The next stop on our virtual world cruise is the Bahamas.
A year-round cruise destination, the islands of the Bahamas hosts many cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises offer calls to the region.
Cruise visitors can choose short itineraries that last between two to four nights or longer cruises lasting seven-nights or longer cruises. On longer cruises, a call to the Bahamas is usually part of an Eastern Caribbean cruise or a longer Caribbean voyage.
The two most popular cruise ports in the Bahamas are: Nassau and Freeport. In addition to these two ports of call, the Bahamas is also home to five cruise line’s private island retreats: Castaway Cay, Coco Cay, Great Stirrup Cay, Half Moon Cay, and Princess Cays.
Owned by The Walt Disney Company, Castaway Cay is the "private island" of Disney Cruise Line.
Almost the perfect island escape. Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay offers cruise visitors plenty of space, great food, and parents will appreciate a break at the adults-only secluded beach while their children hang-out in the supervised kids club on the island.
Coco Cay, is the private island experience for cruise visitors sailing on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises. Located between Freeport and Nassau, Coco Cay offers plenty of attractions (not all of them are complimentary). This is a tender port, so be prepared to fight the crowds.
Great Stirrup Cay
Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island is located 130 nautical miles due east of Fort Lauderdale.
I wish I could say that the photo above is the exception and not the norm at Great Stirrup Cay. However, the turquoise blue water seems to attract everyone from the ship. Be prepared to spend your morning hiking and exploring the non-crowded main beach area and then when the crowds head back to the ship, break out a raft that you procured from home to float in the warm water.
Half Moon Cay
Half Moon Cay serves cruise visitors sailing on Holland America Line Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings. Just 100 miles southeast of Nassau, the island is not as developed as other cruise line run and operated retreats. The result is the feeling of more space and room to relax.
Located 70 miles east of Nassau, Princess Cruises has secured the southern tip of the island of Eleuthera for their private island oasis. The island experience is laid back and cruise guests will enjoy more than 1.5 miles of white-sand beaches to stroll.
Have you been to the Bahamas on a cruise? What was your favorite activity and port of call?