What a great day! This morning we woke early again – thanks to Avi’s sleep rhythm we never sleep past 7. So, we woke my folks and all walked to the Versailles for breakfast again. We then got ready for our day at the beach and watched the boat dock out our window. Our room – 5120 – is almost right above the docking door down on the 4th floor…so we get a front row seat to all the docking stuff. Avi had a blast sitting in the window watching the Honduran band playing. Zoe spent the morning coloring in her new notepad. She got herself all set up on the desk; it is now her ‘studio’.
When the call came that we could get off the ship, we were ready and excited. Today Mom & Dad, Bethany & Stefan, and Tyler joined us on our beachventure. I had researched before we left and found that the West Bay beach area suited our needs – nice beach, close taxi ride, and snorkelling reefs nearby. Unfortunately, the costs of taxi rides here in Roatan were crazy! They all charged us per person! What? it’s nuts. We shopped around briefly and found a van that ‘only’ charged $15 per adult. Round trip. Still expensive, but what can you do. Right at the last minute, too, a “tour guide” jumps in who isn’t paid, but we can give her tips. A bit irritating if you ask me….but we were off to the beach. Along the way our ‘tour guide’ Anna did tell us about the area and the plants and then told us that at the public beach it’s free, but there are no drinks and the chairs are $5 to rent. However, she knows a place that is only $10 each and we can each get a chair, plus there is a pool, and restaurant, etc… If it had just been my frugal fam we would’ve stuck to our guns and gone to the public beach. But, with everyone along I let the group decide. So we were off to the Mayan Princess resort.
The Mayan Princess is pretty nice. There was a cool swimming pool, palm trees along the beach, a restaurant, and waiters coming around to get us drinks. We found a set of loungers under the trees and got to swimming. The water was unbelievably clear and warm. The kids had so much fun. We brought Zoe’s lifevest so she could have the freedom to swim as she’d like. Avi swam a bit with Bryan or Nan, but mostly loved to dig in the sand, sit in his holes, and drop handfuls of sand into the water. Zoe also found an awesome sideways growing palm tree to climb on. The rest of the fam seemed to enjoy themselves with relaxing, drinking from coconuts, and swimming.
We tried to snorkel, but there is just sand on the bottom at the beach. Bryan and I talked to one of the many boat operators who have their boats anchored at the beach. They said the reef is just out a bit. So, we paid $15 each to be taken out to the reef…one of the kids (both the guys running the boat were probably 15) then led us around the reef for about an hour. It was incredible. …the most amazing colors and size of coral I’ve ever seen! Huge canyons of coral, tunnels, and the fish! Tons of colorful fish. We even saw a barricuda. Definitely money well spent. The reef was, of course, closer to the public beach. We realized as we boated out that we might have been able to snorkel from the beach to a little part of the reef, but the gorgeous part we went to was just a bit too far out. When we returned to our beach the group agreed it was about time to go.
Most of us had packed some food and snacks from the cruise ship, but some croissants and fruit just don’t tackle the hunger of a beach trip. So, we rode in our taxi van back to the port. We took a quick swing through the local town – not worth stopping in – and then ventured back to the boat. What a tiring day!! And yet, there was more…it was only about 4pm. Our first stop was, of course, the cafeteria for some food. Then, it was time to rest in our room for a bit.
This evening Bryan and I had a date night! Dad and Mom took Zoe while Bethany and Stefan took Avi….I think they mostly all hung out together, though. Bryan and I went to the Sushi bar! On Norwegain, the ‘freestyle’ dining also means there are restaurants on the boat that aren’t completely included in the price of the cruise….they have extra charges. It’s actually a bit irritating to have things that are and aren’t included. But, the prices at the sushi bar were not bad and it was really tasty. So nice to have time alone with Bryan. We also went to the piano bar called Gatsby’s to listen to the “Carpenters Tribute”. It was a funny sing along in a cool little hangout between a few other restaurants. The highlight of the evening was seeing the show Duo Amaury in the Stardust theater. It was a dancy acrobatic show – a couple who do all kinds of crazy stunts hanging from a rope or fabric or a hoop. We thought about also going to the hypnosis show, but decided we were too tired an headed to bed. So nice to have a kid-free room tonight. Hopefully Avi doesn’t keep Bethany and Stefan up too much. Not worried about Zoe – she sleeps like a log.