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Old July 19th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Default NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Has anyone been to NCL's private island in the Bahamas? If so, can you tell me what is there and what there is to do? Water sports, shopping, eating, etc??
Any information appreciated!!!!
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Old July 20th, 2005, 10:03 AM
Scott Blake
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Hi,

We were on their island the last week in June. The beach is beautiful. There are also some quiet walking trails but we didn't get too far because it was very hot. I believe you can go snorkeling. I'm not sure what else is available. They have a very small open marketplace where they sell some touristy stuff, not really anything too exciting. The island is very pretty but kind of small.

Angela
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Old July 20th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Thanks Angela!

Do you remember seeing chairs on the beach or do you have to bring a towel from the ship? Several in my family would love to do snorkeling and water sports. I'd rather just lay on the beach!
Is it a long walk from the ship to the beach area?
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Old July 20th, 2005, 07:12 PM
Henry
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Cinderelli There are lounge chairs on the beach and just off the beach there are hamocks. Theres also a bar and in back of the bar is a huge barbaque(sp). There are also paths to hike on. You have to tender in. Henry
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Old July 20th, 2005, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

You have to tender from the ship to the beach, but as I recall the tenders run continuously and it doesn't take long. There are lots of beach chairs. If anyone in your area wants some shade, there's lots of shade behind the beach and there are shaded areas with hammocks. You can walk right in from the beach to go snorkeling, etc.

They provide lunch in the barbecue area, but don't wait until the last hour or two because they start to shut it down and clean up well before the last tenders go back to the ship.

Think of it as a day at the beach. Apart from swimming, snorkeling and hiking there isn't much else to do, but it is a beautiful beach.

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Old July 21st, 2005, 06:59 PM
Glenn Comunale
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

My wife and I were on Stirrup Cay also last week in June. When you see that Island from your stateroom or the ships rail its just so beautiful. Hint: get on one of the first tenders or you might have a problem getting a spot,also 98% of the people go to the left after they get off the tender,instead go to the right walk to the boat rental area and put down there. There were chairs and hammocks for the taking,also bring bug spray you'll need it. Another thing don't forget to bring either some money or credit card with you the shops on the Island have no conection with the cruise line and do not take the cruise card as payment. This was the cruise where the Nassau stop was cancelled and if I has some money I would have bought a T-shirt at least. You can rent peddle boats there too. Hope for sun and calm seas you have trully a great day. If you go snokeling they make you use a vest, nocharge.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Thanks all! Sounds like fun. One silly question though....what is tendering? I've only been on one cruise! Thanks.
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Old July 22nd, 2005, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Tendering is when you have to take a boat (called a tender) from the ship to the shore. There is no cruise ship pier at Stirrup Cap.

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Old July 24th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Are the hiking trails really significant trails or is it like a 10-minute walk? Is the island hilly?

We love to hike and will take our shoes and actually explore if there's something to see. Love lounging on the beach, but we do get bored with that after a couple of hours. Thanks for any info you can provide.
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Old July 24th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Glenn Comunale
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

There is a 2 mile trail to the lighthouse at the far end of the Island. The trail seemed to be quite wide and flat,because it was hot my wife and I didn't go hiking and the last tender back to the ship is at 3:30. I didn't see any other trails .
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Old July 26th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Just another question. On the itinerary I am looking at, it says the ship arrives at 7:30pm on one night and leaves about 2pm the next day. Would they tender people over in the evening too, or just in the morning?
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Old July 26th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Thanks, Glenn!
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Old July 27th, 2005, 11:46 AM
Jh820
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

I just want you to know that it will be very crowded on the beach. It was so uncomfortable and snorkeling was difficult b/c of so many people. Just think... almost everyone from the ship will be going to the island. My husband and I had to set up our beach chairs all the way at the end of the nice beach area. Our view was other passenger's umbrellas and the trees.

It was beautiful, but make sure you remember where you leave your belongings. I recommend the snorkeling, but that's about all you will get to do.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 11:41 PM
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Default kayaks in great stirrup cay?

I wrote down information about the island that I read on NCL website shore excursions (or from somewhere else since we all read so much info on our cruises)
...but nevertheless i thought i read that you can kayak, rent a kiskat sailboat (what that is i have no idea) and get your basic rafts, floats, or snorkel.

can anyone confirm if i can kayak out there? thanks for your knowledge!
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Old November 17th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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You can rent snorkel equipment and rafts. They have para sailing also. The island is tiny and does get very crowded. If you are a beach person - you will love it.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Our one & only visit was while on the Norway. The most vivid recollection I have of that visit is a beach area that was overcrowded and a swimming area prone to large coral stones underfoot. By contrast, our favorite cruisline beaches are those owned by HAL & Princess. The water at both was crystal clear, warmer, and with a coral sand base compatable with bare feet.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 10:55 PM
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you will not be going there the beaches are washed away i just cruised nov 230 and we went to nassau instead
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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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Hi! We were on the 12/1 sailing of the Dawn and did make it to Great Stirrup Cay. We were there in May and we went to the right then. On this last trip, we had to go left as there didn't seem to be much beach left on the right. It was a great day at the beach. I still have my tan lines 4 weeks later! Hope your ship makes it there! On our voyage there was speculation until the morning that we got there if it would be GSC or Nassau.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Stirrup Cay is a small private island. NCL has BBQ's set up for lunch of burgers, hot dogs etc and sides. You can buy watersport stuff to do. We bought the snorkel package and the surf was so rough that day, that most of the area was closed. One small area was open, and crowded, and was so cloudy that you could not see your hand in front of your face. This is not a great day trip. I liked the opportunity to spend it on a beach (definately need to buy ant/insect repellent!) and swim in the ocean, but I think I would stay on board next time.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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We're cruising Jan 22 which would put us there around the 1st of Feb. Do you think the island will be open? If it's not and we go to Nassau instead, will the hours in port be the same? Thanks for any input!
Anni
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Old February 10th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: NCL Island: Stirrup Cay...????

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderelli
Just another question. On the itinerary I am looking at, it says the ship arrives at 7:30pm on one night and leaves about 2pm the next day. Would they tender people over in the evening too, or just in the morning?
I have the same question. I'm assuming that while the ship overnights at Great Stirrup Cay, tenders don't run until the next morning. Is this correct, or is there "time ashore at night" on Great Stirrup?
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Old April 29th, 2006, 01:48 AM
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Default Great Stirrup Cay

Just got back last Sunday from trip on the Spirit. Great Stirrup Cay was VERY crowded. Don't expcet the find a shady spot unless you are in the first tender. There are few shady spots, and the further you go from the water the hotter it gets, and no breeze. It is stiffling hot unless you are next to the water. There are umbrellas set up - however - they are of the mesh type so the shade they create is scant. You can snorkel there or use all kinds of larges rafts etc. I liked the numerous hammocks hanging on thee trees. Also several volleyball nets were set up. The tender trip is short - maybe 5 - 10 minutes. However, allow plenty of time if you have a scheduled activity on the island. When I tried to return in the afternoon, it took more than an hour to get on the island, as they kept mixing up where we were supposed to board the tender. Luckily, I was able to talk the security staff into notifying the parasailng staff on shore that I didn't just not show up - I was just still trying to get to the island. If you're not s sun worshipper or beach person, there really is not much too do on GSC. We would have preferred more time on Nassau.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 10:59 AM
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GSC was one of our favorite parts of our Sun cruise a few weeks ago, but yes, it is crowded. Actually I think if you are on any of the first 2 or 3 tenders you can find plenty of shade. We choose to wait until much later (mistake) still I felt like I was back in high school, living in So Calif and having a beach picnic. The water was crystal clear, snorkeling pretty good and the food was great. The potato salad was made with oil and vinegar, more like german potato salad. Yum yum and you didn't have to worry about spoiled mayonaise.

The locals had a small open market with the usual junk for sale, yes, junk. I almost bought some T shirts; then DD held one up and OMG, it was probably thinner than the nightgown I wore on my honeymoon!!!
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Old April 30th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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GSC is one of my favorite NCL stops. But it is true, if you want a good spot, get on the 1st or 2nd tender. Otherwise, it fills up fast. Also, make sure to snorkel out between the rocks! Say hi to Bert and Ernie for me (their resident stingrays! : ). They also have a resident barracuda (sp?) and octopus.

And if you plan on hiking to the lighthouse, make sure you put about 4-6 hours aside for that (the hike each way is about 2 hours) because every year there are MANY people (a crew member told me this) who don't make it back to the ship in time for the last tender because they miscalculated how far away the lighthouse really is. They had to pay out of their pocket to get a seaplane to the island to get them back to Nassau and that costs about $1K!
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