Woke up to find we were just approaching Half Moon Cay, the 2400 acre private island owned by the Carnival Cruise Corporation, where we were spending the day. Mostly the island is a bird refuge, but the main beach is very long – possibly 2 or 3 miles – and a beautiful crescent of white powdery sand edging a turquoise sea.
The ship anchored off and we were ferried to shore by tender. Because it’s a private island, just for the cruise ships, they keep large tender boats there, not like in other tender ports where you go ashore in the lifeboats. This made the whole process much quicker
Once ashore we walked the very short distance from the dock to the beach. The first 200 metres of beach are extremely built up: lounges right up against each other in rows; a bar; a bbq restaurant; sports facilities both land and sea. But beyond that stretches miles of pristine empty beach backed by pine trees. In the pine trees all the way along were small stacks of lounges.
Luckily, 2980 people decided to stay in the first 200 metres of the beach!!!!! About 20 people summoned up the extreme fortitude to stagger more than 200 metres and were rewarded by a day in paradise, spaced out, alone in tropical heaven. It was absolute paradise. Just what you imagine a Caribbean island beach to be.
In the distance we could hear screeching, conflicting music, mainly rap, loudspeakers, merry hell going on and that part of the beach looked like a swarming ants nest. Inexplicably horrendous.
Anyway, we had a brilliant day. The water was superb, the sand the best ever. It was just so lovely to lie there in peace and go back and forth to the warm and limpid sea. Of course, the end had to come and at about 230 we walked back to the dock and were tendered back.
This really is a horrid ship. Well…. We think it is. Some people clearly like it. I finally realised what it reminds me of this morning: a second rate Las Vegas casino hotel in the 80s. Somewhere like the Golden Nugget. If your idea of holiday heaven is non stop drinking in a series of shiny, tacky bars, troughing (and I don’t use this word lightly) down great plates of very poor quality food in a buffet, enjoying swimming pools growing steadily more cloudy as people down buckets of beer while wallowing in them, quaffing free drinks and smoking in a massive casino even at 830am….. then this is for you! If it wasn’t for the spa and the Serenity area, I think we would stay in our cabin all day.
Tomorrow we have what is billed as “A Fun Day at Sea”!!! I cannot countenance what this may mean….. Fun on the beach apparently meant chugging contests, human wheelbarrow races, carry your wife distance running (not at all easy for many) etc…