When I first saw Half Moon Cay in person I was astonished at how clear the water was! Even better was the sand, it was just so fine and soft. The only thing I could think about, was what a great day we had ahead of us.
Half Moon Cay is a great private island, I would dare to say that it is almost as good as Castaway Cay. The only thing holding it back, is the lack of a pier and dedicated adult retreat. Well, there are other things, but for the most part those are the items that I think are most important.
Nonetheless, getting off the ship was quite easy for us, and very organized. I suggest getting there early, that way you can make sure that you get a nice spot near the water. While there is some natural shade on the island, as the sun shifts that shade quickly disappears. You can also rent a clam shell, but I have had bad experiences with those in the past. Mainly that they get insanely hot, due to the lack of air flow. We simply brought our own umbrellas, and solved the problem that way. You can contact your cruise line company and inquire about the umbrella policy.
Half Moon Cay also offers plenty of cabanas $299, 2 floor villas $499 and there is even a private oasis $1,495. It comes with a butler, cook, water slide, and more. They all offer several luxuries that will make a great day, even more spectacular. I guess it all depends what your budget is.
There is also a fair amount of shore excursions available at Half Moon Cay, here are some of the popular ones:
There are a few other shore excursions on Half Moon Cay, but for us private islands are all about relaxing in the water. Which brings me to the next point, the temperature of the water was just perfect that day. And since the water is in constant movement, it lacks that stationary water smell that I have experienced in other private islands (Great Stirrup Cay).
The food was average for private islands, they offer the usual burgers, hot dogs, salad, fruits, and a few other items. There are cocktail servers walking around with beers and the drink of the day the entire time, so you won’t have a hard time getting a drink. There are also a few bars scattered throughout the island, our favorite was “I wish I could stay here forever” bar. There is also a bar located inside the pirate ship.
The only issue that I noticed with Half Moon Cay, which in actuality it was more of a Carnival issue. Were the photographers, while getting off the tender they basically blocked the exit to obligate everyone to take a photo. The worse part is that the backdrop of that photo was a bunch of people waiting impatiently to get to the beach. But again, my guess is that this is not an issue Holland America.
The crowds are not too bad, the island seems to distribute people accordingly. However, if you’re looking for a peaceful day, I suggest you want to the far end of the beach. It is not a long walk, and soon enough you will find your piece of paradise to relax and enjoy.
Half Moon Cay is my second favorite island, and this is coming from someone who is heavily annoyed by tenders. The water is so crystal clear and warm, and the sand is just so smooth. The island has great energy, and being able to see the ship in the distance is the icing on the cake. The one thing I regret, was not going snorkeling, I guess I was just too busy relaxing. I look forward with anticipation to the next time that I able to make it to Half Moon Cay.
For a full review on Half Moon Cay click here.