Mahogany Bay is a tranquil sheltered bay on Roatan Island that saw the completion of an exclusive Carnival Cruise Lines ship terminal in December of 2009. There are now two cruise terminals on the island, with the other being located at the city of Coxen Hole. There are two berths and as many as 8,000 cruise passengers at a time can be accommodated. This was a relatively undeveloped area of the island, and The Mahogany Bay terminal was the third such purpose built terminal in the Caribbean. The first two were were Costa Maya on the coast of Mexico and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos islands. It is a 20 acre complex that includes a transportation hub with taxis, car rentals, and buses. If you are heading off on your own, be sure to negotiate taxi prices before you enter the vehicle.
The bay boasts one of the longest and most popular of all Roatan beaches. Visited primarily by cruise ship passengers on shore excursions, the beach is accessible to others. A package shore excursion includes umbrellas, sun beds, and other perks, but other visitors will have to pay for them - small price to pay for such a fabulous beach with so many amenities and facitlities - including just about everything you can imagine from bars and restaurants to souvenir shops and equipment rentals offering floats and snorkeling gear. There are outlets to charter small boats and a pierside duty free shop.
Shore Excursions from Cruise Terminal
Of course, Carnival Cruise Lines offers shore excursions for everywhere they dock, and Mahogany Bay is no exception. Typical shore excursions include transportation to the beautiful Mahogany Beach. Some passengers, after all, just want to spend a day chilling out in the sun and sipping on exotic cocktails. Other popular day trips include Roatan diving shore excursions. This is one of the best places in the Caribbean for scuba diving, as the island is located in the midst of the second largest barrier reef in the world. Only the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is larger. Diving shore excursions offered by cruise lines are generally short - only a few hours. This is so passengers have time to enjoy other aspects of the island. There is even a dive site right in Mahogany Bay - Dixon Cove with two partially submerged wrecks. There are shore excursions for shopping, and shore excursions to land-based natural wonders like the fascinating Iguana Park. There are also zip line excursions that have you flying through rainforest canopy.
You can have a zip line experience just getting to the beach, as there is a magical "Flying Chair" that operates like a ski lift, whisking you to the beach with a treetops view of the sea and surrounding island. If you are not a cruise ship passenger, you will have to pay for the ride - but it is a nominal fee well worth it. If you are not up for this butterfly-inducing ride, there are nature trails to stroll back and forth to the ship and transportation hub.