MITSUGIRLY'S birthday cruise on the JADE review/pictorialDay
Day 6: Roatan, Honduras
DAY 5 on the ship. ROATAN HONDURAS
I set the alarm for 6:30am and we headed to the buffet for breakfast in search of eggs that were not runny. I was NOT successful.
I settled for the cholesterol rising french toast, yummy sugary whipped cream and the I'm gonna be a diabetic soon syrup.
Here we come Roatan...WITH my pool towels this time!
We have arrived...like seriously...we're here...where we will stay...in the water docked. Darnit. We would be tendering this time around thanks to the Dawn getting priority and they are not even here yet.
They lowered the life boats and the hubby said we would be using those. I informed him that they do the life boat drills every week and that's probably what they were doing. (I was wrong and he rubbed it in of course).
We headed back to the room to pick up our bags (and towels) and headed down to get off around 8:15am. We were up on the pool deck and I swear they did not make an announcement that we had been cleared and could leave. I just happened to look over the edge and seen them letting people onto the boats to take them over to the port. Grr.
We flashed our VIP Platinum Special People We've Spent So Much Money With Your Company cards and we were directed toward the line for the tenders. We made it to the steps and stopped, without moving, for a good 5 minutes. The wonderful crew member at the bottom of the stairs informed us that the Dawn was making her grand entrance and taking the "parking spot" at the dock and there would be a delay. This guy was so funny and kept us entertained while we waited. You know, what we are normally use to with the NCL crew, unlike Rasfah. I'm just glad we stopped on the steps...it gave me a place to rest my newly 50 year old legs until they were moving again.
It was a short tender ride over. Sakari insisted on stopping for pictures after getting off the boat because these were the friendly characters.
The dancers were out in full force and wanting your tips.
We would quickly wind our way out of the port area and onto the street to look for our tour guide and van.
So once again, we are headed to Little French Key for the (I think) 3rd time. There are so many changes each time we go it's just simply amazing. You think they can't do any more and then they prove you wrong. This is seriously the most beautiful place on earth.
We made it outside the port where we "normally" meet Dave or Larry and immediately seen their bright shirts with LFK on it. They took our group waiting down the road...and down the road...and ???? I was wondering where we were going since we were walking into the little town. This was odd. We have always waited directly outside the gates for the van to pull up and get in. This time we would have to go into town and wait. I believe I overheard one of them saying that there was an issue with pulling up at the gates now and were forced to go down the road...but then again, they weren't talking to me, so I was just catching parts of the convo.
A van pulled up and people piled in. Once again, we were first in line and everyone had managed to get in front of us and now the van was packed. Off they went. We were assured that the other van was just parked across the street and now on its way over. It arrived and we all piled in. The hubby always gets the front seat in everything we do. I have to laugh about this. LOL
Then we were off and seeing the sites along the way. We pulled away at 8:50am.
I have to mention that we got stuck behind a car that was going SO SLOW and it was quite aggravating. I just wanted to get to paradise ASAP and it wasn't happening as quickly as it normally does. This person in front of us was ridiculous. We were 4 cars behind him. One by one the cars in front of us started passing this slow car. Then it was finally our turn. Yippee!
We were passing Carnivals Mahogany Bay at 9:03.
So, if you are on Carnival and docking at Mahogany Bay, lucky you. It's a much shorter ride for you guys. The first time we ever went to LFK, we were docked here and you can tell it's a shorter ride. Well, you cut at least 13 minutes off the ride.
This is the mayors house. I over heard someone (on our ride back) saying that the driver told him the house was up for sale. They mayor couldn't afford the payment on it so he was selling it.
We are heading into "Spanish Town", which is where the Mexicans live here. Now when we get that close, I know that the turn off to LFK is right up the road. This little town is for Mexicans ONLY. The driver said "No people of color are allowed here". While it's great they have a little community of their own, I found it weird that they still have some segregation there.
We pass the huge shopping "Mega Plaza"
Considering all that has been going on with LFK and their animals over the last year, I found it odd that they were able to put up a sign in town, but it did catch my eye.
I immediately know where our turn off is located and I threw my hand up and pointed right before we got there. I don't know why I did it. It was just a reaction. People in the van looked at me weird. I crawled back into my hole of happy places and continued taking pictures.
One of the luxury hotels along the way
When you head down that road, you immediately notice the houses getting nicer and bigger with plush yards and landscaping along the way. You know you are getting close.
Then boom! You hit the gravel pot holed road that leads to LFK. The driver would swerve back and forth to avoid hitting the holes and allow us to remain in our seats instead of on the roof. The hubby said "I don't know why Kevah (the owner of LFK) doesn't just pave this road". I quickly reminded him that we have new houses going up 3 doors down from us, which is making such a muddy mess on our street, and he doesn't take his own money to clean the street every day for the neighbors, so why would Kevah use his money to pave a road that's not his? "Hmm, good point" he replies.
The place at Frenchy 44 has really grown up as well. They did have these stables last time we were here, but everything is matching with the restaurant, houses and everything...they match over at LFK too.
Oh, I forgot, we pulled up at LFK at 16 minutes after passing Mahogany Bay. So it's about a total of 29 minutes to get to LFK from Coxenhole...give or take the traffic.
We head over to the desk at the restaurant on the water to check in. I noticed this sign on the roof was new.
If you are a return customer at LFK, you get a 10% discount. If you want to change your package once you get there, you can.
We headed to the barge boat to go over to the island after paying.
It only takes a couple of minutes to get across the water to LFK. Last time we were here, they had made a new dock on the side of the island that faces Frenchy 44's. I really liked when they use to pull up in the lagoon area. It was just a great first impression pulling up there in the beautiful light blue water. Although I completely understand the reason they moved the dock since that's where most of the action is at (in the lagoon) with swimmers and the jumping dock. But I still miss it.
I did notice they have a lot of new signs up everywhere. They have also added a lot of safety signs and evacuation route signs as well.
Once everyone was off the boat, someone started talking to the crowd and telling them about LFK and started giving them a tour. We have been here enough times to know our way around, so we left the group and decided to check out the animals and see for ourselves what was left here. There's still a lot of animals, but there are also a lot of empty cages as well. It was pretty sad I have to say.
We made it down to Lawrence the lion's cage. One of the workers was playing with him and it was so fun to watch their interaction. You can tell that he just loves this guy. It's amazing to see how far along Lawrence has come since they first got him. He was so abused before. He looks healthy and great now after his surgery. You can tell he's one happy lion.
He was just running back and forth chasing the worker and jumping up on the fence to be petted. The guy told us that he loves to be petted, especially on his nose and told us that anyone could pet him and he was very friendly.
After watching Lawrence be the king of the jungle, we headed on over to check out what other changes had been made.
This small secluded little area was very pretty and new.
This is a new tree house. Check out the steps. Really cute.
More of the new area
Simba's new cage that was built right before he was taken. So sad to see it empty now.
The back side of the cage is a pizza place.
New beach area Kingston Beach.
A bar out in the water. There wasn't anyone out there this day.
This is a real beautiful beach and area, it just needs some trees for shade and it would be perfect.
I do believe they now have quite a few hammocks to enjoy in various places.
This seems to be the area that we always head to first. I'm honestly not sure why because honestly, it's probably my least favorite area. Not much snorkeling in this area except along the walls you may find a few fish and the mangroves, but I think it's the area that is the least prettiest of the island. Somehow...we still end up here to start with.
Maybe it's because there's plenty of shade and the hubby likes the shade.
We settled in and picked our "spot" and immediately I put on my mask and headed out to snorkel some while Sakari grabbed the mermaid outfit and the hubby just chilled on the chair.
I found a conch shell with the conch still in it.
I snorkeled around the area, but really didn't find too much to see. A few fish here and there over by the mnagroves, but I wanted to explore a little more and headed over to the beach to the left.
I decided I would head across the water and go toward the lagoon. There's a new bar that was built from before the last time we were there and I was now in this lagoon area in front of it.
I climbed out of the water using some steps that I didn't realize were there last time. These steps led up to the deck that was in the area of the lagoon (the pretty part). I walked across the deck and over to the lagoon side and back in I went.
Last time I was here, there was a Lion Fish hanging out at this rock in the lagoon area that is an area that somewhat separates the sandy beach area from the area that dips up really shallow with sea grass. I found another Lion Fish at this same exact spot, but he was a little bigger. I wonder if it's the same Lion Fish as before and he has just grown up?
This little fish kept following me around. He stayed at my feet a lot. I stayed really still for awhile to see what he would do and it was fun to watch him dart back and forth, getting closer and closer to my fins. He was exploring and probably trying to figure out what I was. That or maybe he was a she and I was getting too close to her eggs or something.
These were some pretty nice sized Banded Butterfly fish.
There were plenty of surgeon fish in the area. I love the blue surgeon fish (Blue Tang is what I always called them when I had them in my salt water tank). I hope to some day run in to Dori.
I explored all the way to the rope line where Carnival now has the "Big French Key" excursion on the island in the lagoon area right across from LFK. Then turned around. It's so ashame that this lagoon has these places so close together now that they have to be divided by a rope.
I decided I was going to go up in the sea grass area and swim around the deck above and back over to the other side. I believe depending on the time of year and the tide, this area can get very shallow. It's shallow to begin with, but today it was extremely shallow around the deck area and at times I wondered if I should even be doing this. If you are going to swim around the deck to get back over to the other side, I suggest you do it quickly and be able to swim the distance (which really isn't that far) without putting your legs or arms down harm the area. It's kinda an area you need to strictly float across and very easy kicking of the fins in order to not tear up any of the sea grass.
You can see just how shallow it is. This is me looking under the deck. I believe these might have been some small ballyhoo fish. But, it was a little dark under there so they could have been some type of needlenose fish as well. They had long noses.
I arrived back over toward our area to find my daughter up on one of the tables under the umbrellas in the water. She was posing for people while they questioned her about being a mermaid.
I headed back to find that the hubby had a drink waiting on me. It was just what I needed after that long swim.
A few minutes of resting and a worker came over to ask if we were ready to eat yet. I ask the hubby and he said sure. I wasn't really too hungry yet, but this was a shorter port day for us and I knew if I didn't eat now, I probably wouldn't have time later. He told us he would get our meals and bring them over.
There's tons of picnic tables around the area now, so this made it nice. We had one directly behind us that we would use.
I think them offering the food on this side of the island is new now. Before, you always had to walk over to the lagoon area to get your meal. I think since they have expanded so much now, they now offer it both places which makes it nice. HOWEVER, I believe since they are now doing this...it ended up keeping us in the area we were at....for the rest of the day. We wouldn't move to the lagoon side at all this time. So, I was saddened by this.
These are the food cards they now give you for your meal.
The food was good like always and we gobbled it all up. I don't eat the meat, so I always trade mine for the hubbys lobster tails.
These two wouldn't stop making out and didn't even notice we were eating in front of them and watching them. They were a little busy...I swear there use to be a bigger statue here by the water. I'll have to go back and look at my older pictures. I may be wrong though.
A cup of pop there was $3.00, which I found to be a completed overcharge. You didn't even get the entire can, just a cup (which was a large cup) with ice and pop. I would much rather have a can to know I got at least a full can of pop. Since alcohol is more expensive than pop, we decided to buy Sakari's pop for her meal and we'd use the tickets for the alcohol. (You get 2 tickets per person for free drinks during you stay).
After eating, I decided to walk the grounds and get some pictures.
This is the walkway/dock leading out to the lagoon area and to the left of it is the 2 story jump platform.
This is a new boat that they built that you can rent out for the day. I'm not sure why you would ever want to get on another boat and leave this paradise, but it's an option if you want.
This is the area they recently built a new beachhouse that you can now rent out and stay on the island. It's really huge and is a 3 bedroom home. You can rent it by the room or the entire thing. It has a large deck that walks across to another area.
Under it, you will find some additional cages, but I didn't see any animals in them.
The owner posted pictures on his social media site when this place was completed and the inside is beautiful.
They had 2 new baby lions. They were resting when I was over there, but the hubby and Sakari would later go over and they were up playing with the crowd. I believe I read they were rescued from a circus.
PEACOCKS!!! Oh my, Sakari will be happy when I tell her I found some.
This looked like a peacock, but it was white. I'm not sure if it's actually an albino peacock or something else. I tried several times to get a good picture of it, but it kept turning it's neck.
I'm not sure if these bathrooms have always been here or not, but I did discover them this time. They did look like they might be new and they were really nice. They are located in the new area, under the owners house, and facing the new beach.
Outside the bathroom area, there is a little dining area to the right, still under the house, which is also where our food came from and there is a bar there.
They even had little details, such as this, on the tables. They have made this place just so beautiful no matter where you turn.
Obviously they give massages too. I didn't see anyone getting them, but know that people on the boards also ask about this, so I thought I would take a picture of the prices.
I had went full circle on the island and made it back to the hubby. I ask if he wanted to go "for a ride" and we headed to find a few kayaks. We went over to the new beach because I had seen quite a few of them over there. We each found one and headed out in the water.
As soon as we got out in the water, a man came running over telling us we couldn't go "out" far in the water with them and we had to stay right here in this area. Um, ok. I had seen some people take them out earlier, but hadn't really watched where they went. If we had to stay in this little area, that was not going to be fun. The last time we left from the lagoon area and was able to go out to the coral reefs in front of the dock area and it was amazing. He told us that the area around there was too shallow. I was disappointed. I have always seen people in the kayaks go ALL THE WAY AROUND the island in them. Maybe it was just the area we were in.
Well that took all of 5-10 minutes and we headed back. There were other people heading out in the canoes and this mysterious man that told us not to go out of the area was no where to be found. I swear it's just my luck.
It was time for another drink. That 5-10 minutes of kayaking made me thirsty. hehe
And then a crab. "Mommy!!! Come look!!! Hurry!!!"
Yes Sakari, close your eyes...they are still kissing...
The internet/wifi here is free and it was SUPER fast. This was awesome and I was able to post some beautiful pictures of our location in real time for back home. The hubby was able to catch up on a little bit of work and managed to find his new executive desk...desk, foot rest, drink in hand and internet. Wow, does life get any better than this??
I knew time was flying and we would have to leave before long. I wanted to head out one last time to get some pictures with my goggles/camera and out I went...warning Sakari that when I came back in, it would be time to morph back into a human and get ready to leave. She told me I could stay out in the water, snorkeling as long as I wanted, and not to rush. LOL
When I returned, I found Sakari being chauffeured around by her new friends mother on a paddle board. LOL
I had asked several of the workers there if Kevah was around today and was told he was on the mainland today working "at the office". I assume this means over at Frenchy 44's, but not sure. Maybe one of those buildings over there is the office. I really wanted to talk to him today and see how him and the family are doing and get more of the scoop on the animals. I have been trying to keep up with it since it happened, but it's always nicer to hear from the actual source instead of online. I was disappointed that I would not get to see him today.
We gathered our things and started to head to the dock to get our ride back over to the main land. I really hated leaving so early and having to get back to the ship for an early departure. With us having to tender, it made for even a shorter day and the last tender was at 3pm.
We did see a few kids over at the new dock area. I was waiting to see if they used the rope to jump in the water, but I never did see them do it.
Still trying to make the most of the day, I would wonder off a little taking more pictures as we waited on the boat to return.
They do give helicopter rides now. I think this would be cool to do, but I'm sure it's very expensive and didn't see anyone doing it the day we were there.
Sakari and I headed over to see the baby lions again. They were awake this time for me.
Sakari put a leaf in the cage and one came over to investigate and then play with the leaf.
I heard the hubby yell that the boat was coming and we came back to the dock.
We all got on and headed toward Frenchy's. We were told that we needed to head back around 1:30pm in order to play it safe to make it to the ship on time. It was already past that and my worried instincts kicked in.
One last look at Little French Key.
Within minutes we were back at the dock at Frenchys.
Now for those that are new to reading about Little French Key....there's an entirely different area to LFK, which is the lagoon area. It's beautiful over there. The only time I was over there this time was when I was snorkeling. So, I really didn't get pictures over there this time. If you want to see pictures from there, you'll have to head over to one of my previous reviews of LFK that's listed in my signature line.
It was a short 30 minute ride back to the port. Once again, the hubby sat in the front and for some reason I headed toward the back. We were in there with a few other couples. I got stuck with a guy in front of me that was Mr Know-It-All. Others on the bus had never been to Roatan before and were asking all kinds of questions. He would give them his educated advice, which I have to say was totally off most of the time. Now I don't know everything about Roatan, I don't know much actually when it comes down to it, even with being there quite a few times. However, I do know that the information he was giving them was incorrect and it aggravated me. Then when one couple was asking about why we were forced to tender instead of dock, the guy replied that it was stupid because we could have easily docked there with the Dawn and they were just dumb for not doing so. I finally spoke up and said "Only one ship can dock there at a time. It's not big enough to dock 2 ships". He immediately got defensive and said that he's "been there plenty of times with 2 ships docked there and there's plenty enough room!" LOL Dude...you might want to take a look again when you arrive back in port. The Dawn is docked and the front of the ship and the back of the ship hangs out way past the pier...What you gonna do? Swim to your ship?? Ugh!
We arrived back at 2:30pm and headed into the port area. Come Again!! Well, don't mind if I do Roatan!
The tenders were going back and forth and there really wasn't much of a line even though it was getting close to all aboard time.
We made it back to the ship and there were still people tendering over well after 3pm.
We could see the Carnival ship over at Mahogany Bay. There were 2 there that day: Dream & Valor, I believe it was. The island that you see in the picture is Maya Key.
We headed to our rooms and it was time to shower and go get something to eat...again.
I decided I wanted to eat on the back of the ship outside and enjoy the view. I always manage to get a weird combination of food when I'm cruising.
Hanging out on the pool deck while we were pulling away.
You see how happy she is now??? It won't last for much longer....
We head back to the room to grab....
our HOMEWORK!!! Oh my, you would have thought that Sakari was having a mental breakdown. Remember that nice little well-behaved girl that I brag out? No more. Not at the moment. I got the whinning, the puppy dog eyes, the rebelious side...she just did not want to ruin this lovely day she just experienced...doing homework to finish the day out. Well, neither did I but it was a must.
We headed to the buffet area and the hubby was in charge of helping her while I worked on one of my papers. She was in a "mood" by this time. She couldn't concentrate, she was pouting, she was not paying attention. She was really giving him a hard time. I believe she would purposely tell him the wrong answers so he would give up on her. They were simple logical questions and answers and she was doing everything to make it hard on him. For instance (this was not on there, but just an example) A dog likes to chew on a.... 1) bone 2) water 3) baby. What do you think she picks? She starts out with 3...BABY! Like seriously? Then her next answer would be 2...Water!! Ok, you're doing this crap on purpose. It went on for quite some time. She was going to refuse to be sensible for anything at all. I had the hubby walk away. I closed my computer. I made jokes and helped her out. She did the work. She did it right. He returned and she was done and instantly my computer died. That meant we had been there for 2 hours (my battery life) and it was time to go. Enough homework time for the day.
At 6pm, it was time to have adult time and Sakari headed to the kids club. She was complaining again about not wanting to go. Where is my child???? What has someone done with my child that begs to go to the kids club???? I don't get it. She told me she is so tired of going there and doing the SAME THING over and over every cruise again. I told her that means she is like the leader of the crew and could help others out since she knew everything already. She wasn't happy, but she went.
Where do you think we headed? Yep, back to the casino to try our luck again.
WOO HOO!! I won the free spin category. Give me that money! Momma needs a new pair of shoes. Well, not really, I need another cruise.
.60¢ Are you serious??? Please tell me this isn't any indication of what tonight was going to bring. You wait for so long to get that free spin category and to only win .60¢???
Ok, that's a little better now...
As you can see...between the last machine and this one, I had managed to bring my $20 I put in up to $90 now. Not bad.
I decided that the Carnival Rio had treated me badly and I would give her another shot at making amends.
Yep, she gave me $21.10 off this spend. That will work. Hey, it's more than what I originally walked into this place with.
I cashed out and decided since I was over $100 already, I would put this ticket in with our other winnings.
I put in another $20 and started over (I normally bring $40 for each of us when we go to the casino). This time Pixie dust was surrounding me and before long I was almost at another $100 with another win.
One last try on the leopard game and it was almost time for the show. I was able to get the bonus and put my cash winnings over the $100 mark again and cash out a happy lady.
We walked out happy (well I did) and headed to the atrium to check out getting another cruise certificate. I mean I do still need to sail the Gem to complete all the ships except for the Escape that just came out. I would need at least 1 cruise certificate.
We met Barb, the nice cruise consultant that gave us our ship tour, in her office and sat down. We went over various cruises, in order to book a "cruise next" and get added value, and settled on the Escape for next year. So, I may or may not keep this booking. We'll see. We talked with Barb for a long time. We really got to know each other and she was great to talk to. She told us about how she got her job with NCL, what she did previously, her ex, her house and selling it, her life before cruise ships and her life now. She told us about their work schedule and the rooms they stay in. She told us about the crew. She told us about the Captain and "some things" he said to her... she just turned 58 and didn't look it at all. She was such a joy and we really appreciated our time with her. I love getting to know people that work on the cruise line, especially when you get to know them as a person.
It was time to head to the show. There was a comedian there tonight and I love comedians. I love to laugh. That's what it's all about.
Well, once again the comedians have rotated ships and we have seen this guy before. He still had most of the same material, but he does like to incorporate the audience into his jokes as well, so that always mixes it up...which was hilarious and we still enjoyed it.
After the show, we picked up Sakari from the kids club and headed to get our "dinner" for the night. Once again, I wanted to go outside to eat and we headed to the back of the ship.
I always like hanging out back here at night with the light post all lit up and a gentle breeze blowing. It's the perfect place to hang out at and just talk.
Sakari immediately discovered that the Jade had picked up a hitchhiker in Roatan.
She met a friend from the kids club and her parents came over and ask if it was ok if their daughter sat with Sakari to eat because they were "friends". Sakari told her to pull up a chair because she already had a "friend" sitting in the chair beside her (the dragonfly). The girls ate and once they were done, the parents came over and talked to us for a little while and then it was time to go.
We picked up some ice cream for desert and headed to the room. Sakari insisted on another picture by the statues.
Once back at the room, we had a new friend.
I made it a point to take this picture...
Isn't it amazing that we don't have any more early morning port days and all of a sudden Rasfah decides that he is going to start leaving us pool towels again? Nice! Notice there's a regular towel sitting on top too? Someone tell me why it's sitting on the pool towels, in our room, instead of in the bathroom with the other towels?
The family went to bed and I decided I would try to get a little more of my paper done. I had major issues trying to log on and it kept saying I was already logged on to a device. I checked and doubled checked our phones. We were logged out. The wifi was turned off. I worked on it for about 1/2 hour and got super frustrated and finally gave up. This issue would happen almost every night if you tried to log on after 11pm...the time there is no representative in the Internet Cafe to help you out of course.
Off to bed I went at 12:30pm.