets is $15. I have yet to see any of them busy. Royal may have exceeded the breaking point for surcharges. There are some deals, but they no longer are pushing 2 for 1 in the specialty restaurants, ar least not on this voyage.

After dinner we have reservations for the Aqua Show. The theater is full with only a few of the standby guests able to find seats. The high divers and the aquatic performers are excellent as usual. Even though the show has been on all the Oasis class ships for years, each show is a little different, and the shows have evolved over time.

Our next port is Roatan, Honduras. The weather remains excellent, low 70's partly cloudy to sunny with a light breeze. The seas remain under 3 feet.