A private cabana is a plush way to enjoy the pristine sand and surf of Half Moon Cay, Carnival Corporation's private island in the Bahamas visited by Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America. Half Moon Cay cabanas are colorful wooden outposts peppered along the island's shoreline, and while they all offer special amenities, offerings vary based on cabana type. If you're not sure which enclave is the best fit for you during your time ashore, read Cruise Critic's guide to Half Moon Cay cabanas.
There are 15 standard cabanas, distinguished by color and number (green 13, for example), along the beach on Half Moon Cay. These accommodate up to six people. Note that cabanas share the same public beach as everyone else.
Standard four-person cabana rentals come equipped with a ceiling fan, electric fan and air-conditioning unit to keep you cool. A table with four padded chairs and two padded loungers sit on the private deck. An assortment of snacks like chips and dip and fresh fruit are offered, and a mini-fridge holds a variety of drinks. Cruisers who book a cabana rental on Half Moon Cay are asked to fill out a form before their stay to ensure their preference of sodas and drinks (about six at a time) are stocked. Two large bottles of water sit on the counter with a bucket of ice, plastic cups and straws. Floating mats, snorkel gear and an outdoor shower are all available for personal use. Butler service and alcoholic drinks cost extra.
Be aware that housekeeping services are deployed an hour-and-a-half before departure time to ensure anything that needs to return to the cruise ship (dishware, for example) are collected. Bars also close around this time.
Pricing is listed per cabana, not per person, and can vary by sailing. Standard cabanas include up to four people in the price, and starting at about $280 for the entire day. An additional surcharge of $46 per person is imposed for more than four occupants, to a maximum of six. Children age 2 and under are not charged, but might be considered part of the cabana occupants to determine maximum occupancy.
All cabanas and villas are within walking distance of the main welcome area, but a golf cart will bring you to your cabana, and are available for further transport for those who have mobility issues.
Beach villas are similar to cabanas but are two stories, identified by letter and accommodate up to 18 people. There are five beach villas on Half Moon Cay (A, B, C, D and E).
Beach villas include all of the same amenities as a cabana, but also feature a five-person hot tub and a dining area with additional table and chairs. Villas D and E are wheelchair accessible throughout the first floor.
Beach villas typically cost about $500 for eight people. A surcharge ($50 per person) is added for each additional occupant to a maximum of 18 occupants total. At capacity, a beach villa could cost $1,000.
A single, over-the-water Oasis Cabana is 1,620 square feet and accommodates up to 25 people.
The Oasis Cabana has a 100-foot walkway with misting stations and privacy gate upon entry. It includes butler service, along with a dedicated chef, cabana steward, bartender and lifeguard. Also featured in the Oasis is an eight-person hot tub, an iPod docking station, men's and women's changing rooms, indoor and outdoor showers with fresh heated water, a barbecue grill, a massage table, a teak dining set that seats six, an outdoor teak seating area that accommodates 12, and a full bar.
The Oasis Cabana is usually $1,500 per day for 12 guests. A $100 surcharge is added for each additional person, up to 25 people. At capacity, the price for 25 occupants is $2,800.
Butler service can be added for either cabanas or villas for an additional charge.
A drink package is offered for Half Moon Cay, including up to 15 drinks per person, for $25. (If you have a drink package onboard your ship, it does not extend to the island.)
Water sports equipment, like kayaks or water bikes, are available to rent by the hour.
One noticeable thing not featured in cabanas or villas are private restrooms. General-use bathroom facilities are located nearby.
Clamshells are awnings that can be rented to shade lounge chairs on the beach. These rentals are $20 per clamshell.
There is no Wi-Fi or extensive cell service available on Half Moon Cay.
An advance reservation to book a cabana is recommended; reservations might be available once onboard, but it depends on the cruise. Anyone with their heart set on a cabana should book online ahead of time. Even with status, there are no priority reservations given to loyalty members or suite occupants; cabanas and villas are first come, first served.
Specific cabana/villa location requests are only accommodated once onboard at the shore excursions desk and not online or beforehand. You can theoretically add people to a cabana once onboard, but the per-person surcharge remains in effect.
It's hard pick a top cabana when you're choosing between similar offerings on a small stretch of gorgeous shoreline. However, it might be worth nothing that the higher the number or letter, the farther the cabana is away from the hustle and bustle of the island restaurant and many of the kids' activities. Families might choose a lower number or letter, meaning a cabana/villa that's close to food and facilities, while a couple looking for some alone time might want to be all the way on the end (number 15). The water sports center is located across from Villa D and Cabana 8. The Captain Morgan "On the Rocks" ship (bar) is next to Cabana 5.