Great Stirrup Cay
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Great Stirrup Cay 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.)
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Other Bahamas Cruise Ports:
Castaway Cay • CocoCay • Freeport • Great Stirrup Cay • Half Moon Cay • Nassau • Princess Cays
How You'll Get There
To go ashore, you'll have to tender from your ship to the island.
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.
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.
What You'll Pay 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.
For More Information
Check out Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay info page.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor