Half Moon Cay is the very definition of a pristine jewel of the Caribbean. It is the image that pops up in your head when you think of a perfect white sand beach, with clear turquoise water, tropical palm trees, and endless blue sky. I took a cruise on Carnival Pride there to do the snorkel excursion in open water. There is no actual “Port” there so we got off Pride and onto another boat that actually takes you to the island. The ship stayed in deeper water and remained highly photogenic for everybody. As it turns out, my excursion ended up being canceled due to rough ocean currents. They assured us that what we paid for the excursion would be refunded on our sign and sail cards, which indeed it was, no problem there. They then told us that we were more than welcome to experience a beach day, or see what other excursion we could book right there. As this was a particularly hot day, and I didn’t feel like standing in line, I opted for the beach day. I’m devoutly thankful I did cause I ended up getting my snorkel experience anyway, plus a bag of beer and mixed frozen drink to boot. The beach was already set up with lounge chairs, with a view of the ship in deep water. Can you say, “Selfies!” Figuring I had my snorkel gear, I decided to take a look in the shallows life jacket free. The beach was swarming with mid sized, sand colored tropical fish, gently weaving mostly undetected through the swimmers. There was no signs of trash on the bottom, and the little clumps of seaweed that were there hosted many more tiny fish lazily orbiting them. Back home, I’m not used to things being able to live in the polluted water, so this was a thrill. Then I ditched my gear and spent a few hours lazily swimming. After that I got my afore mentioned bag of beer, sold to me by a most attractive lady. Exploring the island, I found an enormous Carnival funded buffet with more food than you can imagine. And it goes without saying that anything natural on the island is beautiful and untouched. I retreated back to the ship sooner than I wanted, because it really was devilishly hot, but I will definitely return. For a mostly uninhabited island, there sure is enough to do.
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About Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)
Spend the day on your own private island, courtesy of Holland America. Sun, swim, or sail around this beautiful island as you enjoy your very own day in the sun! The fishing's great, but so is the parasailing and snorkeling so you have some decisions to make! And don't forget the Bahamas style barbecue!
2117 reviews and tips of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)Write A Port Tip
In one word....PARADISE! my favorite place on earth so far!!! Relaxing, drinks great, service excellent, clearest waters I've ever seen and sand felt like baby powder. Amazing! My happy place :-)
If there is a Heaven on earth we found it at Half Moon Cay!!! The most beautiful water and softest sand I’ve ever seen. Felt like corn starch! I will return!!! Only wish Carnival would extend the drink package you purchase to include it here.
Best stop on our trip. We did it right this time too. So we slept in and then went to breakfast in the MDR right before open seating end, so by the time we go off the ship there was no need to do tender tickets, no need to wait and wait, and no line at the gangeay. We just got in the ship with mostly crew from ship to shore was about 10-15min no wait, awesome! Still got there at 10:30. We rented a clam shell ($30) near the 1st cabana, the shade was great and need, we were able to stay all day with out burning all the way to the last tender. Lunch was only a 2 min walk, restroom 30 sec, and bar 1 min. Bar tenders were everywhere we found the drinks to be either really strong or weak, and expensive but hey it worth it in paradise. We snorkeled near the jetti, the have dropped several reef balls in groups around the area. There is no coral but a surprising number and variety of fish. Not the best snorkleing but still good enough considering the crowds it would be better if they add 2 or 3 time the reef balls and had some of the small sized ones to attract more types of fish. The lunch was good, mostly hamburgers (overdone), hotdogs (better than expected), and chicken (didn't try) with sides (great flavor) and desserts (good). We stay till about 4 and and walk back to the tender, since we wait till the end most had already headed back so there was no wait through security and walked right in the tender, we did wait about 20min to wait for the late comers but we we sitting instead of standing in a long line or in the security pen area. We always look forward this stop and Would love to go again.
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