Hey, y’all! Earlier this month, we boarded the Carnival Elation and headed on a 5-day cruise to Nassau and Half Moon Cay. We had a wonderful time relaxing on the pool deck and soaking up the sun while sipping on delicious rum drinks. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my review of the Elation, be sure to head over and read all about it!
I’ve had the opportunity to visit Nassau six or seven times now but this was my first visit to Half Moon Cay. If you aren’t familiar with Half Moon Cay, it is a private island owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. It is one of 700 islands that make up The Bahamas and is located about 100 miles southeast of Nassau. In a word it's "awesome". In 2 words it's "awesomely beautiful". Like, seriously.
This island is stunning, y'all. Carnival has done a wonderful job making this quaint little island into a destination. Unlike many ports, you could easily enjoy Half Moon Cay without purchasing an excursion. There are plenty of beach chairs available for you to simply relax on the beach. Bar waiters are almost constantly coming around offering Miami Vices (a scrumptious blend on pina colada and strawberry daiquiri).
The island also offers a couple of bars, a water park for kids, as well as shots where you can rent snorkel gear, kayaks, floats and other water toys. Although you don’t need to book an excursion here there are several options available ranging from horseback riding to a stingray adventure.
I have to admit, our day in Half Moon Cay was quite perfect. Despite the fact our ship was booked to capacity, the island didn’t feel overcrowded. Everything is spread out well enough (yet easily accessible) so that you aren’t sitting on top of each other.
Can we just take a minute to admire the water that surrounds the island??
In all honesty, I think it's the water that makes this island so gorgeous. There are plenty islands throughout the Caribbean that are prettier than Half Moon Cay but very few of them can compete when it comes to the water that surrounds this piece of heaven.
I will say that there was very little shade on the island. Half Moon Cay lacks the canopies and vegetation that many other Caribbean islands have. Even in January, the sun was hot (and this is coming from a Florida girl). It felt much warmer than 82 degrees. I imagine the island would feel ridiculously hot in the summer months. It’s a great thing the water is so inviting and the beaches are so pristine!
If you are sensitive to the heat, you may want to consider renting a clamshell or better yet a cabana or villa. I honestly think that the cabanas are the way to go. They are also a great option for those who are traveling with children, senior citizens or someone who just isn't used to deal with the heat.
Seriously, the cabanas are Half Moon Cay’s best kept secret! For just over $300 4 guests can enjoy private cabana complete with air conditioning, a ceiling fan, refrigerator, and tables and chairs (both inside and out). Be sure to book it in advance, however, as these get snagged up quickly! Carnival’s website has the “duration” listed as 1 hour but don’t be alarmed, this is actually the cost of renting it all day! Trust me, it’s totally worth it.
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