Friday, June 22, 2012

Sept 2011 - Carnival Pride - Part 3 - Half Moon Cay

Chris – 9/29/11 – Day 4 of the Cruise – Half Moon Cay 

Well as we’ve said before, this was the port we were waiting for. We made sure to get a good night’s sleep and I had no booze the day before to make sure I was 100% for HMC. Room service arrived right on time and as we were enjoying a nice breakfast, the island started coming into view from our balcony.

Here are a few pictures from our balcony (I was very glad to be port side so we faced all of the islands when docked). 

One of the Tender Boats to take passengers to shore

If I remember correctly the first tender was scheduled for 9 am and they told us to be down on deck 1 about 10 minutes early. Since we had an excursion we had priority tendering. I pushed Cass out the door about 20 til 9 and when we got down to deck 2, they asked us to show our excursion ticket so we could head down to where they were starting to line people up. 

This was our first tendered port so we were interested to see how it was handled. The line ended up curling down one of the hallways on deck 1 and there were several hundred people lined up by the time they started boarding the first tender. I’m glad we headed down early as there were only about 10 others after us on the first tender (I think they took a lot of crew and supplies on that one too). 

And please watch your head as the ramp leads up and it’s only about 4 feet high and I had to duck quite a bit but someone else didn’t and nearly cracked her head open. She shall remain anonymous but her name rhymes with Bassandra...

A few more pictures from the tender. 

The Private Oasis 

We made our way off the tender to their little shops area which reminded me of a hassle free Freeport. 

The excursion desk was off to the left so I let Cass ask some questions while I got some photos before the masses arrived. 

We decided to get our shopping done now before it got crowded and also since we'd be at the other end of the beach at cabana 12. We got a couple shot glasses, a travel mug for her, and a few other knicknacks. Cass also got a new pair of sunglasses to replace the ones she had just mashed into her noggin. 

By this point we were both itching to get to our cabana so we headed down the path with our friends which was an adventure in and of itself. 

Path to kiddie play area

Bathrooms and lockers to the left before the first cabanas 

A good shot of the ship in a gap between the foliage 

The perfectly named bar 

The Captain Morgan Rocks bar seen from the trail, this is in between cabanas 5 and 6. Our friends had cabana 5 and said that there was very minimal noise from the bar. 

Heading down the beach to our cabana. Let me just say that I've never felt sand like they have on this beach. I was literally like walking on powdered sugar. Just incredibly soft and it never seemed to get hot (of course it was mostly cloudy in the afternoon so that may have had something to do with it). 

Our awesome home for the day 

The free food that comes with the cabana. There was also a few sodas and 2 big bottles of water in the fridge. 

View from our cabana 

The cabana also included some water gear, floating mats, and snorkeling gear. We loved the floatie mats and used them a lot. It was so relaxing just floating on the water with little, subtle waves rocking you. That is my new happy place

We also had a little guy come to check out that everything was cool in the cabana 

I believe it was a Basilisk Lizard based on how he ran. What a cutie!! 

There were a couple of wedding's held on HMC which I think a certain someone wished she was getting married. Hey, if it gets me out of wearing a tux, I'm all for it. 

It was time for a stroll and also a little video of the cabanas and areas which we have right here. It's about 6 or so minutes long but gives a good overall impression of the populated areas of the Cay. 

From here we both got a Bahama Mama in the Monkey Head. They were very good and then headed to the buffet for lunch. There was a nice selection of food and everything I had was very good.

I also stopped by the Captain Morgan bar to refill our drinks and the staff was very entertaining. 

Since it was such a short walk, we took our food back to the cabana for a nice little private meal. 

Most of the rest of the HMC pics are pretty much what's on the video so I'll spare the reposting of those. The afternoon was pretty cloudy which was a good thing since we didn't need to hide in the cabana. Spent a lot, I mean A LOT of time on the floatie mats out in the water. I really hope everyone makes HMC a priority for a cruise. If you've been there, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, you will once you go. 

Mid-afternoon rain storm

Finally, just a bit of video of us being silly in the morning on the floatie mats. It was really crazy how much the tide affected the shore. In the morning when this video was taken, the water was at least 5 feet deeper than it was later in the afternoon. Just a few hours later, we were only a few feet closer to shore at this point, and could touch the bottom! (Well, Chris could... me, not so much). Just another point about how much we loved the floatie mats!! Seriously these things were awesome. It was like floating in a giant pool with really gentle waves. Heaven on Earth!

Check out how deserted the lounge chairs were in front of our cabana for most of the day... 

Later, we saw some of our Casino dealers that were able to debark and enjoy HMC as well - they were very close to our end of the beach. I thought that was really cool they got a little bit of relax time off the ship!

I also think we had a group of Carnival Videographers (crew) close to us as well - they were foreign (speedos!). For the most part they were fine (although I swear I saw one walking out of our Cabana at one point) but it was hilarious because they were playing Frisbee in the water for like 5 hours straight... at one point, I think they set up their professional camera equipment to film one of their 5-man Frisbee sessions.. Hey, whatever floats your boat...

We took the 2nd to last tender back and the line was long but they herded us on and we were sadly sailing away from our new favorite place. 

We headed to an early dinner, for us anyway, and the food was great as usual. We weren't feeling very original and we both ended up ordering the same thing for appetizer and entree. We had chicken tenders marinated in Thai spices (delicious, probably the best app all week) and then duet of petite filet mignon and short-rib confit (also very good). 

I'll give you two guesses as to what we had for dessert but you'll only need one.. more WCMC baby. 

After losing more money in the casino (fortunately a little slower than most nights) we headed back up to the room to call it a night. This little guy was waiting for us..."Can you believe it Mr. Frodo? An Oliphant? My Old Gaffer would never believe this"

Stay tuned for Part 4, including previous Freeport experiences!

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