In 2017, my close friend Josie and I set sail on an incredible journey aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of The Seas cruise. Our destination: the enchanting lands of Roatan, Honduras, and two captivating ports in Mexico.
Our adventure began with a delightful stay at the Hilton in Galveston, Texas. We indulged in the tropical ambiance by sipping drinks at the swim-up pool bar, immersing ourselves in the carefree atmosphere that signaled the start of our vacation. Energized and eager, we boarded our cruise ship and set sail towards Roatan, a tranquil island renowned for its white sands, tropical flora, and vibrant coral reefs.
Upon reaching Roatan, we were immediately captivated by the island’s natural beauty. The volcanic rock coasts, dense rainforests, and mangroves showcased the island’s rich biodiversity. In the heart of the town center, I joined in with the local Garifuna musicians and dancers, immersing ourselves in the vibrant culture and rhythmic beats that echoed through the port. Roatan, located in the Caribbean Sea and approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles) from mainland Honduras, is the largest island in the Bay of Honduras, offering a serene escape for travelers seeking tranquility and adventure.
One of the highlights of our visit to Roatan was an incredible dolphin encounter. Just off the coast, near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, we had the opportunity to swim with dolphins in the bay. The experience was nothing short of magical as we interacted with these intelligent creatures, touching, playing, and even feeding them fish snacks. It was a truly unforgettable.
Our journey continued as we sailed to Cozumel, Mexico. Josie, being a private airline stewardess, introduced me to a hidden gem called the No Name Beach Club. Nestled inconspicuously along a busy street, this beach club welcomed us with open arms. Upon entering through a small cavern-like hole, we paid a fee and received towels and entrance access. Led down a dimly lit corridor, we emerged into a paradise that consisted of a club, pool, bar, and direct access to the Caribbean Sea. The No Name Beach Club catered to airline and cruise ship workers, and we could tell from the name badges displayed everywhere that it had been a favorite spot for many in the past.
Our final port of call was Costa Maya, a destination that greeted us with turquoise waters and swaying palm trees. This region, located midway up the Yucatan Peninsula, is home to one of the largest populations of Mayan descendants. Eager to immerse ourselves in the rich history and natural wonders of the area, we ventured into the tropical forest, hiking along the trails while spotting a few playful spider monkeys along the way. Our exploration led us to ancient Mayan ceremonial center ruins, dating back to 1000 B.C., and we marveled at the architectural marvels of Chacchaben Ruins, renowned as the most famous ruin in the peninsula’s interior.
As our cruise came to an end, we reflected on the incredible experiences we had shared during our voyage. From the tranquil island of Roatan with its mesmerizing coral reefs to the hidden paradise of Cozumel and the captivating history of Costa Maya, our journey had been filled with awe-inspiring moments. We returned home with memories that would last a lifetime, grateful for the opportunity to have explored these remarkable destinations.
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