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Roatan is a long, skinny island about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras. We docked this morning in Coxen Hole, which is the island’s largest town and arranged for an independent, guided tour. We had to choices: heading to the resort beaches on the West End or getting more local flavor by heading east. We opted for the local flavor…

So, we all piled into a somewhat dilapidated minivan and set off with our driver and tour guide. The trunk latch of the van was broken; as a result, we had to put Pop’s wheelchair up with us between the middle and front seats. This meant the tour guide had to sit sideways facing me… probably a good thing, as she didn’t really project her voice much for the mildly interesting narration.

The island itself is relatively attractive, but it’s a bit like Grand Cayman in that its primary allure seems to be offshore. It’s also relatively poor, though far better off and much less rough than mainland Honduras, which is one of the poorest and crime-ridden countries in the Americas. Indeed, French Harbour–which was one of the local communities that we visited–had homes that looked to be little more than garden sheds in need of repair. That said, the infrastructure isn’t too bad and evidence of development in the locals’ areas suggest that this island is on the economic upswing.

We returned to the ship for lunch and had an afternoon nap. We then watched the sail away from our balcony before heading to La Cucina for dinner. In the past, we’ve never been overly impressed with NCL’s Italian venue, but it was very good last night. The restaurant’s staff was especially fond of Emerson. They gave her a Happy New Year’s hat and took pictures of themselves with her. Needless to say, Emerson enjoyed the attention. :-)

I’d like to say we stayed up late and rang in the New Year “partying like a Norwegian,” but in truth we were in bed by 10pm after seeing the musical show. I did wake up to hear the Captain announce the arrival of 2014… at 11:30, 11:50, 11:55, 11:59, and finally for the countdown to 12:00. However, by our standards, this was a very festive way to ring in the New Year! :-)

Today’s box score: +1 country (Honduras)

The dock in Roatan:


Happy New Year:


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