"" Writer's Wanderings: Mini Cruise - Great Stirrup Cay

Monday, April 04, 2016

Mini Cruise - Great Stirrup Cay

As usual we were up and ready to go ashore before most of the rest of the Norwegian Sky’s passengers. If I had been on spring break I wouldn’t have wanted to get out of bed too early either. The private beach at Great Stirrup Cay was reached by tender and since they expected the heaviest traffic to start around 10 in the morning there was no problem getting on the large tender that had met the ship from shore. Within a few minutes we were on our way through a choppy sea. We were curious to see what this beach would be like. Would it compare to our favorite, Holland America’s Half Moon Cay.

There was a nice entry walk to the major part of the beach. The musicians were already tuning up ready for a blast of music to get the party going. We stopped for a moment at an information booth, asked for a non-existent map and were pointed in the direction of an area called the Blue Lagoon. The captain in his morning greeting and commentary on the port we were in had said that the Blue Lagoon area was further away from the noisy part of the beach.

We passed the food area and walked along the sand and stone shore. There is a rocky shoreline here mostly covered by sand. I don’t think we made it quite to the Lagoon but felt we were far enough away from the music that had already started blasting and asked the attendant to set up a clam shell (a sun protector for two) for us. There were only a few people on the beach with us for most of the morning and we enjoyed watching some of the younger families trying out the paddle boarding and floating mats.

Closer to noon, more young people began moving into our area of the beach. We headed up to the food area and enjoyed great hamburgers and salads. Another half hour on the beach and another dip in the water and we were ready to return to the ship.

All in all we enjoyed the beach as much as we do any beach but we both felt that Half Moon Cay was still a bit prettier than this one.

After a relaxing rest of the afternoon, we enjoyed a wonderful meal at another specialty restaurant called Le Bistro. A French restaurant meant escargot and duck. The escargot was some of the best we’ve ever had and the duck was delicious with a different kind of sauce than la orange. Of course when you ended it with a chocolate fondue, it couldn’t have been more perfect—well, a sunset view might have been more perfect but we were on the wrong side of the ship.

Another wonderful production show featured some golden oldies albeit with a little different beat which was very enjoyable.

Our disembarkation was easy enough since we carried our bags off and then found our ride to the parking garage quickly after getting off the ship. It was only four days but it was a lovely four days and even though we had to share our cruise with so many college students, we found that the ship’s crew handled everything quite well. They had to be exhausted though trying to keep up with everything and keep everyone happy. It was nice enough that we’d like to try another NCL cruise—something a little longer.

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