Posted by: Gary Guertin | December 16, 2011

24. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #21 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas & Final Cruise Post

Hi All,

As most of you are aware, we’re home.  I’m writing this on Friday, Dec. 16th, after arriving on Monday, Dec. 12.  I would first like to cover our last port, Half Moon Cay, then wrap up the cruise.

Half Moon Cay, which we visited last Sunday, was the perfect way to end a cruise.  It is a resort  on a small island called “Little San Salvador Island” , owned by Holland American, in the Bahamas.  The island itself covers 3 3/4 square miles or about 2,400 acres.  Holland American has developed 45 acres as a resort on a mile long beach which forms a perfect crescent.  The rest of the island is set aside as a preserve for indigenous wildlife.  It is located less than 100 miles southeast of Nassau.  You talk about owning your own island paradise, well this is it.

Let’s take a look at Susy’s and my day on Half Moon Cay.  First a view from the ship:

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We tendered into shore, but today didn’t have to use the ships life boats because the resort has large 150 passenger tenders.  As we arrived at the dock Susy points out the port sign:

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There are six main facilities: a “Welcome Plaza”, where your welcomed by the staff and offered a cocktail, a “West Indies Village, the main shopping center (Susy had to tour first, of coarse), a “Watersports Center” where you could get everything from snorkel gear, windsurfing equipment, parasailing, etc. to even taking out a small boat if you wanted to stay dry, a “Club Hal” where you could get games like volleyball, shuffleboard, etc., a huge “Food Pavilion” where you could get all the food you want, with picnic tables spread out over large pavilions, and a large pirate ship building on the beach which was the main bar and watering hole, called the “Bell Bar” (although we found out later there was a bar on the beach also called the “I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever Bar”).  Needless to say that after Susy’s quick prowl around the shopping center (which had the same stuff you could buy aboard the ship plus a lot of local straw made products) we headed for the main “bar” to pass our day in Paradise:

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Here’s what it looks like from the tender coming in:

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Were we surprised when we stepped inside.  Not only was there a huge bar, but at the end they had a small dance floor and the ships musicians playing all day:

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Well let the party begin!!!  We had gotten there about 11 AM (as Susy didn’t want to get started to early) and our other fellow passengers had been at the beach since about 8 in the morning.  We had no longer settled in our seats then everyone started coming in, the band was playing, and the party started.  Here’s a few pictures of our friends having a great time:

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The lady on the left was Diana, who was traveling alone, and had the greatest time of her life.  That guitar player on the stage in the back is Paul, a Purdue grad (Hail Purdue).  Next is Susy with Ron and Barb, our newest best friends on the cruise:

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And some other friends, taken from the dance floor:

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The band:

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Oh, and there was a beach outside, one of the best I have seen, take a look:

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All good times must come to an end, so at 2 PM after dancing , having some great lite beers, and just a lot of fun, we headed back to the ship:

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That’s the end of the ports and as we arrived at Fort Lauderdale the next day, Susy and I had to rank this as one of the best cruises we have taken.  I think the highlights were: Tenerife, Canary Islands and Yaiza and her Mom’s wonderful hosting,  Lanzarote, Canary Islands and the camel ride,  Barcelona, Spain and the wonderful visit with Marisa, Sorrento, Italy and the spectacular drive along the Amalfi coast, Lisbon, Portugal and being shown around by Milita, and finally the last port party in Half Moon Cay.

Now if you go back to Post 2. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Departure & Port #1 Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Inlands you’ll see our start of cruise dinner photos.  Here’s our end of cruise dinner photos:

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For me we look the same, but Susy says no we’re a lot more relaxed.  You decide.

I want to end this post and this cruise posting with the same ending as our last cruise, which believe me expresses best how I feel:

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the quiet, lovely ocean.  The ability to sail on the oceans, visit new and exciting ports, and return each evening to a five star (well, at least 4) home is what it is all about.  So until our next cruise (God and Susy willing);

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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