Carnival Cruise

Private Island For The Day At Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

November 21, 2018

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Half Moon Cay Bahamas

Our first port on the Eastern Caribbean Carnival Cruise line was Half Moon Cay Bahamas. Also known as Little San Salvador Island, this private island is one of 700 islands in the Bahamas. Half Moon Cay is one of the 700 islands that make up the archipelago of the Bahamas. It is located about 160 kilometers/100 miles southeast of Nassau.

The only way to get to the Half Moon Cay island is to take tender boat rides from the ship to the island cruise port.

SEE ALSO: Top Things To Do In Miami Before & After Your Carnival Cruise

There are so many shore excursions to choose from at Half Moon Cay Bahamas:

horseback riding by land & sea – enjoy a great photo opportunity and panoramic view of Half Moon Cay and the surrounding Bahamian islands.

aquatrax watercraft adventure – navigate around the natural reef formations, inlets, islands, and sand pits with your own Aqua Trax watercraft

snorkel by boat – travel by boat to a site off the coast of Half Moon Cay and get an up-close view into the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Snorkel from the boat into waters teeming with gloriously colored fish, anemones and coral. 

Tropical Kayak Adventure – spend the day kayaking the part of the lagoon that comprises over 1400 square acres of protected habitat. You’ll be able to see the numerous species of flora ranging from red mangroves to the ornamental silver buttonwood tree. A naturalist guide will fill you in on the history of the island’s earliest and only inhabitants.

stingray adventure – take a short tram ride to Stingray Cove for your short orientation where you will learn about the stingrays’ behaviors, habitat, feeding, breeding, and other fascinating features. After the briefing, put on your snorkel equipment and enter the wading area with your guide. Enjoy an incredible experience of touching the rays’ silky wings and feeding these amazing creatures.

Historic Nature Walk – experience the natural splendor of Half Moon Cay as a knowledgeable guide leads you through an eye-opening 1 ½ mile walk of the nature trails that brings you up close and personal with the plants and nature of the island. You will learn about the tropical palms, sea grape trees, curly-tailed lizards, bananaquit birds, and the many bird sanctuary spots of Half Moon Cay.

Island Tram Calypso Tour – enjoy all the highlights of Half Moon Cay on a 1-hour tour in a shaded open-aired island tram to the infamous Captain Morgan “On the Rocks” Bar. Continue along the coastline, with great views of your ship, to Pegasus Ranch, home of the swimming horses. The 700-acre inner lagoon is used for Jet-skiing, glass bottom boat, kayaking tours and is home to stingrays. Re-board the tram for a drive through the Islands farm, where fruits and vegetables are grown for the sustainability & beautification of the island and residents. 

I’ve always wanted to swim with the stingrays so we went on the stingray adventure!




Shop in the Fort San Salvador Welcome Center, play in the water park, and grab a cocktail and head to the beach.



Lunch is served on the island barbecue style with grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, German potato salad, chili fried rice, fresh fruit, and dessert. The chili fried rice and banana rum cake were so good!





We took a short tram ride to Stingray Cove for the stingray adventure to learn about the stingrays’ behaviors, habitat, feeding, and breeding. There were three southern stingrays that made their home in the Stingray Cove. Everyone was suited up with a safety vest, scuba mask, aqua shoes, and snorkel before heading into the water. We spent the day snorkeling alongside the stingrays, touching their silky wings, and swimming with the fish in the cove. The instructor gave each of us a raw squid to feed the stingrays too!




You only have half a day at Half Moon Cay so make sure to see the beach during the port visit. I loved swimming and running along the crystal clear blue waters and white sand beach. The island is built on 45 acres along the crescent-shaped beach with more than a mile in length that fronts on a protected bay leading west to Exuma Sound.

Water sports like parasailing, catamarans, hobie cats, jet skis, and clamshells are available for rental from the beach.



Dinner that evening was inspired by Half Moon Cay – mai tai (a tropical tradition with rum) and fried conch fritters (minced conch with diced vegetables and local spices served with a tropical fruit salsa). We also ordered the lobster tail, spaghetti carbonara, and steamed bass!

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Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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