is it safe and would it be fun to rent scooters in Roatan? that way we could find our own places to snorkle?
Just came back from Rotan...the problem maybe that the best snorkeling is on the other side of the island from what I saw, not to mention roads are confusing and there isn't much traffic. Maybe you can rent a cab to take you somewhere and then come b ack for y ou..
The only place I would even consider renting scooters might be Cozumel, simply because it is easy to find your way around, but even then I would not do it, because it is indeed too dangerous, simply due to the fact people drive like maniacs on many of these islands.
I just got back from Roatan and was also there in November. A couple of things I would suggest is Maya Key, which is very nice and close to both cruise ports. I understand that Carnival is now offering them as a ship excursion (for a lot more $$$ than we used to be able to book them independently).
On the west end of the island is Tabyana beach, which is also a ship excursion beach break. Which is a little pricey and congested. Just down from that is a resort called Bananarama. They offer a nice alternative to the ship excursion and as a result the resort beach is much less congested. While I was there I enjoyed scuba diving with Bananarama. They had a driver pick me up, I was one of the first people off the ship and he was already there waiting for me at 7:30 a.m. It takes approximately 30 minutes to get to the other side of the island, but what you see on the way, and once you get over there it is so worth it.
The first time we went to Roatan we docked in Coxen Hole where the "non-Carnival" ships dock. Occasionally Carnival will dock there too when seas are rough.
Recently Carnival constructed their own Mahogany Bay Tourist area and dock facility. All I can say is WOW! You could stay there all day and enjoy just that beach and the stuff there if you wanted. It is beautiful and is far superior to what you encounter at the Coxen Hole docking facility.
If by chance you end up at Coxen Hole, I want to encourage you to visit the other side of the island. Do not allow Coxen Hole to influence your perceptions of Roatan, as it is absolutely lovely beyond that port area and Coxen Hole makes an absolutely terrible first impression.
Bring insect repellent with DEET. I have not needed it at the places I visited in Roatan. However, there were several people I saw on board who had been eaten alive by sand fleas while at beaches. I would hate to get there and find I needed it and didn't have any with me.
One of the on line travel sites sent this a.m. a list of places still unspoiled and Rotan was one with it's protected reefs for snorkeling.. We used Victor Bodden for a tour of the island and there is no way that I would recommend you go out on mopeds--no signs..lol.. Yes, Rotan is ready for a huge explosion of cruise ships.. We did not see any of the resorts, but after a tour we stopped at Boddens "home" where there is a parrot and monkey zoo..lots of fun.. at least for me.. The people were met were very p leasant and be sure to buy some mahogany items. Frankly, it was the only port on our western caribbean that is stiill unspoiled