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Just Off Armonia - experienced Ocean Cay yesterday


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Micheb5 - the Armonia does face the Lighthouse.

Holstebo - Lounge chairs are available for anyone’s use. Just saw a couple umbrellas being used as it was a sunny day but had a breeze so even though we sat on lounge chairs we never felt the need for an umbrella. Not sure if people paid for umbrellas or not. Reef from the beach to swim to - do not think so. But a couple of the beach areas have fairly good sized wooden rafts people were swimming to and jumping off of. Beverage package - not sure what is offered but if you do a one-day package I would suggest finding  lounge chair near one of the open bars to get your moneys worth. A couple of the bars were not open as Armonia has about half the number of cruisers of the larger ships. We were at the beach beyond the Spa area and it was not close to any of the bars. As I already said the Lighthouse Bar is a really nice location to sit and read and even “suntan” but it is not directly on a beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You pay for umbrellas. $12.99. 

 

We went snorkeling off the snorkeling beach. My friends brought their own snorkel masks and fins...I just had my swim goggles. There are little outcroppings of coral but no reef, per se. If you are observant, you can find the different clusters and shelfs and see some activity. We saw a great variety of fish...ones that my friends knew the names to. I recall the names barracuda, squirrel, blue headed wrasse?...but many more that I can't recall. We also saw a baby ray...it moved so we could track it...and a lobster. Fan coral. Brain coral. And a Christmas tree worm. We saw more than we expected to see. We were out there for about 90 minutes.

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Did you see any one using?

 CECLO LUXURY ELECTRIC PEDALO - 2 HRS RENTAL 

Are you ready for something new and exclusive? Glide through Ocean Cay's surrounding turquoise waters with the newest invention on the market, the Ceclo - the luxury yacht of pedal boats, with electric assistance ready for all your adventures. These beautiful boats are made of recycled champagne cork, wood, and aluminum. The boat is yours for two hours to explore or simply slowly drift in the tranquility of the beautiful Bahamas.

Please note: Max 4 guests per CECLO. One person over 18 (parent or legal guardian) has to be present on the boat during the rental at all times. Minimum age to participate is 8 years. Provided lifejackets must be worn at all times.


Says 4 people, doesn't look like enough space for 4 adults. Maybe  2 adults, 2 small children. What about plus size people, wondering if there is a weight limit?

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I didn't book any of the activities on Ocean Cay. I actually took a cruise on Royal at the end of November...a short 3-nighter and DH and I rented SUPs on Royal's private island. We did a half hour rental. I can tell you that half hour in the ocean waters was PLENTY long enough. It was my first time and it wasn't easy to do! LOL. SUP on ocean water is like a continuous balance board work out. Exhausting. It was fun to do though and I was very happy to do it. I don't know the cost of MSC to see if it is "worth it".

 

I saw the path that the SUPs and the kayaks take. It looked like you might have some time in the calmer lagoon waters but then are expected to get into the more open waters. Honestly, that kind of kayaking doesn't interest me because I own a kayak and I like to go exploring...and there just isn't much to explore. The experience is more about having an experience and trying something out IMO so value will be really subjective.

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42 minutes ago, Micheb5 said:

Did you see any one using?

 CECLO LUXURY ELECTRIC PEDALO - 2 HRS RENTAL 

 

I didn't. There seemed to be different water craft available for rent close to the ship and over by where the shops are on the promenade like village area. I saw the jet ski type personal watercraft over there. I didn't spend any time over on that side of the island as my group went over the beach by the spa and off the snorkel beach. Sorry.

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On 1/21/2020 at 10:25 AM, Anita Latte said:

I also was at the beach near the spa. The water temperature is the kind where you just have to get in...and it isn't easy to get in. But once you do, it's fine. It's not necessarily the kind where you have to keep moving constantly to not shiver, but if you stay too long in the water, the chill will set in. I went snorkeling off the snorkeling beach on the other side of the island from the spa area beach...spent about 90 minutes in the water and got out because the cool water was finally getting to be too much.

How was the snorkeling?  Worthwhile to bring my snorkle etc. Where is the beach you snorkeled from ?  Near the Lighthouse or all the way to the other side of the island.  I am going this Monday but have not gotten much good feedback re: snorkeling.

Thanks for all you info !!

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On 1/21/2020 at 10:44 AM, Fishwife2016 said:

Which side of the ship did she dock on?  You mentioned being able to watch from your balcony.  Thank you in advance.

We were on Seaside in December. Starboard side faced the island.  There is a narrow channel the ship took and then turned 180 degrees before docking. 

Also, I can see that if there are high winds the ship might not be able to maintain the channel.

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On 1/22/2020 at 4:34 PM, Micheb5 said:

Did you see any one using?

 CECLO LUXURY ELECTRIC PEDALO - 2 HRS RENTAL 

Are you ready for something new and exclusive? Glide through Ocean Cay's surrounding turquoise waters with the newest invention on the market, the Ceclo - the luxury yacht of pedal boats, with electric assistance ready for all your adventures. These beautiful boats are made of recycled champagne cork, wood, and aluminum. The boat is yours for two hours to explore or simply slowly drift in the tranquility of the beautiful Bahamas.

Please note: Max 4 guests per CECLO. One person over 18 (parent or legal guardian) has to be present on the boat during the rental at all times. Minimum age to participate is 8 years. Provided lifejackets must be worn at all times.


Says 4 people, doesn't look like enough space for 4 adults. Maybe  2 adults, 2 small children. What about plus size people, wondering if there is a weight limit?

I’m interested in these for my July cruise, I’d love to hear someone’s experience renting these!!

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10 minutes ago, rikitikitavii said:

We were on Seaside in December. Starboard side faced the island.  There is a narrow channel the ship took and then turned 180 degrees before docking. 

Also, I can see that if there are high winds the ship might not be able to maintain the channel.

Thank you!  We are on starboard side in March so hopefully the weather is favorable!  We have a suite with a balcony and thinking it will be nice to watch the light show from our balcony.

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17 minutes ago, funji1 said:

How was the snorkeling?  Worthwhile to bring my snorkle etc. Where is the beach you snorkeled from ?  Near the Lighthouse or all the way to the other side of the island.  I am going this Monday but have not gotten much good feedback re: snorkeling.

Thanks for all you info !!

 

On 1/22/2020 at 3:53 PM, Anita Latte said:

We went snorkeling off the snorkeling beach. My friends brought their own snorkel masks and fins...I just had my swim goggles. There are little outcroppings of coral but no reef, per se. If you are observant, you can find the different clusters and shelfs and see some activity. We saw a great variety of fish...ones that my friends knew the names to. I recall the names barracuda, squirrel, blue headed wrasse?...but many more that I can't recall. We also saw a baby ray...it moved so we could track it...and a lobster. Fan coral. Brain coral. And a Christmas tree worm. We saw more than we expected to see. We were out there for about 90 minutes.

 

Our "home base" was near the spa. So we just crossed over to the snorkel beach side closest to the end of the island where we had landed, which was the far end away from the lighthouse. The spa beach side was much nicer sand...much much nicer. The snorkel beach sand up there was very full of shells and even the sand near the water's edge was a bit rough. One friend had "socks" with her fins...the other had a pair of travel fins. I had no fins.

 

Worthwhile will depend on your POV. There's not a ton to see...and you have to search around and really take it slow...but you can find stuff to see. And it will be easier to see if you have your snorkel gear LOL. I saw things that I wouldn't have been able to see if my friends weren't able to stay "under" for as long as they could. I spent 90 minutes holding my breath as long as I could and then cranking my neck up to get air! I could see though with my goggles, but challenging for me for sure. I would have loved to have a mask/snorkel so I could be more productive in the hunt to see fun stuff. If you enjoy being in the water and hunting and take pleasures in finding the small outcroppings and seeing the life there, then you would be happy to have your stuff. If you aren't so much interested in the hunt, seeing a bunch of sand with sporadic greenery and even more limited coral groupings on random boulders, etc., then you might be frustrated with the lack of things to look at.

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Can't answer all of your questions, but will do what I can. First answer for the  question about taking a teen and young adults. There was a wide age range on the ship and many young adults who seemed to be enjoying themselves. Not sure about the 17 year old. Small children were limited because it wasn't a school week.

 

Next question. I'm not sure a one day package is available. I understand that at one time they were trying to sell the one day island package in addition to the packages onboard - the onboard package would not have been accepted on shore. After people complained they opened the island to the onboard packages.

 

Lounge chairs are free. I don't know about a reef. The day we were there the current was too strong to go out very far from the shore. I don't know if they rent snorkel gear. Didn't see anything advertising it. Maybe as part of an excursion, but I don't remember seeing any to rent.

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Funji1, we, well husband, snorkeled at the beach by the Spa, he did see some fish, as did others who were snorkeling there. We had our own masks with us, did not bring our fins. It seemed to be the calmest beach when we were in port. 

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Thanks to all who discussed snorkeling at Ocean Cay !!

Since I am only taking a carry on for the 4 day trip, I will throw in my snorkel & mask if I have room.

I will pass on bringing my fins though.

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On 1/20/2020 at 10:52 PM, SaturnMom said:

Can you tell me about the water temperature? I went to Bahamas last April and the water was a bit too cold for me to swim. DH didn't want to go in the ocean at all.  We are going to Ocean Cay in 3 weeks, and I am wondering should I pre-order the floating mat and stand up paddle board. And is there any locker for people to use  at Ocean Cay? TIA


there are a few lockers near the big bathrooms On ocean cay. Not sure if they cost anything. There’s some kind of electronic system you use to access it. Hope this helps. 

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20 minutes ago, eastoftheboston said:


there are a few lockers near the big bathrooms On ocean cay. Not sure if they cost anything. There’s some kind of electronic system you use to access it. Hope this helps. 

Thank you. I think the electronic system probably for us to use the ship card to pay for a fee. According to other cruisers, it was safe to leave the belongings on the beach. I may just carry a small amount of money and eat from the buffet :). 

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On 1/24/2020 at 9:33 PM, SaturnMom said:

Thank you. I think the electronic system probably for us to use the ship card to pay for a fee. According to other cruisers, it was safe to leave the belongings on the beach. I may just carry a small amount of money and eat from the buffet :). 

The only use for cash is at the locals craft market, which IMO was a bunch of junk.  And the little I saw with prices seemed over priced to me.  If you are stopping anywhere else odds are good you will see a better selection and better prices.  There are a couple of nicer gift shops, at least one has more upscale crafts.  These shops take your cruise card only as payment.  Next time I will leave cash on the ship.

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4 hours ago, aprilF said:

The only use for cash is at the locals craft market, which IMO was a bunch of junk.  And the little I saw with prices seemed over priced to me.  If you are stopping anywhere else odds are good you will see a better selection and better prices.  There are a couple of nicer gift shops, at least one has more upscale crafts.  These shops take your cruise card only as payment.  Next time I will leave cash on the ship.

Thanks for the head up....after cruising for years, I shouldn't bring anymore junk home....hahahaha...But sometime when I saw beautiful handcrafted wood animals, I couldn't help myself. 😅

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On 1/20/2020 at 1:39 PM, cellfree said:

Cruised Armonia January 13-20 (today). It was our second time on Armonia. Again no complaints. Entire staff excellent. Ship clean. Cabin lots of storage. Easiest way to shower is to direct water appropriately and shower without using curtain, doesn’t make too much of a mess and makes for a much better shower experience, it is a really small shower. Food In dining room very good. Buffet is smaller than on the larger more elaborate ships but it was good and adequate for us. We did miss Falmouth Jamaica due to high winds but docked at Costs Maya and Ocean Cay.  Apparently since it opened some of the other MSC ships have missed Ocean Cay due to the winter winds but to this point in time the Armonia has always made it, on the island one of the Officers gave us this piece of information and was very proud the Armonia has never had to abort. Ocean Cay - very nice, lots of lounge chairs, beaches beautiful, restrooms plentiful, showers on outside wall of every restroom, nicest bar in our opinion is the Lighthouse Bar - really nice and comfortable seating makes it a great place to sit and relax and read and enjoy your beverages for however long you want. 

I just got back from the sailing after yours (ending January 27), and I agree about the friendly, excellent crew and small but fun ship. We made it to OC, so the streak continues. In fact, I guess we were the first cruise in several to make it to every port. I loved OC, and I agree that Lighthouse Bar is spectacular.

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On 1/20/2020 at 5:01 PM, vswan said:

Was on the same sailing. Couple additional things about Ocean Cay. The attached island was not open. Think they must only open when more than one ship is docked. Not a big deal, still much area to choose from. Heard some guests complaining about the rocky beach on the outside. I took water shoes, but we were chose the inside lagoon area because water was much calmer. Sand there was great, didn't use my water shoes. I also pre-ordered the umbrella in the excursion area. Was glad I did since most trees were quite small yet. One complaint I had was the flies in the bars/food areas. Heard others talking that last week there were none, for us they were quite bad. They did have the parade and light show. We choose to listen and watch from our balcony rather than go out again. Music was still quite loud even from the balcony.

I agree about the rocks on Sunset Beach. It was challenging to get into and out of the water. I did snorkel, but it wasn't worth the effort. The water there is really cloudy, and there is only one very small spot with a couple corals that had a couple dozen fish. Fortunately, I did not encounter the fly problem, even at the main BBQ facility. (I loved being able to wash my hands.) I was going to stay aboard for the light show, too, but I'm glad I went ashore. I love that MSC has a whole beach set up with a bar, colorful furniture and fire pits facing the ship and lighthouse. It makes a nice evening space. I especially like that MSC has music throughout the island to help set the mood.

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On 1/21/2020 at 9:56 AM, SaturnMom said:

Vswan, Cellfree & Anita,

 

Thank you all for the information, I probably will have to buy a short sleeve wetsuit just in case. I love to swim,  but in warmer water.

 

Oh...did you see any organized activities on the beach area? Like games or beach volleyball? The ship will dock from 9am - 11pm, they better provide lot of activities for us to do. 😆Just kidding, I can lay down on the lounge chair all day without doing anything.

 

 

The shipwreck snorkel excursion was worth every penny. Lots of colorful fish, and a clean new boat.

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:24 AM, Micheb5 said:

Hey, great info about Ocean Cay. Thanks for taking the time to write a review.

I guess the ship faces the lighthouse? No chance with an aft balcony of sitting there watching the lighthouse show I guess 😌

The price of the umbrella and big round raft are cheaper online I think?  $12 umbrella, $25 raft. Anyone know the cost on island?

Thanks all!

On our sailing, Armonia was pointed directly at the lighthouse. The umbrella is $12 if booked via the website in advance. Booked on the ship, it costs $12.99. (I made that mistake.) According to the shore excursion manager, if you borrow an umbrella on the island, you pay $12.99 plus Bahamas tax.

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