Costa, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean are among the cruise lines that operate their own private islands. Technically, some are private sections of larger islands, but that doesn’t diminish the feeling of being in an exclusive paradise.
Many cruise line private islands are in The Bahamas or the Caribbean; here’s a quick look at a few.
Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay has the same vibe as its family-friendly cruise ships; Disney characters will be there to greet you and get the dance party started. Choose from multiple beaches, including one for teens, one for adults, one for active sports, and one for families to enjoy together. Kids will love the activities at Scuttle’s Cove, as well as the floating play area with two twisting water slides and a giant bucket dump. A unique feature of this island is the Castaway Cay 5k, a friendly race that you can run or walk. Then, relax by renting a kayak, paddleboat, aqua trike or luxury cabana.
Just two years ago, Royal Caribbean transformed its private island, CocoCay, to provide a “Perfect Day at CocoCay.” Guests can enjoy an enormous wave pool, a freshwater pool, a 1,600-foot-long zip line, a (tethered) helium balloon ride and deluxe cabanas. While these activities come with an extra fee, many CocoCay features are included in your cruise fare, such as the lounge chairs and umbrellas on three lovely beaches, a water play area for children, sports courts and other beach activities. Royal Caribbean also operates Labadee, a private, resort-style beach area on the island of Haiti.
MSC Cruises recently turned an abandoned sand extraction site into a private island called Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. No longer a home for old scrap metal, Ocean Cay offers eight gorgeous beaches, a waterside spa, yoga classes, snorkeling adventures, and artisan boutiques. There’s also a coral nursery, with long-term plans to establish the island as a center for research into coral restoration. Some MSC itineraries include a late departure from or overnight stay at Ocean Cay, which provides time for stargazing, light shows, and other evening activities.
Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, to help you select a cruise itinerary that includes a private island experience.
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