Here’s a rundown of the private island ports of call by cruise line:
Costa Cruises – Costa Cruises guests visit Catalina Island, off the coast of the Dominican Republic. It features activities such as volleyball, beach Olympics, snorkeling, and massages on the beach. Cruise passengers can also rent jet skis, go for banana-boat rides, or relax on a long beach edged with palm trees. Music and barbecues complete an idyllic day and, for the tourist-minded, visitors can purchase jewelry, beachwear, and other souvenirs.
Disney Cruise Line – Disney’s Castaway Cay provides plenty of magic and fun for people of all ages. The three-mile-long island, of which only ten percent has been developed, provides plenty of opportunities for guests to enjoy its natural beauty. The island caters to guests in true Disney style. This is one of the only private islands featuring cruise ship docking capabilities (as opposed to shuttle boats between the ship and the island). This allows guests to come and go as they please. Attractions include the Castaway Family Beach, Serenity Bay (for adults), Teen Beach and Scuttle’s Cove (for kids), plus numerous water sports, snorkeling, and water tour excursions.
Holland America Line – Half Moon Cay has been ranked “Best Private Island” by Porthole Cruise Magazine for 17 years running, and is located on Little San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. (The island must remain 98% undeveloped as an international bird sanctuary.) The Cay’s 700-acre lagoon allows guests to feed stingrays and enjoy various water sports, a children’s aqua park and a buoyed personal watercraft course. The new Lobster Shack will offer Caribbean dining and drinks. Other features include private beachside cabanas with private butler service, showers and misters and eco-tours by glass-bottom boat.
MSC Cruises – MSC Cruises has developed Ocean Cay MSC Marnie Reserve. Located in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay offers 8 beaches, a lagoon, and a variety of aquatic sport activities. The Ocean Cay Yacht Club beach and facilities is for Yacht Club guests. Spa services are offered in sea view cabanas.
Norwegian Cruise Line – Travelers set foot on Great Stirrup Cay, located 120 nautical miles east of Fort Lauderdale in the Berry Island chain of the Bahamas. There are two maintained beaches on the island, plus several other, more isolated ones. Visitors enjoy native animal and marine life at every turn. Water sports include snorkeling, paddle boats, sailboats, kayaks, and parasailing. Special cruise line “Olympic” competitions are frequently held on the island for guests. Norwegian also has lagoon retreat with a pristine beach, new dining options, beach villas, and a family beach area.
Norwegian Cruise Line also stops at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. The 75-acre island features a pool, a water sports lagoon, a 7-acre beach with private cabanas, shopping, as well as activities such as zip lining and snorkeling.
Princess Cruise Line – Princess Cays is located on the southern portion of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, featuring white sand beaches and turquoise waters great for snorkeling. Island activities include seaboards, aqua bikes, Hobie Cat and Sunfish sailboats, paddle wheelers, banana boats, and transparent-hull kayaks at the water sports pier. Enjoy a beach barbeque, at which a full staff of drink servers is ready with cocktails and soda. For those who just want to relax, there are plenty of beach umbrellas, tiki huts, and hammocks slung between shady trees.
Royal Caribbean – Located in the middle of the Caribbean is the secluded 140-acre private island of Coco Cay, reserved exclusively for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity guests. The tropical paradise was recently updated with new aquatic facilities, nature trails, and numerous places to relax. A favorite attraction is the new 20,000-square-foot Caylana’s Castle Cove, a fun-filled floating aqua playground. Other popular activities include SeaTrek adventure wave runners, snorkeling, and parasailing 400 feet above Coco Cay. The sandy beach and coral reefs of Labadee, their second private island, are also wonderful places to relax and have fun. Activities include kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing, and bike riding. Become a pirate for a day, ride a waverunner, or just lie on the beach and relax.