Carnival Magic: 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise

Saturday, December 3 - Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Day 5: Roatan, Honduras

For Roatan, Honduras we had booked a shore excursion ahead of time through Carnival’s website. The shore excursion we chose was one of the lowest priced shore excursions we could find. We chose this excursion because it looked like something we both would enjoy, it had several very good reviews, and it was reasonably priced. The excursion was called “Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean.” The price was $49.99/person, and the length of the tour is estimated to be about 4 hours, which includes the drive to and from the destination.

 

Breakfast at BlueIguana Cantina

Our shore excursion was scheduled for around noon, so we had plenty of time to eat breakfast on the Lido deck first. I had read many good reviews for the BlueIguana Cantina’s breakfast food, so we both decided to try their breakfast burritos. You choose your tortilla, either wheat or jalapeño, then choose your fillings, which are: chicken sausage, ham, mexican style scrambled eggs, and scrambled eggs. Then tell them your other fillings, which are: skillet hash brown potatoes, monterey jack cheese, onion, iceberg lettuce, and tomato. And finally you let them know what toppings you want in it, which are: roasted tomato salsa, pico de gallo, creme fresco, and tomatillo salsa.

Photo of the BlueIguana Cantina at breakfast on Carnival Magic.

BlueIguana Cantina at breakfast - Carnival Magic Lido Deck

Photo of BlueIguana Cantina breakfast menu on Carnival Magic showing the four steps to buld your burrito.

Steps to building your perfect burrito at BlueIguana Cantina on Carnival Magic

Photo of cooking pots with breakfast food items, including sausage and scrambled eggs, at the BlueIguana Cantina on Carnival Magic.

BlueIguana Cantina breakfast options - Carnival Magic

Photo of a breakfast burrito being made at the BlueIguana Cantina on Carnival Magic.

BlueIguana Cantina - My husband's made to order breakfast burrito - Carnival Magic

Photo of the BlueIguana Cantina Salsa Bar on Carnival Magic.

 BlueIguana Cantina Salsa Bar provides many options - Carnival Magic

Photo of a burrito and salsa from BlueIguana Cantina, and a cup of juice, on Carnival Magic.

My husband's finished breakfast burrito from BlueIguana Cantina on Carnival Magic

There is a salsa bar near where you get your burrito, so you can add extra items on your own, like salsas, cheese, and creme fresco, if you want more.

As for the breakfast burritos, we had differing opinions. My husband really liked his, but I thought mine was just OK. However, the skillet hash brown potatoes that I had them put in my burrito were, as I had read, delicious! So I picked apart my burrito and ate all the hash brown potatoes. You can ask for just those hash brown potatoes, so if you really like them, I recommend you get a side order of those. They’re crunchy, and have a great flavor.

Then we ate from the Lido breakfast buffet. Knowing that we probably wouldn’t be eating lunch, we filed up for our tummies while we had the opportunity.

We had some time to walk around and explore the port of Mahogany Bay before our shore excursion. We did some shopping, and then headed to our excursion meeting area.

Photo of the walkway from Carnival Magic to Mahogany Bay cruise port shopping area in Roatan, Honduras.

Pathway from Carnvial Magic to Mahogany Bay Cruise Port area at Roatan, Honduras

Honduras Shore Excursion - Pirates Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean

The ride to the park was very interesting. You get to see what Isla Roatan looks like as you drive through the areas where the locals live, and as you drive through the jungle terrain. The roads are very third-world country, with many, many, large pot-holes, so it’s a bumpy ride. It’s also a windy ride through the island as you drive higher and lower in elevation, and at one point you get a fantastic view from high on the island looking down over the jungle landscape below that abuts to the Caribbean Sea.

On the way we drove by another port, which is where other cruise lines dock. We learned while we were at Isla Roatan that Mahogany Bay is the cruise port owned by Carnival Corporation, and it’s a much nicer port than the other port on Isla Roatan. I’ll talk more about Mahogany Bay later, as we learned later on how much that port offers. It's good to know about it ahead of time, so that way you can plan for it.

Photo of part of the bus ride from Carnival Magic to Pirates, Birds, & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras.

We passed the other cruise port on the bus ride to our excurstion - you can see a ship in the background - Roatan, Honduras

Photo of Caribbean Sea and Honduran jungle from bus ride to Pirates, Birds, & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras.

The bus driver stopped shortly so we could take this photo from the bus - Roatan, Honduras

Photo of part of the bus ride from Carnival Magic to Pirates, Birds, & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras.

Bus ride to Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of the entrance road to Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Entrance road to Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion - Roatan, Honduras

When you arrive at the park, they require you to put your back pack and certain other items in a locker, which you must pay for. It’s just a couple of dollars, but make sure you have some cash with you for the locker if you go to this park. They also have a food area, where you can get food and drink before the tour of the park.

As for the park, it doesn’t really feel like a park, it feels more like a nature area. Various animals are roaming freely around the park, including large iguanas, parrots, other large birds, and monkeys.

You walk over a suspension bridge to get to the area where the monkeys and parrots are, but if you don’t want to use the bridge, they have a walk way you can use to get there.

A woman kindly warned me that the hair clips in my hair would be stolen by the monkeys if I left them in my hair, so I removed them. We learned quickly that those monkeys are cute little thieves. One of the monkeys two times stole items from someone’s stroller when the people weren’t watching, and he or she took off and ran with the items in hand when he or she was caught taking the items! So if you go to this park, be warned - the monkeys are thieves!

They let us spend enough time with the monkeys and parrots so that we could have our pictures taken with them on our shoulders. They let you use your own cameras to photograph them.

Photo of the bus drop-off and pick-up area at Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Bus drop-off and pick-up area at Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of an Iguana sitting on rocks at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras.

Not the BlueIguana Cantina

Photo of funny sign that shows picture of two iguanas walking and says, "Caution Iguanas crossing." In Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Funny Sign at Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of a black, exotic bird at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan Honduras from Carnival Magic.

This funny, talkative bird jumped onto, then perched on, the head of the man behind us. You can see the suspension bridge in the background.

Photo of a green Macaw on my shoulder at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Macaw on my shoulder at Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of two red Macaws perched on fence at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Colorful Macaws perched right by a bench my husband was sitting on. Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of a monkey on my husband's shouder at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Monkey on my husband's shoulder during the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

The next part of the tour was so boring, but there were a couple of people, OK maybe one person, who seemed interested in it, and we had to keep waiting over and over again for her as she took photos of EVERY single thing in the cave, and the things in the cave are NOT interesting. You go into a man-made cave, and if your’e claustrophobic, you might want to skip that part of the tour. You won’t be missing much at all if you don’t enter the cave, other than missing that horrible feeling of claustrophobia; a couple of the walkways are quite narrow, and at one point we had to stand in that narrow walkway for a few minutes as we waited for another tour to go through another part of the cave. Another man and myself walked back out of the walkway because we didn’t enjoy being stuck in that narrow walkway.

Photo of a typographical map in the cave at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

A typographical map of Isla Roatan, Honduras. This was the best part of the man-made cave tour, which doesn't say much for the rest of the cave tour.

Photo of a small beach at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Small beach at Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of a small beach at the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic.

Small beach at Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean shore excursion in Roatan, Honduras

After the “cave” tour, they point out where the beach is, where you can go snorkeling or hang out on the beach. The beach is extremely small, but there were hardly any people on the beach, so the size wasn’t a problem. There are some people offering to give 30 minute massages for about $25, so if you want a massage on the beach, you can get one there. We then went back to the waiting area for the next tour bus to take us back to Mahogany Bay.

 

Mahogany Beach

When we got back to Mahogany Bay, we decided to see where a little walkway through the trees would lead us. There is a sign that reads, “Nature Trail, 700 ft uneven terrain,” so we walked the nature trail. It’s somewhat hidden, and if we hadn’t seen that sign and walked the trail, we never would have known there is a really nice beach area, called Mahogany Beach, to enjoy. You can also take a chair lift to the beach if you don’t want to walk. Click here for a link to info on the chair lift fees.

Photo of the nature trail sign behind the Dufry shop at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras.

Nature trail sign in the distance behind the duty free shop at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of the beginning of the nature trail to Mahogany Beach at Roatan, Honduras during Carnival Magic cruise.

Entrance to the nature trail that leads to Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras

I’m including photos of where the trail to the beach is, along with directions on how to find it, because we both thought it was in an inconspicuous place. When you get off the ship you must walk the pier to to the Dufry shop, which you are, unfortunately, forced to walk through. My husband and I had to hold our breaths and rush, practically run, through the store because the fragrance is overwhelming in there. So if you are adversely affected by fragrances, and I know more and more people are starting to realize they are adversely affected by the harmful chemicals in fragrances, then you’ve been warned ahead of time. After you exit the Dufry shop, turn right and walk behind the shop and then walk straight toward the brown sign with yellow words, which is the entrance to the Nature trail that leads to the beach. The trail is not a very long trail, and there are a couple of nice overlooks on the trail that give you good photo ops of the ship at the dock. After the nature trail there are some shops and then another walk over a somewat long bridge to the beach. The entire walk from the Dufry store to the beach took a few minutes, and for some people the chair lift might be a better option than walking, especially when it’s hot and humid outside.

Photo of a lookout on the nature trail provides a view of Carnival Magic at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras.

A lookout with a bench along the nature trail allows for a staring contest with people on the ship. Carnival Magic at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras.

Photo of the nature trail to Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras shows low hanging limbs, during Carnival Magic Western Caribbean cruise.

Low hanging limbs along the nature trail between Mahogany Bay and Mahogony Beach in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of the bridge from Mahogany Beach to Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras during Carnival Magic Western Caribbean cruise.

Chair lifts you can take for a fee to skip walking the nature trail and the bridge between Mahogony Bay and Mohogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of beach lounge chairs at Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras from Carnival Magic during seven night Western Caribbean cruise.

Beach lounging area is free to use for Carnival Cruise Line passengers at Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of the beach rentals area at Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras during Carnival Magic Western Caribbean cruise.

Beach rental shop at Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras

Photo of people in water and standing in sand at Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras during Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival Magic.

Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras

Once you're on the beach, you’ll find a place where you can rent equipment. I’m listing what the fees were the day we were there in December 2016.

 

Mahogany Beach Equipment Rental Fees:

Snorkel Set (all day) $20.00

Stand Up Paddle (half hour) $18.00

Beach Float (all day) $9.00

Magical Flying Chair (all day pass) $14.00 Adult, $8.00 Child

Clam Shell (all day) $26.00

Sea Clam (all day) $60.00

 

Kayaks

Single person (half hour) $19.00

Two person (half hour) $26.00

 

Paddle Boat

Two person (half hour) $26.00

Four person (half hour) $39.00

 

It Bikes

Single person (half hour) $40.00

Double person (half hour) $55.00

 

Aqua Cycles

Aqua cycle two person (half hour) $26.00

Aqua boat cycle four person (half hour) $60.00

 

Funcat (Electric motored device)

Funcat (half hour) $30.00

Funcat (one hour) $50.00

Photo of a sunset viewed from Carnival Magic while docked at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras.

Sunset viewed from Carnival Magic in Roatan, Honduras

Day Five Lido Buffet Dinner

We ate dinner that night in the main dining room, but first my husband took photos of the Lido dinner buffet. That night the Lido dinner buffet’s featured items were: Lamb leg; Penne Mariscos; Roasted pumpkin soup; Fried shrimp; Chicken Milanese; Grilled bass with roasted tomato broth; Beef and Broccoli’ Corn Chili Quinoa Baked Tomato; White Rice; and Baked Potato, Sour Cream, Cheddar, Bacon Bits. There were also other items, such as Orzo Pasta with Peas and Corn; Potatoes ‘n’ spinach with Basil; Caesar Salad, and more.

The Sweet Spot that night offered: Chocolate Pannacotta; Chocolate Cookie Cake; Cheese Cake; and other items.

Photo of the Good Eats menu at the Lido Restaurant on Carnival Magic.

Good Eats Menu on Carnival Magic lists some of the items offered at the Lido Restaurant Dinner Buffet

Photo of salads in bowls at the Lido Restaurant dinner buffet salad bar on Carnival Magic.

Lido Restaurant Dinner Buffet on Carnival Magic

Photo of trays of food, including fried shrimp, at the Lido Restaurant dinner buffet on Carnival Magic.

Fried Shrimp, Beef and Broccoli, and other items at the Lido Restaurant Dinner Buffet on Carnival Magic

Photo of trays of food, including Beef 'n' Broccoli and Chicken Milanese, at the Lido Restaurant dinner buffet on Carnival Magic.

From left to right: Fried Shrimp, Beef 'n' Broccoli, Chicken Milanese, Grilled Basa w/ Roasted Tomato Broth, and Penne Mariscos at the Lido Restaurant Dinner Buffet on Carnival Magic

Photo of bowls with the Chocolate Pannacotta dessert at Sweet Spot on Carnival Magic.

Chocolate Pannacotta dessert at Sweet Spot at the Lido Restaurant  on Carnival Magic

Photo of various desserts at Sweet Spot on Carnival Magic.

More desserts at Sweet Spot at the Lido Restaurant on Carnival Magic

Day Five Main Dining Room Dinner

The Main Dining Room Appetizers were: Marinated Chicken Tenders - Sweet chili relish; Shrimp Cocktail - Traditional cocktail sauce; Fried Shrimp - Roasted red pepper remoulade; Roasted Pumpkin Soup - Crouton, cream; Asparagus Vichyssoise - chilled asparagus and potato soup; Beef and Barley Soup - Root vegetables; money Roasted Ham - Pineapple chutney, ginger bread, mustard mayo; Mixed Greens - Tomato, cumber and carrots; Kale or Romaine Caesar Salad - House made dressing, shaved parmesan. The Rare Finds appetizer was Escargots Bourguignonne - Burgundy snails, garlic butter.

The Main Dining Room Entrees were: Beef Lasagna - Tomato basil sauce, mozzarella; Chicken Milanese - Charred lemon, sauteed green beans; Penne Mariscos - Shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels, lobster cream; Braised Short Ribs - Potato and pea gratin, red wine sauce, sauteed green beans; Corn, Chili, Quinoa Baked Tomato - Potato jalapeño croqueta, cheese sauce, leek hash; Featured Vegetarian - Lentils, basmati rice, papadam and raita.

From the Grill: Salmon Fillet - Citrus and pepper rub, broccoli, carrots, red potato; Flat Iron Steak - Pepper, herbs, broccoli, baked potato; Chicken Breast - Roast garlic and herbs, peas and carrots, red potato; Pork Chop - Caramelized onions, stewed apple, mash. The sauces were, as usual: Chimichurri, BBQ Sauce, Béarnaise, Peppercorn, Roasted Garlic and Tomato Tapenade.

Side Dishes: Corn and Vegetable Succotash; Whipped Potatoes; Baked Potato - Sour cream, bacon, chives; Sauteed Green Beans - with bacon; Steamed Broccoli; Fragrant Basmati Pilaf.

The Port of Call Menu was: Appetizer: Chicken Pastelitos - Warm and flaky pockets of pastry, filled with traditionally seasoned shredded chicken breast. Main: Pescado Asado Cubierto con Tostones: Sweet and savory with a satisfying crunch, the fish fillet is covered in a house made mixture of plantains and breadcrumbs and lightly fried. Served alongside black bean and corn.

Photo of Chicken Pastelitos at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Chicken Pastelitos - Warm and flaky pockets of pastry filled with traditionally seasoned shredded chicken breast. Main Dining Room Dinner on Carnival Magic

Photo of Fried Shrimp at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Fried Shrimp with roasted red pepper remoulade. Main Dining Room Dinner on Carnival Magic

Photo of Escargots Bourguignonne at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Escargots Bourguignonne - Burgundy snails with garlic butter. Main Dining Room Dinner on Carnival Magic.

Photo of Asparagus Vichyssoise and Beef and Barley Soup at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Asparagus Vichyssoise - chilled asparagus
and potato soup; and Beef and Barley Soup -
 Root vegetables. Main Dining Room Dinner
on Carnival Magic

Photo of Braised Short Ribs with string beans, and potao and pea gratin at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Braised Short Ribs - Potato and pea gratin, red wine sauce, sauteed green beans (The short ribs were so good!) Main Dining Room Dinner on Carnival Magic

Photo of Penne Mariscos at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Penne Mariscos - Shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels, lobster cream - Main Dining Room Dinner on Carnival Magic

For appetizers, my husband had Fried Shrimp with Roasted red pepper remoulade, as well as Escargots Bourguignonne - Burgundy snails, garlic butter. He especially liked the fried shrimp, and he thought the escargot was decent. I had the Chicken Pastelitos from the Port of Call menu, and I thought they were yummy. We also ordered the Asparagus Vichyssoise, which was not great, but not bad, as well as the Beef and Barley Soup, which was OK.

For entrees, my husband had the Penne Mariscos, which was just OK, and I had the Braised Short Ribs, which were tender and absolutely delicious. My husband tried my short ribs, loved them, and then ordered some for himself.

We skipped dessert, and we forgot to note the dessert options that night.

 

80s Rock-n-Glow Party

At 11:15 there was an 80s Rock-n-Glow Party. We love 80s alternative music, so we decided to check it out. Before the party started, some of the staff, standing above the deck on a balcony, were enthusiastically throwing down glow sticks, glow necklaces, and foam light saber like things that flashed different colors. We caught a few things. Not many people showed up for that part, but those of us who were there were excitedly trying to catch what things we could, which was fun. The cruise director was no where to be seen during this part of the party.

Finally the cruise director appeared, and he confirmed what we already thought - that he is the least exciting cruise director we’ve ever had. I had read several reviews about how great the cruise director for the Carnival Magic is, but we didn’t get that cruise director. The cruise director we had was nothing like the one that’s usually on that ship. Just in case he reads this, I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want him to feel bad, but at the same time I want to give an honest review, and he’s in a profession where he knows his job will be critiqued publicly, so I assume he can handle negative feedback, and hopefully learn from it. It felt to us as though he was trying way too hard to be liked. It didn’t feel as though he was genuine, but we could have been wrong in our perception of him. In our experience, cruise directors have an energy and personality that positively affects the moods of the passengers, they are trying to make the cruise as enjoyable as they can for the passengers. It seemed to us that this cruise director’s focus was more on himself, like he was in the limelight and loving it, more than his focus was on the passengers. But again, that’s our impression; maybe other people really enjoyed this cruise director.

As for the 80s Rock-n-Glow Party, it was more fun before the cruise director arrived. The music they chose I'm sure many people totally love, but it wasn't the music we enjoy. We were hoping for at least some 80s alternative music, like Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs, OMD, and so on, but nothing like that was played. We waited through a few songs, finished our cocktail, then left the not so exciting party.

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