Cruise Guide: Half Moon Cay

Located in the Bahamas, Half Moon Cay is a popular stop for guests of Carnival Cruise Line. As Carnival’s private island, guests can enjoy some beach time, unique excursions and plenty of fun.

On our recent Carnival Sunshine trip, we visited Half Moon Cay for the first time. Here’s a quick guide of things to know — and do at this fun island.

Cruise Guide- Half Moon Cay - blog

What Can I Do in Half Moon Cay? 

My family and I spent our time in Half Moon Cay at the beach. The water was incredibly clear, the sand wasn’t filled with rocks and there was a nice little kids area at one end of the island with slides. Since it was our first time there, we wanted to explore a bit instead of opting for an excursion. It was a relaxing day of fun.

If you’re in the mood for food, there’s no need to make your way back to the ship. Take part in the complimentary barbecue lunch featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken and plenty of sides.

While the rest of my family spent extra time at the beach, I explored the nature trails and paths on the island. Just steps away from the beach, I was soaking up the sun with birds singing around me and spotting some great views of the ship too.

Half Moon Cay Nature Walks

Unique Excursions in Half Moon Cay 

While my family and I chose to enjoy a beach day, instead of an excursion – there are some pretty unique excursions to take advantage of on the island. Go horseback riding on the beach (and in the water), hop on a bike and explore the island on a guided tour or choose to go snorkeling and explore the seas.

And if you are looking for something extra special, book the Private Oasis shore excursion featuring a private butler, chef, lifeguard, a lunch buffet, drinks, private shower and bathrooms for you and twelve guests. But be quick – there is only one private oasis available for rent at $1,495/day. For a cheaper option, book one of the many beach villas for $499/day or a cabana rental for $279/day.

Half Moon Cay - Beach View

A view of the Private Oasis

Things to Know About Half Moon Cay

** Your Sign & Sail card from the ship works on the island. If you plan to do some shopping, bring cash!

** Beach towels are available in limited quantities, I’d highly recommend bringing the one in your stateroom.

** You’ll travel to the island via tender boat, so plan accordingly. The ride takes about 10 minutes and with two tender boats running, our wait was minimal.

** There are lifeguards on duty at the beach, but keep an eye on your kiddos!

** There is a place of worship on the island – perfect spot if you are looking to get married or renew your vows while on vacation!

Half Moon Cay - Wish I Could Stay Bar

We enjoyed our day at Half Moon Cay. It was easy to get back and forth between the ship and the island, there was plenty to do — and of course, the weather was fantastic. We hope to sail to Half Moon Cay again on future cruises for more exploring and fun.

Have you visited Half Moon Cay? 


** My family and I were invited guests of Carnival Cruise Line. Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own. This post includes affiliate links, if you purchase from them I may receive a few pennies. **

Hi there!

I'm Carrie McLaren,

based in Jacksonville, Fla. Family travel is my passion and I want to help you succeed in making fantastic memories with your family.





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