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Cruise Passengers are tendered to shore in order to protect the island's reef. Norwegian Cruise Lines was the first to come up with the idea of your own private island in the 1970's, where you can spend an afternoon of calm surf and sand. Great Stirrup Cay has everything in the way of amenities and activities. The beach, of course, is the main enticement, offering swimming, snorkeling (coral reefs surround the island), rafts, paddleboats, catamarans, and kayaks. For those who prefer to stay on terra firma , there are volleyball courts and hiking trails where maybe you can discover the island's lighthouse. 
Hungry or just wanting to quench your thirst, no problem, There are beach barbeques to help with that along with the beach bar. Music arrives courtesy of a calypso band so you can enjoy the rest of your day in style no matter if that includes swinging in a palm-shaded hammock or enjoying a fun and limber limbo contest, the day is yours

Port of Great Stirrup Cay: An Overview
Perhaps the most famous occupant of Great Stirrup Cay -- located in the Bahamas' Berry Island chain, 130 nautical miles due east of Fort Lauderdale -- was Captain Bertram of the British Navy, but Native Americans, pirates and members of the Spanish and American armed forces have also inhabited the cay throughout its history.
 
Norwegian Cruise Line purchased the 250-acre island from more ...As you arrive on the island, the area in front of the Tender Pavilion is the focal point of Great Stirrup Cay. The path from the Tender Pavilion will take you to the island's main beach. As you look at the beach, the dining facilities are to your left. The Island Bar is at the south side of the beach, and the Hippo Water Slide is at the north side of the beach. Near the Water Slide is the Dive Hut, which also contains the First Aid station.
 
The main beach area is in a sheltered lagoon with white sand extending out into the turquoise water. It is used for swimming and snorkeling. NCL is currently constructing two additional beaches to the south of the main beach. Private cabanas on the center beach will be available later in 2011.
 
On the main beach you'll find a sea of blue beach lounge chairs. While most of your fellow passengers will relax in the sun on the main beach (there's no shade here), you can escape the sun by heading to the shadier areas, located under the coconut palm and Gumbo Limbo trees, where deck chairs and hammocks can be found.
 
Great Stirrup Cay is a fairly rocky island, consisting of coral and limestone. You can take a walk out to the jetty north of the main beach and capture a panoramic shot of the island's facilities. A nature trail will take you to the south side of the island and Great Stirrup Cay's lighthouse. Along the way you can see the ruins of a satellite dish that was used during the 1960s to track NASA spacecraft.
 
Throughout your time on Great Stirrup Cay, a band will be playing reggae and calypso music to get you in the mood of having fun. They perform at the bandstand, which is located not far from the dining facilities.
 
Walking around Great Stirrup Cay. Well-marked, hard surfaced pathways lead from the Tender Pavilion to the island's beaches, nature trail, bar, food service area and children's play areas. If you're walking on the nature trail, the road is made of dirt and rocks.
 
Don't Miss
Simply relax on the beach with a chair or umbrella, nap in a hammock, get a massage, or choose from one of many activities and shore excursions that include snorkeling, stingray adventures, eco-tours, kayaking and personal watercraft trips, and parasailing. Visitors can also play beach volleyball and Ping-Pong, check out the Aqua Park, rent water floats and take a ride down the Hippo Slide.
 
Amenities
General Information
Buying Shore Excursions on Great Stirrup Cay: If you've been waiting to get to the island before booking a shore excursion, just go to the individual activity areas and sign up. You'll use your Stateroom Key Card to purchase the excursion.
Straw Market: The shop ladies ferry over from nearby Great Harbour Island whenever there's a ship in port. Sales are cash only.
First Aid Station: Stubbed your toe? Cut your foot on the coral while snorkeling? Got stung by a jellyfish? The First Aid Station is where you go to get patched up; it's located in the Dive Hut, located on the main beach near the Hippo Water Slide.
Rest Rooms: Each of the restroom facilities on Great Stirrup Cay is wheelchair accessible.
Towels: Towels are distributed to all passengers as they are boarding the ship's tender to Great Stirrup Cay. Remember to bring it back with you when you return to your ship.
Beaches on Great Stirrup Cay.
 
Beach
There are currently two main monitored beach areas on Great Stirrup Cay. The main beach area is in a sheltered lagoon with white sand extending out into the turquoise water. It is used for both swimming and snorkeling, and it can get pretty crowded. A smaller beach area is situated just to the south of the main beach.
 
Lounge chairs, just as onboard your ship, are complimentary. There are over 1,000 beach loungers available on Great Stirrup Cay.
Shaded rest areas with hammocks can provide a pleasant respite from the intense Bahamian sun. The hammocks, which cannot be reserved, are a popular way to spend your time, so if you plan on using one, claim one yourself when you arrive on the island.
The swimming and snorkeling beaches are supervised by lifeguards, just to make sure everyone makes it back to their ship.
If you plan on snorkeling, wearing a life jacket is mandatory. You can rent a life jacket at the Snorkel Shack; they charge $5 for an all-day rental.
Snorkeler
Need to rent some water toys? Then head directly to the Dive Hut, located near the Hippo Water Slide. The rental fee is charged to your Stateroom Key Card. Here you can rent:
Snorkeling Gear, including a snorkel, mask. fins and snorkel vest. The gear is rented for the entire day; instruction is included in the price.
Floating Mats that allow you to mellow out in the water, bobbing with the waves. The rental fee gets you a floating mat for the entire day.
Large, sturdy circular blue Rafts. Fun for kids and adults alike, they're a great beach toy.
 
Eating Out 
Getting hungry? Then head to Great Stirrup Cay's dining facilities. Here you'll find a buffet lunch consisting of BBQ hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, beans, various salads, fruit, corn on the cob, chips, brownies and cookies.
Lunch is served between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. You may want to plan to eat earlier rather than later, due to the late diners' rush. NCL also bakes large pan pizzas in their main dining facility for your noshing pleasure throughout the day.
 
There are several covered open-air dining shelters featuring picnic tables that are adjacent to the main dining facility. In addition, there are plenty of outside picnic tables where one can sit and enjoy lunch under a coconut palm tree. The dining facility is wheelchair and scooter accessible; however, the standard picnic tables are not wheelchair accessible.
 
Great Stirrup Cay Bars
 
Daqueri
Great Stirrup Cay features several bars for your drinking pleasure. Here you can get an adult beverage, sodas and water. Make sure to bring your Stateroom Key Card to pay for your drinks.
The signature drink on Great Stirrup Cay is the Bahama Mama, made with dark and high proof rum plus coconut, pineapple and coffee flavors.
On Great Stirrup Cay, the bars include:
Jerks, the island's main bar. It's located on the beach in a rustic hut. Guests can sit on stools at the bar inside, or enjoy their beverages on an outside deck that's equipped with picnic tables.
The newest bar on the island is the Lighthouse Beach Bar, sponsored by the tequila brand Patron. The bar features Patron products, as well as a full range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The bar also features two large flat-screen TVs, with entertainment ranging from music videos to sporting events.
The Dining Pavilion is where you'll find two bars, just so you can enjoy a libation during your meal.
Small Satellite Bars can be found around the main beach area, so you're never too far from liquid refreshment.
 
Shopping

Shopping on Great Stirrup Cay is limited. However, that doesn't mean you can't walk away without something special. Straw Market local Bahamian women operate a Straw Market, where you can purchase a variety of goods, including T-shirts, straw hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, clothing and other souvenirs. The women don't live on Great Stirrup Cay, but instead ferry in to the island from nearby Great Harbour Island when ships are due in port. Purchases are made in cash only--both Bahamian and U.S. dollars are accepted.





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