Cruising is now one of the most popular forms of vacation travel. They’re a lot of fun and you’d be hard pressed to find someone within a stone’s throw that hasn’t been on one. As cruising has become so in-demand, the competition has grown tremendously which has had an effect on prices. In many cases, cruise prices for basic rooms (typically small, inner rooms with no window) have become affordable enough to simply get you on board. Cruise lines expect to upsell you on countless items once you get on board so the key is to get you to buy your cruise tickets in the first place.
Cruise Lines Renting Islands
One area that cruises can’t control, is how much you spend while you visit local destinations. To account for this lack of income, cruise lines have developed a logical, yet ingenious plan: Buy or lease a small, exclusive, private island in exotic locations and bring passengers there. It’s a plan that’s paying off for the cruise lines since they essentially have nothing to lose. Rather than docking at a location where passengers will go spend money elsewhere, they can now buy everything from sun tan lotion and alcohol to souvenirs with all of the profit going directly to the cruise lines.
Use Your Ship ID
In many cases, the cruises lines will let you spend while docked at these locations using the ID card they give you when you get on board. That makes it easier for passengers to enjoy their stay and not worry about how much money to bring.
What To Do There
Each island typically has a beach, water sports, shops, restaurants, and local activities. The islands are often small so there isn’t an extensive list of far off places to visit while docked. That said, you will find a lot of fun activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, swimming, and more.
The Island List
Here’s what I’ve been able to find so far. If you know of others, be sure to add them in below.
Royal Caribbean International
Labadee (or Labadie) – Haiti
CocoCay – Bahamas
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
Great Stirrup Cay (Northernmost island of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas)
Princess Cays (Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. Only part of the island is leased)
Disney Cruise Line
Castaway Cay (an Out Island in the Bahamas near Great Abaco Island)
Half Moon Cay (South of Nassau in the Bahamas)
There are several benefits for passengers who stop at these private islands. You won’t have to worry about crime or extensive waiting lines. It can get somewhat crowded but there should be something for everyone.