Sunday, February 12, 2012

Great Stirrup Cay

All of the major cruise lines that travel to the Bahamas have a 'private' island.  Basically a beach day for cruisers.  Norwegian started the trend with Great Stirrup Cay, and is in the process of upgraded the experience.
Since we live only 15 minutes from the beach by  bicycle, going to the beach while on the cruise is not necessarily a priority.  Sitting in the dining room having breakfast, we could view the island from our table, and the one for Royal Caribbean.  Both the Majesty and Monarch of the Seas were moored about a mile away for their guests to use their private island.
After the main rush of passengers had tendered to the beach, we get in line to head ashore.  The tender was almost empty as we headed for our fun day on the beach.  NCL had created a lagoon for the tenders to load and unload passengers, guess the Bahamas have different rules about disturbing marine habitat.
Since the island is part of the Bahamas it is basically an exposed coral reef.  So once on shore it was VERY white, from the exposed limestone.  The area is dotted with palm trees, but not much shade.  There is a large pavilion where the ship's crew provides lunch for the beach goers.  Other crew members are conducting a limbo contest and music is playing.  A few shops are set up with 'beachy' items and local crafts.  The beach itself is a nice crescent with clear water, of course with most of the ship working on a tan, it is VERY crowded.  Off to the side there is a large inflated slide that is an additional charge.  After a tour of the facilities, the decision is made to head back to the ship and have lunch on the mostly deserted ship.

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