Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port

Port of Great Stirrup Cay: An Overview

Perhaps the most famous occupant of Great Stirrup Cay -- located in the Bahamas' Berry Island chain, 130 nautical miles due east of Fort Lauderdale -- was Captain Bertram of the British Navy, but Native Americans, pirates and members of the Spanish and American armed forces have also inhabited the cay throughout its history.

Norwegian Cruise Line purchased the 250-acre island from the Belcher Oil Company in 1977. A string of significant improvements was made in 1988, followed by a second $25 million two-phase renovation, which is slated for completion in early 2012. The retreat is now outfitted with a new tender channel, dining and bar areas, welcome pavilion, band stand, private beachfront cabanas, children's play area, straw market, Aqua Park and marina basin, which has increased the available beachfront space for visitors. (The island has five beaches, but four are unmaintained.)


Don't Miss

Simply relax on the beach with a chair or umbrella, nap in a hammock, get a massage, or choose from one of many activities and shore excursions that include snorkeling, stingray adventures, eco-tours, kayaking and personal watercraft trips, and parasailing. Visitors can also play beach volleyball and Ping-Pong, check out the Aqua Park, rent water floats and take a ride down the Hippo Slide.


One main bar and two smaller bars are located at the east end of the beach. Norwegian has also partnered with Bacardi to open a Bacardi Rum Bar on the island; it's touted as the first permanent Bacardi bar location in the Caribbean.


A straw market features several stands that sell T-shirts and other standard Caribbean souvenirs.

What's for Lunch

An island barbecue -- offering chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, fruit and various other items -- is offered for free to all visitors.

Watch Out For

Alcohol, souvenirs and shore excursions will cost extra. Onboard accounts can be used by passengers to purchase beverages and shore excursions.

What Sets It Apart

Norwegian was the first cruise line in the industry to offer its passengers access to a private Caribbean island.
  • Great Stirrup Cay: Norwegian Epic
    Nice Island but make sure you bring your water shoes. There is a great many rocks in the water that several people I spoke to cut there feet on. The water is clear and the sand is good. You do have to tender to the island so make sure you schedule a ... Read more
  • Great Stirrup Cay: Norwegian Getaway
    Beautiful sand, walk past the first beach to other areas if crowded. UBP works on island and lunch is included from ship, but not super-impressed with the offerings. Lines for drinks were long, and though I saw some servers, none came up to me, ... Read more
  • We just hung out on the beach and drank and ate all day. We brought snorkel gear but the water was too cold for us (we did see kids snorkeling) Check out the taco stand, its awesome. Overall the island was a relaxing experience. ... Read more
  • Great Stirrup Cay: Norwegian Sky
    Best part of the cruise. Clean, and relaxing. Service wasn't great, and the cabana rental situation was way out of hand. Were not friendly at all. We just found two chairs and stayed there. Water was clean, comfortable and fun. ... Read more
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