Best western Caribbean ports on Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas – Insider

At each stop, cruise passengers have the option to plan their own day or join a Royal Caribbean excursion at an extra cost. The latter includes fully-planned itineraries with activities like hikes, tours, and beach time.

wonder of the seas ship docked on a cloudy day
Wonder of the Seas docked at a port in the western Caribbean.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The ship stopped at each port for about seven hours. I thought it was only enough time to get a small taste of each place, and the first two ports left me wishing I had more time to explore.

People walk around the cruise port in Honduras
People explore the port in Roatan, Honduras.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The first was Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras surrounded by one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, according to the Roatan Tourism Bureau.

A view of Roatan from the ship
A view of the port in Roatan from the ship.
Joey Hadden/Insider

Source: Roatan Tourism Bureau

I spent my day in Roatan on a Royal Caribbean excursion that went to Mayan Eden Eco-Park, a nature preserve with hiking trails and wildlife.

The author hikes in Roatan
The author hikes in Mayan Eden Eco-Park.
Joey Hadden/Insider

After a short drive, we arrived at the park, where our first stop was a butterfly sanctuary.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
A room where caterpillars are kept.
Joey Hadden/Insider

Here, I observed more butterflies at once than ever before. Different species fluttered around the enclosed natural space, and I also noticed plants I’d never seen before.

butterflies and plants in the mayan eden eco park in roatan
Butterflies land on plants inside the sanctuary.
Joey Hadden/Insider

After visiting the butterflies, we spent the next hour or two hiking a trail on Ocelot Mountain.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
The trail on Ocelot Mountain.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The jungle terrain was lush and shaded with rich green grass, leaves, and vines. It was beautiful.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
Plant life on the trail.
Joey Hadden/Insider

If I wasn’t on a guided tour, I’d probably spend all day hiking these trails, I thought.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
A railing on the trail.
Joey Hadden/Insider

I wished I had time to relax in one of the hammocks placed periodically throughout the hike.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
An empty hammock the author longed to relax in.
Joey Hadden/Insider

During the trek, we crossed two suspension bridges, which was a new experience for me.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
A suspension bridge seen through tree branches.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The first one was short, preparing me mentally for the second bridge, which I thought might be scary since our tour guide said it was longer.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
The first suspension bridge.
Joey Hadden/Insider

I ended up loving the feeling of being suspended above the forest. I wish I could have crossed it again.

Cruise port in Honduras: plants eco park hike
The second suspension bridge.
Joey Hadden/Insider

Back onboard, I longed for more time in Honduras and went to the ship’s top deck to get a better look at the island before departing.

A view of Roatan from the ship
A view of Roatan from the ship.
Joey Hadden/Insider

I now want to plan a trip back to Roatan on my own to see more of the island and take a longer hike.

A view of Roatan from the ship
A view of the coast of Roatan.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The island is known for its large and untouched wild nature area and surrounding coral reefs, according to the same source.

A view of Cozumel from the port
Another view from the dock.
Joey Hadden/Insider

Source: Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo

Since I’d never been to Cozumel, I was excited to see what it looked like outside of the port.

The author takes a selfie in Cozumel, Mexico
The author takes a selfie in Cozumel.
Joey Hadden/Insider

But I didn’t realize until I got there that the excursion I booked through Royal Caribbean took the entire day in Tulum, which was a 45-minute ferry ride away.

A ferry in Cozumel
A ferry docked in Cozumel.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The ferry made me seasick and I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to have any time in Cozumel, but I’ll come back, I thought.

A view of the ship from inside ferry in Cozumel
The author’s view from the ferry ride.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The ferry took us to Playa Del Carmen on the coast of mainland Mexico, and we took a bus to ancient Mayan ruins and the beach.

The coast of Cozumel
Playa Del Carmen from the ferry.
Joey Hadden/Insider

To me, the coolest part of this experience was knowing that archaeologists were able to learn so much about the history of this site only by observing what’s left of it.

Mayan ruins in Tulum on a partly-cloudy day
Ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum.
Joey Hadden/Insider

The beach was a relaxing way to end the day after a history lesson. And although I enjoyed my time in Tulum, I was still left wondering what it would have been like to spend the day in Cozumel.

The author at the beach in tulum
The author enjoys her day in Tulum.
Joey Hadden/Insider

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Best western Caribbean ports on Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas – Insider

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