Ultimate Guide to Cruise Line Caribbean Private Islands

Kevin Feather
| December 1, 2023 | 4 Minute Read
Bungalows at Princess Cays Princess Cruise Lines

The allure of private beaches and islands for cruise passengers grows each year. Many of the major cruise lines have developed private islands and beaches specifically for their passengers in order to offer them with exclusivity, unspoiled natural beauty, luxurious amenities, safety, and family-friendly fun to name a few.

Here are our six reasons why private islands are part of a unique cruise itinerary and should be considered when booking a cruise in the Caribbean.

  1. Exclusivity and privacy -- Each of these Caribbean island destinations offer vacationers exclusive and private access to only those passengers on the cruise ship when it docks. These secluded and quiet environments allow travelers to escape the crowds that are often found on public beaches or more touristy locations. Whether you are looking for quiet relaxation, thrilling activities, or both – ample options abound.
  2. Unspoiled natural beauty – Many of the cruise line’s private islands are relatively untouched and void of over-development which allows their passengers to be immersed in the natural beauty of an island. Several offer lush landscapes, clear waters, white sandy shores and of course, the tranquility associated with the privacy.
  3. Luxurious amenities – Each of the private islands that are owned by the cruise lines has been heavily invested in to create top-notch facilities and amenities for travelers. Many offer beach clubs, water sport options, dining with water views, cabanas and even spa services. These all enhance the experience.
  4. Safety and convenience – Cruise lines have recognized that their private islands offer passengers a controlled and safe environment. They can relax and not be concerned about local safety or language issues. Guests enjoy the convenience of disembarking at the private island destination and experiencing the same level of service and professionalism as they receive from staff onboard the ship.
  5. Family-friendly atmosphere – Most of the cruise lines have built their private island destinations as family-friendly so that it makes it easier for passengers with children to find options for the whole family. From dedicated kid’s clubs, shallow swimming areas, and activities for kids of all ages, the island are a self-contained environment to ensure a family-friendly atmosphere.
  6. Seamless integration with cruises – These private islands are often included in the cruise itineraries, which makes them easily accessible and there’s no need for additional planning or expensive travel options. Vacation time is maximized going from ship to island and back.

Four Cruise Line Private Islands to Consider

Many cruise lines have their own private islands, which are exclusively designed for their passengers. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into four of the most popular cruise line private islands, including Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day at CocoCay, Disney's Castaway Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay, and Carnival's Private Island Collection. So, let's get started and find out what these islands have to offer!

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas, private island, aerial, drone shot of island, Up, Up, and Away balloon aloft on left, lagoon, Daredevil''s Tower, Mariner of the Seas docked at pier below Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

1.       Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay

Royal Caribbean’s private island is in The Bahamas and features a wide range of attractions, from water parks and zip lines to the tallest water slide in North America. Perfect Day at CocoCay is perfect for thrill-seekers who love water sports.

This 140-acre island also boasts over 7 miles of beautiful beaches where you can relax on a lounger, soak up the sun, and enjoy the warm Caribbean breeze. Some of the most popular attractions include The Thrill Waterpark, The Oasis Lagoon Pool, and Up, Up, and Away, the tethered helium balloon that takes you 450 feet above the island.

Disney Wish Ship at Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line

2.       Disney’s Castaway Cay: A Magical Oasis

Disney Cruise Line’s private island is a dream come true for both adults and children. Castaway Cay is a gorgeous retreat located in the Bahamas, with crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches. The island offers plenty of activities for everyone, such as snorkeling, water sports, and bike rentals.

Kids will love the water play areas and the Scuttle's Cove kids club, while adults can take advantage of the Serenity Bay, an adults-only area that features a secluded beach and plenty of hammocks for relaxing. If you are a Disney fan, you can also take a picture with Captain Mickey, Goofy, and other favorite Disney characters on the island.

Water swing at Stirrup Cay Norwegian Cruise Lines

3.       Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay is a private island owned by Norwegian Cruise Line and is located in the Bahamas. This island features a natural deep-water harbor that provides a perfect spot for water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing.

If you are looking for a more relaxing activity, you can rent a private cabana on the island that comes with a butler service, a fruit platter, and unlimited drinks. Great Stirrup Cay also features a massive beachfront straw market where you can find souvenirs and local artwork.

Carnivals half moon cay Carnival Cruise Lines

4.       Carnival’s Private Island Collection

Carnival's private island collection includes Half Moon Cay for Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cays for Princess Cruise Lines. These islands are in the Bahamas and the Caribbean and offer plenty of activities like snorkeling, jet skiing, and parasailing.

They also provide plenty of beachfront cabanas, restaurants and bars which allow you to unwind and relax. One of the most popular islands in this collection is Half Moon Cay, which is famous for its Half Moon Lagoon Aqua Park.

Cruise Line Private Islands: Time to Unwind

Cruise line private islands are the ideal space to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From sun-kissed beaches to adventurous water sports, these islands have something for everyone. Whether you are interested in thrilling activities or looking for a relaxing retreat, private islands have much to offer. 

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