Western Caribbean cruise: Tampa + Roatan

Today’s tidbit: “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” – Wyland

I returned from South Africa in October, right before my sisters wedding. I couldn’t stay put for too long, heading on a cruise the end of February with my mom and sister. Leaving from Tampa, Florida we spent a week cruising to Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel… all places we had never been to. Since high school, I have gone with family on a few cruises visiting some Caribbean islands including: Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Curacao, San Juan, St. John, St. Lucia, St. Martin and St. Thomas. Each is beautiful and unique. I prefer getting out of the tourist area and really seeing the island and interacting with the locals and all that place offers, which is exactly what we did on this Western Caribbean cruise. In April I finished SA posts and I’m excited to finally share another adventure, starting with Roatan, Honduras.

Sneak peek image:

Cruise, Roatan44

Be sure to click below to read more and check out more pictures. Enjoy!

{Flight + Florida}

After a brutal winter, it was time for some sun and warmth again! Enough jackets and being bundled up, could not wait to get to Tampa and unpack summer clothes… and not see snow!

Pictures below were taken during the flight, at our hotel where we stayed for 1 night, on the cruise ship sailing out of Tampa and the first night.

Cruise, Roatan

Cruise, Roatan2

View from our hotel room window.

Cruise, Roatan3

Cruise, Roatan4

Cruise, Roatan5

Cruise, Roatan6

Goodbye Tampa.

Cruise, Roatan7

Enjoying the beautiful sunset from our balcony.

Cruise, Roatan8

Cruise, Roatan9

I always love the towel critters!

Cruise, Roatan10

{day at sea} We cruised the first night and all the next day was at sea. We enjoyed activities, the deck and pool… and sun!

Cruise, Roatan8

The next day we arrived in beautiful Roatan. There was a chance of rain but we were fortunate to have a clear day.

{Roatan, Honduras} Roatan is a Gem in the Bay Islands of Honduras.

“Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands. Its rolling hills and mountains, with a maximum altitude above sea level of approximately 900 feet, makes every piece of property virtually a unique ocean view lot. The island is completely surrounded by a large reef system, part of the Mesoamerican reef which boasts the largest marine biodiversity in the world and is part of the second longest barrier reef in the World, extending itself from the Bay Islands in Honduras on the south end to the Mexican islands of Contoy, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel to the North.” Read more.

My mom had booked a private tour guide for this day, so as soon as we got off the ship we had a full day of exciting adventures planned… including an iguana & marine park, monkey park, horseback riding on the beach and enjoying West Bay and snorkeling.

Cruise, Roatan11

Cruise, Roatan13

Cruise, Roatan14

Cruise, Roatan15

Cruise, Roatan16

Cruise, Roatan17

{Arch’s Iguana & Marine Park} 

“All local Roatan students and teachers are allowed to enter the gardens free of charge. Teachers are encouraged to use the Garden’s to teach students the importance of conservation and introduce “hands on” projects that will allow students to gain a better understanding of how nature works.” Read more.

It was a neat experience to see all the iguana up close as they scurried around, especially during feeding time, and lounged in the trees.

Cruise, Roatan18

Cruise, Roatan19

Cruise, Roatan20

Cruise, Roatan21

Cruise, Roatan22

Cruise, Roatan23

Cruise, Roatan24

Cruise, Roatan25

Cruise, Roatan26

Cruise, Roatan27

Cruise, Roatan28

{Driving + scenic views} A few pictures taken as we drove from Arch’s and headed to a monkey park.

Cruise, Roatan29

Cruise, Roatan30

Cruise, Roatan31

Cruise, Roatan32

Cruise, Roatan33

{Monkey park} This little guy was so cute. We all went in the enclosed area and he literally leapt in the air and landed on us, going back and forth. It was hard to get him to sit for a minute to get a picture. The guide who was with us had the camera. As I learned in SA, they like to take things so I made sure to take off my sunglasses and leave everything else outside the enclosure.

Cruise, Roatan34

Cruise, Roatan35

Eyeing my moms phone.

Cruise, Roatan36

Cruise, Roatan37

{Ranch + horseback riding} I have always wanted to ride on the beach and was fortunate to be able to do that here! Allie has ridden Bailey a few times so is some what comfortable riding… and my mom got over her fear, after lots of convincing, and finally rode. Here’s proof!

Cruise, Roatan38

Cruise, Roatan39

Cruise, Roatan40

After a long ride along a narrow road and through the beach town we made it to part of the beach that allowed horses. Since I had experience riding they put me on a more energetic guy so it was a challenge to take pictures but we manage to get a few, thanks to a local on the beach. Allie’s was a slow poke and mine did not want to stand still, which made trotting along the beach fun!

Cruise, Roatan41

Cruise, Roatan42

Cruise, Roatan43

Cruise, Roatan44

{West Bay Beach}

After an amazing ride along the beach we headed back through the town and narrow road to the ranch. It was wonderful! The sun decided to come out and it was quite hot by now so next on the agenda was going in the water! Spectacular weather, sand, sun, water and snorkeling. Perfect!

Cruise, Roatan45

Cruise, Roatan46

Cruise, Roatan47

Cruise, Roatan48

Cruise, Roatan49

We managed to fit a lot into one day! Cruising has it’s pros and cons, you’re able to see many places but often you wish there was more time. Roatan is definitely somewhere I’d love to go back to.

Back on ship we enjoyed a coconut drink and watched the sunset from the ship deck before getting ready and heading to dinner.

Cruise, Roatan50

Cruise, Roatan51

Cruise, Roatan52

Such a fun day exploring and what a beautiful island! Check back next week as we head to Belize.

9 Responses to “Western Caribbean cruise: Tampa + Roatan”

  1. Karen says:

    Yes, face your fears! That was an activity-packed, but interesting day as you noted – my kind of traveling and experiencing destinations. Glad you finally were able to ride on a beach. Beautiful pics once again!

    • alyssa says:

      It was definitely a very full day. We lucked out on the weather and were able to fit a lot in. Really fun day and so glad I finally got to ride on the beach… as did you and Allie!

  2. Leah says:

    Just came across your blog and am thoroughly enjoying living vicariously through your travel and blog posts. Wonderful photography! South Africa and now this… good for you, I am jealous. Looking forward to what’s next. Thanks for sharing.

    • alyssa says:

      Hi Leah, thanks so much. I always love hearing from new viewers… glad you are enjoying it! Tomorrow I will continue with this cruise, posting on Belize

  3. […] week I shared the beginning of our Western Caribbean cruise, starting with Tampa + Roatan, Honduras. Continuing along, our next stop was beautiful Belize. We booked a full day Lamanai Mayan Ruins […]

  4. Holly says:

    Um… I think you need to repeat this day and take me with you! Amazing photos, as always :).

  5. Lindsey says:

    Pack me on your trips!

Add a Comment