242200_10150291677863082_4609966_oWhen someone says they are going to Honduras different images appear in my mind.  First and foremost images of Mission trips pop up.  Where church groups went to Honduras and helped build churches or homes,5074995_1435284524.3162  or taught vacation bible school to young children or even brought reading glasses and medical supplies. Unknown

But when we went to Honduras lately it was a magical place that was built by Carnival Cruise Lines for their customers.

IMG_5439Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras 

Let me explain.  Roatán is an island in the Caribbean off the northern coast of Honduras. It is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras.


Mahogany Bay was built by Carnival Corporation, so there is plenty to do right at the port. How does the saying go? “Build It – They Will Come”  Carnival needed a place to dock so they built it and while they were at it they added a few stores and then a couple more and then how about a restaurant, oh let’s add chair lifts so no one has to walk, hey but if they want to walk, let’s make a really pretty nature walk with lots of flowers and plants.  And that folks is just what they did. There is a man-made beach within walking distance. There are a few bars and restaurants at the beach, but only one closer to the ships: Fat Tuesdays.

There are all the standard shops at the port, including Diamonds International (or Tanzanite International), Harley Davidson, a pharmacy, and several smaller local gift shops and specialty stalls. There is a zipline canopy tour at the port, as well as an ATV tour.

Once you disembark at Mahogany Bay, you will walk along the pier, through the Dufry Store, and uphill to the main shopping area. There is a local marketplace to the far left, while the chairlift and path to the beach and restaurants are to the far right. Diagonally to the left from the central fountain is a red-roofed building – that is your exit point from the port.IMG_5440

If you take a shore excursion or arrange for your own taxi transportation through the sanctioned taxi association at the port, you will exit through that building. To meet any other tours or transportation pick-ups, you will exit that building, walk to the left uphill, and at the bottom on the other side you will find all other tour options. These are tour companies or individuals who do not have contracts with the cruise lines, so they are not allowed onto the pier. Most SCUBA divers will be picked up from this area, as well as island tour companies that work with smaller groups.  I normally use Carnival to book my excursions so everything is covered, but there has been the rare occasions that I have ventured off course and used different sources.  In these instances I recommend researching the company throughly before booking.  Ask all the “what if” questions and be satisfied with the answers.


New Orleans Parking

New Orleans is a popular port for most of my clients.  Due to it being a 6-8 hour driving trip from Arkansas.  But there is always the “where to leave your car” question.  We have used the Julia Street and Erato Street Terminals and Fulton Street Garage for parking.

Fulton Place Parking


This garage is a couple of blocks from the cruise terminal.  You park your vehicle and take your luggage to the bus, where you will be transferred to the cruise terminal.  Once at the cruise terminal, your luggage (with your luggage tags on and secure) will be taken by Carnival Porters.  You will not see this luggage again until you are in your room.  (usually 4-6 hours).

I’ll stop there and add that you should pack all valuables, medications and possibly your swimsuit or shorts in a carry on so that you will have once on board.

Erato or Julia Street Terminal Parking


Which terminal you use will be determined by where your ship is docked.  This information will be on your cruise boarding passes.  On either of these terminals you will pull into the garage first level, where  Carnival porters will come to your vehicle and take your luggage (again make sure your luggage tags are on and secure).  Once your luggage is taken you will be directed to drive on into the garage and park.  Remember your parking spot.  I text the floor and car spot to myself or you can take a photo so you can look back for your spot number.


Fulton cost $83.40 for a 7 day cruise

Erato/Julia cost $20 per day – $140 for a 7 day cruise

Fulton takes longer to get to the check in process.

Erato/Julia is easier and quicker.  You don’t have to handle your luggage at all when checking in and when returning from your cruise it is a short walk and elevator service back to your vehicle.

Fulton you have to handle your luggage from your vehicle to the bus which could be several floors away.  Your luggage is then loaded in the back of the bus and transported with you to the terminal where you have to claim your luggage and then transfer to the Carnival Porters for check in.   On returning from your cruise you have to claim your luggage in the warehouse area (this is when you choose not to handle your luggage yourself) or if you opted for Self-Assist you will leave your stateroom with your luggage and continue to Customs.  Either way once you are off the ship and through customs you take your luggage to a separate loading area to board a bus and return to the garage where your vehicle is.


it is customary but not mandatory to tip your porter that handles your luggage.  We usually tip $1 per piece of luggage per person.