WHEN YOU GO DOWN to breakfast and the wall of windows facing the ocean flashes moss and turquoise like Vegas neon, you know you’re getting off the ship. That’s why the island of Roatán, off the coast of Honduras, proves one of the most popular stops for cruise ship passengers.
This 31-mile-long, five-mile-wide line of sand is as adventurous as it is colorful. When we sailed with Norwegian Cruise Line, we wanted to explore Roatán but avoid crowds, so we opted out of an organized excursion. Instead, our multigenerational family of five walked along the Coxen Hole wooden pier, past shops, musicians with steel drums and festive welcome drinks to find someone who could take us around the island.
We found that in Joelle, a driver who materialized from a line of taxis and, in perfect English, used his outgoing personality and wide-toothed grin to charm us into believing he had been waiting just for us.
Most passengers go to bustling West Bay, where plenty of activities and resorts await, but Joelle drove us to the quieter Half Moon Bay at West End. During the ride, we spoke about his part of the world. “Everyone speaks English,” he said. “Yes,” I replied, “but what’s the native language?” “English!” he insisted. I later found that was true in Roatán and the two other islands off Honduras, collectively known as the Bay Islands. “Islanders,” as they prefer to be called, are mostly descendants of the British Isles; however, there are also those of African-Caribbean heritage and immigrants from mainland Honduras, so Spanish is a close second.
The beach at Half Moon Bay offers visitors plenty of souvenir, restaurant and bar options just steps from the water. The public beach sits in the center of the half moon bend. Just 30 feet from dry sand, a Technicolor underwater universe beckons. Because we brought our own snorkel gear, we saw a spectrum of undulating anemones, fans of coral and psychedelic fish swimming through the rainbow reef.
On our way back to the ship, we stopped to eat at Jungle Top Zipline and enjoyed the rare opportunity to play with rescued capuchin monkeys. As the little bundles of fur jumped from head to shoulder and back to head, the day ended as magically as it had begun.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Tribute Portfolio helps friends celebrate Friendsgiving with special stay bundles available through Nov. 30. The limited-time bundles feature locally inspired Thanksgiving dinners and amenities.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Marriott recently announced the purchase of W New York – Union Square. The company paid $206 million for the 270-guestroom property, with intentions to transform the hotel into a better representation of the W brand.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Now, travelers in United Polaris class enjoy complimentary baggage delivery service when flying between Newark (EWR) and London (LHR) and staying at one of five Marriott properties.