Great Stirrup Cay Shore Excursion Reviews

Great Stirrup Cay (Photo:Roman Stetsyk/Shutterstock)

Find Things to Do in Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Tips, Activities, and Overview

Food and Drink in Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay has a main buffet restaurant, in addition to a food truck and taco bar. Cruisers booked into Silver Cove villas (or who book a spa treatment at the Mandara Spa) can access the more upscale Silver Cove Restaurant. All food is included; there are no extra-fee dining venues on the island.

Vegetarian food is limited; request a veggie burger or dine on pizza and salad. In general, those with dietary restrictions and food allergies should eat onboard. The ship's dining room and buffet will also remain open during select times, so passengers can come and go as they please (if they wish to eat onboard the ship), though remember you have to tender both ways.

Free:

  • Jumbey Beach Grill: Jumbey is the island's main buffet, dishing up succulent barbecue fare: chicken, hamburgers, ribs, corn on the cob, tropical salads, fruit and so on.
  • Abaco Taco: At this build-your-own taco bar, beef-, pork-, chicken- or shrimp-filled shells can be embellished with salads and topped off by relishes: sour cream, guacamole, salsas and the like. Messy though they are to eat, this restaurant is extremely popular with cruisers.
  • Tropic Like It's Hot Food Truck: This colorful food truck is located between the cabana area and the first cluster of villas, so a hike for many kicking it on Bertram's Cove Beach. Its limited menu includes ceviche, a pulled pork sandwich, fish sandwich, spiced chicken, rum cake and fudge bars.
  • Silver Cove Restaurant: Exclusive to cruisers booked in villas and anyone with a spa treatment at the nearby island outpost of the Mandara Spa, this buffet is a step above Jumbey Beach Grill. You'll find intriguing salads, grilled items (including fish and veggies), pizza, tropical fruit and a range of desserts. Villa cruisers dine at four-top tables with shade umbrellas, rather than communal picnic tables. Waiters can bring drinks from the adjacent Silver Cove Bar.

Bars: Norwegian Cruise Line's beverage packages cover drinks purchased on Great Stirrup Cay, with all the usual fine print (such as drink maximums).

  • Bacardi Bar: The best place for a strawberry daiquiri or mojito is the Bacardi Bar, located slap bang in the middle of the main beach area. It's got a stage (where the ship's DJ pumps out tracks) and a shaded terrace where you can enjoy your rum cocktail.
  • Bertram's Bar: Another Bertram's Cove staple, this bar has a machine that makes slush drinks -- refreshing on a hot day and the closest thing you'll get to an ice cream.
  • Lighthouse Beach Bar: You can get drinks with a view at this cabana-area bar.
  • Patron Bar: Near Abaco Taco, this bar is known for its cool margaritas made with -- what else? -- Patron.
  • Moet Bar: This exclusive outpost for cruisers booked in Silver Cove was made for Instagram with a giant #MoetMoment sign looking out over the lagoon and cushy couches set against a perfect palm tree background. Your drinks will be photo-worthy, too, with a menu of Champagne cocktails, and wine and Champagne by the glass or bottle, served with berries in Moet-logo glasses and ice buckets. Cocktails are upward of $20, but the assumption is most bar-goers have a beverage package to cover all or some of the cost.
  • Silver Cove Bar: This bar is where waiters gather drinks to deliver to diners at the Silver Cove Restaurant and to cruisers booked in villas.
Beaches in Great Stirrup Cay

There are three main beaches on the island, so there shouldn't be a problem finding somewhere to lay your towel. All three beaches boast the same white powdery sand, have easy access to restrooms and are lifeguarded.

Bertram's Cove: This is the main beach, and nearest to where the tender drops you off. It's, by far, the busiest beach and it's also where there's the biggest buzz. Not only is it home to the volleyball court but the bandstand is also situated just behind it. This is where the Youth Team organizes family entertainment throughout the day -- think water games, tug-of-war and sandcastle building.

Out at sea from the beach and submerged beneath the waterline is the new underwater sculpture garden, which adds an extra dimension to time spent snorkeling. Speaking of which, snorkel and floating mat rentals are conveniently close by, as are the eateries, straw market and several bars.

Cabana Beach: The middle stretch of sand on the island is where you'll find some of the exclusive cabanas set back on a hill. It's slightly smaller than Bertram's Cove and is closer to the Bacardi Bar, which has a great atmosphere thanks to its DJ booth. If you like "adult" entertainment, then you'll enjoy the bar's limbo contests, beach babe competitions and adults-only parties. There are still corners of the beach, however, where you can get away from it all.

Fiesta Beach: While we can't promise you'll have Fiesta Beach to yourselves, it is the furthest public-access beach from the tender dock and the seven minutes or so it takes to walk there seems to act as a deterrent to many fellow passengers. It's where you'll find the remaining private cabanas and the smaller villas. This beach is serviced by the Lighthouse Beach Bar and the Tropic Like It's Hot food truck.

Silver Cove: The beach lining this small cove is reserved for passengers who book a villa or a spa treatment at the island's Mandara Spa outpost. Each villa comes with two lounge chairs, so the beach does not feel crowded with chairs or people. It's surrounded by one- and two-bedroom villas, a gazebo, the spa, the Silver Cove Restaurant and Bar and Moet Bar. The only downside is that it's the farthest from the tender dock, but transportation is available for passengers who don't feel up to the walk.

Cabanas in Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay has 22 Cabanas on the Cay, all of which are open air with privacy curtains and come with a cushioned couch, mini-fridge, fan, lounge and patio chairs on the deck, a hammock and a rinse-off shower. Passengers receive floating mats and cabana service of drinks and food from a special menu. Large cabanas at Cabana Beach fit up to 10 people and are closer to the main beach area and its attractions, while the small cabanas at Fiesta Beach fit six and are next to the Silver Cove villas.

Prices vary but start at $445 for the small cabanas and $495 for the large cabanas; fee includes a $50 food and drink credit.

Exclusive Spaces in Great Stirrup Cay

Silver Cove was added in 2019 at the farthest end of the island from the tender pier, with a beautiful private lagoon and beach area, plus a gazebo and a pair of overwater swings. Silver Cove has a private restaurant and two bars, and is also the location of the Mandara Spa.

To gain admittance to this exclusive enclave, passengers need to reserve a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom villa. Ocean Villas are studios that accommodate six passengers in an air-conditioned unit with a couch, small dining table with two chairs, a large flat-screen TV, mini-fridge and private bathroom. Food and drink can be ordered off a special menu and delivered to the villa. Outside is a private deck with padded lounge chairs; on the beach, you also get two lounge chairs with umbrella. Ocean Villas are located adjacent to the cabana area, not the lagoon.

Surrounding the lagoon are the one- and two-bedroom Lagoon Studio Villas, which can accommodate a maximum of 10 and 16 people, respectively. These expand the studio concept with a larger living area, wet bar and private bedroom with king-size bed. The two-bedroom version adds a dining area, entertainment area and a larger master bedroom with a spa tub and shower.

Prices vary by sailing. Studios range from $299 to $699; one-bedroom villas are $349 to $799; and two-bedroom family suite villas cost $599 to $1,100 (per unit, not per person).

Spas in Great Stirrup Cay

The Mandara Spa at Silver Cove is a gorgeous on-island outpost of the ship's spa and offers all the same signature massages and treatments. Four open-air treatment rooms look out to sea and can accommodate couples treatments. A patio features luxe swing chairs and outdoor hot tubs. Passengers who book on-island spa treatments gain access to the Silver Cove lagoon beach and buffet restaurant, without needing to book a villa.

Attractions in Great Stirrup Cay

The far end of Bertram's Cove is the best place to snorkel because Norwegian has built an underwater sculpture garden complete with stone statues of mermaids, starfish, treasure chests and skulls inspired by the island's history of piracy. There are lots of colorful fish to be spotted swimming among coral. Bring your own gear or rent it on island.

Great Stirrup Cay's most distinctive landmark is the white lighthouse rising from the center of the island. It has been repurposed as the starting point for a massive zipline course that combines six ziplines with V net bridges, chimney climbs and cargo nets for climbing fun. Sign up at the excursion desk.

Overwater and beachside swings dot the coastline and are a popular photo stop; many are set at adult, not kid, height. Beach volleyball nets are available as well.