Private islands continue to be very popular attractions on Caribbean itineraries for most major cruise lines. While in port, guests disembark to a beach paradise where they can enjoy the sun and sand for no additional cost, or they can splurge on curated excursions or luxe experiences.
“Either way, the cruise line has almost full control – save for the weather – of this branded experience, meaning that they have the most to gain or lose from a cruiser’s experience. If the trend of recent investment is any indication, they are not looking to miss out on these islands of opportunity,” says Brittany Chrusciel, Cruise Critic’s destinations editor.
She says that private islands are about creating a one-of-a-kind experience for cruisers that in some cases is an extension of the ship – something more in demand now than ever before.
Located on Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day at Coco Cay, Devil's Tower is home to eight waterslides, including the 135-foot Devil's Tower, the tallest in North America. (Photo: Royal Caribbean International)
Superlatives like “the tallest waterslide in North America” on Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay are brag-worthy and play well into social media. Other experiences, like Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, are a reflection of growing environmental conservation and sustainability concerns.
And exclusive enclaves, like the Silver Cove experience on Norwegian Cruise line’s Great Stirrup Cay, give passengers the chance to upgrade their private island experience – similar to luxe suite complexes onboard,” Chrusciel adds.
Three cruise line leaders have created recent stand-out experiences on their private islands, and luckily, none of the sites was significantly damaged by Hurricane Dorian in September.
Norwegian Cruise Line
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