Exploring the Caribbean on a Carnival cruise has been a blast! My mom and I took a Jeep tour in Cozumel, went snorkeling in Belize with the world’s second largest barrier reef, and visited our third/final destination – Mahogany Bay on Isla Roátan, Honduras.
Mahogany Bay, located on the serene isle of Roatán is famed for its diving. It houses part of the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean sea, with easily accessible dive sites offering visibility from 5o to 100 feet. Almost 95% of the Caribbean’s known corals are found here! If the water isn’t for you, Mahogany Bay is also home to butterfly and iguana reserves, and colorful botanical gardens.
Scuba diving has been at the top of my bucket list so I was thrilled to see the Beginner’s Scuba shore excursion that didn’t require a C-card! We had a couple of hours before the excursion so we decided to explore Mahogany Bay. There was a rusty skeleton of an old shipwreck poking through the water right outside of our balcony. Made me super curious about all the hidden treasures in Mahogany Bay! Apparently the remains of partially sunken ships are common and some were intentionally sunk for scuba diving.
The first thing that catches your eye once you get off your Carnival ship at the Isla Roatan port are the magical flying chairs. It’s a 5-minute ride to glide 67 feet above the lush canopy of trees for a scenic chairlift ride to Mahogany Beach. Only $12 for an all day pass. We wanted to explore the local boutiques so we set out on foot instead.
The tropical weather in Mahogany Bay is hot and humid. We even got caught in a couple of light rain showers while walking through the trail to the beach. But Mahogany beach is beautiful with crystal blue waters and white sands. Relax on the beach loungers/mats, or rent a clam shell for more privacy.
Signature souvenirs on the island include carved wooden designs, ceramics hand-painted by the natives, and pumice stones.
Anthony’s Key Resort picked up us at the main shopping arena and drove us to the resort for an introduction to the sport of scuba diving. The excursion began with a classroom session taught by instructors of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), the scuba diving certification agency, that explained to us the skills and the safety of scuba diving. This was not a certification course, and the universally recognized Open Water Certification Card (C-card) was not issued. But you do receive a certificate of completing a PADI Discover Scuba Diving program that you can apply toward getting the c-card.
It’s super important that you feel comfortable when scuba diving, so we first practiced our skills in shallow water. The instructors showed us how to practice breathing underwater with the regulator, swimming with the fins, and removing water from your mask. You do need to demonstrate these things to the instructors in order to pass the test for them to allow you to dive. Unfortunately my mom didn’t feel comfortable breathing through the regulator so she chose to relax on the boat.
Away we sailed to deeper waters!
I loved this excursion because the groups were small enough that you received individual attention from the instructors. The three of us followed our instructor and dived 30 feet down into the water. The view from the ocean bottom is surreal. Unfortunately Anthony’s Key Resort didn’t allow us to use GoPro’s or waterproof cameras due to the safety while scuba diving, but they did shoot a professional underwater video that was available for purchase. Screenshot below, that’s me on the left!
Gently gliding along the ocean floor above pristine coral reefs with colorful, tropical fish swimming around us was an enchanting experience. We even swam alongside a sea turtle!
Suit up and jump in the next time you’re in the Caribbean for bucket list worthy experiences! I’m headed back on the Carnival ship and I’m starving. Stay tuned for a list of everything you absolutely need to eat on Carnival!
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.