Almost every major cruise line in the world have a private island or destination that can only be reached by being on a cruise ship. In this section you will be able to learn more about each, including their location and major features.
Although designed for guests, all crew members are welcome to enjoy the islands and private destinations during their free time, but are not always able to enjoy the same features like rides and pools. Also, crew members are usually prohibited to purchase anything alcoholic on the islands bars and are not able to eat on any venue. Typically, all one can do is basically enjoy some crystalline waters, lay down in the sandy beach, take pictures, and, rest for a while before heading back to work.
Royal Caribbean Group
One of the most famous islands in the world and also the smallest is Coco Cay, belonging to Royal Caribbean. The east end is the center of recreational activities with beaches fronting a coral basin where manatee, rays, and numerous fish can be seen. Nature trails run the entire length and width of the island and after a 250 million dollar renovation, it now includes a marina dock, a wave pool, dozens of water slides and a very well acclaimed docking pier, enabling large cruise ships to dock at the island while eliminating the use of tender boats.
HALF MOON CAY
Little San Salvador Island, also called Half Moon Cay, is a tiny private island in the Bahamas. Accessible only by cruise ships, an of exclusive use of Carnival Corporation companies, it’s known for the long, crescent-shaped Half Moon Beach. Luxury cabanas dot the beachfront, which gives way to trail-lined country rich in birdlife. Half Moon Lagoon Aqua Park has small water slides and playgrounds. Stingray Cove, a lagoon enclosure, is home to tame stingrays. You can find lizards, chickens, dozens of fishes and also horses around the island, as the later is vital part of many shore excursions.
Princess Cays is a tourist resort at the southern end of the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas. It is owned by Carnival Corporation which owns Princess Cruises, among others. Carnival Corporation also owns nearby Half Moon Cay. Contrary to the implication of its name and other places on this article, Princess Cays isn’t a private island as it is located on Eleuthera Island, but much rather to be considered a private location.
GREAT STIRRUP CAY
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Great Stirrup Cay is an island that is part of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. Norwegian Cruise Line purchased the island from the Belcher Oil Company in 1977 and developed it into a private island for their cruise ship passengers. The northern part of the island has a sandy beach surrounded by rocks with snorkeling areas. The southern part features a helicopter airfield (with a sign reading “Great Stirrup Cay International Airport”), a large area without vegetation, and numerous concrete blocks. These are all remnants of a previous U.S. military installation and satellite tracking station. The island’s lighthouse was originally constructed in 1863 by the Imperial Lighthouse Service. Great Stirrup Cay is adjacent to Little Stirrup Cay, also known as Coco Cay by less than 200 meters.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Harvest Caye is a private island owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, located in southern Belize. The caye features wildlife exhibitions including a blue morpho butterfly house and it is an important place for the local economy of Belize and tourism development. The island was bought in 2013 for an undisclosed value from the Belize government, and took three years to build all installations for an approximate value of 50 million dollars.
Ocean Cay is an island in the Bahamas located in the district of Bimini. It is located 32 kilometers south of Bimini island. Ocean Cay is an artificial island which was built in the late 1960s to early 1970s, and was used as an industrial sand extraction site. The cay has been redeveloped as a private island called Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve for MSC Cruises and was officially launched in 2019, being used as a travel destiny for all MSC Caribbean cruises departing from the United States.
THE BEACH CLUB
The Beach Club isn’t a private island but a private resort, just like Princess Cays. Located on the island of Bimini, it is a joint venture partnership between Virgin Voyages and Genting Hong Kong and it featured on all Caribbean cruises of the company, with overnights and dozen of exclusive features like private parties, world famous DJs and artists scheduled to be there while the cruise ships are present.