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Trujillo-Banana Coast, Honduras


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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.

 

I agree with your post, we felt very comfortable in Trujillo. We got a taxi for $20 and the driver who spoke no English, drove us everywhere, up in the mountains, to the lagoon and everywhere in between. He did want us to see the locals doing the dancing in town square so we walked around there for about 30 minutes. He showed us pictures of his wife and son. Very rustic place but the people are nice and want us there so they go out of their way to make us feel welcome. No diamonds international stores or anything like that. We enjoyed it and his tour took about 2 hours. It all depends on what you are looking for.

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I noticed this info in the last link I posted and thought you might have missed the reference

to Lucky tours in Trujillo. It may be worth checking out.

 

Visit the Tourism Office for information, or arrange a tour with Lucky Tours (2434-4140), located in the town centre.

 

I tried contacting Lucky Tours but had no luck. Where are they located?

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Would someone please post more specifically what kinds of items are available for purchase at the port? We have a day pass to Tranquility Bay, and the default plan is to get us back to port around 3:00pm. This, of course, gives us little to no time to shop at the port.

 

While Tranquility Bay will have artisans "offering jade carvings, jewelry, painted shells and paintings", we would like to have an idea of whether it would be worth going back to the port a bit earlier if it means getting a better variety of souvenirs in which my wife and I would be more interested.

 

Thanks.

Edited by The Mister
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My mom got a jade fish at the square and a beautiful embroidered tote bag (purse) at the pier. Although I didn't buy anything, I saw the typical items - shoes, T shirts, bags. There were a few vendors that you could see as soon as you got off the tender and then there are some on the back side of the buildings facing the beach.

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Would someone please post more specifically what kinds of items are available for purchase at the port? We have a day pass to Tranquility Bay, and the default plan is to get us back to port around 3:00pm. This, of course, gives us little to no time to shop at the port.

 

While Tranquility Bay will have artisans "offering jade carvings, jewelry, painted shells and paintings", we would like to have an idea of whether it would be worth going back to the port a bit earlier if it means getting a better variety of souvenirs in which my wife and I would be more interested.

 

Thanks.

 

There was a wide variety of items. There are a bunch of regular shops right in the port area selling everything from T-shirts to wood carvings to coffee. There are also tables set up selling craft items. The prices may have been slightly higher in the port (for example a wood bowl I saw was priced a couple dollars less in town) but they will barter with you on the price. My suggestion is to try to get an early tender, spend 10 minutes doing a quick walk through the shops (you have to walk past them to get to your bus or cab anyway) and determine if you want to return early to do more shopping after you see what is offered at Tranquility Bay.

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Has anyone taken the NCL shore excursion to a beach in Trujillo? I signed up for it. I was inteested in your opinion of the beach.

 

As a member of the NCL tour, do you have priority for getting off of the ship in order to be on time for your tour?

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Can't comment on the NCL beach tour but I do know that they normally give early tender tickets to people that purchase a ship excursion. Hopefully they will have a larger entrance to the docks dredged out by the time that you get there. As I said in an earlier post, the tenders really backed up and they had to stop everyone on the stairs to wait for the tenders to return.

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  • 3 weeks later...
We're leaving on Dec 13, wondered if anyone have tried the starfish excursions? Using the NCL or Victor Bodden or any other provider? We're coming with two young kids (4,7) but looking into something more than just sitting on the beach... Thanks!

 

 

I've heard good things about Victor Bodden when searching for tour operators in other parts of the country, but I've not personally used them. If you Google the name, you can search various websites for reviews to determine if they provide good service and have a good reputation. I base my choice of tour operators on reviews - by weighing the negative comments or throwing out the meaningless reviews that some people post. You'll get more personalized service with VB, than through the ship; however, the ship offers first tender and if sick, you can cancel without a penalty...unfortunately, you have to do your homework and evaluate what's important to you.

 

We may go (by boat) when in Banana Coast (Trujillo) ourselves, from the retreat we're visiting. We'll go 'only' if the water is not rough.

 

Listen, we're cruising on the day you return...if anyone can post the 'tender' process for cruisers who are NOT doing ship excursions...please tell us the protocol in your post. You'll have wifi in most areas, such as Cozumel. No one is posting the tender process...do you have to get up at the crack of dawn to get a ticket from the service desk the day of each tender??? Help!!!

 

Thanks,

Nancy

Edited by Grand & Nana
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I've heard good things about Victor Bodden when searching for tour operators in other parts of the country, but I've not personally used them. If you Google the name, you can search various websites for reviews to determine if they provide good service and have a good reputation. I base my choice of tour operators on reviews - by weighing the negative comments or throwing out the meaningless reviews that some people post. You'll get more personalized service with VB, than through the ship; however, the ship offers first tender and if sick, you can cancel without a penalty...unfortunately, you have to do your homework and evaluate what's important to you.

 

We may go (by boat) when in Banana Coast (Trujillo) ourselves, from the retreat we're visiting. We'll go 'only' if the water is not rough.

 

Listen, we're cruising on the day you return...if anyone can post the 'tender' process for cruisers who are NOT doing ship excursions...please tell us the protocol in your post. You'll have wifi in most areas, such as Cozumel. No one is posting the tender process...do you have to get up at the crack of dawn to get a ticket from the service desk the day of each tender??? Help!!!

 

Thanks,

Nancy

 

Thanks! That is how I usually do my homework, reading reviews, however this time all I could find is 1 review of a cruise trip and 1 review of Victor company at this location from the first cruise arriving to Trujillo... It's difficult to build a statistics from that... And it's a bit frustrating, especially as this is our first cruise...

Will try to write a review regarding the tenders when we're back :)

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We are back from Banana Coast on the November 29 sailing of the NCL Jewel.

 

The tender process was interesting. There was no tender ticket required if you debarked before 830am. The ride over to the port was about 10 minutes or so (I wasn't paying attention) and was a little bumpy.

 

We met Larry from Tranquility Bay and then took another boat over to his resort. We had fun playing on the beach and hanging out in the hammocks. We ate lunch at the restaurant (great chips and guac) and had a couple cold beers. Due to the rough water, we asked Larry to drive us back to the ship, which he gladly did.

 

The tender process back to the ship was smooth, but the ride wasn't! The waves had picked up. We were lucky and got back to the ship in one piece and relatively unscathed. I heard rumors of tenders bottoming out, propellers being damaged and sick passengers.

 

Overall, Banana Coast is VERY rustic. But I'm glad we didn't miss this opportunity to see a developing port. I hope to be back again to see how things are moving along :)

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So great hearing all the info on this new port. And, in our case Tranquility Bay. We are thinking to book there in Feb.

Or, maybe a snorkeling excursion. But, I have repeatedly read about the rough waters, going into Trujillo. Makes me wonder....Any info on the snorkeling around there?

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Thanks! That is how I usually do my homework, reading reviews, however this time all I could find is 1 review of a cruise trip and 1 review of Victor company at this location from the first cruise arriving to Trujillo... It's difficult to build a statistics from that... And it's a bit frustrating, especially as this is our first cruise...

Will try to write a review regarding the tenders when we're back :)

 

I was lucky, I stumbled across Tranquility Bay Beach Retreat (TBBR) months ago. I had all but given up on an excursion until I started communicating with Linda & Larry, owners of TBBR. We're really looking forward to a day at their retreat.

 

Over time, as the port becomes established, more private tours will become available. I haven't searched myself, before replying on the board, however; you may want to Google Victor Bodden to review what his reputation and customer service is rated in other ports. I know he's one of the first to offer a private tour @ Banana Coast. The only other option is booking something through the cruise lines. The cruise lines currently have a contractual agreement with the majority of businesses in town or they've created excursion opportunities. What surprised me was that there is a park with a nice beach that is normally a minimal fee for the general public, but closed to the public on the days that ships are in port, at which time it becomes an exclusive for ship excursions.

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

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We are back from Banana Coast on the November 29 sailing of the NCL Jewel.

 

The tender process was interesting. There was no tender ticket required if you debarked before 830am. The ride over to the port was about 10 minutes or so (I wasn't paying attention) and was a little bumpy.

 

We met Larry from Tranquility Bay and then took another boat over to his resort. We had fun playing on the beach and hanging out in the hammocks. We ate lunch at the restaurant (great chips and guac) and had a couple cold beers. Due to the rough water, we asked Larry to drive us back to the ship, which he gladly did.

 

The tender process back to the ship was smooth, but the ride wasn't! The waves had picked up. We were lucky and got back to the ship in one piece and relatively unscathed. I heard rumors of tenders bottoming out, propellers being damaged and sick passengers.

 

Overall, Banana Coast is VERY rustic. But I'm glad we didn't miss this opportunity to see a developing port. I hope to be back again to see how things are moving along :)

 

Thank you....I've been waiting for a reply from a past cruiser...

 

Did you have any problem finding the restaurant to meet Larry and board the boat? The restaurant belongs to Larry's son and I've told it's under construction. Did you walk along the beach or walk the street to get to the meeting location (I'm trying to get a visual).

 

Yes, the tender process does sound interesting. We're early birds so we plan to be at the staging area by 8a. How did the tender go in Belize...I hear this tender is very timely, since they anchor 5 miles from the shoreline? Any recommendations at this port? I was hoping to meet our cave tubing guide by 8:30a, is that unrealistic?

 

Thanks again for sharing!

Nancy

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We did have some trouble finding the restaurant, mostly because we were expecting an acutal restuaurant! It is just a shell of concrete with a lovely lady selling pop from a cooler. In retrospect, you won't have any trouble. Here's the scoop... Leave the port area and turn to the right. Keep walking past the busses and taxi area and leave the main port gates (you will still be walking to the right on a road with the beach to your right). Walk along the road and tell ALL the people offering tours that you are already booked :D. The restaurant is on the right hand side a little ways down the road. I think it is just a little ways past the Banana Beach "booth". We ended up asking for Larry at the Banana Beach booth and they very kindly pointed us in the right direction.

 

Tendering in Belize is a breeze. We got our tender tickets first thing in the morning and were in Group 4. They started calling group 1 - 3 and we thought we'd better make a potty stop. By the time we were done they were already calling groups 4 - 6. The tender is very fast and comfortable. One word of advice. The day we were in Belize, the caves were closed due to extreme flooding. Be sure to check this before you leave, maybe ask what the alternate excursion being offered is. And a plan B might not be a bad idea. We went to Altun Ha with Alan from Experience Belize Tours (and highly recommend him if you're interested in that type of thing).

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We did have some trouble finding the restaurant, mostly because we were expecting an acutal restuaurant! It is just a shell of concrete with a lovely lady selling pop from a cooler. In retrospect, you won't have any trouble. Here's the scoop... Leave the port area and turn to the right. Keep walking past the busses and taxi area and leave the main port gates (you will still be walking to the right on a road with the beach to your right). Walk along the road and tell ALL the people offering tours that you are already booked :D. The restaurant is on the right hand side a little ways down the road. I think it is just a little ways past the Banana Beach "booth". We ended up asking for Larry at the Banana Beach booth and they very kindly pointed us in the right direction.

Yes, that's one great thing about Trujillo. It's such a small town (so far), we were able to ask anyone for "Larry and Linda" and they all knew where to point.

Edited by The Mister
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We did have some trouble finding the restaurant, mostly because we were expecting an acutal restuaurant! It is just a shell of concrete with a lovely lady selling pop from a cooler. In retrospect, you won't have any trouble. Here's the scoop... Leave the port area and turn to the right. Keep walking past the busses and taxi area and leave the main port gates (you will still be walking to the right on a road with the beach to your right). Walk along the road and tell ALL the people offering tours that you are already booked :D. The restaurant is on the right hand side a little ways down the road. I think it is just a little ways past the Banana Beach "booth". We ended up asking for Larry at the Banana Beach booth and they very kindly pointed us in the right direction.

 

Tendering in Belize is a breeze. We got our tender tickets first thing in the morning and were in Group 4. They started calling group 1 - 3 and we thought we'd better make a potty stop. By the time we were done they were already calling groups 4 - 6. The tender is very fast and comfortable. One word of advice. The day we were in Belize, the caves were closed due to extreme flooding. Be sure to check this before you leave, maybe ask what the alternate excursion being offered is. And a plan B might not be a bad idea. We went to Altun Ha with Alan from Experience Belize Tours (and highly recommend him if you're interested in that type of thing).

 

Thank you for the tips to find Larry & Linda.

 

I heard if you tender before 8:30a, a ticket is not required in Belize or Banana Coast. Where do you get the tender tickets and how early did you go to get your tickets? I have a group of 11 and we want to keep everyone together, if at all feasible.

 

The ship offers a cave tubing excursion so we'll know rather quickly if the caves are closed. A portion of our group is doing ATVing & cave tubing with Butts Up...and the other half of the group is going with cave tubing.bz If the caves are closed...I may just go into port to stretch my legs on land...look for some 1 Barrel Rum (a product of Belize)...then return to the ship.

 

I look forward to your response!

Nancy

 

Thanks,

Nancy

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Hello All,

 

We are on the Jewel leaving Houston on Nov. 29th. We have reserved the 3 bedroom condo with hot tub, roof top terrace & mini bar at the Banana Beach Resort. The reservation is for Tuesday, Dec. 2nd so that we can access the condo as soon as we get in to port. Check out is at 3p. Rental for the condo is $183 divided by 3 couples - $30.50 per person. Banana Beach Resort is providing transportation to and from the ship. We will enjoy a day in a regular sized space on the beach unlike our inside cabin on the Jewel. There are 3 pools, bar and restaurant, as well. The owners are from Texas. We cannot wait!:D

Rn, how was the day at Banana Beach Resort. Were you able to snorkel? Was the condo nice & did it include the day pass for everyone or? Any info would be appreciated. We leave 12/13 early AM for the same cruise.

Thanks

ihermdar1 at yahoo dot com

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We're also interested in the "behind the scenes" tour. I contacted the park people directly and they replied that the only way to get there is through the cruise ship excursions desk. Is that what everyone else has heard?

 

 

Earlier posters have said that nearly ALL the tours at this port are through the ship only. Someone even said that the park is only open on cruise ship days!

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