Port of Entry
There are two cruise ship terminals in Roatan, Coxen Hole and Mahogany Bay. Mahogany Bay (Dixon Cove) is used mainly by Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines. Coxen Hole is used by Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruise Lines. If you are landing in Coxen Hole, click here.
Mahogany Bay is the latest project for Carnival Cruise Lines. The port is located on the other side of the airport in an area previously known a Dixon Bay. Here's a quick link to Cruise Critics' forum. This area is not within any walking distance outside of the complex to tourist activities. You will need a taxi to venture out to Coxen Hole, West End, West Bay or French Harbour. Mahogany Bay Cruise Center encompasses 20 acres of waterfront property and includes a two-berth cruise terminal that can accommodate up to 8000 passengers daily. There are two theme bars, a restaurant and several shops. At the transportation hub you will find taxis, rental cars tour buses, and shore excursion tours. Beware that the "Independent Tours" location in the terminal area may not be the independent tour you are looking for. Many independent tour operators are prevented from entering the terminal area to pick up participants. You will need to exit at the security gate on the entry road and walk a short distance to the waiting independent tour operators. Most independent tour operators will send you instructions on where to meet.
Unique to Mahogany Bay is the "Magical Flying Beach Chair" lift system that takes cruise ship guests from the welcome center to Mahogany Beach, a 10-acre, private island featuring an 825-foot-long, white-sand beach with a beach volleyball court and water sports. Eight cabanas are also available for rent. The Magical Flying Beach Chair takes guests on a six-minute ride across nearly 1200 feet of suspended cables. All-day passes for the beach chair lift are $5 per person. An elevated path also is available for those who prefer to walk. Visit www.mahoganybaycc.com for more information.
If you are on the Roatan Port cruise ship and want to see the real island, you should venture away from the Mahagony Bay complex. There are tour operators and taxis available at the facility. Meeting independent tour operators is easy but you must follow these basic instructions. Exit at the gated cruise terminal area via the covered gangway, and once outside the security gate, you will find the operators with hand held signs collecting there guests. Once there, the guides will direct you to the waiting vehicles to take you to your activity. You can also hail taxis outside the security gate as you walk up the hill to the main road. It is recommended that you do not walk along the main road as there are no tourist activities within walking distance. Just hail a taxi, negotiate you fare, and then have fun.
If you decide to take a taxi from the ship terminal area or any location, YOU MUST confirm the price of the ride PER person or for the entire taxi before you go. Also, check to see if the price is for a roundtrip! Be sure to determine if the rate is in Lempiras or Dollars.....yes, if you don't confirm the rate, you will probably have a unpleasant surprise on your fare.
If you want to look for additional independent tour information, here is a link www.roatancabtours.com for a taxi tour company.
Islander Tours or Carlos Rodriguez might be another choice for a taxi tour (small white taxi style car). He provides island, mangrove, jungle (hmmm, the eastern part of Roatan ----try the mainland if you really want jungle), shopping, snorkel trips, and beach tours. His prices seem to be in line with reasonable rates. Check his web site at islandertours.com for reservations.
If you are looking for a good tour operator with larger vehicles, also check out Victor Bodden at www.boddentours.com
Check our locator maps for island locations.