Last week, I joined a group for a beach outing while ashore during the port stop of my Royal Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas. We zipped over to Maya Key, a mere five-minute ferry ride from the port area. Maya Key operations manager Cindy Carter, a transplant to Roatan from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., says 98 percent of the resort's visitors come from cruise ships.
We caught a day at private island retreat on a gloriously blue-skied and sunny day. When is it not like that in Roatan, I suppose. I expected that it would be the typical cruisers' beach day that I had experienced many times before:
Meaning, a bus ride to a beach. "There’s your lounger, there's the beach, there's the water, here's your drink ticket. Have a fun time."
Don't get me wrong. Those types of beach outings have been cool, too. Plenty of snorkeling, and they typically come with a nice lunch.
But the experience at Maya Key offered a few nice additional activities for visitors. Some required added fees, and you can typically design your group's outing to include everything you want to do.
You can also hike along the resorts garden paths. The whole facility is a wild animal rescue preserve, and we were treated to a tour that showed off exotic species like jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, toucans, macaws and a baby crocodile. Maya Key also offers sea lion and shark and stingray experiences, in which you jump in and swim with the creatures.
You can explore the Mayan ruins and interpretive center which sits amid the acres of lush tropical gardens enveloping the facility. The resort also features a large swimming pool and lounge area as well as a bar and grill. We chowed down on a buffet-style lunch of delicious, spicy Honduran food, including rice, chicken and fish.
I very much recommend checking out Maya Key for a day ashore the next time you're in Roatan.
Till next time, thanks for reading and travel happy.