Roatan is a small island about 40 miles off the north coast of Honduras and served as stop number 4 during our cruise. The port was beautiful compared to some others. The shopping area attached to the port wasn’t as large as Cozumel, but it looked very new. Prices were high and there really weren’t any good bargains to be found. Meeting for excursions booked through NCL was easy. There were designated zones on the pier to meet.
The lone NCL excursion we booked was the ultimate Big French key adventure. Tour buses took our group on a 30 minute drive, followed by a 5 minute boat ride to Big French Key — a tiny little island right next to Little French key. Both are privately owned and operated and they warn you to stay on the island that you booked. Both share a small lagoon. LFK looked to have more modern structures and amenities, but BFK wasn’t bad. There was a large open air structure for dining with a bar and kitchen and plenty of seating, a bathroom, water sports area with shared lockers, plenty of lounge chairs, a kiddie play area, hammocks, and showers.
Our excursion began with a debriefing about activities. That was followed by a long snorkeling trip. Our group signed waivers, received equipment and a short lesson in how to properly use the equipment. After that we boarded the boat and headed about 5-10 minutes away to snorkel along the coral reef. According to our guide Honduras has the second best reef and snorkeling in the world behind Australia. Our snorkel trip lasted about 40 minutes, with our group swimming from one area to the next. A couple of the guides were there to help anyone who needed it while the boat followed the group.
It was the rainy season, so most of the day was spent in the rain, but the excursion was still great because of the snorkeling alone. After the snorkeling we got back to BFK for a catered lunch. Consisting of rice and beans, grilled chicken, fish, plantains, and coleslaw. The service was outstanding with some drinks included with the excursion. The best thing about the meal was the red snapper. The large filets were meaty and flaky, covered in a delicious garlic butter sauce. It wasn’t fancy, but was one of the better items I dined on during my trip.
After lunch was a short boat ride around the surrounding area where out tour guide pointed out stingrays, iguanas, and facts about nearby reefs and resorts.
The excursion was pricey, but was a great experience. Probably the best snorkeling I’ve had to date.