Posted May 6th, 2005, 12:18 PM
My mom, sister and I were on the NCL Sea last week and stopped in Roatan. We booked with RoosMarie via El Rancho Barrio Dorcas. We had a great time! I just havent had time yet to post my review of Barrio Dorcas (you know how the week after a vacation at work is
Anyway, we booked the 2 1/2 hr extended lava horse tour and it was great! Everything went very smoothly. We walked right off the pier and across the street where we were met by Conway. Instead of having us wait around for the second group of people that were also coming (our tour had I believe 7 customers, plus our tour guide, Shirkie, and Roos Marie came too which was a treat!), so Conway put us in a cab while he waited for the other group and off we went to meet Shirkie and get situated with the horses!
There have been posts on some of the boards about horses at the various ports being "under nourished" and "skinny", but these horses were in great shape. I'll note that my mom and sister are tiny thin women, and just as way of example that the horses WERE healthy, I'll state that I am a "plus, plus size woman" and the horse did just great carrying me and my rear!
Anyway, it was a great ride! We rode along the roads for a bit, getting a first hand look at Roatan in all its glory, the good and the bad, which was very enlightening. Then we made our way to the beach, and it was VERY cool getting to ride along splashing a bit through the water and along the beach! Then we worked are way through gorgeous lush vegetation and forest-like things and even got to see through the trees some of the people riding the Zip lines or Canopy Tours or whatever they are called. It was a great trip! Since my family booked the extended and the others the regular tour, they turned off at Fosters beach and we continued on to the lava part, where we got off and walked around and took some AMAZING pictures! (Which, I will gladly post the link so you can see some of our horseback riding pictures... as soon as I figure out one of those online photo albums
It might take awhile!)
Shirkie was an amazing tour guide! Very friendly and personable and so sweet and knowledgable. I was beyond frightened about getting on the horse (I've rode a horse before, but never at the large size I am currently at), so I was worried if I would be able to do it and what not. No problems at all, and I really enjoyed it! Shirkie made sure I was comfortable and went out of his way to help me on and off the horse, which I really appreciated! My mom and sister of course had no problems getting on or off their horses, which of course made me a little jealous
The other group of people that were on the tour (It's only been a week and I am horrified that I have already forgotten their names! eeeek!) were very friendly and we all got along great. As I mentioned, Roos Marie along with Shirkie and Conway run El Rancho Barrio Dorcas and Roos Marie came along on our ride, along with her fabulous dogs (I'm serious, these dogs were awesome! It was like they were keeping track of us all on the horses and keep watch of Roos Marie to make sure she was safe. They were VERY cool dogs!), and it was great having Roos Marie out with us, she shared info and answered all of our (sometimes silly) questions that we would ask, and the whole thing was just a blast!
After the tour, they took us back to Fosters Beach and a soft drink was included at the bar/restaurant for us. We spent some time lounging and walking around the beach area, but there had been some reports of Sand Flies (Sand Lice?) (I cant remember the terminology!) the day prior at this particular spot, so we decided not to go in the water at that moment. Which was fine, because we still had our "Horse legs" and the rear was a bit sore from using muscles it wasnt used to
Sorry, this has gotten long! Just wanted to let you know that we did the horseback riding and had a great time and the whole thing was very organized and a great value IMO! New riders can do it, Shirkie will take care of you, as well as experienced riders, I think it is great for everyone!
And like I said, as soon as I figure out my online photo album, I'll paste the link so you all can see some pics
Royal Caribbean (CocoCay, Nassau, Key West) 7/02
Carnival-Ecstasy (Ensenada, Catalina Island) 1/04
Celebrity-Century (San Juan, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Nassau) 10/30/04
NCL -Norwegian Sea (Cozumel, Roatan, Belize City, Cancun) 4/23/05
Princess - Caribbean Princess (Princess Cays, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel) 10/21/06
Royal Caribbean - Vision of the Seas (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta) 3/04/07
Carnival - Carnival Spirit (Acapulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo) 11/22/07
HAL - Westerdam (Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman) 04/13/08
Carnival-Glory (Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Freeport) 11/29/08
NCL -Pearl (Seattle, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchican, Victoria) 8/30/09
Princess - Caribbean Princess (San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, St. Kitts, Barbados) 10/31/10
Carnival-Glory (Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Grand Cayman) 11/13/2011
Carnival-Valor (Grand Turk, Dominica Republic, Curacao, Aruba) 10/13/2012
Carnival-Conquest (Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan) 01/12/2014
Royal Caribbean-Allure of the Seas (Nassau, St. Maarten, St. Thomas) 09/28/2014
Carnival-Freedom (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan) 02/17/2017