Have you ever been to a place that looked like paradise right when you got there? Beautiful blue water, no clouds for miles, palm trees galore, soft sand and a well kept island. These would be the words I would use to describe Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas. For me, Half Moon Cay was just the place to have a paradise feel to it. Before going to Half Moon Cay, I had never been out of the United States. I was curious to know what places looked like outside of the US. I wondered if they were different or similar to beaches around the country. I went on my first cruise from the United States to 4 different cruise ports in the Caribbean by way of Carnival Cruise Lines. We were aboard the Carnival Glory cruise ship. Half Moon Cay was our first stop as we sailed away from Miami, Florida.
When we arrived in Half Moon Cay, I had 3 shore excursions planned. Snorkeling was canceled due to clouds and mist that had arrived on the island before we got there. The clouds left the island a couple hours after our arrival. The other two excursions were swimming with the sting rays and an island tour. We were taken by a smaller passenger boat from the cruise ship to the island. The island does not have a dock, so they have to take people to and from the island by another boat. When we arrived we were greeted by people who lived on the island, as well as people who lived on other islands.
After we were greeted by the people on the island, my husband and I went to find the place where we would swim with the sting rays. We took a short walk to sting ray cove, later on we found out we would have got a ride there. When we got to sting ray cove we were told to put a life jacket, snorkel gear and get changed into our swim suits. Once we did this, we stood near the area where the sting rays were. Then once everyone else arrived we got into the pool (it was freezing). We swam around for a bit with our snorkel gear to watch the sting rays. We were then directed to stand in a circle close together. The other visitors and us would then feed the sting rays, be able to touch them and take a picture with them. Once it was over, we exit the pool and went back to the main area on the island.
In the main area, there are a few shops to find knickknacks to take home with you. The island does not accept any form of credit card. Instead you pay by scanning your cruise ship card. The area to eat was near the main area on the island. The food to eat was buffet style and there were a few items to choose from. They had a main course, as well as dessert to take care of your sweet tooth. I am quite the picky eater, so I did not eat much. They also offered lemonade, tea and water to drink. After lunch we walked over and grabbed a seat near the beach. We sat on the beach while we waited for our last excursion before getting back on the cruise ship.
The ocean was very warm and so blue. This was the first time I had seen water that was so clear I could see my feet. There were enough chairs for each person to sit in. We were able to relax without anyone trying to sell us items on the beach. Which I would later on find out most places like this have people constantly trying to sell people items. These items are people’s way of earning a living. After awhile, our island tour began. The lady running the island tour gave us tons of fascinating information about the Bahamas and the island itself. The island tour took us to see the entire island (it is not that big) and most of the place we went we had not seen yet. Around the end of the tour, we were able to walk around a different beach area for about 10 minutes to stretch our legs before we headed back. This part was where I got some of my most interesting shots from the island. After the tour was over we headed back to the main part of the island. We were informed to get in line to get back on the boat to get back onto the cruise ship. I was sad to leave the island, it was truly my idea of paradise.
Half Moon Cay is still one of my most favorite places I have ever been. If you ever go on a cruise to this place, I definitely suggest the two shore excursions I mentioned above. The island is beautiful and well taken care of. I would go back to the island in the Bahamas in a heartbeat. The locals who greeted us and helped us throughout the day were all very nice and helpful. This place will forever be one of my favorites.
Stay tuned next week to learn about Arizona. If you haven’t read the Grateful November series, you should check it out. See you soon!