Cabanalife new at Great Stirrup Cay

 

One day, we'll go back to Great Stirrup Cay, a private island we visited a couple of years ago. We were going to be in Florida, and we were looking for a short cruise to…anywhere…after almost a month of writing about being on ships.

We were looking for a little R&R, and so it was that the Norwegian Sky took us to Great Stirrup Cay, which became our good fortune.

Last week, NCL announced its newest "shore excursion" called Cabanas on the Cay. They've built 10 of them, for up to 60 passengers who want to be on the beach in luxury. The cost is $250 a day (okay, $249) but it's not as costly as it sounds.

First of all, take five friends and it's only $41.50 each. Throw in a $10 all-day pass to the Hippo Waterslide, and you're down to $31.50. Then there's a $50 food credit for you to share (?) with your cabanamates and a large float that goes for $25 for the day. And for your bottom line of just over $20 you get priority tender service, a fruit basket, bottled water and an exclusive menu of seafood, charcuterie and sushi.

While it would be nice to experience cabanalife for a day, that's not the only reason we'd like to go back to Great Stirrup Cay.

We'd like to go back to see…

• If the building with x-ray security and the four tender docks that were being built to make it an easy on/off tendering process are functioning

• If Kent Albury still runs around the island he manages on his ATV with more phones and pagers ringing and beeping than you'd hear on Wall Street

• If the flushing channel that splits the island in half changes the water in the tendering bay four times every day, like it was designed to do

• If the beach is still as relatively pristine as it was, or if all the new additions have turned it into an amusement park on sand

NCL usually has five ships a year stopping at Great Stirrup Cay. The Sky and the Pearl from Miami, and the Gem from New York, are all still making it a port. The Jewel starts a New York-to-Bahamas run in October. Next year, the new ship Breakaway will visit during 7-day cruises from the Big Apple.

Norwegian was the first cruise line to buy its own island. That was almost 42 years ago and, like many NCL innovations, it prompted other cruise lines to follow suit.

You know what they say about imitation…

Norwegian Sky
3 nights
July 13, 2012
Miami (return): Great Stirrup Cay, Nassau  
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $83
www.ncl.com

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