I checked the link, and I also googled Carnival and Half Moon Cay. I did find a number of references to the two, but they were old. I found one site that listed HMC as shared by Carnival, HAL and Windstar. But when I did a search on that site for cruises that stop at HMC it only brought up HAL cruises. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Windstar has stopped at HMC and Carnival has as well. To the best of my knoweldge, it was only one Carnival ship and it was only during the summer when HAL only has one ship in the Caribbean. Carnival definitely has had stops tere as crew has complained they leave things stored there they are not supposed to.
I am not worried Carnival will be taking over the island as it can barely handle just HAL ships on many days. It is quite common for two HAL ships to share. There would be no way the Carnival Fleet could have regular calls there. The facilities simply cannot handle any more....there are times it seems overstretched now as it is.
It's happened before where cruiselines share a private island. It's no biggie. I've been to plenty of the "cay" islands sailing with different cruiselines. Never have I been when one was bypassed before. People say that about Grand Cayman too - but again.. never have in my many cruises there have they bypassed it.
I'm looking forward to visiting HMC. It seems a bit different as some of the others in that there's all these excursions, extra costs etc.. I personally prefer the ones were only 1 ship is there.. you have a big barbque, hang on the beach and do nothing but watersports and a cold frozen drink. I understand you can do that at HMC but it will be a new experience if multiple ships are there. It sounds like Cost Maya - first one docks wins the cake.
I don't mind if Carnival also uses it. The question is when will they use it. I'll be there on November 1 on the Maasdam. The Oosterdam will also be there November 1. If Carnival showed up at the same time as one or two HAL ships were there, especially with the number and size ships that they sail, then the tropical paradise may not be as much of a paradise.
Thanks for the info sail. I wouldn't want the island to sink, the barbecue would get soggy and I might have to go a couple of hours without eating.
I would prefer just the Maasdam were there that day. The Oosterdam gets in three hours earlier. Hopefully they'll leave us some food. Seriously, it will be a nice view seeing the two ships off shore. I'll just have to make sure I get on the right ship. The Oosterdam is doing the western Caribbean which I've already done twice, and it's a shorter cruise.
We are talking years ago S7S. Back in the 1980's, there were some cruiselines which would share the same island.. one would be docked on one side.. One on another. I forget the names of cruiselines involved. I don't believe this is happening today as there are so many Cay's to choose from. Yes... RCCL does go to Labadee Hati still and also Coco Cay (little stirrup Cay).
Actually Marc I wished our itenerary was switched backwards. It would have been so nice to finish in HMC versus starting out the cruise. I've always enjoyed those cruises where the private island is the last stop. It's that wind-down-relax-take-it-easy-mon time.. Can't see doing that in San Juan since we sail at 1pm.
I never thought of that aspect, but you're right. When I was on RCCL many years ago Labadee was the last stop and I loved it for that reason. I also would prefer the reverse order so we didn't have two sea days right before returning to Norfolk.
We were there may on the Rotterdam.
Rent a Cabanna well worth the money.
the place is like a picture post card. google half moon cay . rent the yellow
cabanna (there are only 7) and yellow is furthest down the beach.
I can't wait to go back.
When the Maasdam first approached the island it certainly didn't look very large. We all piled into our tenders and had a fun ride to shore. Be sure to keep your beach towels handy cuz if the waves are choppy the passengers in the open sided tenders may very well get wet. When the tenders entered that 'hidden' waterway and rounded the corner into the little bay I felt just like I was on Gilligan's Island. As we pulled in we heard the Caribbean music welcoming us to paradise.
You will walk through the courtyard to reach the beach area. In the courtyard are several open booth areas, including a hair braiding station, lots of local souvenir booths and a covered patio area with chairs and tables. To your right you will see a building with lots of manufactured souvenirs, many of them with HAL logos on them. We could use only our HAL card in this store, but the booths accepted either the card or cash.
While on the beach, be sure to keep an eye out for the water waiter. Such a fun experience to have him wade out in the water to take your order and then deliver it right where you are , all the while wearing a tux. LOL Great photo op here.
Not too far from the beach is the food area, an open sided bar, as well as a very large restroom building. The BBQ was fun, (the veggie burgers were outstanding) and sitting outside in the picnic area reminded me of being a kid at camp again.
While sitting there enjoying my lunch, I heard a ship horn and remembered this was the signal for us to head back to the ship early, should the need arise. sure enough, as I walked away from the tree covered picnic area back towards the beach I saw that the sea had turned grey and the waves looked choppy. With much sadness we all approached the tenders way too early. Even the ship crew had to pack up all the food and supplies and leave the island when we did. (* note, be sure to enjoy the activity you look forward to the most when you first arrive, cuz there just may be no 'after lunch' activity on the island) If I had known this I would have skipped lunch altogether and just enjoyed the water all day.
I really appreciated the little foot shower right next to the dock where you could rinse the sand off your feet.
NOW for the fun part. I couldn't believe how rough that ride was back to the ship. That little tender rose up sooo high, and dipped soo low in those waves that this ride was about as exciting as a Harley ride down the coast of Calif on Hwy 1 and they could have charged for a separate excursion. BUT, though some of us had a real thrill, and we all got soaked to the bone, many got banged around in the tenders as the boat listed from side to side, some got sea sick, and many elderly passengers had a very bad time walking to the exit, and then again when it came time to 'jump' back onto the loading platform of the ship.
The only reason I mentioned this is cuz when you read about all the cancelled Half Moon Cay excursions, know that it is for a very good reason. I guess the seas and winds change very quickly in this area. If anyone has any mobility problems, please check with the captain personally the morning of your island venture. If there is even the slightest possibility of high wave action, it would be best if you forgo this stop. If the crew has to tie themselves to the loading platform during these high wave times as they help the passengers "jump" from the tender onto the ship, you know they avoid this scenerio as often as possible.
PS, my Sis and I thought this was the most thrilling part of our whole cruise. It was like being on a water roller coaster.