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Advice to Cruise Shippers Coming to Roatan

Dear Cruise Shipper,

Congratulations! You are about to disembark on the lovely island of Roatan. First, let me tell you a bit about where you are. Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands, a series of 8 islands off the northeastern coast of Honduras. The Bay Islands are owned by Honduras, so the national language here is Spanish, the currency is called the Lempira, and the flag is blue and white. The Bay Islands, however, were a British colony and therefore English is widely spoken by its residents. That makes it easy for you to get around! The island is about 40 miles long and only about 5 miles wide at its widest. There are several small towns and villages to see, with a blend of cultures and influences from around the world.

You, dear Cruise Shipper, should leave the port. I know, I know. You’ve received warnings from friends, family, the U.S. State Department, and your own cruise ship about how dangerous Honduras is and how you’ll likely be killed should you dare to venture out alone. You also have a warning on your coffee cup that says it’s hot. And a warning on electrical appliances that says electricity can shock you. Those warnings don’t deter you from drinking coffee nor plugging in your laptop, do they? If they do, we need to have an entirely different and much longer conversation.

Assuming you live your life in the danger zone, drinking coffee and utilizing outlets as needed, you should leave the port. Yes, I know. There’s a bar blasting Toby Keith and a shop selling diamonds at the port. Let me fill you in on a little secret: neither of those things are native to Honduras. So if you want to listen to Toby Keith while guzzling a watered down margarita, I suggest attending a countryfest concert back home and saving yourself several hundred dollars on the transportation to a gorgeous Caribbean island. If you want to buy diamonds, go to your local Kay Jewelers at the mall instead of venturing to an island where the diamonds are imported and not at all representative of the local culture.

If you are leaving home to take a vacation somewhere else, go see that place. Don’t hide behind the curly straw in your 18 inch pink plastic cup claiming that you’re just enjoying your vacation. Don’t be scared. Go out and learn something. Open your eyes to see a different culture. Ask questions. Explore a new area. Try local food and drink. I guarantee your stories will be richer and far more interesting when you return home if you can talk about the actual places you visited and the people you met rather than how many overly expensive watered down cocktails you managed to guzzle in some random tropical location you can’t even remember.

So, dear cruise shipper, please leave the port. Be adventurous! Dare yourself to explore. Bring home experiences rather than plastic shot glasses. There is so much to see in the world and there are so many things to learn. Taking a cruise that stops in three different countries in three days allows you to expose yourself to three different cultures and so many amazing experiences. Take full advantage of this tapas-style form of travel and try a little of everything.


Every Caribbean Island That Welcomes Cruise Ships But Sees Most People Stay At The Port For Some Crazy Reason