top of page

Mitsugirly takes great PRIDE in bringing her Spring Break extreme review

Day 6: Half Moon Cay


P4120042 copy.jpg
P4120043 copy.jpg

We were up at 7:45am this morning and I couldn't wait for this day to begin.


We headed up to the buffet area for breakfast, me and my little ducklings (hubby and child)...I say this because they follow me around like little ducklings and I like to mess with them. Sometimes I will turn left...they follow then back a sharp right, they do the same, and back left again until they catch on. HEE HEE HEE. Yes, that's the type of relationship we have...always laughing, joking and messing with each other. It keeps us on our toes.


I had my normal breakfast and added a few things.

P4090001 copy.jpg

Now I do have to mention that there's something with all the "toppings" on this cruise. Everything was so "watery". The syrup poured like water, the butter the same almost...then there's the (what is supposed to be) cream cheese????? YIKES. I have no clue what was up with it but it wasn't cream cheese as any person I've ever come across knows it as. wow.


Sakari loves bagels and I just KNEW when I was "spreading" (and I use that term lightly) the unknown "cream cheese" consistency of I don't know kinda topping on her bagel that it just might go off too well. Yep, I was right. The face she made after one bite I couldn't help but totally out loud to the point the people behind us turned around. I grabbed my camera and only managed to capture her tongue still sticking out...but the facial expression was gone. DARNIT!

P4090002 copy.jpg

Like before, the muffins and sweets were good...what a pleasant change from NCL's tasteless "goodies" section.

P4090003 copy.jpg

We were due to arrive at Half Moon Cay at 9am and we were pulling in and "parking" at 8:45am. Time to get a move on it and grab our beach bags and head to....get this...customer service to put our FTTF to use!!!

As soon as we arrived at the FTTF customer service desk and told them we were ready to head over to HMC, they immediately told us to "follow me" and off we went, down the back way, around the crowd and onto the boat. Pretty cool.


Now I had pre-warned Kendra that we would not be waiting on them to get their tender tickets and wait to be called...since we had the VIP FTTF and all...yes, I rubbed it in since she had been rubbing in the slot win. Hey, I'm allowed right? I told her to get off the tender and head left toward the "ship".


When we got on the tender, they were calling tender tickets 6-11 at that time. So, no we were not the first off the ship, but I was ok with that. Hey, we were busy getting our bellies full at the time.

P4090005 copy.jpg
P4090007 copy.jpg

They had canon's pointed toward us...I'm not sure if this is welcoming or telling us to behave while there or they'll feed us to the pirates. Let's just say that I DID NOT BEHAVE.


Me glancing over at the beach area while pulling in.

P4090010 copy.jpg

Taking a peek at our beautiful Pride waiting on us in the distance.

P4090011 copy.jpg

Pulling in. There were several boats in the area.

P4090012 copy.jpg

Now the tender ride over took us 3 minutes to get there and get actually took them 5 MINUTES TO PARK!!! Like seriously. Longer to park than the ride over. I just had to laugh.


You can tell they are still working on the island and also improving it (not that I personally know what the island looked like before...but what private island isn't always getting constant improvements)?

P4090013 copy.jpg
P4090014 copy.jpg

The entrance with the actual name of the island on it.

P4090016 copy.jpg

Now I just wanted to give you all a little history lesson... maybe??? Half Moon Cay is actually called Little (or Fort) San Salvador (as shown in the picture above when you enter). This island was actually owned by NCL and use to be their private island until it was purchased by Holland America in 1996... or at least that's what I read online. Anyone know this to be true? It really has me wondering since the first time I ever cruise was back in 1989 and it was with NCL and I SWEAR that the private island they have now (Great Stirrup Cay) seems nothing like it is now...and by nothing I mean I remember soft beautiful sand (and it does not have that now) and I definitely do not remember any type of huge rocks sticking out of the water as it is now (and I mean rocks that couldn't have been just placed there). It makes me wonder if I have been to this place before? Or maybe they didn't use this place back then even if they owned it? I have no clue. Just wondering if anyone actually knows other than reading it online.


We had our pictures taken after we got off the tender.

P4120051 copy.jpg

We got off and headed into the port shopping area.

It was small and to me seemed like it had just been developed recently...or either they planned it that way.

P4090017 copy.jpg
P4090018 copy.jpg
P4090015 copy.jpg

Can anyone confirm if you are allowed to walk up these steps at this building to get pictures of the area? Just wondering. I didn't do it for fear of being shot by one of the canon's coming in.

P4090019 copy.jpg

I did like the building and the color they used. It kinda reminded me of the Costa Maya port with the architecture and color.

P4090020 copy.jpg

Ok, so let's be honest here...I really did not spend any time here at the shopping area when I arrived. Seriously...most of you know me around here and I'm a beach/water freak (and so is Sakari)...we got off the boat, passed all the up and headed straight for the beach!!!


However, for the sake of the review, I will go ahead and give you the pictures of this small shopping port area now just to get it out of the way. We visited it on the way back to the ship (kicking and screaming I might add) and that's when a majority of these pictures were taken.

P4090218 copy.jpg
P4090219 copy.jpg
P4090220 copy.jpg
P4090223 copy.jpg
P4090221 copy.jpg
P4090222 copy.jpg

This would be the tiny shop that I visited to grab me a HMC tee shirt and NO MAGNET!! Gasp! Sigh. Ok, this would be the first time I was not able to get Sakari a magnet for her collection with the name of the place.

P4090224 copy.jpg
P4090226 copy.jpg

I must have really liked this conch shell wall thingymabob...I took enough pictures of it. I guess it was the only neat thing there to begin with.

Palm tree shadows, because everyone loves a palm tree right?

P4090227 copy.jpg
P4090228 copy.jpg

There's another reminder for me...this had to be a sign.

P4090230 copy.jpg

Ok let's get to the nitty gritty and head out toward the beach where we (I) all wanna be.

P4090022 copy.jpg

We stepped out onto the sand and ahhhhh, it was so soft and fluffy and the water was so beautiful.

P4090026 copy.jpg
P4090023-2 copy.jpg

The beach was absolutely stunning.

P4090033 copy.jpg

We walked toward the pirate ship and looked for a place. The hubby got a little burned yesterday, so he wanted the shade. Now...I will state this...we hardly ever rent anything when we are on a beach. We hardly even get beach chairs if they are not free. I can put my beach towel down on the sand and be perfectly happy sitting or laying there. I know some people have to have a chair or lounger and some have to have an umbrella...not me. I could care less. I'm not going to spend any amount of time there to begin with so why bother. We have rented a chair and umbrella and shared it once I believe and that was only because Kendra and her bf was with us and insisted. So, we don't know the first thing about how this works with the rentals.


However, the hubby was insisting shade and he knew that he wanted a clam shell. We stopped and ask a staff member that was running up and down the beach about renting one and if we did that with him. He said no, that there would be someone that came by to rent it from and pick one. So pick one we did.

P4090030 copy.jpg

We set up shop and daddy was happy for his shade and Sakari could care less and only wanted to head to the water.

Since Sakari was chompin' at the bit to get in the water and driving me nuts about it I lathered her up with the slimy cream cheese wannabe spread from the ship...just kidding, spf 9084 and then laughed and told her I needed to take a picture of my masterpiece first before we went down to the water.

P4090029 copy.jpg

We touched the water and yikes...cold.

P4090032 copy.jpg
P4090031 copy.jpg

I was real happy to see that there were a variety of various corals around the area too.

P4090037 copy.jpg
P4090038 copy.jpg
P4090005 (3) copy.jpg

Daddy adventured into the cold water to get cooled off.

P4090024 (2) copy.jpg
P4090037 (2) copy.jpg

He went back to his lounging and I adventured the rest of the way into the water.

P4090031 (2) copy.jpg
P4090038 (2) copy.jpg
P4090028 copy.jpg
P4090039 copy.jpg

I was still busy taking it all in and I turned around and seen the hubby leave our camp and head toward the pirate ship. I thought either a) he needed to find the restroom or b) he needed to find a drink or c) he was out looking how to rent the cabana. (c won)


He walked down to the last cabana and I watch him walk up the steps with everyone at the cabana kinda starring at him in amazement like he was invading their space (and he was unknowingly) and I'm sitting here thinking "can he honestly think this is a restroom or something?". I see them point toward the pirate ship. Ahhh, I bet he felt silly. LOL


I decided to get out of the water for a few and get a drink.


**I came up with a brilliant idea...after so many years of cruising I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of this before... but I have a small material cooler, that I have always used when I go out to the pool or to the park for our pop. I decided I would take this along with us this time, take some plastic baggies, have the room steward (who graciously filled both baggies each morning with ice for us for the port) fill the bags with ice, put 4 pops in the cooler and put the ice in the bags around it (eliminating any melting and dripping inside the cooler). We had free drinks for the day. GO ME! They stayed ICE COLD all day long and when we were done with the cooler, we threw the rest of the ice out and the cooler actually folds up and velcros real small and back in our bag it goes. BRILLIANT I TELL YA! I will be doing this from now on on every cruise and save $$!!!****


So anyhow, I'm getting a drink and waiting for the hubby to return so that I can make fun of him for going into someone's cabana. Now here's where things get hairy and I start to lose my cool....


A kid comes over to me (around 7 years old or so) and says "You have to rent these cabanas". Um...ok. Which is what I said and then said "thank you". He stood there starring at me. I said "Do you need something else?" He said "You need to go find the person to rent this cabana." Um...ok again. Who is this kid? The cabana police? I said "My husband is doing that but thanks for your concern." He continued to say it over and over a few at this point I'm getting a little perturbed with him and I just started saying "THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! Are you done?" So he walked away.


He went back to his family who had a bunch of people both adults and kids that had taken up the first few rows of chairs down by the beach. I see the father get up and look at me. :confused: What the heck? He's walking my way. He repeats what his son said. At this point I'm more than tired of this lecture and I say "Can you tell me why this is any of your concern? My husband has been trying to rent one since we sat down. He has ask several employees and he went looking for someone...Now tell me why this concerns you and why are you making it your business what we are doing?" His reply is "Because we just rented this one a minute ago." UM OK.....Now I'm more than hot and I'm about to lose my temper and that doesn't happen often when on happy go lucky is not so happy go lucky now. :mad: So of course at this point I have a firm mean voice going and I say "OUT OF ALL.....(pointing profusely) these cabana's up and down this beach and all these located right here (about 5-6 of them) YOU decided to pick the ONE that WE are sitting at and have already set up our things???" We had our bags there, our towels on the chairs, our snorkeling equipment all over pulled out, our cooler out, suntan lotion out and was all comfortable and THIS is the cabana he decided he wanted??? Seriously? How f'n rude! The cabana beside us to the left wasn't good enough? Or the one after that? Or the cabana on the right wasn't good enough? Or any after that? There wasn't ANYONE in ANY of them. But NO, he wanted OURS!!! His reply was "well, we just paid for THIS one and I have my receipt." I let him know how pissed off I was and said whatever...I'll move over one, but you won't be happy.


The hubby came back with his paid receipt for the cabana and the guy ask us which we wanted and we moved over just 1...which actually was a better location because we could now see down the pathway between the chairs to the water easier and set up camp AGAIN.


The family that purchased the cabana brought some of their things over and the little boy that first approached me to let me know "the rules" sat in the chair beside me and faced me starring the entire time. At one point he said "What's that?" when I was messing with something and just starred. Seriously annoying. I took our blowed up raft and wedged it between our cabanas to block him off a little. Most of the time they continued to stay down at all the chairs they had saved by the water. Obviously these are the chair hogs of the ship as well.


Now I'm usually a pretty easy going person, most know that about me, but when you do something like this...I'm sorry, it's rude, it's not nice and that makes me not nice.


Ok, end of rant and we are set up at our new camp.

P4090045 (2) copy.jpg

Back to enjoying the view and playing in the water.

P4090044 copy.jpg
P4090032 (2) copy.jpg
P4090053 copy.jpg

Time to do some exploring.


Some of the colorful houses there for rent.

P4090046 copy.jpg
P4090146 copy.jpg
P4090144 copy.jpg
P4090142 copy.jpg
P4090143 copy.jpg
P4090145 copy.jpg

Heading up to the pirate boat to take some interesting pictures.

P4090110 copy.jpg
P4090034 copy.jpg
P4090093 copy.jpg

Inside the boat is the bar and also restrooms:

P4090094 copy.jpg
P4090095 copy.jpg

The upper deck of the boat

P4090096 copy.jpg
P4090098 copy.jpg
P4090097 copy.jpg
P4090099 copy.jpg

A boat with a view...and a nice view at that.

P4090101 copy.jpg
P4090106 copy.jpg
P4090107 copy.jpg
P4090113 copy.jpg
P4090115 copy.jpg
P4090117 copy.jpg
P4090118 copy.jpg
P4090123 copy.jpg
P4090114 copy.jpg
P4090116 copy.jpg
P4090117 copy.jpg
P4090119 copy.jpg
P4090124 copy.jpg
P4090125 copy.jpg
P4090126 copy.jpg
P4090128 copy.jpg
P4090132 copy.jpg
P4090135 copy.jpg
P4090141 copy.jpg
P4090147 copy.jpg
P4090148 copy.jpg
P4090149 copy.jpg

Walking around the grounds.

P4090133 copy.jpg
P4090136 copy.jpg
P4090134 copy.jpg

I headed back to our new camp and told the hubby it was time to eat and I had found where they are serving food while I was out walking around. Sakari was more than ready to eat and had already ask us several times already about it.


We kept hearing a rooster cock-a-doodle-doo and we headed that way.

P4090137 copy.jpg
P4090139 copy.jpg

One of the MANY areas to eat at. The one thing I really liked about this place was so many area's to eat in, it felt secluded and had nice landscaping around it. The only problem was that if you didn't pay attention to where you were sitting, you would get lost getting back....and I did.

P4090140 copy.jpg

There were plenty of chickens running around (is this lunch?) and they had chicks running around as well. One got lost from it's momma and Sakari was there to rescue it.

P4090152 copy.jpg
P4090153 copy.jpg
P4090155 copy.jpg

The buffet area. Lots of sections for many lines.

P4090156 copy.jpg
P4090157 copy.jpg
P4090158 copy.jpg
P4090159 copy.jpg
P4090160 copy.jpg

We got our plates loaded with food and headed to an area to eat, winding our way to the perfect spot.

P4090161 copy.jpg
P4090163 copy.jpg

The chickens came over and of course Sakari had to feed them.

Now the food was "ok" but the hamburgers were just not good. I don't know what it was about them but the texture was just weird to me. Was I use to Guys? Sakari bit into hers (and she's a hamburger freak) and this was the result...I about gagged.

At one point I decided to go back to one of the many drink stations and Sakari wanted me to grab some more of the yummy cookies.

P4090165 copy.jpg
P4090166 copy.jpg

Well, that would be the time I discovered that I had went down the winding path to...I don't know. I was lost. Every turn I made was the wrong shelter. It took me awhile, but I finally made it back. Whew.

After our bellies were full we headed back to our camp and then out to the water.


I thought it was really weird that we had been there for a good 3+ hours and never ran into Kendra yet. I just KNEW she had probably got off the tender, hit the beach and stopped where she seen the kiddie water park area and planted it.


I told the hubby I wanted to go for "a walk". My intentions were to head that way and attempt to find her. We no more got a good 20' away and there she was walking down the beach looking for us. Yep, I was right, she set up camp right by the kids park as I had thought. I just knew it! She said she had walked all the way past us before and never seen us. I informed her that it was lunch time and we had just eaten and she decided to head up there to grab a few plates for her and Brayden and bring them back to the camp.


Meanwhile, we entertained the kids in the water some more.

P4090002 (2) copy.jpg
P4090008 (2) copy.jpg
P4090013 (2) copy.jpg
P4090016 (2) copy.jpg
P4090018 (2) copy.jpg
P4090022 (2) copy.jpg

I really wish we had decided to take pictures of us and the ship in the background when we first got there. It would have made for such a nice picture. But now the beaches and the water was crowded.

P4090026 (2) copy.jpg
P4090028 (2) copy.jpg
P4090006 (2) copy.jpg
P4090029 (2) copy.jpg
P4090035 (2) copy.jpg

Since Kendra and Braydens thing were still down at their camp, Brayden didn't have his goggles and I had let him borrow mine. I decided I would take a selfie in the water...only with sunglasses on. How many people have this kinda picture? LOL

P4090039 (2) copy.jpg

It was beyond crowded now...

P4090044 (2) copy.jpg

I had told the hubby that I would really like to spend some of our time prior to returning to the ship over by the kiddie water park area. I knew Sakari would like it...and well, I seen some ROCKS over there at the wall. hehe You all know what I'm thinking....snorkel time.


We headed that way.


The kids headed for the water slide. It didn't work any better than the one on the ship. Just saying...

P4090046 (2) copy.jpg

This one worked a lot better.

P4090050 (2) copy.jpg
P4090052 (2) copy.jpg
P4090054 (2) copy.jpg
P4090057 (2) copy.jpg

Around this area:

P4090062 (2) copy.jpg
P4090060 (2) copy.jpg
P4090061 (2) copy.jpg
P4090074 (2) copy.jpg

Kendra's sand Easter yea, no.

P4090076 (2) copy.jpg

My Easter Egg

P4090077 (2) copy.jpg

Sakari helping some random lady on the beach dig her way to China. The hole was pretty deep.

P4090078 (2) copy.jpg

Kendra on round 2 of the Easter bunny creation. She decided to try a 3D version.

P4090082 (2) copy.jpg

You see that wall? I knew it was calling my name.

P4090063 (2) copy.jpg

There were little crabs in the holes that liked to play hide and seek with you. They won every time. Nope, I didn't get any pictures of not one of them.

P4090064 (2) copy.jpg
P4090083 (2) copy.jpg

Our fishes following us as they always do everywhere we go.

P4090087 copy.jpg

On to the snorkeling. Now I really really ended up liking this area. I liked it so much by the end of the day that I had almost wished we had just stayed in this area the entire time. I'm sure I probably would have felt differently had I actually been there from the beginning because I'm sure that most people get off the tender and do just that...pick that spot and stop. I can only imagine how crowded it probably was in the beginning.

P4090088 (2) copy.jpg
P4090091 (2) copy.jpg
P4090095 (2) copy.jpg
P4090099 (2) copy.jpg
P4090100 (2) copy.jpg
P4090101 (2) copy.jpg
P4090105 (2) copy.jpg
P4090107 (2) copy.jpg
P4090166 (2) copy.jpg
P4090113 (2) copy.jpg

This was so cool. I don't think I have ever seen an anemone like this one before.

P4090120 (2) copy.jpg
P4090122 (2) copy.jpg
P4090127 (2) copy.jpg
P4090131 (2) copy.jpg
P4090132 (3) copy.jpg
P4090141 (2) copy.jpg
P4090158 (2) copy.jpg
P4090108 (2) copy.jpg

So I want to take some time to talk about this snorkeling area. One would not think that there's much here, but I was pretty satisfied with it and it made for a good day. There was plenty to see along the wall with soft coral and fish and there were a few things out in the water as well.


What made it really nice is that you could stand up in all of it...even the munchkins. So they were able to snorkel with us and see everything that we did...without a life jacket. That meant no arguing with Sakari over how she's a "big girl" and didn't need one.


The hubby didn't have his goggles with him so he kinda just stood up and walked along pointing out things to me and I'd go under and take the picture. We came up with a "plan" and it worked out pretty darn good if I say so myself. He made the mistake of saying to me "I'm your assistant and I'm at your disposal" HA HA (I said in my Vincent Price laugh). So here's the plan...I'm going to lay down in the water in a floating position. You are going to grab my legs and kinda push me along slowly. If I give you a hand signal or a jerk of the legs, you stop. I'm taking pictures. Another jerk of the leg means move again. hehe It worked out perfect. I saved energy (lol) and he was able to keep me really still while I focused on the pictures and (he claims) the view was one of the best from where he was standing. wink wink He said he'd be my assistant "any time you need me to be". Geesh, men.

P4090150 (2) copy.jpg

A huge school of fish that were darting in every direction all synchronized together as if they had planned it that way. There were hundreds of them.

P4090169 copy.jpg
P4090170 copy.jpg
P4090175 (2) copy.jpg

This entire area was up and down the rocks at the beginning. It's that area close to where you rent the expensive cabana/house with the slide into the water. They had that area roped off and we went down the wall, around the roped area, then back to the other side and down that wall.


Do you see anything?

P4090179 (2) copy.jpg

It's another flat flounder fish with the eyes on the top. I'm telling you, they are just just have to look.


Another one of my many attempts to get a good shot of an underwater/overwater picture. It just wasn't happening this cruise.

P4090181-2 copy.jpg
P4090185 copy.jpg
P4090186 copy.jpg

I love feather dusters aka worms. I use to have an entire aquarium full of them. One quick movement and they suck themselves back into their stem. Then slowly and gently come back out.

P4090187 copy.jpg
P4090191 copy.jpg
P4090188 copy.jpg
P4090192 copy.jpg
P4090199 copy.jpg
P4090200 copy.jpg

The hubby tapped me on the rump and told me I was being watched...I had to laugh and then snap a picture of course.

P4090201 copy.jpg
P4090203 copy.jpg
P4090202 copy.jpg
P4090204 copy.jpg
P4090205 copy.jpg

Kendra took off on her own for a minute and came back telling me she had found a few reef balls. Now the only other place I have seen these (and there were hundreds) was in November at Paradise Cove/Dead Mans Reef in Freeport. I went over to explore.

P4090207 copy.jpg

We only found (I think) 3 of them thank goodness. So you were able to swim around them and not get trapped like you do at Paradise Cove.


There was a momma fish in this one and every time we came near, she darted out of there and then darted toward us. She was very protective of it. I didn't notice because I didn't want to disturb her, but Kendra said there were little black things around the holes. I figured those were her eggs she was protecting.

P4090210 copy.jpg
P4090212 copy.jpg

We had our snorkeling fun and decided we had better pack up our things and start to head back if we planned on stopping by the shopping area and getting something before leaving.


A lot of people were already gone by now and the place was starting to look deserted. The workers there were already stacking the chairs up (just like they do on the ship) in the area we were in.


Kendra had brought her rolling gym bag luggage, that we both have one of to use to carry on our pop for each cruise, and she was struggling to pull it in the the sand. Great idea not having to carry a beach bag, but I'm not so sure about having to pull it in sand and then the sand being stuck in the wheels.

We headed back to this place where I would purchase a tee shirt and a lady put a shell bracelet in a small paper bag and handed it to Sakari.

P4090225 copy.jpg

Then off we went toward the tenders.

P4090216 copy.jpg