Private Island Beach Stops - Yes or No

I was wondering if you enjoy the private island stops that the cruise lines utilize.  Some are owned; others are leased.  If not, do you wish that you could visit another island for sightseeing instead?   If you like the break, which is your favorite:  Castaway Cay (Disney,)  Coco Cay (RRCL,) Great Stirrup Cay (NCL,) Half Moon Cay (HAL,) Labadee (RCCL.)  or Princess Cays?  Actually my favorite is Grand Turk where the ship is within easy walk of the beach, pool and shopping. 

My only problem with these stops is if the weather is rainy, it isn't pleasant to visit the beach.  What are your thoughts? 

Tags: CruiseLinePrivateIsland

6 Answers

I have not visited one of the private beaches yet. But I look forward to doing it.

I visited the shared Island by HAL and Carnival, not a lot to do or see there. We looked around, had a cold drink and then headed back to the ship to have lunch. If it part of an otherwise good itinerary I would take it. I would not look for a cruise just for a private island port. I prefer a city port with things to do and see. If I just wanted to lay out, I'd use the ship pool (the ship pool is great on the day ship is in the private island)

I actually agree with you JustMe as I do live on the beach all the time So I like to do some sightseeing when I travel However, if there are a lot of port stops don't mind a beach stop to relax. I like Grand Turk because everything is right there, white sandy beach, huge beautiful pool, shopping where i don't get hassled. There is even Margaritaville for a cool drink or snack. I always go back to the ship for lunch since it is so close

We were on Half Moon Cay twice. Once in 1999 on the old Noordam and then in 2011 on the Ryndam. Quite a difference 12 years made. On the first trip there wasn't much at all there and on the second we found quite a bit of improvement; even swam with and fed the "Rays" that time. I liked it both trips, best feature is the long quiet beach and everything around it maintained so clean. Stopping there every time on a Caribbean cruise would be way too much though.

We ported in Grand Turk once just before heading across the pond. Carnival had just begun fixing it up for a day stop, we were on HAL. I did enjoy the tour of the island and the commercial/economic historicity of the area, like, they are still in the Chamber of Commerce running as the first stop on Columbus's first voyage, etc.

We got into port late in the afternoon the first day and departed about 24 hours later. I liked the way Carnival was fixing up the port area, unfortunately, on the second day we woke up to find the Carnival Triumph tied up across the pier from us. Wow, it was on a booze cruise out of Galveston during spring break, talk about rocking and rolling all over the place including bands they set up on the beach. Maybe if I was 50 years younger?

More on Grand Turk---and---- Half Moon Cay--Photo wise.

Loved your neat photos. Thank you so much for posting them.


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