Great Stirrup Cay is part of Berry Islands (Bahamas). The small island (size 250 acres) was purchased by Norwegian Cruise Lines in 1977 from Belcher Oil Company. Later it was developed into a private island exclusively for NCL cruise ship passengers.
NCL private island Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas)
In June 2016, NCL announced the company's plans to do an extensive makeover of its Bahamian private island. The project is part of "The Norwegian Edge" (USD 400 million fleet renovation program) and includes adding new attractions, eateries, private villas, zip-line course, underwater sculpture garden, new lagoon (suite-exclusive area), boardwalk (connecting the beach with the new entertainment complex). Great Stirrup Cay's new landscaping works alone cost over USD 1 million. The private island destination was closed for refurbishment between August 25 and October 20, 2016. However, due to damages caused by Hurricane Matthew, the opening was delayed until November 20. The closure mostly affected the short itineraries of Norwegian Sky, which instead visited Nassau and Freeport (Grand Bahama) / Key West FL.
- The new zip-line course (length 1000 ft / 305 m) has 2 parallel lines.
- The new underwater sculpture garden is a snorkeling / diving attraction (waterproof maps are provided).
- The half-mile (800 m) long boardwalk (connecting the beach with a new complex) is also a scenic walkway (100,000 ft2 / 9,290 m2) of new pathways) with shaded areas and rest stops with bench seating.
- The half-acre sized new entertainment complex has sports facilities (basketball-volleyball courts, tennis tables), a stage for live performances, shaded picnic area, air-conditioned reception center (board games rentals, reservations, locker rooms), complimentary food bar, new lounge area.
- Abaco Taco is a complimentary food bar near the new complex.
- LandShark Bar & Grill is another new (a la carte priced) eatery with indoor-outdoor seating.
- All the island's existing eateries and bars were updated (decking, shaded areas, stools in all bars). Dining venues' seating capacity was increased by 50%. The current buffet restaurant was redesigned and increased in seating capacity.
- In the ship tendering area were added new lockers and restrooms.
- The new Lagoon Retreat is an adults-only private beach area with its own restaurant, covered area, air-conditioned private villas (1x 4-room Spa Villa, plus 22x villas / studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom accommodations). The lagoon complex features a new swim-up bar, a dedicated to families shallow water beach, kids playground / picnic area, Silver Palm restaurant (complimentary, indoor-outdoor seating, rooftop terrace), private room (capacity 75 seats, used for private events / special occasions, with catering service).
- The types of villas available for rent are Studios (2-4 people), 1-bedroom (4-6 people, with hot tub), 2-bedroom (10 people, with hot tub, 2 bathrooms). All villas are with an open-air terrace, en-suite bathroom, living room (dining area). Food and drink services are also offered. All villa rentals are price inclusive of air-conditioned shuttle transportation from the tender dock to Lagoon's reception. The new Lagoon Retreat is an exclusive area for "The Haven" and all suite cruise passengers, and also for passengers with purchased on-land Mandara Spa treatments. A limited number of passes for all passengers are available for purchasing on each NCL Bahamas cruise with Great Stirrup Cay.
- The island's renovations and upgrades were scheduled for completion by 2017 spring. The private cabanas were available for 2017 summer.
- In June 2017 the 268-acre private island emerged from a major makeover. This is the largest makeover of the island ever. The beach getaway has been spruced up with revamped and brand new food & drink venues, rebuilt cabanas, expanded areas of soft sand. Additional lounge chairs have been brought in - now 3,000, up from 1,200 prior to the makeover. There is also an underwater sculpture garden for snorkelers. NCL spent over US$1 million on new landscaping. A new lagoon area for passengers staying in the Haven cabins on NCL Norwegian ships features 38 private villas with up to 2 bedrooms, a 2-story restaurant and swim-up bar. A new spa area is also available. The new landscaping features over 1,000 trees to cast more shade on visitors. Pathways have been paved and additional seating areas added around the venues.
- Jumby Beach Grill, the main buffet dining venue, was revamped to have 4 food lines instead of 2, cutting down on crowds and speeding up service. The bars were made twice as big. Jumby Beach also received behind-the-scenes upgrades that result in food being cooked faster, as well as staying fresher and hotter. The cost for upgrading the buffet alone is around US$750,000. Great Stirrup Cay's improvements also included the Patron Bar and Bertram's Bar with enhancements including new machines for frozen drinks and other equipment to speed up service. The mojito- & daiquiri-serving Bacardí Bar received more than half a dozen brand new tables and umbrellas at an outdoor seating also featuring a live music band stand.
Next photo shows the island's adults-only area Lagoon Retreat.
Great Stirrup Cay cruise terminal
Below you can see the island's map showing its best attractions and amenities.
- The island's northern part has snorkeling areas and a surrounded by rocks sandy beach.
- The island's southern part has a helicopter field (signed "Great Stirrup Cay International Airport") as part of a former US military installation for satellite tracking.
- There is an original lighthouse (constructed in 1863).
- The most common tree is the coconut palm, which milk and meat is used in most of the drink recipes.
- As wildlife, the island has different varieties of lizards and land crabs, seagulls and sanderlings (waders / shorebirds).
- Climate is tropical. Average temperatures are 75 F / 24 C (December-April) and 85–93 F / 29–34 C (May-November). Average sea water temperatures are 81–86 F / 27–30 C (May-November) and 77 F / 25 C (December-April).
The Great Stirrup Cay cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Great Stirrup Cay, NCL private island, Bahamas.
If you lose the Great Stirrup Cay location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port Great Stirrup Cay cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Great Stirrup Cay, NCL private island, Bahamas. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ships in port|
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