Western Caribbean cruise on the Holland America ship Veendam out of Tampa, visiting Belize, Guatamala, Cozumel, and Key West.
Amatique Bay Resort
The port of Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala is basically a shipping port. We disembarked our cruise ship and were loaded into a small watercraft for a SPEEDY ride across Amatique Bay to the resort. We were met by friendly staff who handed us a free drink. Then a little girl with basket on her head let us take her picture. We got a little tiny doll magnet from her. She would have liked chocolate if you have any - I think my husband gave her a dollar.
What a pleasant surprise! Sitting on a point at the mouth of the bay is this real nifty little resort. It reminded us of Caneel Bay Resort on St. John, USVI, except more fun. Granted, the bay water wasn't quite as clear and not very good for snorkeling, but the pool(s) fantastic. There is a long lazy river with a pool bar at the end. There is a big stone pirate ship with small water slides and tunnels. There are two curving, large waterslides for us big kids too. A covered open-air restaurant overlooks the pool area. With restrooms for changing your clothes too.
The fun didn't stop there. There is a small butterfly garden, a turtle and iguana, and a petting zoo. There is also a small Jade Museum.
Down by the beach they have hammocks to lie on. And they play American music (at times quite loud) while a guy dressed as an American Indian gives horseback rides and is chased around by a cowboy.
We had a blast, as did most of the older people (the average age on our ship was 65!).
It wasn't as intimidating as a big American water park. If you get there early there aren't even very many people up and about yet.
On your way back to the ship, you can shop for souvenirs by local artisans - be sure to bargain with them.