Our coffee arrived promptly and it was a great way to start the day as we watched the ship close in on Half Moon Cay. For those that aren’t familiar with this port it is a private island owned by Holland America. I’ve been there twice previously and the last time was with Carnival. These are the only two brands that utilize the island.
It’s my favorite beach.We saw a Princess ship in the distance and figured out it was at that line’s private island, Princess Cays.
After breakfast in the dining room with my brother we got ready for the beach. Unfortunately he wasn’t feeling well and decided to stay behind.
My sister and I took the second tender over which took off right after we boarded.
As we pulled away we noticed the holiday greetings above the tender entrance. Those little touches are very nice.
Once on the island we claimed our clamshell and rented float mats ($10.95). Boy, had they gone up in price since the last time I was here. The beach was as beautiful as ever but it really was built up with new buildings (cabanas, villas, play area, etc.).
We went into the water but it was a little cool until you got adjusted. My sister is not comfortable seeing fish in the water so she stayed on top of the float. I went out further and loved the clear, beautiful water.
I walked up and down the beach at one point to get some exercise and enjoy the scenery. With just our ship there, there were plenty of unoccupied loungers, even in the shade as well as clamshells, cabanas and villas.
We bought some souvenirs in the shops area. I bought a piece of driftwood art to remember the vacation in addition to a t-shirt for my grandson. My sister bought several t-shirts but then she has more grandsons than me. (Note: the t-shirts were a hit; they had spiderman on it along with a map of the Caribbean islands.)
We went to lunch. i had the short ribs and corn on the cob; didn’t care for the salads offered. The brownie like dessert was just okay. My sister said her hamburger was very good.
She went back to the ship shortly after while I stayed behind another half hour or so. I didn’t want to leave my favorite beach. The sand is like sugar.
I had to wait for a tender to arrive and then another 10 minutes on it before we returned to the ship.
After a shower to get that soft sand off me I went up to to the Dive-in Grill and ordered a burger with fries. It was delicious and I topped it off with a chocolate waffle cone.
My sister and I went to the Northern Lights lounge at 3:30 for the recipe card exchange and then to win a cruise bingo at 4 pm. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but it was fun. ($35 for six cards and $25 for 3).
We headed to happy hour afterwards and I had the drink of the day(Bahama mama) and she had her usual margarita. We’ll miss Tina the wonderful bar stewardess. She bought us nuts and appetizers. Today’s appetizers were meatballs and a mushroom quesadilla . I didn’t remember the other one and failed to take photos. 🙁
The main dining room had an International Menu tonight. Instead of dining there we had 6:30 pm reservations at the Pinnacle Grill and arrived a few minutes early. We were seated at a table for four by the window and got to enjoy the remaining sunset.
The amuse bouche was an escargot soup. My brother and I tried it but I couldn’t get the fact that it was made from snails out of my mind. I think I would like it if I didn’t know what it was.
For the first course we had lobster bisque, Caesar salad and shrimp cocktail.
The salad was mixed tableside and the lobster bisque was poured at the table. Very nice presentation which heightened the experience.
We all selected different entrees as well. I ordered the 10 ounce filet mignon, my brother had the ribeye and my sister the porterhouse.
For sides we had 1 baked potato, 2 whipped with carrots and brussel sprouts.
Everything was great except for my steak. I ordered it medium and it was rare. I would have sent it back but it was too big and I had eaten enough. Of course, I was also leaving room for dessert.
We ordered souffle, lemon brulee tart and chocolate volcano cake with coffee. Unfortunately the tart got eaten before I could get a picture.
We were also served petit fours which were all eaten.
After a wonderful meal with fantastic service, it was time to pack. I first went by the photo gallery and bought the embarkation photo before heading to the room to pack and get my bag out.
We were all three packed with bags out the door by 9:15. Clocks go back 1 hour which gives us an extra hour of rest before a day of travel home tomorrow.
Click on the image above to see today’s On Location program. If you missed the other parts of this cruise the links are below.
Dec. 13, 2014: Travel Day
December 14, 2014: Embarkation
December 15, 2014: Sea Day 1
December 16, 2014: Grand Turk
December 17, 2014: San Juan
December 18, 2014: St. Thomas
December 19, 2014: Sea Day 2