I recently returned from a week long Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean! I went with 16 members of my family and overall it was a really good time! We got off to a rocky start though, with Hurricane Danny in the Atlantic Ocean. Then ironically, my name sake Hurricane Erika, almost complicated our return home. Due to Danny, Carnival changed our itinerary the day before the cruise, sending the planner in me into a tailspin! I spent months researching our previous locations, but now I only had hours to find what to do and see in these places. It forced me to be a little more spontaneous, which ultimately turned out well. Over the course of seven days and four countries, I ate A LOT of food. So much so that I was concerned I would not be able to fit into any of my work clothes when I returned. I am breaking this trip into several posts over the next week to really highlight the food and the locations, so check back for more posts!
Cruising is a way to get sampler of several places. Unfortunately you do not get to spend more than a few hours in the stops, so I do not think that allows you to engross yourself in the culture. Additionally, cruise ports can also mimic a theme park in my opinion. Mahogany Bay in Isla Roatan was one of these examples. When we stepped off the ship, we made our way to the entrance which reminded me of Six Flags as a kid. The entrance from the port to the city forced you through a duty free shop. Once on the other side there were other shops and bars that only cruisers can patronize. The whole set up is JUST like a theme park, there even was a ski lift to take you to the beach. Rather than pay for the lift, we made our way to the beach via our two feet. Another interesting thing, was the amount of security all around the port. Our daily Carnival itinerary for that day included a warning about robberies in the area and discouraged us from venturing off the beaten path.
The beach was gorgeous though! We tried to dig our feet in the sand, only to find CONCRETE a few inches down. Clearly, this was a man made beach, albeit a beautiful one. We, like most of the cruisers enjoyed the beach near the ship for free instead of paying for an excursion. The beach also included restaurants, bars and private cabanas for rent. As a food blogger I was on a mission to find the most authentic food in every location. Unfortunately, the places I ventured to on the cruise seemed to cater to the American diet. As an American, it was amazing to me how much our culture dictates tourism in other countries. The menu had typical American fare, so I went for the item I was least familiar with on the menu, a whole fried snapper. My sister and I shared it and all that was left were the bones! It was so good! The restaurant threw in a couple of plantains as well. I did enjoy this beach, but felt that this stop did little to introduce me to the Honduran culture and people. Up next is Grand Cayman 🙂
Make sure to check out my posts on the other cruise spots
Looks lovely!! I think you’ll have to explore Central America off the beaten track! If you speak Spanish or Jamaican patois, it can help-Ive heard places like Belize, Honduras,Panama and Costa Rica have a very Caribbean vibe due to their histories!
For sure and I love history so I wanted to experience more of the country. I also went to Belize on this trip and got to venture off the beaten path literally on that trip. I’ll be posting about that one too.
Yay! Look forward to it!
Isla Roatan is beauuutiful. It was far too hot, though, in May. It’s pretty disappointing to see how Americanized everything is in cruise ports, I agree. The sad truth is that many American travellers stick with what they know, and aren’t too interested in trying new things. I see it all the time in my little tourism-driven country. I’m glad you mentioned the beach because, as an islander, I paid no attention to it. I went straight to the market to marvel at all the wood crafts. Did you check those out at all?
We didn’t venture past the theme park like beach. The way the port is set up, that seemed like the only thing you could do. Then Carnival gave all these warnings about venturing out of the port area, saying it was unsafe so we just stuck with the man made beach. Isla Roatan was the one stop that I feel I didn’t real see anything. So I’ll have to go back and do it all over again.
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