10 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Half Moon Cay

10 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Cay, also known as Little San Salvador Island, is a tropical paradise in The Bahamas that’s often a highlight for cruise passengers. Before you set sail for this idyllic destination, here are ten things to consider for an unforgettable experience.

1. Private Island Owned by Holland America Line

Half Moon Cay is owned by Holland America Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation. It’s used as a port-of-call by the company’s cruise ships, meaning access is generally limited to the passengers of Carnival Corporation cruises.

2. Unspoiled Natural Beauty

Over 50% of the island is a designated wildlife preserve. Its unspoiled beauty showcases powder-white beaches, a crystal-clear aquamarine sea, and lush vegetation – a perfect backdrop for relaxation or photography.

3. Limited Overnight Stays

While the crescent-shaped island seems like a place you’d want to linger, overnight stays are rare. Most visitors enjoy it as a day stop on their cruise itinerary. Plan to make the most out of the hours you’ll have on Half Moon Cay.

4. No Cash Transactions

On the island, you won’t need cash for most transactions. Cruise lines typically operate on a cashless system, so purchases are charged to your shipboard account. Bring some cash only if you intend to purchase crafts from the local straw market.

10 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Half Moon Cay

5. Award-Winning Beaches

The main beach, Half Moon Beach, is often voted one of the best in the Caribbean. The fine sand and calm waters are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Lounge chairs are readily available for cruise ship guests.

6. Wide Range of Activities

There’s plenty to do on Half Moon Cay. Choose from horseback riding by the sea, stingray adventures, snorkeling, parasailing, and kayak tours. Or you can simply relax and enjoy the serene environment.

10 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Half Moon Cay

7. Family-Friendly Features

Half Moon Cay caters to visitors of all ages. Families will appreciate the island’s aqua park, playground, and pirate ship. Lifeguards are typically on duty for added safety during your beach day.

8. Dining on the Island

Lunch for cruise ship guests is provided on the island, with buffet-style dining set up in pavilions. Expect a beach BBQ with an array of dishes to cater to various tastes.

10 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Half Moon Cay

9. Limited Medical Services

Medical facilities are limited on Half Moon Cay, with basic first aid available. Guests with specific medical needs should carry necessary medications with them and consult with their cruise ship’s medical personnel for any concerns.

10. Advance Booking for Excursions

The popular excursions often sell out quickly, so it’s wise to book your activities in advance through your cruise line to ensure you don’t miss out on the experiences you’re most looking forward to.

Embarking on a journey to Half Moon Cay is sure to be a highlight for any cruiser. With its stunning beaches and variety of activities, it’s a slice of paradise that offers a memorable escape. Keep these points in mind, and you’re all set for an amazing day on this private island getaway.

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