We pulled into the harbor of this mountainous island just after sunrise. We had once again chosen to do a cruise excursion through Carnival. And once again, it was snorkeling. But this time it was off of the beach instead of a boat. Plus it included a lunch, a swimming pool and visiting with some rescued animals.
Once exiting the ship, we walked through the port which had a Fat Tuesday's restaurant and several shops. It was pretty much built and owned by the cruise lines to accomodate all their passengers. We were led to a mini bus which drove us to a small boat that took us to our beach for the day. There was a gift shop, beach, swimming pool, a small replica of a Mayan ruin and a blocked off area of the bay with stingrays and turtles which we could watch being fed.
We picked up our snorkeling gear and headed to the beach. Picked out our beach chairs and then a man announced that they would be feeding the monkeys in five minutes. Intrigued, we decided to go see what was going on.
A group of us gathered while the employee gave a talk about the animals that they had there. Someone had tried to smuggle the two baby monkeys, Stinky and Coco, off the island at the airport so they had been rescued. And the alligator, Gringo, is blind so he can't fend for himself in the wild. Last but not least was a big beautifully colored bird, who I can't remember why he was rescued, but I think it had to do with clipped wings.
Then a few of us at a time were allowed to go in the monkey's cage to feed them. I wasn't sure I wanted to do it but I am really glad that I did. You held the food bowl and they would swing around and come get some bananas or seeds. They really liked Mr. Ur and were purring in his ear.
Next we could hold Gringo or the pole that the bird was resting on. There was also a mountain lion and bobcat who were living there but for obvious reasons we couldn't get close to them.
Having fed the monkeys, we went snorkeling. You went into the water off the pier and they had a path marked for you to follow so you kept off of the coral. This was Mr. Ur's and his brother's favorite snorkeling of the trip. Not my finest hour. I followed the path but panicked when I veered off of it. It was really shallow so then you ended up on the coral. I found out that I really like snorkeling off of a boat but not so much off of the beach! I was done pretty quickly. Apparently, there was some really great sea life to be seen. I know Roatan is a very popular spot for not only snorkeling, but also scuba diving.
So I settled for sitting on the beautiful beach until it was time for lunch.
Lunch was served buffet style and was delicious. Striped sea bass, barbecued chicken legs, salad, beans and rice and fried banana chips. Very yummy. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the port.
Roatan has a very unique feature - a ski lift to the beach. Right along the bay, and only for cruise ship passengers, you buy a day pass to ride the ski lift OR you can just walk over a small bridge.(that's what we did) There are a coupla restaurant/bars and lots and lots of beach chairs.
We got back on board after that and set sail to a beautiful sunset. Bye Roatan - maybe see you again another time!
Once again, I'm linking up with www.walkingontravels.com for #fridaypostcards and a little end of the week travel inspiration!