HMC = Half Moon Cay And Heald's Man Cold

May 26, 2010 -

John Heald

Paradise………..everyone has their own definition of what this is. For some, it’s a hotel suite full of Latvian women while for others it conjures up lying by an infinity pool while Megan Fox serves you Spotted Dick……..naked.

Yes, yes…….those are my ideas of paradise but strangely it probably isn’t yours. Heidi’s idea of paradise some years ago was the Maldives which meant that despite my desperate pleas to stay at home and watch TV instead……..we jetted off there in 2004. I will never forget how the brochure called it “paradise” ……..but trust me……….it isn’t.

It takes 3 years to get there and after a long flight from the UK you land at the airport where you are pounced on by everyone from the baggage handler to the bus driver all of whom slap a reef of flowers over your head. By the time Heidi and I arrived at the resort I looked like Holland and as well as carrying our suitcases I was now had the extra weight of 200 tons of sodding lilies.

Heidi had booked us a room on stilts that stand in the ocean. That sounds romantic doesn’t it ………well it’s about as romantic as a turd in a swimming pool.

You have to “wade out” to your room in a foot of water which I am sure had killer piranha waiting to munch on my ankles. Then, when you order breakfast to come to the room it takes forever because your room is on the water and that means that your bacon and eggs has to be delivered by a bloody canoe!

It was supposed to be paradise…………it wasn’t……….it was hell. No TV, no entertainment …….and each night after Heidi and I would come back to our room on the water I would have to remove the 2 tons of rose petals that would be sprinkled over the bed. And despite the fact that I thought I had always gotten everyone of them off the bed I would always wake up with one secreted between my buttocks.

I felt sorry for the staff who were forced to wear the most ridiculous uniforms. Even the male staff had to wear grass skirts and they had to walk up and down the lava hot sand all day in bare feet.  Unless of course they were trying to deliver our dinner, in a canoe, on a rough sea, without letting it blow away or go cold or fall into the water to be eaten by Peter the Piranha. I wrote on my comment card “give the poor bastards some shoes…….. and a pair of shorts.”

Heidi loved it though……….of course she did. Just the words “no TV” had her drooling although her opinion changed somewhat when an insect with the head and upper torso of a mosquito and the rear end of a wart hog landed on her arm.

This experience was supposed to show us a taste of what life is like on a tropical island. That is as ridiculous as thinking you can get a taste of pork by licking a pig.

On a real tropical island, like Tom Hanks in Castaway, you have to smash your own teeth out with ice skates and talk to footballs.

I guess though that many bloggers reading this will despite my misgivings think that this does indeed sound like paradise……….I guess though we dream the tropical dream. But me and a few others were built to live indoors, with a huge TV and not wake up every morning with a rose petal shoved up your arse.

So, if tropical island living is your idea of paradise then I have discovered you don’t have to fly thousands of miles to experience it……….and I will tell you more about that after today’s questions……………away we go.

Tom Foster Asked:
John, (Please Reply)

I have read on your blog that the Future Cruise Desk should be open soon on the Carnival Elation and the Carnival Imagination. Do you have any Idea If the Bearded Ones have Plans to open one on the Carnival Ecstasy? We are Booked On our 2nd Cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy in October with my Wife’s Parents as well as another Couple from Work and we are all thinking of Future Cruises and would love to have the option to Purchase Future Cruise Credits on Board so we can start Planning our Next Escape from the Rat Race… We Really Enjoyed Steve’s Performances on our last Cruise and If I would have waited just a little longer my wife might not be mad at me, as I see by the new CD Schedule Steve is getting off the day we go onboard.:( Thanks for putting up with the things you do and letting all of us see through your Blog how different people React to different situations. You handle it all with Grace and Dignity that I am Surprised you have any hair left. Keep up the GREAT JOB that you do… Hope to see you in the Med Next Year.

John Says:
Hello Tom Foster

Despite the obvious need for clarity with the future cruise certificate rules and regulations which as I promised a blogger yesterday I would post very soon (and I will) they do remain very popular indeed. I just spoke to the CD Steve on the Carnival Ecstasy who confirmed that yes indeed there is a future cruise desk on the ship. Steve is indeed one of a kind as you will see from his photo here.

But as you correctly noticed he will be on vacation when you sail and will be replaced by the superb Brad Calabrese from Canada. Here he is.

Thanks so much for those kind words of support and I hope that we will indeed see each other in the Mediterranean on the Carnival Magic next year.

Best wishes
John

Geoff & Bethany Asked:
John- Please Reply

Hi John!

This is my first time posting, sorry I have taken so long, but I love your blog! Just as I love Carnival.

I know it is long overdue but I wanted to give my review of my cruise last year. We were on the Carnival Conquest last September and it was the best ever! Everyone on the staff was wonderful, they truly made the cruise. I will start with our room steward, Edwin. Not only did he remember our names from day one, but he also made our days, by leaving notes on the marker boards we had on our doors.

Next there was our waitress Christina and her asst Daniel. No matter how busy our day at been, we always went to dinner to see them. Christina would always bring us new things to try when we were too chicken to order them.

We also had a wonderful entertainment staff. Our cruise director was Kyle Post, who was so friendly anytime we saw him around the ship. He even set a meeting for my husband to talk to one of the “bearded ones” about all the computer stuff they have going on the ships. Kyle’s staff was all awesome as well. Marcello, Katie/Annie, and Jacob. You could tell they all loved their jobs. My mom had written a letter to the morning show for my birthday, and they called my room live on the show! Later in the day Marcello made sure to give me my birthday hug. My mom found Katie again when they cruised with you on the Carnival Dream this past February. I must confess, I am jealous of my mom and step dad for getting to meet you. She said meeting you was right up there with meeting the Doobie Brothers, which trust me, is a big deal to her! One last person I must mention is one of the dancers Beau. He was very friendly as well, and an awesome dancer. The crew of the Carnival Conquest truly made our cruise the best it could be! We loved it so much that we are doing it again in October!!

Which leads me to my questions?

First, do you happen to know if any of these wonderful crew members will be there October 10, 2010 for us to meet up with again?

And Second, can you tell me a little about Danny Ghilarducci? I see he will be our CD then, but haven’t heard anything about him.

We can’t wait to get back on a carnival cruise!! This will be mine and my husband’s third cruise with Carnival and my mom’s (Bobbi & James) seventh. I don’t see any other cruise lines in my future, as I love Carnival too much. I’m sure my friends and co-workers are probably tired of hearing me talk about it, but I can’t help it. I am like a walking commercial!

Ok, sorry for talking your ear off, hopefully I will get the honor of cruising with you someday soon.

Best wishes to you, Heidi, and beautiful Kye.
Bethany

John Says:
Geoff & Bethany

Thanks you for that great posting which I hope will be the first of many. Your review of the Carnival Sensation was great and I will make sure that Edwin, Christina and Daniel all see your words of praise. They represent what is best about a Carnival cruise experience and I never get tired of saying just how iconic our crew are.  I have heard so many great things about Kyle Post but I have never had the chance to work with him …………. in case you have forgotten what he looks like…….here he is.

I will make sure he and the entertainment staffs also see your review and I am sure they will be thrilled.

Not knowing the last names of Christina, Edwin and Daniel makes it very difficult for me to know which ship they will be on in October but please don’t worry because I know whoever your stateroom steward and dining team are………they will give you a fun, unforgettable experience once again. Daniel Ghilarducci is as you can tell by his last name ……….Irish……………..kidding……………Italian. He has been helping us in the Miami office with some special projects and will be your Cruise Director in October. Danny is from California and I thought you might like to see his photo………..so here it is.

Please never ever apologize for talking about your love for Carnival. It is truly music to our ears and hopefully your enthusiasm will rub off on others and they will get to experience the fun for all vacation that you love so much.

Thanks for the kind words and hope you write again soon

Best wishes
John

Gloria (Please Reply) Asked:
Hi John:

Please explain to me what a blogger’s cruise is. Is it only for people who Have blogs or is it for those of us who READ your blog? If it is for the latter, how do we find out more information on booking it? Thank you very much. We will be on the Freedom 8-day cruise Dec 4 – 12. I’m so looking forward to it.

John Says:
Hello Gloria

The Bloggers Cruise is an exclusive cruise only for those people who read and write blogs in their underpants. Kidding, of course. Nope, a bloggers cruise is just a chance for people who read the blog and the comments and who like to meet others who love cruising. We have special events, shows and parties and a few gifts for all as well. You can book by calling a PVP or travel agent or any of the groups that are coming such as Big Ed’s Evil Krewe or Cruise Critic will be honoured (spelt correctly) to welcome you into their friendship group. It will be a lot of fun I promise and here is one of the 343 Stephanies to give you the booking information.

Hello Gloria. You can book the 02/27/2011 Bloggers Cruise on the Carnival Glory by using the farecode “PBL”. If you have any other questions about this definitely let me know. You can email socialnetworking@carnival.com.

Hope to see you soon and maybe on the bloggers cruise in February.

Best wishes
John

Tracy Asked:
Please reply

Hi john I don’t like rock band also. But I never played it lol. What is Kyle post like? He will be cd on the liberty when I’m on there. I have a question when it gets close to my sail date can I ask u a favor if u could get us a booth again in the dinning room? And since everyone can see what we post now do I still give u my cabin number? And I was hoping for the dining room in the back again. Have a good weekend

John Says:
Hello Tracy

You can ask me for a favor anytime Tracy. Please make sure I get your dining request one month before you sail as I am still 3 weeks behind (sorry Tom) and I don’t want to miss it.

I just posted a photo of Kyle, did you see it above? He is a great kid with bags of energy and fun so I know you will have a great time. Thanks for the kind words and hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes
John

Spoiltrotten Asked:
Hello John,

My 25 year old son, who is a Platinum cruiser and his girlfriend, will be sailing on the Splendor on 5/16. I realize that you will not be the CD, however I wonder if you could tell me how to contact that CD. Kev will be asking Savannah to marry him upon boarding that day (the ring is burning a hole in his pocket), so that I could perhaps have him wish Kev and Savannah the best.

Thank you for any help you could be, and I’ll be seeing you in Sept as DH and I will be taking the Splendor.

Spoilt

John Says:
Hello Spoiltrotten

I just wanted to apologize sincerely for not getting to this comment until today and therefore miss the chance to help your son. Please forgive me. Did he propose? Please let us know and please if he did, send him and his new fiancée by best wishes which along with a big “sorry” I also send to you.

See you in September
John

cindy56 Asked:
Hi John (please reply)

Chris Jefferson was the cruise director on the Carnival Triumph in 2005 which was my first cruise. He is absolutely brilliant. I then saw him again a couple of years later on either the Carnival Glory or Carnival Valor and by then he was married. Do they have any children yet?

Hopefully I will be able to join you on the bloggers cruise in February. I have a good friend who is considering coming with me and guess what? She’s from England too.

Happy Birthday to Heidi! Sorry I missed it yesterday.

Take care,
Cindy 🙂

John Says:
Hello Cindy56

Yes indeed, Chris is a brilliant CD and he is on the Carnival Conquest. He and Emily did indeed get married and they make the perfect couple. It would be great to see you and meet your English friend on BC4 and I promise it really will be a fun for all cruise. Here is a photo of Chris and Emily.

Chris tells me they working on kids………..I told him to call me if he needs help.

Thanks for the kind words and best wishes to all
John

Josh Mallory Asked:
Dear John,

I just wanted to tell you that my family and I had the best time last week on the Conquest with you. You made the cruise so funny and we loved all the shows, That marriage show was so great, with Richard Goats( as in Yaba Daba Doo) and with Dick Littte and his wife Anita Little was the best show ever, plus we can’t forget Tiger, I just wanted to know if I was able to order cruise DVDs if we didn’t order them while we were on the boat, I wasn’t able to order the marriage show or the final talent show either, but If I can’t it’s okay, just wanted to tell u again how much we enjoyed you and u made it the best for us, please email me back if u can, thank u, Josh Mallory- Conquest cruiser 4-18-2010

John Says:
Hello Josh Mallory

Thank you so very much for helping me remember that great cruise on the Carnival Conquest. Unfortunately memories are all I can provide now though as we don’t keep master copies of each voyage…….we should……but we don’t. I remember that week and Mr. Goats and Tiger were sensationally funny. I hope it is not too long before we see you again and thank you for taking the time to write.

Best wishes to all
John

Susan Carpenter Asked:
Please Reply

Hi John I just want to let you know that I am really enjoying your blog. My first Cruise ever was on Valor and not knowing what to expect I went in nervous but that all disappear as soon as I got on the ship and started meeting all the nice crew. Our Steward Jose was awesome we never had a problem I am diabetic and when he found this out he had a sharps container for me. And opened the fridge for me to put my insulin in and this was before we were allowed in our rooms.

Our Dinner Crew was awesome they spoiled us so much it wasn’t funny Norman and I think Byron made us not want anyone else to serve us. And Byron at the late night food court always had our milk waiting on us. They made it that we wanted to do another cruise with you guys and we will be on Liberty on June 5, 2010 Even though our Anniversary would have been 3 months earlier ( March 29) ( 14 yrs for us) we booked this cruise to celebrate it. We are Traveling with our little girl Lilli K so that makes it more special for us. My point your probably are wanting to know is I just wanted to brag about the Crew On Valor and How they turned us into Cruise Addicts

Have a wonderful day
Susan

John Says:
Hello Susan Carpenter

This is exactly what I was talking about just a few postings ago. It is, as you said, the crew that got you hooked on cruising with us ………..and that is simply brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and I will be sure to pass this on to the crew of the Carnival Valor.

I know you will feel the same on the Carnival Liberty next week and I wish you a fantastic cruise.

Best wishes
John

Crazy Cajun Asked:
John, please reply!!!

Has carnival come up w/ any plans for cruises out of the gulf coast ports w/ the major oil spill we have off the coast of Louisiana?

The oil should hit the mouth of the Mississippi river on Fri. 4- 30 -2010.

This is a major oil spill which will affect our shrimp – oyster and fishing industry.

This is going to rival the Exxon Valdez spill b4 it is over.

Chin up Bob. We as Cajuns have survived for hundreds of years and we will survive this.

Just a lil advice for all of you out there, if you like gulf coast seafood, Buy it in the next 2 or 3 days. Because once this oil spill hits the price is going to go thru the Roof.

Please pray for us and our coast line and our lifestyle.

Because this spill has the capacity to change EVERTHING as we have known it for all our lives.

John Says:
Hello Crazy Cajun

We have been monitoring the oil slick situation very closely and will continue to do so. It has been a tough few weeks for you all down there and I hope you know that all of us who write and read this blog thingy have been thinking about you. Maybe you can give us an update on what is happening now from your perspective.

Thanks for writing and you remain in our thoughts

Best wishes
John

Pamela Hogue Asked:
Dear John,

Hi, my name is Pamela Hogue. I had the WONDERFUL pleasure of having you as the CD for my first cruise, which was on Carnival Dream on March 13th. The cruise was wonderful. I LOVED all of your shows in the Encore Theatre. We had a splendid time on the cruise.

While on the cruise, my birthday was March 18th, and my husband, Michael, wrote you a Dear John letter asking you to wish me a Happy Birthday. You read his letter on the Morning Show on Thursday, March 18th. You called our room to wish me a Happy Birthday in person, however, we were on Lido deck eating breakfast and watching your show. Thank you sooooo much for the champagne, picture and trophy of The Dream.

Michael purchased a CD of the trip because he thought the Morning Show was on the CD, however, it was not.

Michael was so disappointed that he made the mistake of not getting the Morning Show on CD for me to remember my Special Birthday by.

I contacted Carnival to see if there was any way I could purchase a CD of The Morning Show, but I received a letter from Carnival yesterday stating that the show had been erased and there was no way to obtain a copy of it.

I was wondering if you keep any copies of your shows OR if you by chance keep the actual letters that the people write to you. If you have a copy of the CD or a copy of the actual letter, is there any way I could obtain a copy from you?

I hope to see you again on our next cruise. I think we are hooked for life.

Thank You,
Pamela Hogue

John Says:
Hello Pamela Hogue

That’s great to read and I also have terrific memories of my time on our Carnival Dream. Unfortunately we don’t keep copies of the Morning Shows and again I need to look at asking our Audio Visual department to keep them on file at least for a few weeks after the cruise. I hope then that the memories are clear and will remain so and I hope that you had a very happy birthday and that you both had a very happy cruise.

I hope to see you both again soon.

Best wishes to you both
John

That’s all for today………..there will be more Q and A tomorrow.

I had an e-mail from a mate of mine who pointed out that in yesterday’s blog there was a question about dress code on the Carnival Sensation and replied as though the guest had been on the Carnival Ecstasy. Well spotted and I guess it was the words “wife beater” that threw me. I still can’t get over that someone would name a piece of clothing in such a way.

I did want to share this review with you though from long time reader Lance who as you might know is a master designer and creator the now famous “Climb This” T-shirt. He just sent me this great review which I thought you might like to read.

Dear John,

I am sending you this as an email, rather than posting on the blog, as it contains a photo and story I’m sure you will want to post!

Our cruise was FANTASTIC! We had great seas, great weather and a lot of FUN!

Kirk was an excellent cruise director and had some fun stories about you!

We had the opportunity to experience the Chef’s Table, which was being offered for the first time when we cruised on the Pride.

It was the single most memorable culinary experience of our lives. I would highly recommend this to anyone who appreciates Haute Cuisine in an intimate setting.

Well worth it at twice the price.

John, we have never spent so much time at an Atrium bar as we did on this ship. It was because of the incredible chemistry and professionalism of the bar

Staff. We were completely enamored and entertained by the likes of Cynthia, Tshering, Uma, Adrianna, Praba and George. They were funny, charming, interesting and caring.

We just found ourselves going back to the bar each day, looking forward to seeing them again. They made our cruise very special.

Our Dining Room team of Trika and Renato were impressive in their table manners. We enjoyed each and every meal with them. The Maitre D’, Adriana, was attentive and personable, making a number of visits to our table. We were also visited a number of times by Chef Wellington Dias, which made our time aboard that much more special. I might add that the Normandy Dining Room is one of the most beautiful dining rooms of ANY Carnival ship. The use of materials, textures, patterns, furnishings and design is impeccable.

The food selection in the dining room was of course, incredible. I noticed that many new selections were added and the addition of the Chef’s own award winning dish on the menu was extra special.

Upon embarkation, Adriana, our Maitre D’, immediately honored our request for a table for two, making the celebration of our anniversary very special. As a matter of fact, Carnival has always honored our request for a table for two!

We experienced our first VIP cruise at 10 Carnival cruises and counting! That alone was worth it! Ilda and I felt as though we were celebrities!

The photographers onboard this ship were the best we had ever experienced. Ilda and I usually buy a few prints during the week to take home as souvenirs. The photos this time around were so good, that we wound up spending $300.00 on prints alone! It would have been even more because the hardest part was deciding which photos to choose from each photo shoot.

John, I could go on and on about the people, the entertainment, (which was smashing), the food, the ship, (which at 9 years old was in surprisingly good condition), the senior staff, Joe Farcus’ incredible interior design of the Pride, etc. What I am more impressed with is Carnival’s ability to provide a cruise that is in parts, elegant, fun, exciting, romantic, leisurely, adventurous, memorable and affordable, all in the same package.

That, my friend is why we are loyal to Carnival and always will be. It never ceases to amaze me how well this company and its collective employees pull that off, time and time again, all the while making it seem easy and effortless.

OK… now for the story.

We were waiting to disembark in the Starry Night Lounge, when we struck up a conversation with a group of ladies from West Virginia. One of them was fretting about the fact that she forgot to attach her luggage tags before putting them out. Her friend told her not to worry and she went on to say that if she can’t find her luggage, she would be going to work in the nude on Monday. I then found out that she was a circuit court judge and her friend chimed in and said, “Her name is Judy and yes, she’s a judge… the REAL judge Judy!” So here I was, sitting next to Judge Judy, musing about going to work in the nude. It was surreal and priceless at the same time and Ilda and found it hilarious, given your recent posts about Judge Judy in the nude. So there you have it! This lovely lady is Judge Judy Goontz, from New Martinsville, West Virginia.

They never heard of your blog and I told them how to view it, so they’ll be looking for the post.

We have a cruise coming up next April to Bermuda and then we would like to do the South American cruise, or the Panama Canal. I could live on a cruise ship!

Please give our love to Heidi and Kye, we’d love to meet her one day!

Your friends,

Lance & Ilda

And here is the photo of the real Judge Judy.

She looks so lovely, kind and pleasant compared to the TV version………but then again so would a bulldog chewing a wasp.

Thanks Lance for that great review and I hope that Judge Judy also had a brilliant time and thank you Judge (if you are reading this) for sailing with us. I hope you do book a Bermuda cruise Lance and I hope that it is not too long before we cruise together again.

Just one last thing about the comments. I see that there has been some friction between one or two bloggers regarding comments that were reported second hand by Corvette Lady. I just want to mention that I have now decided not to post anymore second hand comments from anyone…..especially Ann Martin but want to clarify that if anyone has anything negative to say about me or the blog or Carnival that for the most part I will post them. I have always said that the blog must be that way.

It is obvious that Corvette Lady does not like me or think I am funny (my wife will agree with you on that one) and that is her opinion and she is absolutely entitled to it and I totally respect all those on the cruise boards who may agree with her.

I am 3 weeks behind on answering comments although occasionally I do being some forward if they appear to be urgent or if I feel that they need answering immediately. The one thing that I just don’t understand that if people don’t like me or the blog…..why do they read it?

Let’s get back to paradise.

A few years ago our sister company Holland America Line bought an island they would call Half Moon Cay and it has become one of the most talked about destinations our corporation ships visit and this morning the Carnival Fantasy made her first ever call there. We use tenders to take guests ashore and I used the same set up as we did in Grand Cayman last week with guests needing tender stickers to go ashore. There are 3 tenders in use all day. Two carry 270 guests and one tender carries 150. The journey time is about 15 minutes each way so you do need a dollop of patience here but as I write, it is 10:45am and we have just stopped the tender sticker ritual as we already have 1,890 guests ashore and the remaining guests can depart when they wish.

Tendering here on the Carnival Fantasy is handled quickly and professionally with the busiest time seems to be between 10 and 11 am. However, there was never more than a 15-minute wait for the tenders and the wait is certainly worth it because the reward of your own private island is waiting for you.

Before we talk about what the guests do we should mention that this is a very busy day for the ship’s company. The crew of every ship are responsible for providing the food, the drinks, the entertainment, the music and we send 30 cooks and support staff, 20 bar staff, 1 DJ, 1 Calypso duo, 1 nurse, 4 entertainment staff as well as a whole cleanup crew who arrive 1 hour before the last tender which leaves at 3:15pm

The island is managed and directed by an old mate of mine who for many years worked for Carnival’s hotel operations department before joining our sister company Holland America. Nobody knows Half Moon Cay better than him and here is Holland America’s Vice President of Caribbean Relations Matt Sams to tell us all about his paradise …………. Half Moon Cay

Hello John

Half Moon Cay, located less than 100 miles southeast of Nassau, was conceived to provide an indigenous Caribbean island experience in an authentic natural setting to Holland America Line guests on Caribbean and Panama Canal itineraries. As an award-winning island, Half Moon Cay is our highest rated port call in the Caribbean and one of the highest in the world. What makes it so special is that it really represents the quintessential private island image for most travelers. Sandy beaches, aquamarine waters, no one else around, and we’ve added the fantastic service of our shipboard staff and the locals that assist with shore activities. Each year, the island’s stellar reputation keeps growing and we are excited about celebrating our 10th year of visiting the island this year. It was officially opened on December 12, 1997, by Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

Amenities that were required to support ship visits included food and beverage facilities, shops, restrooms and other various support facilities. The island’s offerings have steadily expanded to also provide a full beachside water park for children, private beach cabanas and an array of shore excursions that include horseback riding by land and sea, personal watercraft adventures and an opportunity to swim with stingrays.

In December 1996, Holland America Line purchased the uninhabited 2,400-acre island of Little San Salvador from several Bahamian owners for $6 million and debuted Half Moon Cay as a port of call Dec. 12, 1997. The line initially invested $16 million in the facility – which today is situated on approximately 50 acres – and developed it according to the guidelines of the Business Charter for Sustainable Development established by the International Chamber of Commerce.

The island was uninhabited and there was no infrastructure whatsoever. In May 1997, I joined Holland America Line. Construction of Half Moon Cay began that same month and completed in December 1997. Due to the topography of the island, we needed to raise the developed areas by 14 feet in order to be above the flood plain. A marina was dredged and constructed in order to allow safe tender operation and shore excursion vessel departures. All mechanical systems such as electrical generators, reverse osmosis water plants, sewer treatment and incineration plants needed to be installed in order to accommodate our guests.

There’s a lot to do on the island. The idyllic Bahamian island offers extraordinary activities, such as its horseback riding and swimming excursion, guided AquaTrax watercraft tour, stingray adventure, bicycle tour of island highlights, and fun-filled family Aqua Park. In addition, guests can enjoy excursions including catch-and-release deep sea fishing trips, eco tours by glass-bottom boat, kayak trips and parasailing. Or they can simply relax on the crescent-shaped, white sand beach, swim, snorkel and sail in the turquoise waters, indulge in a beachside massage, enjoy traditional barbecue fare and play volleyball.

Half Moon Cay also features a walking trail and a designated wild bird reserve. All facilities are accessible to persons using wheelchairs, featuring hard-surfaced pathways to connect venues. Beach and jitney trams facilitate getting around the island.
We offer an open-air market, ice cream parlor, ships, first aid station, several bars and beverage stations, sports area, a chapel for wedding renewals, and an array of water sports equipment to rent — kayaks, sailboards, snorkel gear, floating mats, and those fun aqua bikes. One of the most popular features is the barbecue area, where we hold a lunch barbecue for guests on the island. Ribs, fish, burgers, sausage, salads, fruit, corn on the cob, brownies, cookies and more. I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

And for anyone wanting to have a real exclusive experience on the island, there are 15 beachfront cabanas for rent, and one Grand Cabana. The beachfront cabanas have air conditioning, misting station, dining table and four chairs, lounge chairs, changing room, refrigerator, dry bar, fresh water shower, and sun deck. Optional Butler and Drink packages are also available. The Grand Cabana accommodates 24 guests and is perfect for a large family or small group. This cabana has a hot tub for 8, 2 changing rooms, his and hers rest rooms, fresh hot water showers, misting stations, dining room, wet bar, BBQ grill, covered and outdoor seating, massage table. Optional food and beverage packages are available for the Grand Cabana as well.

The island has 9 miles of beach so finding a secluded area is not a problem. Guests enjoy the lounge chairs, hammocks, clamshell sunshades, shaded sitting areas and the natural beauty of the island. There is a water park for the kids to enjoy, while mom and dad watch them from shore. Often, guests arrive and mingle in the open-air market a bit. They then wander to the beach for a few hours to swim and relax. And about noon, the open sitting BBQ luncheon is very popular. Of course, many folks opt for shore activities in the morning or afternoon, too.

More than 110 Bahamians operate the island. This group is in charge of all of the maintenance of the island, technical areas, landscaping, shore excursions, vessel captains, crew, staff and guides, lifeguards, tram drivers, engineers, mechanics, chef, straw market vendors, secretary, police, customs and island managers.

It is paradise and I hope your passengers have the very best of times on Half Moon Cay

Matt

What a brilliantly written review Matt and thank you so much for whetting the appetites of those who have yet to experience all that is Half Moon Cay.

Well, I was supposed to go and visit the island myself today. In fact Matt had arranged a tour of the facilities but alas…..here I sit……fully clothed writing to you. That’s because I have a sore throat, an annoying tickly cough and every few minutes my eyes fill with water plus my nose is doing a good impression of that volcano in Iceland and spewing out ash, snot and something that looks a lot like liquefied broccoli. I have had this for a few days but haven’t mentioned it here on the blog because it’s just a cold ……… everyone has a cold……….and while I can get through a show….there was no way I could spend the day mincing around in 90 degrees of sunshine ……..so my trip to paradise was buggered.

However, you don’t keep a Cocker Spaniel and bark yourself so I asked Sexy (Ugly) Craig to go in my place and take with him the ship’s photographer and so while I sniffle, cough and drip hot snot over the desk……..here are some brilliant photos taken this morning by ship’s photographer Brainislav of Half Moon Cay.

It’s those kind of photos and Matt’s brilliant description that I am sure has many of you adding Half Moon Cay to your must see list. Yep, Half Moon Cay offers breathtaking beaches that are lapped by crystal clear waters. This island is then the perfect antidote to the tourist bustle you might find in other ports of call…….and you have to go and experience paradise for yourself.

I am really pissed off that I have this cold. I haven’t been off the ship for many weeks and today I had a reason to go …….but with more shows tonight and the past guest party to host it would have been just silly.

Anyway, I decided reluctantly that I needed medical help and went to see the doctor to get some cold medicine which when you are diabetic is not easy because it can cause your sugar to spike. Anyway, I eventually got some Theraflu which is a lemon drink that tastes like a lemon that has been nestling in a sumo wrestler’s jockstrap for a few hours. So while I waited for the nurse to get this and some iburothingy I glanced at one of the magazines that was laying on the waiting room table. It was “Men’s Health.” Why would they put this in the waiting room of a medical center?

Why remind us of all the healthy people out there who are not sitting in a medical center waiting room with colds, coughs and diseases? It’s as pointless and as cruel as giving Stevie Wonder a copy of “Big Jugs” magazine

Anyway the title on the front cover read “Ageing – the signs you weren’t expecting.”  Intrigued I had a flick through the pages and found a load of nonsense about varicose veins and grey hair.

What a load of bollocks. I expect all of that and more. What I didn’t expect were the hairs that suddenly sprout on my big toe, the involuntary “ohhh eeee” noise made as I heave myself off the toilet after sitting there for 20 minutes or more and that right now when I look at my face in the mirror and sniff back another string of snot I didn’t expect that at 45 my face would resemble a bag of wrenches. So instead of walking round Half Moon Cay judging the sandcastle building contest and looking for southern belles in G Strings ………..I am off to bed to sleep off this sodding cold.

I know how I got this cold………it’s because I went out to the cigar bar last night and sat under the air conditioning vent……. wearing only a wife beater.

Goodnight
Your friend
John

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.