Picture this…an undeveloped bay transformed into a dedicated cruise terminal featuring retail outlets, dining venues, bars, a fully equipped beach (complete with private air conditioned cabanas) and even a chairlift to Mahogany Beach!
Pictured? Well welcome to Mahogany Bay!
Located in Roatan, the Mahogany Bay terminal cost Carnival Corporation and Roatan businessman Jerry Hynds, USD$62 million to build and is the third of its kind after similar developments at Costa Maya and Grand Turk.
Designed to accommodate up to 8,000 passengers at any time through the terminal’s two berths, Mahogany Bay was customised to
create an experience cruisers would enjoy in a place where there was little to nothing to do before.
It is basically a cruise ‘terminal’ (and I use the term loosely as there is nothing ‘terminal’ about it) on steroids as far as I am concerned.
With two berths for cruise ships, we were the only ones in ‘town’ that day and Josh had decided to purchase a private air conditioned cabana on the 10-acre private island, Mahogany
Beach to make our day just that little bit more special.
For USD$200 passengers can hire one of six cabanas that ‘houses’ up to four people and includes unlimited rides on the ‘Magical Flying Beach Chair’ (aka a
chairlift that is regularly USD$5 per person for the day) that takes you from Mahogany Bay across to the private island.
The cabanas are so precious, and feature a lounge, the all important air conditioning, a variety of floats and your own private steward who can bring you drinks and food throughout the day at an additional cost.
Fenced off to separate it from the ‘public’ beach, the
cabana area has an air of exclusivity and was such a treat to experience with my newfound friends.
The water was just sparkling and I rarely got out for the five or so hours we had in that slice of paradise.
Our Georgian friends had a cabana several doors down and I enjoyed quite a lively conversation about why Carnival Cruise Lines were the best and only cruise line the family had ever sailed with.
Being a Carnival novice (this was my first Carnival cruise after all) I was intrigued to find out why they wouldn’t consider sailing with any other cruise lines and the answer was simple…why should they?
I have received a similar response from constant cruisers aboard voyages on other lines and, perhaps we are just built differently but I do understand where they are coming from.
They have worked their way up in the loyalty club and receive ample benefits, they know the layouts of the ships, they enjoy the activities, the itineraries work for them…why would there be any reason to sail with anyone else?
Now you can’t argue with that!
Back in the water we took pictures galore until Josh ordered some much needed food served back in our cabana.
Fried mozzarella sticks, nachos and fries were very welcome to several of my friends who had indulged in a few too many oversized hurricane cocktails but it didn’t take long for us to get back in the water – it was just too divine!
So divine in fact, that we were the last to leave the beach…that’s right…there was a slight fear that we may miss the ship but, keeping it well in eyesight from the perfect vantage point we had, we figured it may not be so bad if we were stuck on this particular beach until the next ship came in!
Trudging back to the ship after a day in paradise we were keen to experience the waterslide for the first time.
I had been meaning to try it so many times but just hadn’t yet gotten around to taking the plunge.
Georgian boy Dustin (of the Carnival fan family) was an old hat at the slides having sailed on so many Carnival ships but for this fun ship first timer, the concept of going down a water slide on a ship was still very exciting!
It’s all about letting that inner child free and, what can I say, Carnival Liberty had welcomed little Natalie with open arms this trip having tried many things I haven’t before. It was very liberating…
From childlike fun to the adults only Serenity deck where shell lounges and hammocks abound, Dustin, Josh and I relax in the jacuzzi reliving our day in paradise ahead of an evening of Mexican fun at the BlueIguana Mexican Fiesta.
This whole nana nap thing every afternoon was becoming a habit but it certainly was allowing me to give it my all during the day and power on through the night so, after my fill of sushi, it was nap time before we all hit the lido deck for the festivities.
Carnival Liberty’s largest conga line at sea was apparently broken and my fellow passengers also attempted to break their backs seeing how low they could go in the limbo competition!
Energiser bunny/Cruise Director Jaime, led the festivities that went well into the night before, as always, the party people headed to the Hot & Cool nightclub where Ladies Night meant a complimentary glass of champagne for all those female passengers between 11pm and midnight.
Latin beats made way for hip-hop and the usual suspects took to the dance floor in their own orchestrated dance-off.
The Georgian boys were trying very hard to trump the New Yorkers…just who was going to win though?
Originally written by Natalie Aroyan for e-Travel Blackboard