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CruisinCrow
February 15th, 2007, 08:31 AM
We will be at Great Stirrup Cay on the Jewel 4/21 and have some questions.

I read that they give massages on the beach. Is that still true? How much do they cost? How do you sign up for them or is it just a walk-up kind of thing?

What kinds of rentals do they have on the island? Do they rent sailboats? Floats? What are the prices?

Has anyone walked over to the lighthouse? How far a walk is it?

Where is the best place for snorkeling?

Is it hard to get an early tender ticket?

Thanks in advance for any information or advice.

LFM
February 15th, 2007, 08:46 AM
We've sailed on the Spirit and the Dawn. GSC was to be the first stop on both itineraries, however, because of high seas, NCL pulled away from the island and we continued onward. At this point, I never really count on a stop until the tenders are actually boarding passengers.

CruisinCrow
February 15th, 2007, 09:26 AM
Good advice. You just never know when it comes to tendering. Did your ship stop in Nassau instead or did you just get an extra sea day?

CruisinCrow
February 15th, 2007, 09:31 AM
Anyone out there who HAS been to Great Stirrup Cay? :-)

Maryfrei
February 15th, 2007, 09:51 AM
I have been there twice, and loved it both times. Unfortunately, I don't know many of your answers. They do rent floats and snorkeling equipment. Snorkeling equipment was $29 for the day, but I don't know the price on the floats. They also have parasailing which was $75. I didn't do a massage or walk to the Light House. They have plenty of food and drinks available. We loved the snorkeling to the right of the tender lane. We did not try to get an early tender so I can't say just how bad the lines were, we just wait a bit and go over when things have calmed down a bit!

BeckyThane
February 15th, 2007, 10:03 AM
I've been to GSC twice on the Dawn, and neither time did they give out tender tickets. I think since they switched to using the larger local tender boats they stopped giving out tender tickets. We've never had much of a wait, either, but then again, we don't aspire to be the first ones on the beach. We usually wait 30-45 minutes.

tray
February 15th, 2007, 10:10 AM
We went to GSC on The Jewel in December..........and LOVED it! I was skeptical b/c I thought we'd be bored. But it was a fun, relaxing day!

1. There was a tent set up with two people giving massages the day we were there. It looked heavenly. Sorry to say I didn't get a massage, so I can't tell you the price. I did do beach yoga with my SIL and enjoyed that. She signed us up on the ship in advance. The fee for that was $10 and you just gave the instructor your room card once the class was over.

2. I did not see any sailboats. The water is roped off for floats and snorkeling so I know you couldn't sail there. If there was an area for sailing, I completely missed it. You are in a pretty small inlet area. We did rent a couple of floats. They have two types for rent: a large, circular float that would hold 4-6 people or 'regular' oblong, one person floats. The larger floats were renting for $20 I think, but at the beginning of the day they wouldn't let us rent those. They said the current was too strong and those floats were easily pulled away from the 'designated area'. So I rented two of the $10 oblong floats (these were good size). Later in the day, I noticed the circular floats showing up in the water. One group did get stuck in a current on theirs and had to jump off and be brought back in by an NCL waverunner type boat. The float went on and 'escaped' captivity for good. The kids in our group all went in the water and had no problems whatsoever with a current and enjoyed swimming, etc. You could rent snorkel equipment for $29 or get a vest for free if you had your own snorkel equipment.


3. There are two separate paths to take for a hike. My BIL and nephews walked to the lighthouse and were gone for approx. 1 hour.....but I know they explored along the way.


4. We were in a suite and got VIP tender tickets, but did not actually have to use them. We didn't leave the ship until approx. 10:00 a.m. and there wasn't really a line. Our tender was full and more tenders kept bringing people over until approx. 12 noon, then people started to go back to the ship in waves (pardon the pun :p). We hung around to go back on one of the last tenders (because we shopped in the little shops there, watched the kids play volleyball and enjoyed daiquiris) but beware of this if you don't like lines. We had to wait for two tenders full of people before we got on one, so we waited in line maybe 30 minutes.


So, have fun and enjoy! The beach does get crowded with chairs but we had no problems finding chairs, an umbrella and space. I was glad we were able to stop!! Bon Voyage!

jp2001
February 15th, 2007, 10:12 AM
We will be at Great Stirrup Cay on the Jewel 4/21 and have some questions.

1. I read that they give massages on the beach. Is that still true? How much do they cost? How do you sign up for them or is it just a walk-up kind of thing?

2 . What kinds of rentals do they have on the island? Do they rent sailboats? Floats? What are the prices?

3 .Has anyone walked over to the lighthouse? How far a walk is it?

4. Where is the best place for snorkeling?

5. Is it hard to get an early tender ticket?

Thanks in advance for any information or advice.

1. The massage are given in a little ''tent'', I don't know the price.
2. They rent floats but I don't know the price
3. I walked to the lighthouse. It is an easy walk and level ground, I think it takes about 30 minutes to get there. I enjoyed the short hike but the lighthouse is nothing, just an old small lighthouse and it's surrounded by dense vegetation. After the lighthouse, continue your walk for another 5 minutes and you'll arrive in a spot where you have a view and it's not crowded as the main beach.
4. I don't snorkel
5. I had no problem stepping on the first tender but it was about 7.45 in the morning, they didn't give tickets, you just stand in line until the next tender.

I enjoyed the island. I live in Canada and I don't see beaches too often. The sand was nice (not like in Florida), the water very clear (with some jellyfish though, but not too many), the hike was perfect to get away from the crowd, the BBQ was good and there are many pictures opportunity. I enjoyed reading my book under the umbrella too.

keep on cruisin
February 15th, 2007, 10:14 AM
We went to GSC on Spirit last May. We went later in the day as well. We did not need tender tickets. The snorkeling was pretty good. I rented the gear for about $15.00 which was 1/2 price. They charged it to the room as a T-shirt. He said since it was late in the day he gave me a break. Who was I to argue. They had a meeting spot for a snorkeling tour, with 1 of the shore excursion staff. This was free. You did need to have a life vest, un-inflated off course. We went out beyond the rocks and around the to the tender lane. Your group has to have good swimmers or they won't do that. We had fun.

Enjoy

keep on cruisin
February 15th, 2007, 10:15 AM
We went to GSC on Spirit last May. We went later in the day as well. We did not need tender tickets. The snorkeling was pretty good. I rented the gear for about $15.00 which was 1/2 price. They charged it to the room as a T-shirt. He said since it was late in the day he gave me a break. Who was I to argue. They had a meeting spot for a snorkeling tour, with 1 of the shore excursion staff. This was free. You did need to have a life vest, un-inflated off course. We went out beyond the rocks and around the to the tender lane. Your group has to have good swimmers or they won't do that. We had fun.

Enjoy

tray
February 15th, 2007, 10:19 AM
ugh...............I don't know what's wrong with this dumb computer. I think I triple posted somehow. My computer freezes when I'm trying to send then posts my replies several times. Sorry!!

tray
February 15th, 2007, 10:20 AM
edit--triple post gone!

Surfgirl
February 15th, 2007, 10:28 AM
I'm probably the wrong one to ask because I really didn't like GSC, and wish they would skip it on their itinerary. If you like the crowds ala Coney Island on Labor Day.. then you'll like this place. Crowded is an understatement.

My only advice is to make sure you get the first tender out there to beat the crowds and stake out a chair and umbrella. Quick do your swimming, and then come back on the ship for lunch!

Maybe my experience was worse than others because I was on the Dawn which is a behemouth. It might not be as bad on the smaller ships.. I don't know.

mikeythemars
February 15th, 2007, 12:08 PM
I assume NCL doesn't have any issue with you bringing and using your own snorkeling equipment, but what about floats? We have two smaller ones (like those below) I'd like to let our kids use if possible.

http://www.americansale.com/images/upload/items/medium/019989.jpg

Len3
February 15th, 2007, 12:36 PM
I never count on this stop until it really happens. Twice we have been disappointed as we get there and the Captain keeps going because the seas are high. Good luck - I hope that you make it.

CruisinCrow
February 15th, 2007, 01:01 PM
Thanks for all the input, Everyone!

Assuming our ship actually makes the stop, it sounds like getting to the island early, walking to the lighthouse and then doing some snorkeling would be a good plan.

I think my dad will want to check out the massages. If anyone knows the price for the massage, I would appreciate it. I'm guessing it's cheaper than on the ship.

Snowrose
February 15th, 2007, 01:06 PM
I was hesitating to post because my info is so old. Way back when GSC was first being used I was able to hire a sailboat - and promptly turned it over and had to tow it back in by hand! :o

Also did some snorkeling there. Rented an underwater camera and took some great pictures of clown fish and other tropical fish.

I did a little research for you and here's a review from Port Reviews. Can't completely confirm the information, though.

The beach offers swimming, snorkeling, paddle boats, catamarans and rafts. You can circle the island in a kayak or sailboat. The ship’s calypso band provides the opportunity to practice your limbo techniques. Take a hike along one of the nature trails in search of the lighthouse. Play a game of volleyball, then search out one of the palm-shaded hammocks to relax. For those so inclined, the ship’s spa also sets up an area for beachside massages ($1 a minute).

Teri

clm101798
February 15th, 2007, 01:20 PM
Do they have those swim noodles to rent or buy on the island?

If you get a chair and umbrella and go in swimming is someone going to steal your stuff and/or chair?

Len3
February 15th, 2007, 01:39 PM
If you miss this stop, the ship will just continue onto the next scheduled port. We sailed out of NYC, so when we missed GSC, it was a total of 4 days at sea - everyone was going NUTS!

mkad1109
February 15th, 2007, 02:10 PM
I assume NCL doesn't have any issue with you bringing and using your own snorkeling equipment, but what about floats? We have two smaller ones (like those below) I'd like to let our kids use if possible.

http://www.americansale.com/images/upload/items/medium/019989.jpg
On the Jewel in April we brought our own floats very similar to what you showed a picture of and the kids were free to enjoy them. We still got roped in to renting the large one (think it was $20) so they could all go in at the same time!

CruisinCrow
February 15th, 2007, 03:24 PM
Great Stirrup Cay is the last stop for the Jewel. Once on a Royal Caribbean cruise, the seas were too rough to tender into their private island so we were diverted to Nassau. I was just wondering if NCL did that too or if they just floated around for the day. I don't think many passengers are in too big of a hurry to get back to Miami. :-)

mikeythemars
February 15th, 2007, 03:29 PM
On the Jewel in April we brought our own floats very similar to what you showed a picture of and the kids were free to enjoy them. We still got roped in to renting the large one (think it was $20) so they could all go in at the same time!

Thanks - if the kids insist on a "party float," I'll spend the money. I am however a real stickler on the snorkeling equipment (what we have is way better than the generic "rental equipment" I've seen, plus heaven knows whose mouth that snorkel was previously in...:eek: )

trex-de
February 15th, 2007, 07:40 PM
Has anyone walked over to the lighthouse? How far a walk is it?
.

We have been to GSC three times. We consider it one of the best stops on the Bahamas itenerary.

I have walked to the lighthouse each time. Wear good shoes since the path is quite rocky (small rocks on the path). The trip is about 1/2 hour each way. The light house is not spectacular at all. Don't stop there. Walk another 5 minutes or so to a lagoon. It is not a place to set-up a towel and beach chair, but is quite beautiful if you have a nice sunny day. I am going to try to attach a photo. I truely recommend the walk if you have a full day at GSC.

Enjoy!

CruisinCrow
February 16th, 2007, 07:00 AM
Oooo, thanks for attaching the photo. The Caribbean water is just so beautiful. I'm definitely bringing my camera (and some walking shoes).

adamsmom
February 20th, 2007, 12:24 AM
We loved GSC when we were there on the Spirit last March. We got there early and stayed late. Here a few pics:
A tender (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/Other%20Photos/cruise%20pics/IMG_0270.jpg)
Lighthouse sign (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/Other%20Photos/cruise%20pics/IMG_0282.jpg)
Swimming area after most of the crowds had left (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/Other%20Photos/cruise%20pics/IMG_0269.jpg)
Picnic/volleyball area (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/Other%20Photos/cruise%20pics/IMG_0267.jpg)
Hammocks (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/Other%20Photos/cruise%20pics/IMG_0266.jpg)
The larger rafts for rent (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/Other%20Photos/cruise%20pics/IMG_0265.jpg)
The area to the other side of the tender dock (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/Other%20Photos/cruise%20pics/IMG_0263.jpg)

CruisinCrow
February 24th, 2007, 05:52 AM
Thanks for the pictures. Where are those hammocks located? I know my mom is going to want to get there early and nab one.

Patpcozy
April 15th, 2007, 06:04 AM
Wow Thanks For All The Info, We Are Going In Aug. We Were There A Few Yrs Ago And It Was Our Favorite Stop Too.