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Old January 18th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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Z – Day 7 – Half Moon Cay
Half Moon Cay is Holland America’s private piece of paradise, located 100 miles from Nassau, Commonwealth of the Bahamas. 10 years ago Holland America opened this to passengers sailing on their ships as a private port of call.

If the silky white sand beaches weren’t enough to remind everyone fortunate enough to visit that there was indeed a small slice of heaven on earth, over the years the cruise line has added all sorts of optional activities. Aside from snorkeling, and water toys, one now has a broad range of excursions to from, from paddle water bikes, to horse riding on the beach.

Today Holland America commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Half Moon Cay with a ceremony, and presentations to the Prime Minister, and Minister of Tourism of the Bahamas, by Stein Kruse, the CEO of Holland America, who flew by sea plane especially for the ceremonies.

There were other Bahamian dignitaries present, including the Commodore of the Royal Defense Force of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

During the ceremony it was noted that over 2 Million cruise ship passengers have been blessed to have visited Half Moon Cay in this 10 year span.

Half Moon Cay is operated 100% by Bahamian employees. The Director of Operations at this time is Kevin Cartwright. The Prime Minister noted in his address that in surveys done by the Bahamian Government, Bahamian citizens employed by Holland America rate their employer an 8.5 out of 10 in job satisfaction. The cruise line just surpassed the 100 person mark for Bahamians employed.

The Prime Minister also noted that Half Moon Cay has generated 23 Million Dollars income in “head taxes? for his country. And that for the past 7 years running Half Moon Cay has been voted the Best Private Island in the industry.

This ceremony was somewhat understated in nature, but the speeches were kept short enough to stay interesting, and rum punch and fruit punch were served to the passengers who gathered at the welcome center to watch as a commemorative flag was raised to mark the occasion.

A lunch for all the dignitaries was held afterwards that we had been invited to attend. However, when I saw how large the entourage accompanying this cruise was, I opted to pass on my regrets, and head back to enjoy the private cabana we’d booked for today.

Not that it wouldn’t have been an honor to lunch with the CEO of the cruise line, and the Prime Minister, but… a day on Half Moon Cay, with the use of a cabana, is one of the most decadent days on the beach one can enjoy anywhere!

More on the Cabanas, the Cabana Boys, and Half Moon Cay, in my final report from the Zuiderdam, which I’ll write and send later tonight.
I have to go watch Mrs. Kuki pack now. Packing at the end of a cruise is normally a dreaded, but relatively easy task because you’re just going home to do laundry.

This time it’s a bit different, as Mrs. Kuki is packing for a cruise. We board the Carnival Freedom tomorrow for the John Heald Blogger’s Cruise. I will be blogging from the blogger’s cruise with daily reports. Hopefully you’ll pop on over to the Carnival message board to continue doing these back to back cruises with us!
Even if you’ve never considered Carnival the right cruise line for you, I suggest you come along. You may feel the same afterwards, or Carnival may have surprises in store for you, and for us.

But...this one isn't over YET! One more installment to come.
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