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Trujillo-Banana Coast, Honduras


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

 

For clarification purposes:

 

Transportation to/from the port and Tranquility Bay Beach Retreat:

 

> ADULTS: $15pp round trip (using their private boat)

> CHILDREN UNDER 12: $7.50pp round trip

> TODDLERS/INFANTS UNDER 2: free

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I have an email saying $15 per person round trip

 

SunQuest76, are you the mystery party who will be joining us at Tranquility Bay Beach Retreat on December 31st ? I know that after Jackie (mom n mi) booked her party of 4 and I booked our party of 11, there were 5 day passes remaining, unless of course others have cabana reservations as well. Just curious ;) It's always nice to meet cruisers ahead of time when you're on the same excursion, e.g., at the M&M.

 

Nancy

Edited by Grand & Nana
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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.

 

I was a bit uncomfortable with the 'unknown', however; after my initial tender on the NCL Epic, I now consider the tender a unique experience. The Epic used their lifeboats. We took metal stairs/ladder from the side of the ship, guided by the crew and we entered an enclosed life boat. Everyone squeezes in and sits on a bench...it's not exactly a high power boat, although it does move rather swiftly through the water. It was safe and I can assure you, the kids will love the experience.

 

Banana Coast was not originally posted as a 'tender' port so it may only be temporary - either way, relax and enjoy. The dailies will tell you the location and sign-up requirements (if any) for the tenders in Belize, as well as Banana Coast. Guests who booked cruise ship excursions are normally the first to tender.

 

Nancy

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Banana Coast was not originally posted as a 'tender' port so it may only be temporary - either way, relax and enjoy.

Just FYI, recent articles have indicated that the goal is to reach 300,000 cruise guests per year, and at that point a pier will be built and paid for.

 

For comparison, the two ports in Roatan are scheduled to receive a combined 866,000 for 2015 (which could reduce a bit assuming NCL reassigns ships to the Banana Coast).

 

So far, for the 2015-2016 season, NCL is sending the Pearl for five visits (~12,500 day-guests), and HAL is sending the Ryndam again (another ~12,500).

 

I anticipate that, if the Banana Coast is deemed a success, NCL will *at least* move the Dawn and the Jade from Roatan to Trujillo for a portion of their weekly calls, and possibly the Star as well. [The Dawn and Jade are more likely, as they are currently scheduled to share Roatan with three other ships in port for most calls (16,000 visitors at once!), as opposed to the Star's one or none. NCL would be smart to ease the over-crowding.] Moving the Dawn and Jade full-time would add another ~120K-150K day-guests, pushing them over the halfway point.

 

Eventually, Carnival and RCL may decide to add a bit of variety into their itineraries and contract with Mr. Jorgenson and the Banana Coast as well. (As owners of Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole, though, they're sure to maintain a "wait and see" approach for the time being.)

Edited by The Mister
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My husband were on the Norwegian Jewel that stopped there October 15th. This port is still under development with a lot of the shops in the port itself still empty. We chose to walk to the town. It was about 15 minutes of flat walking along a road and then up one big hill. The hill is steep but manageable. The town had a festival to celebrate our arrival with a large open air market place with local artisans selling their goods. This was the best shopping, the actual shops in town are where the locals buy their clothes,shoes etc and don't have tourist goods/souvenirs. There were also demonstrations of folk dancing, clothing and the marching band was playing. It had a very festive and upbeat feeling to it. Everyone we met was very friendly and welcoming. We felt safe wandering around on our own. We went into the fort which cost $3 US each. It is very small, maybe only 3 rooms. A lot of the signage is in spanish only still. It, along with the church, were nice quick things to see but don't take longer than a few minutes a piece. There is a beach on the walk into town that is lined with restaurants and bars. The lounging options are minimal with only one partially constructed place having lounge chairs to rent for $5 each for the day. If you want to swim wear your swimsuit off the boat as we couldn't find anywhere to change. Also it should be noted the water is not the crystal blue of Belize nor are the sands white. The beach is also somewhat narrow. You should also have lots of singles on you as many places don't have US change. Be aware of what the conversion rate is or you are at the mercy of vendors picking numbers out of the air when converting prices, especially at restaurants and bars. There were lots of people just outside the port offering private tours and excursions but as it is such a new port without business ratings we chose not to take any as we didn't want to have any problems returning to the ship on time. I take non cruise-ship excursions in other ports. Overall it was a fun day but if the festival hadn't have been going on there isn't much to do.

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SunQuest76, are you the mystery party who will be joining us at Tranquility Bay Beach Retreat on December 31st ? I know that after Jackie (mom n mi) booked her party of 4 and I booked our party of 11, there were 5 day passes remaining, unless of course others have cabana reservations as well. Just curious ;) It's always nice to meet cruisers ahead of time when you're on the same excursion, e.g., at the M&M.

 

Nancy

 

Not us Nancy. We are there earlier in December (2nd or 3rd).

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My husband were on the Norwegian Jewel that stopped there October 15th. This port is still under development with a lot of the shops in the port itself still empty. We chose to walk to the town. It was about 15 minutes of flat walking along a road and then up one big hill. The hill is steep but manageable. The town had a festival to celebrate our arrival with a large open air market place with local artisans selling their goods. This was the best shopping, the actual shops in town are where the locals buy their clothes,shoes etc and don't have tourist goods/souvenirs. There were also demonstrations of folk dancing, clothing and the marching band was playing. It had a very festive and upbeat feeling to it. Everyone we met was very friendly and welcoming. We felt safe wandering around on our own. We went into the fort which cost $3 US each. It is very small, maybe only 3 rooms. A lot of the signage is in spanish only still. It, along with the church, were nice quick things to see but don't take longer than a few minutes a piece. There is a beach on the walk into town that is lined with restaurants and bars. The lounging options are minimal with only one partially constructed place having lounge chairs to rent for $5 each for the day. If you want to swim wear your swimsuit off the boat as we couldn't find anywhere to change. Also it should be noted the water is not the crystal blue of Belize nor are the sands white. The beach is also somewhat narrow. You should also have lots of singles on you as many places don't have US change. Be aware of what the conversion rate is or you are at the mercy of vendors picking numbers out of the air when converting prices, especially at restaurants and bars. There were lots of people just outside the port offering private tours and excursions but as it is such a new port without business ratings we chose not to take any as we didn't want to have any problems returning to the ship on time. I take non cruise-ship excursions in other ports. Overall it was a fun day but if the festival hadn't have been going on there isn't much to do.

 

Thanks for the great info! Are there any cabs at the port for a short ride to town? DW uses a cane so a 15 minute walk uphill might be a bit much for her.

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Thanks for the great info! Are there any cabs at the port for a short ride to town? DW uses a cane so a 15 minute walk uphill might be a bit much for her.

 

Danfiveoh - I had read somewhere that there are cabs. If I remember correctly, it is $ (per person) cab ride. I think it is $5 if you go outside of the city.

Edited by mom_n_mi
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Just got off the Jewel today after doing the second run to the Banana Coast. While we didn't have the fanfare of the first cruise, it was still a nice experience. There was music and dancers at the tender dock when we arrived and then later when we left.

 

If you are going there looking for the experiences of a fully developed cruise port, you will be disappointed. If you like seeing new places and actually want to see a town that has not been commercialized, then this is a great place to visit. The people were very friendly and the vendors in the port were not pushy at all.

 

We did the tram tour of the town. When we got our excursion tickets we were informed that due to a problem, they would be using small buses instead of the open air trams we were expecting. Be warned... These buses were made in Korea and are designed for people smaller than the average American. A lot of us were packed very tightly in there. The AC wasn't the worst, but it probably would have been better to have left the windows open and let the breeze in. They took us around the historical areas of the town and we had a stop in the town square that lasted about fifteen minutes. The offered to let us get out again at the cemetery but I think by then the heat inside the bus had most of the passengers wanting the ride to get to the end.

 

We passed a number of nice looking restaurants close to the port and had planned to come back and get a bite to eat, but were pretty wiped out from the tour so opted to head back to the ship.

 

Another word on the tenders. It gets hot in there as well. We were lucky on the ride back and got to sit in the front row facing the windows. We got a bit of a breeze and some spray from the water to help cool us off.

 

One member of our roll call did the Tranquility Bay beach resort and said it was well worth the price.

 

Trujillo has tons of potential and It's going to be interesting to see how it progresses.

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For those of you who have been, what's the money situation there and in Guatemala, which we will also visit. Do most of the vendors take US $ or do you need to change money from an ATM or something? What about tips?

Thanks for any info.

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For those of you who have been, what's the money situation there and in Guatemala, which we will also visit. Do most of the vendors take US $ or do you need to change money from an ATM or something? What about tips?

Thanks for any info.

 

The vendors take US $, but I recommend small bills as they may not have change. I did read somewhere about someone using the ATM in Trujillo and getting the local currency.

 

When we did the tram tour we tipped the driver and the tour guide $5 each. I didn't go inside the cathedral in the town square, but some people did and left a couple of $ in the donation box. If you want to tour the fort (we would have if we hadn't been on the tram tour) it's a $3 entrance fee.

 

No idea about tipping in the restaurants as we didn't eat in town.

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The vendors take US $, but I recommend small bills as they may not have change. I did read somewhere about someone using the ATM in Trujillo and getting the local currency.

 

When we did the tram tour we tipped the driver and the tour guide $5 each. I didn't go inside the cathedral in the town square, but some people did and left a couple of $ in the donation box. If you want to tour the fort (we would have if we hadn't been on the tram tour) it's a $3 entrance fee.

 

No idea about tipping in the restaurants as we didn't eat in town.

A past guest said they had to take buses instead of the tram. How about your tour? Thanks.

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A past guest said they had to take buses instead of the tram. How about your tour? Thanks.

 

Yes, we took buses. We didn't find out about it until we got our excursion tickets after we boarded. The note we got said something about the actual trams not being ready in time. If we had known how close everything in Trujillo was, we probably wouldn't have done the tour.

 

The buses were small and cramped, and the AC didn't work all that well in the one we had. It probably would have been better to leave the windows open.

 

If I had a do over, I'd take a taxi to the town square so I could spend some time touring the fort and the cathedral. Then I'd walk back to the port and stop and have lunch at one of the restaurants along the way.

Edited by Rudyard
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Yes, we took buses. We didn't find out about it until we got our excursion tickets after we boarded. The note we got said something about the actual trams not being ready in time. If we had known how close everything in Trujillo was, we probably wouldn't have done the tour.

 

The buses were small and cramped, and the AC didn't work all that well in the one we had. It probably would have been better to leave the windows open.

 

If I had a do over, I'd take a taxi to the town square so I could spend some time touring the fort and the cathedral. Then I'd walk back to the port and stop and have lunch at one of the restaurants along the way.

 

That sounds like a great idea. Might be what we decide to do!

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Had a nice cruise. We were late getting into Trujillo due to storms the night before. I was not very excited as I had really enjoyed Roatan. We decided to take a late tender over. Once there we saw how clean everything was..especially the restrooms. Although it is not developed, there were many locals selling trinkets and such for very fair prices. They also will barter with you! The surrounding area is beautiful. I spoke with others that went into town and said they felt quite safe. Spoke with another friend that took a taxi all over for approx $6! I think this will continue to grow into a very nice stop. I do not think the water compares with Roatan however the port is very nice and not commercialized at all. There is a canadian lady named Carol that is running the thirsty burro (or something like that). She is very nice and will tell you all about the locals. Go say hi! All in all, we were pleasantly surprised with this newly born port!

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Thank you for sharing your experiences in Trujillo.

 

In regards to the tendering discussion, I have tendered in life boats many times: Bar Harbor, Maine, Grand Cayman, Waterford, Ireland, and Ketchikan (too many ships in port to dock.) There are other times, but I can't think of them now. At GSC we had an actual tender boat that was formally used by Norway in St. Thomas.

Edited by Susie51
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I am reading this thread with great interest. I also read a web site that said they are planning to offer flights to Coban Mayan Ruins. Once this excursion is in place, I will take the cruise. So if you see Coban on the ship's tours list, please post!

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Back from the Jewel so thought I would post some info. We've done over 30 cruises and have been all over the Caribbean and I have to say that Trujillo was a very nice change from the more commercialized ports. The ship tender system was really backed up due to the fact that the channel into the dock in only wide enough for one tender at a time, so our inbound tender had to sit for an outbound tender. This backs up the entire process. We were in no hurry so it didn't bother me but I did speak with a couple on the way back that only had 2 hours at the resort they booked due to being late getting tendered in.

On arrival to the port area there is a very nice, new shopping area with clean restrooms. About 20 yards away, there are taxis and buses lined up at a nice transportation center. No trams in sight and several of the buses had "city tour" signs on them so my guess is there are still no trams. Near the cabs, there is an English speaking man who arranges the cabs. There is also an undeveloped beach right there so a very easy walk. I asked how much to take 2 of us into town and he wanted to sell me a tour for $10 each. I said that I just wanted to go to the center of town and he said it would be $5 each. I told him I would pay $5 for both of us and he motioned for a cab. The driver did not speak English but we had no problem, he took us straight to the town square, about a 7-8 minute drive. The port area is fenced in and when we left, guards checked his ID and wrote down his cab number. When we arrived at the town square, the high school band was in uniform and was playing in the street. There were local crafts for sale all over and it had the feel of a street fair with a lot of locals greeting us and local dancers performing. Very friendly vibe everywhere we went, I highly recommend going into the town.

We sampled a local beer, made a few purchases and walked about 2 blocks to the beach. The area is not developed yet but there is construction going on, so it will be soon. We walked back toward the port and found a place under construction that had beach loungers to rent for $5. They were selling beer for $2 out of a cooler so we camped there for a couple of hours. There was a full restaurant/bar next door that other cruisers told us was very good but we were content on our loungers. The beach is fine, more of a natural beach than the pristine sand you find at some ports. There are small rocks as you enter the water but once you get past them, the sand bottom is firm. From there, it was about a 10 minute walk back to the port.

On a final note, there are Police everywhere. While in town, we had a beer in a restaurant and the owner spoke English. I asked about all of the Police and she said that the town has very little crime but there is a lot of drug trade outside of the town. They bring in extra Police on ship days to secure all of the roads and to make the passengers feel safe. I do have to say that we felt very safe and it was clear how appreciative the locals are to have cruise passengers in their town. We were approached numerous times by people simply thanking us for being there.

Overall, we had a great time in Trujillo and this is an easy port to do your own thing.

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