Missing Roatan

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#1
13 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
How often does the port of Roatan get missed on cruises? We will be there on June 29 and I have heard there is a chance the ship won't be able to dock. We missed Cayman Islands due to high seas on our last cruise and I am hoping this won't happen.
#2
Dallas, TX
1,207 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by Whirlwind Cruiser
How often does the port of Roatan get missed on cruises? We will be there on June 29 and I have heard there is a chance the ship won't be able to dock. We missed Cayman Islands due to high seas on our last cruise and I am hoping this won't happen.
We missed Roatan once, but it was because we were fog delayed in Galveston...not due to any local problem in Roatan. Going to try to get there again this December. Good luck!
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#3
Virginia
235 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Whirlwind Cruiser
How often does the port of Roatan get missed on cruises? We will be there on June 29 and I have heard there is a chance the ship won't be able to dock. We missed Cayman Islands due to high seas on our last cruise and I am hoping this won't happen.
I think it partially depends on what ship you are on. Last November, we were on the Dream and couldn't dock at Roatan, but the Valor was able to make the port the same day. My theory is that smaller ships have a better chance of being able to back in to Mahogany Bay than the larger ones.
-coasterjan
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Previously sailed:
Carnival Conquest - Apr 2016
Freedom of the Seas - Nov 2015
Carnival Splendor - May 2015
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Grandeur of the Seas - May 2014
Carnival Dream - Nov 2013
Carnival Valor - May 2013
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Caribbean Princess - Nov 2009
Carnival Triumph -May 2009
Carnival Glory - Nov 2008
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#4
Orlando, FL
489 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by coasterjan
I think it partially depends on what ship you are on. Last November, we were on the Dream and couldn't dock at Roatan, but the Valor was able to make the port the same day. My theory is that smaller ships have a better chance of being able to back in to Mahogany Bay than the larger ones.
-coasterjan
I think storms deposit sediment in the harbor and make it too shallow for some ships. They had a dredge there last week before the Dream docked.
#5
IL
247 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We missed Roatan in 2011 and I was really bummed so I did some research (here on CC and other places).

Because the port is new and has recently been dredged (seems to be continual) it isn't your normal port. It is very narrow and ships have to back in (at least this is what happened with the Crown Princess) and if the winds are too high, it isn't safe to thread that needle. That being said, on our 2011 trip, they said the undertows were swirling too strong to attempt to tender us in so we missed out all together.

This year, the winds were strong but Captain Proctor turned us back out to sea where we waited a bit (less than an hour) and we were able to dock.

It is a beautiful island and we just happened to catch them during rainy season.
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#6
Tallahassee , FL
13,552 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Whirlwind Cruiser
How often does the port of Roatan get missed on cruises? We will be there on June 29 and I have heard there is a chance the ship won't be able to dock. We missed Cayman Islands due to high seas on our last cruise and I am hoping this won't happen.
So what ship are you on? If your ship docks in Coxen Hole like NCL ships, you shouldn't miss Roatan unless there's a huge storm. If your ship is a Carnival or Princess ship and docks at Mahogany Bay, smaller ships usually make this. Bigger ships, like Carnival Dream or Magic, may or may not.
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#7
Maryland
4,553 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We were just on Oceania's Marina (medium ship - 1250 pax) and made it easily to Mahogany Bay. There was also another ship there when we docked (German - AidaUra or something like that - looked to be about the size of Marina). We DID back in, as did the German ship. I don't know how often ships "miss," but I would guess you'll make it. Of course, the weather was pretty calm when we were there, so who knows.....and yes, they WERE dredging there when we were there, by the way.

I assume you know that there are 2 docking locations for Roatan-Mahogany Bay and the other one (Coxen Hole? I forget). Both locations have web sites for the port, so you can check which location you're scheduled to go into. Of course, docking locations sometimes change.....and sometimes web sites are wrong. I found that the Marina was listed for both Mahogany and the other port! I called Oceania and they told me Mahogany, and that was what it ended up being. I only mention this in case you're planning your day, especially if you line up a tour on your own and need to tell the tour operator where to meet you. In Mahogany, you often have to meet the tour operator about 5-10 minutes down the road, outside the port area, as the ones who book on-line apparently aren't allowed to come into the port.

By the way, we once missed Grand Turk due to rough seas. This time, we were a little afraid of missing Grand Cayman, as the seas were pretty rough, and the Captain said it might be iffy, especially with the tendering. We did, luckily, make it.
#9
Maryland
4,553 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by Whirlwind Cruiser
We will be arriving on June 29 on Carnival Conquest. I think it is supposed to dock in Mahogany Bay. We have a private tour with Victor Boggen booked. I am hoping we can tender.
If Victor Bodden is like Captain Van's (we rented a motorcycle - a little scary, but my husband loved it), they won't charge you if the ship doesn't make it. Unless Bodden is allowed inside the port, you'll need to walk through a duty free area and then some outside shops until you get to a gate which marks the area outside the terminal area at Mahogany. You'll see a dinky ziplining place outside, and I believe you turn left and walk up/down the road until you see cars and people holding signs. Captain Van's emailed me specific instructions, and it was pretty easy to find their rep. It took maybe 10 minutes from when I got off the ship. Early on, you do NOT want to follow signs to the beach or nature trail, which will take you to the man-made beach area close to where you dock. When we were brought back at the end of the day, Captain Van's was allowed to take us right up to the terminal gate, so things were a bit easier.

By the way, perhaps Carnival tenders at Mahogany because of their size, but our ship simply backed into one of the berths at one of the docks there, as did the German ship. We only had to walk off the ship and into the duty free shop, which marked the beginning of the shops at the terminal. In any case, I suppose you'll end up at the same shop. Have your ship ID ready when you come back - they DO check IDs when you leave the shop and walk out into the pier area.
#10
Tallahassee , FL
13,552 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Whirlwind Cruiser
We will be arriving on June 29 on Carnival Conquest. I think it is supposed to dock in Mahogany Bay. We have a private tour with Victor Boggen booked. I am hoping we can tender.
Victor, and any othe rprivate vendore for that matter, will know before you know if your ship is in or not. Very good about handling refunds, if required.

Originally posted by roothy123
By the way, perhaps Carnival tenders at Mahogany because of their size, but our ship simply backed into one of the berths at one of the docks there, as did the German ship. We only had to walk off the ship and into the duty free shop, which marked the beginning of the shops at the terminal. In any case, I suppose you'll end up at the same shop. Have your ship ID ready when you come back - they DO check IDs when you leave the shop and walk out into the pier area.
No ship "tenders" in Mahogany Bay, too shallow and narrow in the cove, and no protected harbor with depth to anchor along that section. Never more than 2 ships scheduled at a time. Ships back in because it's easier under normal tidal conditions to arrive aft and depart bow. Carnival will on occassion use Coxen Hole dock is it's empty. But not always. In the past, on rare occassions where two ships are scheduled for Coxen Hole, the later arrivial will tender there.
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#11
608 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
We just returned from a stop in Roatan. We were on Celebrity and docked in Coxen Hole. A HAL ship was supposed to dock in Mahogany Bay but sailed away instead. A Carnival ship later docked at MB. An NCL ship anchored off Coxen Hole and tendered. It was a very windy day, which our driver told us was why the HAL ship couldn't dock. It later calmed down a bit, which I guess is why the Carnival ship was able to dock.
#12
16,370 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
If Roatan is a MUST stop for you, don't book a Carnival or Princess cruise. Size of ship no matter. Since the Costa disaster ( part of Carnival's holdings) our Princess waiter said it has become kind of a joke among the crew, betting on how many circles their ship will make before canceling the stop. They are just being extra careful...and only stopping when conditions are perfect... which is good for all of us. More stops have been aborted than in the past.


Book with Celebrity and any other lines using Coxen Hole which is a real port...not man made Carnival owned spot.

Or even better...book a land trip! Well worth that.
#13
Trussville, AL
971 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by Whirlwind Cruiser
We will be arriving on June 29 on Carnival Conquest. I think it is supposed to dock in Mahogany Bay. We have a private tour with Victor Boggen booked. I am hoping we can tender.
We are also on the Conquest that week. I think it is actually June 27 though and not the 29th. We are so excited!! We ate planning a Victor Bodden "Best of Roatan" tour for the 2 of us.
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#14
Idaho
94 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by MamallamaAndDaddy
We are also on the Conquest that week. I think it is actually June 27 though and not the 29th. We are so excited!! We ate planning a Victor Bodden "Best of Roatan" tour for the 2 of us.
I am on the Carnival Dream and it is also scheduled to be in port on the 27th.
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#15
Trussville, AL
971 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by Ninja Jo
I am on the Carnival Dream and it is also scheduled to be in port on the 27th.
I am looking forward to seeing the Dream up close. I wish Carnival would let cruisers visit sister ships while in port together. It'd be a cool way to compare ships. I hope we make Roatan and not miss it due to seas or wind etc.
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Chris and Laura

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#18
East Texas
760 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by roothy123
Yes, I was. Feel free to email me privately on howardruthalliejoey@gmail.com with questions! We were on Marina this past Feb. You may also want to check my pictures at www.pbase.com/roothy123
Ruth, I thoroughly enjoyed viewing your photos of your adventure! I can see you are a 'traveler' & not just a tourist!

I am going to Belize, Roatan & Cozumel in Sept. on the Carnival Magic, & hope to capture some of the local flavor through my lens also!
#19
Maryland
4,553 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by cerabella
Ruth, I thoroughly enjoyed viewing your photos of your adventure! I can see you are a 'traveler' & not just a tourist!

I am going to Belize, Roatan & Cozumel in Sept. on the Carnival Magic, & hope to capture some of the local flavor through my lens also!
Thanks; I work hard at my photography, and trip planning, too! It's kind of funny, though, I'm not usually a big people photographer, but one of my favorite pictures from the trip was the closeup of the girl's face with fuzzy green background. I was on a boat on a tour, with my long lens on my camera, when girls in a dugout came up to the boat to sell shell necklaces. I didn't have time to change my lens but wanted a picture, and quickly snapped one. It's really close up, and the background is blurred, and while the sun was really blazing away, it turned out great.

Hope you enjoy your trip. Belize City is a pretty rough and tumble place (but some good photo opps of people); Roatan was laid back and seemed genuine; Cozumel didn't do much for me, but I still had fun there. I always do.
#20
East Texas
760 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by roothy123
Thanks; I work hard at my photography, and trip planning, too! It's kind of funny, though, I'm not usually a big people photographer, but one of my favorite pictures from the trip was the closeup of the girl's face with fuzzy green background. I was on a boat on a tour, with my long lens on my camera, when girls in a dugout came up to the boat to sell shell necklaces. I didn't have time to change my lens but wanted a picture, and quickly snapped one. It's really close up, and the background is blurred, and while the sun was really blazing away, it turned out great.

Hope you enjoy your trip. Belize City is a pretty rough and tumble place (but some good photo opps of people); Roatan was laid back and seemed genuine; Cozumel didn't do much for me, but I still had fun there. I always do.
Love the up close & personal photo of the cute girl!

Been to Belize once, Cozumel at least a dozen times, never Roatan...hoping the Carnival Magic will be able to dock there...grrr...

But, like you, I think 1/2 the fun (well maybe 1/8) is planning & wishing, & planning & .....