Sea Tales 2023/2024 Family Cruise Travel Planner

A recent visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas, illustrates the cruise travel industry’s ongoing effort to exceed the expectations of its guests. Air-conditioned, open-air beach cabanas are available just a few steps from warm, blue, pristine waters. Private butlers magically appear (for a small fee) from nowhere to fill one’s beverage glass; others prepare hot and chilled appetizers, as well as cool cucumbers to soothe guests’ eyes from the tropical sun. Is this heaven? Not quite, but these breathtaking private islands are surely memorable for cruisers who want to enjoy total stress reduction. Many Caribbean cruises include a stop at some of the Caribbean Sea’s most picturesque islands. Turquoise waters, stunning coral reefs, beautiful beaches, and native fauna and wildlife draw the awe of visitors. For the more active crowd, a variety of optional island exploration and water sports activities keep people busy all day long. Beach umbrellas, cabanas, and other shady spots are available to those who want to step out of the sun. Beachside massages soothe the senses. Guests who want privacy are invited to visit many of the islands’ more isolated and secluded beaches. Families are more than welcome, with plenty to do for all ages, including aqua parks, hiking trails, and other kid-friendly activities. Many areas on the islands are handicap accessible. 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 – Holland America’s 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 Marine 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

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.

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