Isla Roatan, Honduras Shore Excursion Review: Cabana Rental on Mahogany Beach

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Our third stop during our cruise on Carnival Glory was to the island of Roatan, Honduras. We had a bunch of excursions to choose from and we ultimately decided that a day at the beach sounded great. From what I understand, Carnival actually owns the area called Mahogany Bay, which includes Mahogany Beach. In addition to the security factor, I’m guessing this was a way for Carnival to collect even more of their passengers’ money when they get off the ship.

We had various beach packages to choose from at all price points. After a lot of deliberation we decided to rent a private cabana for the day. There are only 8 cabanas available and they rent for $199.99 for up to 4 people. (So you only book the cabana under ONE person on the shore excursions site, but you may bring up to 4 people (even from different cabins) with you for the day.

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We woke up to a very rainy , dreary, SOAKED Roatan. Not great for a beach day. We were docked from 7 am until 3 pm so we decided to wait a little to see if the rain let up at all. It did NOT. Off the ship we went, and by about 8:30 am we were on land.

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To get to the cabanas you can walk or take the “magical flying swings” to the beach area. Your cabana ticket grants you and your guests unlimited rides on the swings. We boarded the swings during a light drizzle that intensified to a full-on downpour by the time we reached the drop-off point. Once on the beach, there is a hut to check in. We got yellow wrist bands denoting private beach and cabana. An employee escorted us to our cabana (#6) and unlocked the doors, put cushions on our loungers and hung our hammock.

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The cabana itself is really just a small room with a big couch, chair and a coffee table. There is an air conditioning unit up in the wall. Our cabana had a wall safe and also a pager in case we needed to page our waiter. The doors of the cabana open to a covered porch with two lounge chairs. You receive an actual key to your cabana so you are free to lock up your belongings if you want to check out the shops, etc.

I loved the view from our porch! Directly in front of your cabana is a hammock and more loungers. The beach is private, except for random people walking from the public beach area over to the snorkeling pier. We watched several people attempt to sit on loungers, etc as they walked through and each time security checked for a wristband and kept them moving along if they didn’t have one.

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We found a few water floats on our porch, which were a nice touch because without a cabana you have to pay to rent them. Directly behind the cabanas were clean bathrooms which appeared to be well-stocked and cared for.

Even though at least half of our day on Roatan was rainy, we agreed that the cabana was one of our best vacation decisions. We were able to curl up on loungers under the big porch and read while the rain came down. Each time the sky cleared a bit we would venture down to the water with Lily. She did NOT want to come out of the water, which was pretty awesome because she is usually borderline terrified of the ocean and waves. This beach is bayside and the ocean is gentle, nearly waveless and on the day we visited, very warm. More like a lake than a rough ocean, it was such a nice spot to float around. The only bonus would have been more sun, but we were happy to salvage what we could.

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Here’s a fun tip – we were able to drastically cut down on our food and drink spending by bringing some of our own. We packed a collapsible cooler bag as well as some sandwich bags. The night before we docked in Honduras, we ordered (free) room service on the ship – peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and cookies. We bagged up everything and in the morning we asked our cabin steward for ice to fill up our cooler. We added soda and bottled water that we had brought onto the ship. Voila! Instant meal!

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We were on the beach for almost an entire day, so our picnic snacks were gone by mid morning and by early afternoon we decided to give the waiter service a try. Our waiter arrived promptly after paging him. We ordered wrap sandwiches, chicken fingers for Lily, chips and salsa/guac and drinks. Everything was very good and the prices were not too insane. Our entire lunch including drinks (a beer and a frozen drink) totaled just under $70 WITH tip.

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As I said earlier, our cabana ticket did grant us unlimited rides on the flying swings, but we found that once we arrived on the beach, we wanted to enjoy every possible minute there. We did not return to our ship until the 2:30 pm all aboard deadline. We didn’t have any time to look in shops by the pier, but it appeared to be the usual assortment of jewelry, duty free and other cache key items.

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This review was NOT compensated.  It was funded with by our own bank account and reflects an honest account of our individual experience.  All opinions are 100% our own.