Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
RealDeal

Victor Bodden guide/driver recommendations? (MERGED THREADS)

Recommended Posts

We just completed a "Best of Roatan" tour with Victor Bodden. Our guide was Francisco and we had a wonderful day. 2 couples @ $25.00 per person and $5 extra for the Monkey Farm tour. We learned all about the island's history and were able to ask questions and go to see everything of interest to us. Monkeys, sloths, birds, all fun. The 2 women wanted to snorkel and we went out with JC for $25.00 each including equipment. Beautiful clear water and lots of fish. We were the only guests for a custom snorkel! The guys sat on the beach with a beer! Communication with Victor Boden is excellent and easy. I highly recommend!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just did a snorkeling trip through Victor. It was just the 2 of us was and an amazing time. Definitely better then anything you will get on a cruise ship excursion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question about Bodden tours and tipping. We have the Fun and Sun tour booked with a visit to the sloth/monkey farm and a beach stop. I know we should tip our guide. Do we have a separate driver too? What is the standard amount for tipping? There will be 5 of us. We, especially my teenage daughters, are really looking forward to this excursion. I just want to be prepared. I will agree with others that Victor has been very easy to work with so far and responds very quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Booking, communication, and value was awesome through whole process. my family of 4- included a 5 & 7 yo- loved this day!! The private tour was great and the guide was very knowledgeable and accommodating. He knew exactly where to take us for the fun we wanted. We saw the island he gave us culture, went to the see the monkeys and animals that the kids loved, and finished the day at his friends place on West End at the beach that opened early for us and treated us like royalty the whole day. The guide came back to get us to the ship on time. Awesome day, my family loved! thank you!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just returned from our visit to Roatan and could not have been more IMPRESSED with Victor Bodden Tours!! As the previous poster said, the communications were great, the check-in was fast and we LOVED our driver George!!! We did the day long private driver tour and it was $90 for the 3 of us (PLUS TIPPING is m ost deserved). George knew we mostly wanted to shop and see the monkeys and sloths so along with giving us a general tour of the island he took us to a supermarket where we could get a liquor and coffee CHEAP (he told us what the good deals were), then we went to lunch at the Half Moon Bay restaurant on the beach where the lobster was delish! (We invited George to eat with us and picked up his bill which he very much appreciated.) After lunch we visited the West End to do some shopping (I highly recommend) and he never left our side. We then went to see and hold the monkeys and see the sloths (another highly recommended visit). We had a FABULOUS day and George was very careful to watch the time to insure we got back to the ship on time. Words really can't describe how highly I recommend Bodden Tours, and in particular, George as a driver!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just returned from a great tour with Bodden. This is the second time we have used them. We requested a tour to the museum and a visit to Monkey World. Vic made arrangements for us to have Jerry as are guide. Jerry was our guide when we visited in Dec 2016. Excellent service and follow up. Will use Vic Bodden Tours the next time we are in Roatan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We booked a "Best of Roatan" tour with Bodden Tours during our Carnival Breeze cruise to Roatan - we were there on June 27. We asked for Ronald based on others' experiences as posted here and on TripAdvisor. Directions on how to find our driver were spot on and we had no trouble walking over the "hill" ourselves to find him.

 

Almost as soon as we got in the van, it poured. Fortunately it stopped after a half hour and in the meantime we discussed our options for the day. We were going to go to a scenic overlook but it was on a dirt road that would be hard to navigate after such a hard rain. While waiting on the rain to let up, we did a short tour of the island and Ronald gave us a bit of history and background.

 

The rain was beginning to let up when we arrived at Victor's Monkey Business. Two of our family waited inside while my son and I got rigged up for ziplining. By the time we were done, the rain had stopped and the cloud cover kept it from getting too hot. We had a blast with the ziplines. Three of the guides stayed with us for the whole course (10 runs, longest almost a quarter mile). The hike up to the first station is a pretty good climb but if you're in reasonable shape it's doable. There are two cables on each run and the equipment looked to be in good condition. It's not suitable for younger children that won't mind - as you might expect, a child messing around could step off a platform and fall quite a ways. I never felt unsafe with the ziplining (or anywhere else on our tour).

 

After that, we saw the capuchin monkeys, macaws, sloths and some other Roatan wildlife. The animals were used to being handled and didn't nip or scratch. We kept moving but weren't all that rushed.

 

Next we went to a gas station to get a quick lunch and change into our beach gear (trying to avoid the "resort fee" most beach places charge). We went to West Bay since it was quiet and had good snorkeling for novices like us. There were a few vendors but not overly pushy - my wife and daughter did get their hair braided. Spent a bit less than two hours at the beach. It took us a little bit to find the fish, but once we did it was great. Good variety of coral too.

 

On the way back to port we went through Coxen Hole and saw the "downtown" area and a couple of neighborhoods, then we were dropped off at the port inside the secure area (shorter walk).

 

Ronald was very personable and he enjoys sharing Roatan with visitors. He also talked of his life on the island and the various things he has done over the years in different roles. We enjoyed talking with him immensely and very highly recommend him as a driver and Bodden Tours in general. Having the private tour let us chart our own day for not much more than the preset packages offered by both Bodden and less than the cruise line - much more flexible and you can change to accommodate the weather or your own whims.

 

If we come back to Roatan in the future, we'll book another day with Bodden Tours and Ronald!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We cruised on the Caribbean Princess and booked the Best of Roatan tour with Bodden tours for our day in Roatan. From the cruise port it was a somewhat long walk to meet the tour, as it was outside of the cruise port gate up a hill in very humid conditions. We were met by the tour where I was somewhat disappointed to find that my family of 4 had to tour in an old, somewhat beat-up Toyota Sienna minivan with an a/c system in disrepair (I mentioned the hot air to the guide who responded that he needed to have it "checked out"). Furthermore, touring in this type of vehicle provided an obscured view of the scenery due to the window configuration. (We were expecting a tour-type bus or van with large windows.)

 

On the plus side, our driver was VERY nice and personable! (I believe his name was Edwerd?) He was very open to customizing the tour to meet our needs. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo unexpectedly blocked my ATM card on this date which meant I had a last-minute emergency getting cash. The driver was very understanding and took us to several banks before we finally got things worked out with our bank.

 

We went to Victor's Monkey Business, a monkey and sloth farm which is owned by Bodden Tours. It was great, my family thoroughly enjoyed this and it was one of our cruise highlights! We toured the resort coastal areas of town and the upscale residential areas which was really interesting.

 

The costs of the tour, including Victor's Monkey Business, was $30 per person, which was a very good deal when compared with the cruise line prices for comparable tours (2x-3x more expensive via the cruise line). The guide seemed very interested in making sure that we had a good time, taking photos of us and providing good commentary on what we were seeing.

 

Overall a great excursion, if I were booking again I'd make sure I could get a better vehicle to tour with, but a good time nonetheless!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
had to tour in an old, somewhat beat-up Toyota Sienna minivan with an a/c system in disrepair (I mentioned the hot air to the guide who responded that he needed to have it "checked out").

 

On the plus side, our driver was VERY nice and personable! (I believe his name was Edwerd?)

 

Could it perhaps have been Howard? Sounds exactly like the van we were in two years ago (no AC)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking at Bodden's Tours as well. I just have a couple of concerns.

We will be there in October. At the area with Monkeys and around town are there many mosquitos? I attract mosquitos like bees to honey and will get eaten alive. Should I buy some repellent? I will also have my 2 year old daughter with me, are the monkeys clean and calm? I don't want to make it sound like a bad way... but just incase they have fleas, or accidentally scratch/bite any of us.

TIA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will also have my 2 year old daughter with me, are the monkeys clean and calm? I don't want to make it sound like a bad way... but just incase they have fleas, or accidentally scratch/bite any of us.

TIA

The monkeys jump around a lot and are very quick. I would be concerned that your daughter might grab one unintentionally and they could bite in reaction to that before anyone could do anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just returned from our trip on the Allure....one of our ports was Roatan. We booked with Victor for the Best of Roatan tour. Victor was so great in setting up exactly what we wanted. He kept in touch with us up to our cruise date via email. He met us at the port personally which as an owner of a company, makes a huge impact on your customers.

Our tour guide was Lany. From the minute we met Lany, we knew this would be one of the highlights of our trip. Lany has lived on the island his entire life and was so full of information. My husband loves to learn about the country we are visiting and Lany was able to answer every question and really teach us about the island. Lany was very attentive to our needs and made sure we had the best time. We went to a beach for lunch and a swim. We invited Lany to join us as we felt more like friends than tour guide / customer. Lany made us feel safe at all times and made sure we were aware of how to respond to the locals selling wares on the beach. The visit to the Monkey Farm was a blast!! I loved the monkeys and their inquisitiveness. They are not afraid to check you out! The sloths....a once in a life time experience. Who gets to say they held a sloth??? The birds and other animals were beautiful. There are so many excursions to look at but I honestly can't say enough about what a great time we had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking to book the Fun and Sun tour ($30) for September 20. Our ship leaves early - at 3pm! I wonder if there is enough time for this tour; we'd also really want to spend at least some time on the beach. Maybe it would be possible to skip certain parts (for example, we have zero interest in shopping!)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm looking to book the Fun and Sun tour ($30) for September 20. Our ship leaves early - at 3pm! I wonder if there is enough time for this tour; we'd also really want to spend at least some time on the beach. Maybe it would be possible to skip certain parts (for example, we have zero interest in shopping!)?

 

If you want to set your own schedule you will need to book a private driver, then you can go where you wNt for as long as you want. We have always had our own driver from different companies.

 

Fun N sun is a group tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want to set your own schedule you will need to book a private driver, then you can go where you wNt for as long as you want. We have always had our own driver from different companies.

 

 

 

Fun N sun is a group tour.

 

 

 

Victor offers a private tour titled Best of Roatan I believe...we booked that for our group in October

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can book private tours with Bayitours on Roatan. Owners name is Manu, a life long Island resident who is fluent in English. He played on the Honduran volleyball team for a few years I think. Very friendly, knowledgeable person. You can find his company online (Google Bayitours).

My daughter, SIL and myself were on the Island for a week beginning of August and we hired him twice and will do so again next time there.

 

 

dh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished our cruise which included a stop in Roatan. Due to the private tour with Howard via Bodden Tours Roatan was by far our favorite stop on our cruise. The AC in his minivan is now fixed.

 

The tour was a bit of a surprise for my wife as I tend to make all of the travel arrangements. She was a bit worried as we walked away from the cruise terminal, past the guards and to a big group of local tour operators. She would have preferred a bit more of a deluxe transportation option outside of the sienna minivan with a few warning lights on. However, she loved the customization and the pieces I had picked out. Howard, our guide, had a few additional stops that worked out great for us as well.

 

We did get to experience some great sights as we did the botanical gardens, semi-sub boat ride and a liquid lunch at the beach.

 

The gardens we're definitely a highlight as we were able to have the place to ourselves. It was exhausting though as we did the mountain walk for the view. I did end up slipping on the climb down from the mountain and used a palm tree to brace my fall. The problem was the palm tree had 2 inch needles that got my left hand in a few spots. Thankfully we carry around some hand sanitizer and band aides which did the trick to clean out the wound. Other than that slight issue the gardens are beautiful and we spent a couple of hours there exploring. For us this was perfect.

 

Next up was the semi-sub ride that provided great views of the reef. We don't really snorkel so it was the perfect way for us to see the reef and all of the life there. About 45 minutes in total of sailing and well worth it. At the same location we were on the boat was a little beach with a couple of restaurants. I went down the menu and tried 4 different local beers. Having one additional beer to go was a great way to end the day. Food looked good, but due to dietary restrictions we decided not to risk it. We could have paid a little extra for beach chairs if we were inclined.

 

We got lots of great histroy and information on Roatan as we drove through the various areas. Always felt safe and had a great time. Loved the nature we got to see and would definitely go back to Roatan and book Bodden again.

 

It is hard to beat the value that the private tour offers. I think all in we spent ~$200 for the entire day in Roatan for all of these experiences. Could not have done that with a crowded ship tour. In total I think we spent ~5hrs on the tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We came off the carnival Miracle... it was our very first self booked excursion. We were a little nervous about the meeting site when we got the initial email on instructions of where to meet. But it was actually very easy to get to, and exactly how it was described. We were then given a private guide “Jorge” and he brought us to the ziplining and the farm in an air conditioned car. As we drove to the site, Jorge would talk about the different places we would pass by, such as schools, groceries, and sights. The ziplining site was extraordinary. We were given different guides at the ziplining, who guided us from one zip line to the next. They showed us a great time! Roatan is beautiful, especially when seen from above. The farm which is in the same property as the ziplining had the monkey, parrots, and my children’s favorite-the sloths! A different guide showed us around the farm and gave us the opportunity to be close to the animals there... if a particular animal was not safe, we were not allowed to enter that cage. Got some great pictures! After, we were taken to the beach which was beautiful. Jorge gave us a couple of hours to enjoy at the beach and he returned to take us back to the ship. We arrived with 1 hr to spare, enough to do a little window shopping and take more pictures at the cruise plaza. This excursion was packed with so many new experiences that we are grateful to Jorge for taking us around. One thing we were not expecting were the multiple guides. The unexpected amount of tips required to cover each and every guide left us with less money left for shopping and hungry for food at the beach. FYI- you will be assigned a main driver guide (1), ziplining guides (3), and farm guide (1) , plus photographs that their photographer takes for you ($20/optional). But was still a wonderful excursion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We enjoyed our time on the tour, Tour guide was VERY informative and went out of his way to make sure the trip was GREAT! Got to hold the Sloths, spend some time at the beach, got some Island pics etc... WILL do again in 61 days!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just came back from our cruise. Our tour with Victor Bodden was wonderful!! I highly recommend the Fun N Sun tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We came off the carnival Miracle... it was our very first self booked excursion. We were a little nervous about the meeting site when we got the initial email on instructions of where to meet. But it was actually very easy to get to, and exactly how it was described. We were then given a private guide “Jorge” and he brought us to the ziplining and the farm in an air conditioned car. As we drove to the site, Jorge would talk about the different places we would pass by, such as schools, groceries, and sights. The ziplining site was extraordinary. We were given different guides at the ziplining, who guided us from one zip line to the next. They showed us a great time! Roatan is beautiful, especially when seen from above. The farm which is in the same property as the ziplining had the monkey, parrots, and my children’s favorite-the sloths! A different guide showed us around the farm and gave us the opportunity to be close to the animals there... if a particular animal was not safe, we were not allowed to enter that cage. Got some great pictures! After, we were taken to the beach which was beautiful. Jorge gave us a couple of hours to enjoy at the beach and he returned to take us back to the ship. We arrived with 1 hr to spare, enough to do a little window shopping and take more pictures at the cruise plaza. This excursion was packed with so many new experiences that we are grateful to Jorge for taking us around. One thing we were not expecting were the multiple guides. The unexpected amount of tips required to cover each and every guide left us with less money left for shopping and hungry for food at the beach. FYI- you will be assigned a main driver guide (1), ziplining guides (3), and farm guide (1) , plus photographs that their photographer takes for you ($20/optional). But was still a wonderful excursion!
Can I ask about how much you tipped...We will probably just tour roatan (no zip lining or farm) and then the beach. I want to be sure we bring enough cash as I would hate to not tip enough. Thanks.

 

Nancy

 

Sent from my SM-T550 using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just got back from our 4th tour with Victor Bodden tours.  We had a blast and would highly recommend the private tour.  We were a group of 5 and William was our driver.  He made sure that we were able to do everything we wanted and got us back to the ship with plenty of time to spare.  We were able to go and see the monkeys--our granddaughters favorite thing to do and all she had talked about for the past year!  We also got to hold sloths, zipline, spend a few hours at the beach and stop by the cameo factory. 

William had made arrangements for us to go snorkeling while we were at the beach, but the wind came up unexpectedly. He alerted us to the changing wind conditions and even walked down the beach and got our money back so we could enjoy our lunch.  Exceptional customer service as always from this company.  Highly recommend!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, arlodog said:

We just got back from our 4th tour with Victor Bodden tours.  We had a blast and would highly recommend the private tour.  We were a group of 5 and William was our driver.  He made sure that we were able to do everything we wanted and got us back to the ship with plenty of time to spare.  We were able to go and see the monkeys--our granddaughters favorite thing to do and all she had talked about for the past year!  We also got to hold sloths, zipline, spend a few hours at the beach and stop by the cameo factory. 

William had made arrangements for us to go snorkeling while we were at the beach, but the wind came up unexpectedly. He alerted us to the changing wind conditions and even walked down the beach and got our money back so we could enjoy our lunch.  Exceptional customer service as always from this company.  Highly recommend!  

We are using victor Bodden this January.  Looking forward to our tour.  Can I ask how much tip u gave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we gave him $10pp we may have given him $40.   Our friends may have tipped more.  We really had a great time.

  Enjoy your day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, arlodog said:

I think we gave him $10pp we may have given him $40.   Our friends may have tipped more.  We really had a great time.

  Enjoy your day!

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...