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It was a thorough trip of Roatan . We enjoyed the personal attention given to us by the tour director and the tour director of the Mangrove boat ride.
Our guide was excellent. He took us places we would not see with regular guide. He addressed our needs.
Our water guide was very nice and helpful. Our excursion was great. I recommend it to the people that want to see the island like it really is. I would go again.
The boat excursion was fantastic. George was the boat driver because his dad had another commitment. The scenery, mangroves, ocean views, mangrove housing was beautiful. We saw people fishing from a sandbar, large ocean fishing vessels, mangrove houses on stilts, large expensive houses ans pelicans as we traveled the narrow canals and open waters. The experience was a true experience in an old junk type boat typical of the region. The disappointment for only 4 stars was the pick up from the port. There was a mix-up and after 3 phone calls and one hour later, we were finally picked up by Eric for the hour ride to the east side of the island for the boat ride. Eric was a gracious tour guide with great information about the sights we passed on the drive.
Very difficult to meet up with the scheduled tour when you first arrive in Roatan. You must leave the port and walk across the street to find the driver with the sign that identifies the tour operator. Sounds easy enough, but there were at least 100 locals between the port exit and the other side of the street and no one wanted to allow you the opportunity to walk across the street, let alone allow you to take the time to read the signs that were being held up by the various tour operators across the street. Taxi drivers, shuttle drivers, tour sales, and walking guides were all extremely aggressive waiting right at the port exit. You have to be willing to take a deep breath and jump into the crowd to find your tour driver. I don't know how to make this a better experience, other than having the customer hold up a sign with the tour operator's business name and have the tour guide look for the customer rather than the other way around.
Once you meet up with the driver, it is quite a sense of relief as you can leave the aggressive crowd behind you and move on to experience the beautiful island first hand. The island is full of beautiful scenery which can be viewed from the van as the tour includes a long drive to the dock to board your boat for the mangrove tour. The mangrove tour is much shorter than expected. There are lots of different mangrove sections in the water, but we only went down one tunnel of the mangroves and turned around and headed back down that same tunnel. More time was actually spent in the bay areas on both ends of the mangrove tunnel, rather than in the actual mangroves. A seabird and some crabs were seen in the mangroves, but not much else in the way of wildlife.
The rest of the tour involved a stop at the Garifuna tourist attraction, a souvenir shop in town and back to the port. I thought the east end of the island would be more secluded, but it had a lot of traffic on the main road and never really felt off-the-beaten path in this tour.
The itinerary stated that the tour would begin at the arrival of the cruise ship. We rushed to the meeting point only to not have anyone meet us as the paperwork said. Fortunately we were helped by another person who knew te tour company and called for us. An exact time needs to be clear on the paperwork as we would have given up and returned to the ship had we not been able to contact the company as our phones and internet did not work in a foreign country.
The tour did deliver as promised and we enjoyed the personal touches that were presented. It was clear that the tour guide was known and respected in this country. The mangroves were amazing but the tour offered so much in the understanding of the culture and beauty of the East-side of the island. Definately a tour for clients who want a personalized, small group tour experience.
People were good, not great but good. Van was not best or cleanest and driving was scary at moments. Boat was decades old with patches of fiberglass. Trip is same as was 30 years ago but noticed more litter in mangroves. In all it was below the standards we have become accustomed to with Viator and know this would not be what they try to produce. This is clearly the exception for Viator which we have and will continue to use throughout the world.
Well this was not anything that they said it would be. We were not met outside the ship in the Town Center as they said we would be. Once we found our driver who was very nice it took an hour to get to the tour place. The boat is not anything like pictured. It was nerve racking to get to the site of the mangroves. The driver was a nice guy and nothing against any of the employees, but the reviews raved about seeing birds, and wildlife on the island. We saw crabs! That was it, well with the exception of a pet Macaw that we passed on our way to the mangroves. I was a nervous wreck all the way to the mangroves that the boat was going to flip out in this water. The tour guide was very excited every time he could point out a crab. Really, that is what we saw crabs no birds, not one crocidile. Nothing. The route to the site was full of trash and just not even inviting. We almost left instead of getting in that boat. Again, I would not book with this company ever! Both tours we booked were not what we thought it would be with the pictures and the write up that they have on their site.
Pickup for the tour was good with the guide being exactly where we were expecting him and signage in the port was good. Our guide on the minivan to the mangrove swamp was fine, answering any questions we had about Roatan in general. The guide on the dory through the mangrove was also OK although not as outgoing as the guide on the minivan. Unfortunately the guides were the only satisfactory part of the tour. We did not see remarkable plants, sea turtles, monkeys or crocodiles all of which are mentioned as possibilities in the tour description. In fact the guide on the dory said he had only ever seen 1 crocodile in the swamp. We did see one bird, but we saw it twice, once on the way into the swamp and again on the way out of the swamp in exactly the same place. I know wildlife sightings can never be guaranteed but with all the possibilities that were mentioned in the tour description I was very disappointed to see so little. Definitely would not recommend this tour if you are looking for what is written in the tour description.
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