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Home > Member Reviews > wiskt's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay

wiskt's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay
Carnival Victory cruise in May 2013
Member Name: wiskt
Cruise Date: May 2013
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: wiskt's Carnival Victory Review
Grand Turk
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
GRAND TURK: 7:00 am- 2:30. Easily explored during this timeframe, but you will wish you could stay there forever. Get up early and enjoy every minute you are there!

This Port is a lovely small tranquil island and simply breathes RELAXATION. If I did my research correct, this port received Carnival assistance to rebuild after a hurricane destroyed most of the docking area a few years back. A wise investment if you ask me to keep this little island accessible to tourists. There's not a large city and barely has any traffic or cars on the roads. One side of the island is just raw scenic and nature. (Similar to Cozumel) The whole island can easily be explored by bike, scooter or golf cart. There is one main road that circles the island with a few off-spur side roads that follow the beach. COCKBURN TOWN is the main area everyone flocks too.

We chose to not do a ship run excursion and rent bikes directly from a vendor located at the port. This vendor booth had just opened up only two weeks prior, but don't fret from doing business with them. They are the company responsible for all the importing of cars and trucks to the island. They decided to expand to BIKE (MAY 2013) and soon GOLF CART RENTALS (JUNE 2013).

We paid $25 for a full day of BIKE RENTALS. We got a map of the island with some key points to see. The attendant NEIL ADAMS was very pleasant and helpful. I suggest bringing a small bungee cord that you can strap a small backpack or bag to the back of the bike and not have to carry it on your person. It takes about 1 ½ hrs. to bike to the opposite end of the island and reach the lighthouse. We didn't go that far and heard from others that it was very beautiful but you could not climb the lighthouse. About ½ - ¾ the way up the island are two dive shops. The larger one BAHIO dive shop where we stopped is the larger one and offers snorkel rentals and boating trips out to the ocean SHELF or LEDGE. It cost $20 for the Snorkel rental and $40-45 for the 15 min boat trip out to the big drop. Pay the extra for the boat trip as there really was not too much to see just off the beach as far as snorkeling. The water is crystal clear and you may spot a few fish in the immediate swimming area, but no coral.

PASSPORT STAMP COLLECTORS: About halfway to the dive shop from the port there is an IMMIGRATION OFFICE. If you stop there they will stamp your passports for FREE. Ask the Bike rental to locate it on the map for you.

NOTES: ISLAND AUTO RENTALS: ask for Neil or Anthony

I look forward to visiting this island again and if you need a QUIET vacation far away from civilization THIS IS YOUR ISLAND!

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Half Moon Cay
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
HALF MOON CAY (Private Island) 9:30am - 5:30

This island was acquired by Carnival when the company purchased Holland America Cruise lines. It is a great beach getaway with a bunch to offer for those that are not your average beach dwellers. It is a TENDER PORT and you will need to report to the show lounge and acquire TENDER BOAT # and will be called when it is available to board. It is an easy process. Excursions and VIP tendering will need to arrive 45-1hr early before your excursion time. Since this is a CARNIVAL run island you won't find any private excursions but they do offer a few onboard to purchase: Horseback riding, Parasailing, Snorkeling, Wave Runners etc.

The ship provides a cookout buffet style lunch on the island with the usual drink and dessert extras. There are two large bar areas for mixed drinks and several kiosk carts to grab, water & beer. Several side tucked away covered pavilions are provided to eat under that you will pass while making your way to the beach area. You may grab a beach chair, hammock or just spread out your towel and relax. There are for rent small foldable shade cabanas, Sturdier build CABANAS with AC or for the pricier cost a full BEACH HOUSE setting with living room and hot tub. The immediate area off the off the buffet is where the major part of the ship passengers nest. As you walk farther around the "Half Moon" of the beach it becomes more private and better your chances to snag a hammock.

My PVP said if I liked Co-Co Cay I will LOVE Half Moon Cay and he was not lying. I would return here without even a second thought. It is just beautiful and the water was clearer than anywhere else I have ever been to.

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