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Exploring Private Cruise Line Islands on Your Honeymoon

by Shannon Kietzman, writer for Your Wedding

Private island cruises are a popular addition to Caribbean cruise packages. In fact, many cruise lines offer trips to their private islands as a part of their itineraries.

A Look at Private Island Cruises

Private islands are those that are owned or leased by a cruise line. Therefore, only passengers of a particular cruise line can enjoy a stop at these islands. This allows cruise line passengers to enjoy many of the typical cruise activities without having to endure the larger crowds. Generally, the private cruise line islands are too small to be inhabited, but are great as a retreat for cruise passengers.

Most cruise line private islands are located in the Bahamas, which has nearly 700 islands and over 2,000 small islets. With only 29 of the islands being permanently inhabited, there are plenty left over to sell or lease to cruise lines. Some current cruise line private islands include:

• Castaway Cay – Disney Cruise Lines thousand acre private island located north of Nassau
• Catalina Island – Costa Cruise Lines small island located off the Dominican Republic’s coast
• Princess Cays – Princess Cruises retreat on the southwestern coast of Eleuthera in the Bahamas
• Great Stirrup Cay – Norwegian Cruise Lines private southern Bahamas island
• Half Moon cay – Holland American Cruise Lines private eastern Bahamas island
• CocoCay – Royal Caribbeans private Bahamas island that is also shared with its sister cruise line, Celebrity Cruises
• Labadee – Royal Caribbean’s second private island along Haiti’s northern coast

Pros and Cons of Cruise Line Private Islands

As with any port of call, there are pros and cons associated with cruise line private islands. The most obvious pro of the cruise line private island is the fact that it provides its passengers with exclusive access to a beautiful tropical paradise. With no other cruise lines docking at the island, there are fewer crowds and there is a more laid back atmosphere.

In addition, these islands are usually cleaner than other islands because they are not inhabited. This helps them retain their natural beauty. Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about dealing with aggressive vendors while on a private cruise line island. While there are still vendors, everyone is carefully screened by the cruise line to ensure they follow the cruise lines standards of conduct.

On the downside, the lack of inhabitants on a private cruise line island detracts from the cultural atmosphere you experience on other islands. This keeps you from truly experiencing the culture by way of atmosphere, the people, cooking, social activities, and language.

Fortunately, there is still plenty of fun to be enjoyed on a cruise line private island. Demonstrations, such as dancing, juggling, cooking, weaving, games, and competitions, are common place on these private island cruises. Most also offer a shopping district and activities such as water skiing, snorkeling, parasailing, aqua park visits, and scuba diving. Of course, the pristine beaches are a major draw, as are the walking trails offered on most private cruise line islands.

A private cruise line island can add some extra joy to your honeymoon cruise as it allows you to spend some more intimate time with your sweetheart amidst a stunning backdrop.

© 2006 Your Wedding

Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas

Honeymoon Cruise Tips

You need to decide on the best time to take your honeymoon cruise (if possible). The best times are when there will be fewer families traveling, such as traveling during non-vacation times during the school year.

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