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Trujillo-Banana Coast, Honduras


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Wow, I'm sending them a note - who can afford $15pp...we're a group of 11 and we have budgeted $25 r/t per cab. They communicated that the taxi fare was $8 - $10 each way. No reference to per person. I've never known a cab to charge pp so I never questioned it. I'll keep you posted.

 

Nancy

 

I'll be following what you find out. My daughter is the one who was billed $15 pp RT. We are a group of six adults and she arranged transportation with Larry a month or so ago. He just sent her the $92 + invoice (w/ PayPal fees) and I guess in my mind I had been thinking $15 a couple. We are now anxiously waiting to hear about taxi fares from the people who went this week, go next, etc. It's crazy to pay almost as much to travel less than 8 miles as it is to spend the day at their resort.

 

Linda

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I just got an email from Tranquillity Bay. They said the boat transportation was $15 per person round trip. It avoids the "congestion" thru the city. We are there on the first two ship day, so I think I'm willing to pay for the boat transportation (4 people).

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I just got an email from Tranquillity Bay. They said the boat transportation was $15 per person round trip. It avoids the "congestion" thru the city. We are there on the first two ship day, so I think I'm willing to pay for the boat transportation (4 people).

You're actually on the second two-ship day. We're on the first (11/15 sailing, 11/19 in Trujillo). :) The original poster you may have seen and the Banana Coast website were incorrect. (The website calendar still hasn't been fixed.) Regardless, it will certainly be worth it to some to avoid the crowds. I don't know what our family will do. I probably ought to email Larry and find out what our options are.

Edited by The Mister
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I just got an email from Tranquillity Bay. They said the boat transportation was $15 per person round trip. It avoids the "congestion" thru the city. We are there on the first two ship day, so I think I'm willing to pay for the boat transportation (4 people).

 

I initially over reacted to $15pp, however; after receiving an email response from Tranquility Bay Beach Retreat, I have a better understanding of what is transpiring at the port. Larry & Linda had to come up with a means to transport their guests. The port is enforcing taxi licensing and safety standards, thus limited availability and limited taxis allowed into the port area. It is rumored that taxi fares have doubled when the cruise ships are in port, thus the $8 to $10 one-way fare is now $16 - $20 fare for the 3.5 mile journey. Greedy cabbies, would you agree? Also, the cabs are 4-person at best. The cruise ships began arriving this week, so over time the port may be better prepared for cruise ship guests - right now they're ironing out all the bugs, options are limited and it also appears price gouging is taking place. As the market for private excursions and transportation expands, it may become more competitive and reasonably priced. Until that time, it looks like we have a choice in this poverty stricken area - pay the toll or stay on the ship. Do I like it, no!!!

Edited by Grand & Nana
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Greedy cabbies, would you agree?

I certainly don't blame you for that initial reaction. We're conditioned to think that way, and I'm certainly not immune to such thoughts. However, beyond that initial gut reaction, as I sit here in middle-class American suburbia, typing on my employer-provided laptop, etc., I have a tough time accusing any ordinary citizen who is trying to rise above poverty in an incredibly impoverished country of "greed" without feeling a bit guilty.

 

I do agree with you that eventually market forces will bring some regularity to the rates.

As the market for private excursions and transportation expands, it may become more competitive and reasonably priced.

Or maybe they'll figure out a way to regulate it and have a fixed schedule like in Cozumel. :)

Until that time, it looks like we have a choice in this poverty stricken area - pay the toll or stay on the ship. Do I like it, no!!!

I'm happy to pay the toll. (I suppose it helps that we got a really great rate on our cabin.:))

Edited by The Mister
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I certainly don't blame you for that initial reaction. We're conditioned to think that way, and I'm certainly not immune to such thoughts. However, beyond that initial gut reaction, as I sit here in middle-class American suburbia, typing on my employer-provided laptop, etc., I have a tough time accusing any ordinary citizen who is trying to rise above poverty in an incredibly impoverished country of "greed" without feeling a bit guilty.

 

I do agree with you that eventually market forces will bring some regularity to the rates.

 

Or maybe they'll figure out a way to regulate it and have a fixed schedule like in Cozumel. :)

 

I'm happy to pay the toll. (I suppose it helps that we got a really great rate on our cabin.:))

 

Although we appear to (all) be on the same page - I wanted to share a reply I received from Linda (owner of Tranquility Bay Beach Retreat):

 

The introduction of the cruise port has already brought progress to this very poor town. Hurricane Mitch wiped out, not only trees and houses, but the very heart of the people here. Already roads have improved, English classes are being held in town, houses repaired and painted, doctors and nurses from the ship visited schools yesterday , the women's coop called "Made in Honduras" sold $300 worth of merchandise and many people have been hired in the restaurants and to help with tours. Our two ladies who did massages were over the moon with excitement. I asked our staff here, who are part of the finest catholic family here, what they think of the cruise port. They immediately responded that it was "good and will provide many opportunities for our family." Louisa's sister, Biddy, is working for me here every Wednesday. In return, I have paid her daughters tuition for college.

 

So, on to the next topic. I met Mr. Jorgenson in town today and asked for the scoop on the taxis.

 

Here we go;

 

Ok any taxi driver who wished to have passage into the cruise port was advised to attend a meeting and training session. Port officials needed to know that the drivers held a drivers license, spoke some English, were of sound character, and had a car in good repair and had their picture taken and wore identification. Normal stuff. Not one showed up. They held another session. Not one showed up. So, there were NO taxis inside the port. The street outside the port was full of press, locals, dignitaries and staff. If anyone could find a taxi, they would have had to go up a few streets. I am not sure why or what the issue is with the taxis.

 

My next question was. " ok so if people are not able to catch a cab right in the port, how are people going to know what prices are and how can we protect them from getting ripped off. mr. Jorgenson then stated that NEXT Week the rates will be posted inside the port.

 

They will be $2.00 per person around town

 

$5.00 per person outside of town and I am sure they will want a full cab as well.

 

So taking a cab to and from our resort will cost $10 per person round trip.

 

Regarding our service, we had so many that were so concerned about personal safety, problems on the road , lack of Spanish, and the growing pains of a brand new experience in a third world country that has NEVER even experienced the arrival of a cruise ship, we felt our best option was the boat. It went perfectly. Regarding our rates. We set our prices below the other private bus rates. However, we do know how costly it is travelling with children. We will now offer children two and under basically in mothers arms FREE and children under12 half price. Hope this will help the budget a bit.

 

I hope the info I've shared will give you a better understanding of the challenges of this new port.

 

Nancy

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I am just back from the 10/11 Jewel sailing, so we have now experienced Trujillo firsthand! Some of our experiences are going to be unusual, because there was a HUGE amount of fanfare over our arrival - getting off the "tender boats" (more on that later), we were greeted by a red carpet type experience - photographers, media, lots of locals clapping and cheering. It was cool! I didn't see this, but apparently, the VP of Honduras came and there was a ceremony with the captain of the Jewel. So, we certainly felt welcomed!

 

The town itself is charming. We felt like we were getting to experience authentic Honduras, as there weren't any of the usual tourist trap places - no Margaritavilles or Diamond Internationals to be found (yet... I'm sure it's only a matter of time. We enjoyed that aspect of the stop, but if you are the sort of traveler who seeks out the familiar, you won't find it here). There was a shopping area that you had to walk through upon disembarkation, but it was at least half empty. We didn't spend too much time there, but prices seemed reasonable.

 

Outside of the gates, there were LOTS of locals, both Honduran and ex-pat, who were offering tours of various sorts. We had already booked with Victor Bodden, so we didn't pay close attention to what they were offering. Friends of ours met an American and paid him $150 for their group of 8 (4 adults, 4 kids) to do a driving tour of the city (they said he was very informative) and then they went to his house, which was up on the mountain overlooking the bay for drinks and snacks. The tour we booked with Victor Bodden was the lagoon and mangroves boat tour, and it was... rustic! The boat itself was in good shape, although it didn't look like much, but the seats were uncomfortable, there were not enough life jackets (EEK!), and the tour guide did not speak much English, so not so much with the "guide" part. Victor was there in Trujillo, and after the trip was over, he asked us for our feedback. He was very responsive, and knowing his reputation, I am sure he'll get the kinks worked out quickly. This was a common theme among people we talked to about their experiences in Trujillo - things were less than ideal, but everyone was very friendly and wanting feedback about how to make it better. Oh, and prices were quite reasonable everywhere we went - food, drinks, local products. I didn't feel like they were trying to rip us off.

 

Oh.. and the tender boats. There were none! This is another thing that I'm sure will be operational sooner rather than later, but there were no local tender boats, so we tendered in on the lifeboats from the Jewel! Definitely a unique experience!

 

Overall, we really enjoyed our day in Trujillo, but I do think it is important to keep an open mind and realize that they are trying to figure things out from their end just as much as we are from ours.

Edited by TowerOrchard
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I am just back from the 10/11 Jewel sailing, so we have now experienced Trujillo firsthand! Some of our experiences are going to be unusual, because there was a HUGE amount of fanfare over our arrival - getting off the "tender boats" (more on that later), we were greeted by a red carpet type experience - photographers, media, lots of locals clapping and cheering. It was cool! I didn't see this, but apparently, the VP of Honduras came and there was a ceremony with the captain of the Jewel. So, we certainly felt welcomed!

 

The town itself is charming. We felt like we were getting to experience authentic Honduras, as there weren't any of the usual tourist trap places - no Margaritavilles or Diamond Internationals to be found (yet... I'm sure it's only a matter of time. We enjoyed that aspect of the stop, but if you are the sort of traveler who seeks out the familiar, you won't find it here). There was a shopping area that you had to walk through upon disembarkation, but it was at least half empty. We didn't spend too much time there, but prices seemed reasonable.

 

Outside of the gates, there were LOTS of locals, both Honduran and ex-pat, who were offering tours of various sorts. We had already booked with Victor Bodden, so we didn't pay close attention to what they were offering. Friends of ours met an American and paid him $150 for their group of 8 (4 adults, 4 kids) to do a driving tour of the city (they said he was very informative) and then they went to his house, which was up on the mountain overlooking the bay for drinks and snacks. The tour we booked with Victor Bodden was the lagoon and mangroves boat tour, and it was... rustic! The boat itself was in good shape, although it didn't look like much, but the seats were uncomfortable, there were not enough life jackets (EEK!), and the tour guide did not speak much English, so not so much with the "guide" part. Victor was there in Trujillo, and after the trip was over, he asked us for our feedback. He was very responsive, and knowing his reputation, I am sure he'll get the kinks worked out quickly. This was a common theme among people we talked to about their experiences in Trujillo - things were less than ideal, but everyone was very friendly and wanting feedback about how to make it better. Oh, and prices were quite reasonable everywhere we went - food, drinks, local products. I didn't feel like they were trying to rip us off.

 

Oh.. and the tender boats. There were none! This is another thing that I'm sure will be operational sooner rather than later, but there were no local tender boats, so we tendered in on the lifeboats from the Jewel! Definitely a unique experience!

 

Overall, we really enjoyed our day in Trujillo, but I do think it is important to keep an open mind and realize that they are trying to figure things out from their end just as much as we are from ours.

Thanks for sharing all the info. Tendering in on the lifeboat - wow. We leave in 13 days and are looking forward to the new port.

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I am just back from the 10/11 Jewel sailing, so we have now experienced Trujillo firsthand! Some of our experiences are going to be unusual, because there was a HUGE amount of fanfare over our arrival - getting off the "tender boats" (more on that later), we were greeted by a red carpet type experience - photographers, media, lots of locals clapping and cheering. It was cool! I didn't see this, but apparently, the VP of Honduras came and there was a ceremony with the captain of the Jewel. So, we certainly felt welcomed!

 

The town itself is charming. We felt like we were getting to experience authentic Honduras, as there weren't any of the usual tourist trap places - no Margaritavilles or Diamond Internationals to be found (yet... I'm sure it's only a matter of time. We enjoyed that aspect of the stop, but if you are the sort of traveler who seeks out the familiar, you won't find it here). There was a shopping area that you had to walk through upon disembarkation, but it was at least half empty. We didn't spend too much time there, but prices seemed reasonable.

 

Outside of the gates, there were LOTS of locals, both Honduran and ex-pat, who were offering tours of various sorts. We had already booked with Victor Bodden, so we didn't pay close attention to what they were offering. Friends of ours met an American and paid him $150 for their group of 8 (4 adults, 4 kids) to do a driving tour of the city (they said he was very informative) and then they went to his house, which was up on the mountain overlooking the bay for drinks and snacks. The tour we booked with Victor Bodden was the lagoon and mangroves boat tour, and it was... rustic! The boat itself was in good shape, although it didn't look like much, but the seats were uncomfortable, there were not enough life jackets (EEK!), and the tour guide did not speak much English, so not so much with the "guide" part. Victor was there in Trujillo, and after the trip was over, he asked us for our feedback. He was very responsive, and knowing his reputation, I am sure he'll get the kinks worked out quickly. This was a common theme among people we talked to about their experiences in Trujillo - things were less than ideal, but everyone was very friendly and wanting feedback about how to make it better. Oh, and prices were quite reasonable everywhere we went - food, drinks, local products. I didn't feel like they were trying to rip us off.

 

Oh.. and the tender boats. There were none! This is another thing that I'm sure will be operational sooner rather than later, but there were no local tender boats, so we tendered in on the lifeboats from the Jewel! Definitely a unique experience!

 

Overall, we really enjoyed our day in Trujillo, but I do think it is important to keep an open mind and realize that they are trying to figure things out from their end just as much as we are from ours.

 

Thanks for the great information. We also booked this tour with Victor. Hopefully by December he'll have all the bugs worked out.

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I've been on quite a few cruises that require tendering in, including Belize this last April, and I've never been on a lifeboat. Guess I haven't been to the right ports.

 

Some of the agreements the cruise lines have with the ports require using the port's tenders if they have them. Some use both, and some use only the ship's lifeboats.

 

Belize uses their tenders because they are much faster and the ride is a long one.

Edited by swedish weave
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I've been on quite a few cruises that require tendering in, including Belize this last April, and I've never been on a lifeboat. Guess I haven't been to the right ports.

Same here! This is the 5th port I have been to that required tenders, and I have never seen lifeboats used before.

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Same here! This is the 5th port I have been to that required tenders, and I have never seen lifeboats used before.

 

Alaska ports frequently use the lifeboats. In fact, I don't know if it is done any other way in Sitka. Maybe this isn't as common in the Caribbean?

Thanks for your info on your cruise. We will be leaving in a few week.

 

Jules

Edited by JJinAK
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I have been communicated via social media with some folks that live in Trujillo. Here is a message that I received today.:

 

Tanya, I am writing from Trujillo to give you the cruise ship update. All went well as far as I know. It was a hot day! The people doing tours that were not associated with Banana Coast Tours (the owners of the Cruise dock) need to get web pages, so the cruisers know they are there. The only negative thing I heard was a person needing the ATM(the one on the ship was out of order) got Lempiras instead of dollars and the bank would not change them back. Okay, Wed is the same boat returning! L, Karen

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Same here! This is the 5th port I have been to that required tenders, and I have never seen lifeboats used before.

 

Some ports on the West Coast use ship's tenders or both. Cabo has tenders, but ships also use their lifeboats in addition to Cabo tenders. In PV if more than three ships are in port, the ships tenders are used there. We stopped in Nicaragua on Princess and the ships tenders were used there. Loreto doesn't have tenders either, so ships use theirs.

 

Perhaps with all the ships using the Caribbean, the ports have tender companies to enhance their revenue stream while on the West Coast, there are not as many ships.

Edited by swedish weave
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Regarding our service, we had so many that were so concerned about personal safety, problems on the road , lack of Spanish, and the growing pains of a brand new experience in a third world country that has NEVER even experienced the arrival of a cruise ship, we felt our best option was the boat. It went perfectly. Regarding our rates. We set our prices below the other private bus rates. However, we do know how costly it is travelling with children. We will now offer children two and under basically in mothers arms FREE and children under12 half price. Hope this will help the budget a bit.

 

Nancy

 

Nancy - so is the boat ride $15 / pp roundtrip? I didn't see that listed and wanted to confirm.

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I am just back from the 10/11 Jewel sailing, so we have now experienced Trujillo firsthand!

 

Thank you so much for the update! It sounds like a great port and hopefully all of the kinks will be worked out soon. Thank you for coming back and giving us an update!

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I am just back from the 10/11 Jewel sailing, so we have now experienced Trujillo firsthand! Some of our experiences are going to be unusual, because there was a HUGE amount of fanfare over our arrival - getting off the "tender boats" (more on that later), we were greeted by a red carpet type experience - photographers, media, lots of locals clapping and cheering. It was cool! I didn't see this, but apparently, the VP of Honduras came and there was a ceremony with the captain of the Jewel. So, we certainly felt welcomed!

 

The town itself is charming. We felt like we were getting to experience authentic Honduras, as there weren't any of the usual tourist trap places - no Margaritavilles or Diamond Internationals to be found (yet... I'm sure it's only a matter of time. We enjoyed that aspect of the stop, but if you are the sort of traveler who seeks out the familiar, you won't find it here). There was a shopping area that you had to walk through upon disembarkation, but it was at least half empty. We didn't spend too much time there, but prices seemed reasonable.

 

Outside of the gates, there were LOTS of locals, both Honduran and ex-pat, who were offering tours of various sorts. We had already booked with Victor Bodden, so we didn't pay close attention to what they were offering. Friends of ours met an American and paid him $150 for their group of 8 (4 adults, 4 kids) to do a driving tour of the city (they said he was very informative) and then they went to his house, which was up on the mountain overlooking the bay for drinks and snacks. The tour we booked with Victor Bodden was the lagoon and mangroves boat tour, and it was... rustic! The boat itself was in good shape, although it didn't look like much, but the seats were uncomfortable, there were not enough life jackets (EEK!), and the tour guide did not speak much English, so not so much with the "guide" part. Victor was there in Trujillo, and after the trip was over, he asked us for our feedback. He was very responsive, and knowing his reputation, I am sure he'll get the kinks worked out quickly. This was a common theme among people we talked to about their experiences in Trujillo - things were less than ideal, but everyone was very friendly and wanting feedback about how to make it better. Oh, and prices were quite reasonable everywhere we went - food, drinks, local products. I didn't feel like they were trying to rip us off.

 

Oh.. and the tender boats. There were none! This is another thing that I'm sure will be operational sooner rather than later, but there were no local tender boats, so we tendered in on the lifeboats from the Jewel! Definitely a unique experience!

 

Overall, we really enjoyed our day in Trujillo, but I do think it is important to keep an open mind and realize that they are trying to figure things out from their end just as much as we are from ours.

I read somewhere that the public beaches are going to be closed when the cruise ships are in. Did you see any public beaches with easy access? We don't want to stay at the beach long enough to pay for a resort day trip but would like to wade in a little. [emoji6]

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I am just back from the 10/11 Jewel sailing, so we have now experienced Trujillo firsthand! Some of our experiences are going to be unusual, because there was a HUGE amount of fanfare over our arrival - getting off the "tender boats" (more on that later), we were greeted by a red carpet type experience - photographers, media, lots of locals clapping and cheering. It was cool! I didn't see this, but apparently, the VP of Honduras came and there was a ceremony with the captain of the Jewel. So, we certainly felt welcomed!

 

The town itself is charming. We felt like we were getting to experience authentic Honduras, as there weren't any of the usual tourist trap places - no Margaritavilles or Diamond Internationals to be found (yet... I'm sure it's only a matter of time. We enjoyed that aspect of the stop, but if you are the sort of traveler who seeks out the familiar, you won't find it here). There was a shopping area that you had to walk through upon disembarkation, but it was at least half empty. We didn't spend too much time there, but prices seemed reasonable.

 

Outside of the gates, there were LOTS of locals, both Honduran and ex-pat, who were offering tours of various sorts. We had already booked with Victor Bodden, so we didn't pay close attention to what they were offering. Friends of ours met an American and paid him $150 for their group of 8 (4 adults, 4 kids) to do a driving tour of the city (they said he was very informative) and then they went to his house, which was up on the mountain overlooking the bay for drinks and snacks. The tour we booked with Victor Bodden was the lagoon and mangroves boat tour, and it was... rustic! The boat itself was in good shape, although it didn't look like much, but the seats were uncomfortable, there were not enough life jackets (EEK!), and the tour guide did not speak much English, so not so much with the "guide" part. Victor was there in Trujillo, and after the trip was over, he asked us for our feedback. He was very responsive, and knowing his reputation, I am sure he'll get the kinks worked out quickly. This was a common theme among people we talked to about their experiences in Trujillo - things were less than ideal, but everyone was very friendly and wanting feedback about how to make it better. Oh, and prices were quite reasonable everywhere we went - food, drinks, local products. I didn't feel like they were trying to rip us off.

 

Oh.. and the tender boats. There were none! This is another thing that I'm sure will be operational sooner rather than later, but there were no local tender boats, so we tendered in on the lifeboats from the Jewel! Definitely a unique experience!

 

Overall, we really enjoyed our day in Trujillo, but I do think it is important to keep an open mind and realize that they are trying to figure things out from their end just as much as we are from ours.

I read somewhere that the public beaches are going to be closed when the cruise ships are in. Did you see any public beaches with easy access? We don't want to stay at the beach long enough to pay for a resort day trip but would like to wade in a little. [emoji6]

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I read somewhere that the public beaches are going to be closed when the cruise ships are in. Did you see any public beaches with easy access? We don't want to stay at the beach long enough to pay for a resort day trip but would like to wade in a little. [emoji6]

 

Would also like the answer to this! Just hoping there are restaurants and a beach within walking distance of port that we can go to at our convenience. Also wondering do the life boats that serve as "tenders" run constantly as needed or just at certain times. Anyone with answers? Would be greatly appreciated!

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