Holland America opened their private Bahamian island, Half Moon Cay, way back in 1997, and this month the line gave the island a facelift to celebrate the 20th anniversary. The most exciting addition: the new Lobster Shack, where lobster tails are grilled up with an island-appropriate rum-jerk butter glaze. Sides include coconut beans and rice, as well as pineapple and sofrito salsa.
Besides the new eatery, there are also upgraded equipment for watersports, an expanded equestrian center, and three additional beach bars.
Norwegian was the first line to have a private island when it opened Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas back in 1977 and, since then, private islands have become a standard stop on many Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries. Carnival ships also visit Half Moon Cay, and mainstream lines such as Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruises all call on their own islands as well. Norwegian Cruise Line recently opened a brand new island, Harvest Caye, off the coast of Belize, a call on their Western Caribbean sailings.
The original cruise line private island, Great Stirrup Cay, is also due to receive major updates next summer, including a 1,000-foot zip line, new private villas, and a complimentary taco bar.