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Great Stirrup Cay compared to CocoCay


gam888

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We are considering a short cruise with either Norwegian or Royal Caribbean in December, 2 adults, 3 teenagers. Comparing Great Stirrup Cay with CocoCay, which one is nice in terms of sand, sea weed, calmness and activities, and lunch served? Thank you

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We are considering a short cruise with either Norwegian or Royal Caribbean in December, 2 adults, 3 teenagers. Comparing Great Stirrup Cay with CocoCay, which one is nice in terms of sand, sea weed, calmness and activities, and lunch served? Thank you

 

IMHO, there is no comparison between Great Strirrup and CocoCay. CocoCay wins hands down!

 

NCL has not developed much of their island, therefore the only place for people is on the beach where the tender lands. There are very few chairs for all the passengers and it gets very crowded. The bar and food service facility is basically one large area and again, not large enough for everyone. The lunch buffet is marginal and there are very few facilities on the island.

 

In contrast, CocoCay is wonderful. RCCL has developed the area with plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks. There are several beach areas to enjoy and it's possible to find totally secluded spots on the sand if you want to be away from the crowds. There are several food service and bar facilities as well as a water sports complex, floating iceberg/climbing wall, waterslide, volleyball area etc. There are also several hiking trails around the island etc. Because CocoCay is so well planned and spread out, you won't feel as crowded as you would at Great Stirrup.

 

If I were ever to take another NCL cruise (highly unlikely) I wouldn't even get off the ship at Great Stirrup.

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You're going to find many differing opinions here. But, I found that Great Stirrup Cay was better than CoCo Cay. CoCo Cay was way too rocky for us. We couldn't find a decent spot where we weren't on a rock or had to walk through very rocky terrain. Don't get me wrong. We enjoyed, it. But, if given the choice, Great Stirrup Cay wins it for us.

 

Yes, there is lunch. And, the servers are everywhere for drinks. The only time we had to get up was to go to the bathroom or go get something to eat. We had no problem finding lounge chairs. Very little seaweed. And, our DD (2 the first time we sailed) had no problems in the water. Very, Very calm. We rented a huge raft for the day. The straw market was great. And, it was nice to walk away from the crowds later on and explore the island. And, we loved the light house!

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never been to CocoCay but just got back from a cruise that included Great Stirrup Cay. the island was nice if a bit crowded. we snorkeled and hung out on the "quiet end" of the island

 

the food however was absolutely disgusting. like inedible disgusting.

it was a buffet set up on the beach and there was barely any vegetarian options. there was pizza but i try not to eat a lot of cheese (makes me sick after awhile)

everything else was hamburgers and hot dogs.

by chance the person in line behind me asked if they had any veggie burgers (they did you have to ask i guess)

so i jumped on the bandwagon and tried to mentally block out the fact that i knew they were being cooked on the same grill as the hamburgers and hot dogs (barf)

 

i asked for some potato salad and then noticed it had bacon in it. :mad: when you are serving food for a large crowd of several thousand people with all sorts of dietary differences why on earth would you put bacon in the potato salad??

i was beyond pissed.

the veggie burger was absolutely disgusting. it was mushy and just all sorts of wrong.

my husband said the hamburgers were gross too. i dont think he even finished his. i would never consider us picky eaters either and both of us were disgusted. we went back to the boat and got more food there.

there was however watermelon and pineapple, both of which were yummy.

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Have never been to stirrup cay....but have been to coco cay 3 times and absolutely love it!!! One of our favorite stops by far!! There is so much to do there and the lunch was very good to! Always a fun and enjoyable stop!!

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Haven't done Coco Cay but we have done Labadee and Great Stirrup Cay. We loved GSC. It was great to be able to go walking toward the lighthouse. We saw iguanas along the way, and we like that it's not developed. We took a later tender and got a picnic table in the shade near the ping pong table. The sand was nice, the buffet was ok and we weren't hounded to buy drinks the way we were on Labadee. I was very glad to see GSC as a stop on our next cruise.

 

Here is a picture of DH and DD at the ping pong table:

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I've been to both places at least 10 times each and there is one thing that stands out in my mind. On Cococay I remember walking out into the water from the beach for quite a distance and the water wasn't above my knees. I had to go out quite a ways to swim. But you can have fun on either island. I'll keep trying to figure out which one is better for the next couple decades and let you know.

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OMG!

great sturrip cay is far better that cococay! even though the food is not so great and it can get crowed, GSC is alot better! cococay is very rocky not to nice!:mad: when we went to Cococay is was just 'ok'. nothing more. GSC was the highlight of the trip!

by the way, has anyone who has been to GSC had any problems with the bugs later in the after noon? we did and it was BAD!:D

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We loved GSC. It was great to be able to go walking toward the lighthouse. We saw iguanas along the way, and we like that it's not developed.

 

We, too, like that it's not very developed. Plenty of ability to explore a totally deserted island (back away from the crowds of the beach). Saw several iguanas and lots of birds.

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by the way, has anyone who has been to GSC had any problems with the bugs later in the after noon? we did and it was BAD!:D

 

 

We had heard about the sand fleas and other bugs before we sailed. So, I brought some insect repellent and it worked like a charm. From what I've been told, it depends on the time of year. I don't remember it being really, really bad. But, I did notice some flying around. We've always been there in the May/June timeframe. If you bring insect repellent with deet you should be fine.

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We have been to Cococay only once, but remember it quit clearly. It was one of the best days on our whole cruise. We loved the island. I'd say 70-80% of the people on the ship went to coco. We were on the outskirts of hurricane Fay, so the weather wasn't good most the trip. So when we got there and it was hot and sunny, most left the boat. On the island there are tons of chairs, hammocks,( nothing like a nap in a hamock on a beach) picnic tables. there was NO trouble finding a place to spread out. the water was very pretty, easy to swim in, lots were snorkeling. the buffet was WONDERFULL, lost of covered picnic tables to eat at. I'm not much of a bare foot person, and I walked in and out of the water all day. yes there are some rocks and crushed sea shells, but not to many for my tender feet. they had plenty of activities going on, vollyball, horse shoes, frisbee, ect... saw 4-5 Iguanas.

 

Now, how this compares to GSC ,I do not know. but as you can tell we LOVED CoCocay.

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We just returned from GSC on Saturday, the beach was nearly empty and we had no problems getting 4 lounge chairs at the snorkle end of the beach. The sand was clean ( no bugs!!) and the water was crystal clear. Their were a few large rocks walking into the water but nothing you couldnt navigate around. We did find the water to be chilly this time of year ( around 70) but their were many people swimming and snorkeling. We found the buffet to be pretty good, DH had some chicken that he said was outstanding and I had a burger that I found to be just as good as any frozen variety we buy and cook on our own grills. Since it was spring break they had a couple volleyball games going on as well as ping pong tables, hammocks and picnic tables scattered behind the beach area. The giggles and laughs from the young kids affirmed my thought that GSC was a blast and one of the best stops we made on our trip, it didn't hurt that it was also our best weather day of the week.

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Having been to both islands, I love GSC better than CC.

You can see both islands from the ships. Yes CC is bigger, however so are the ships in most instances. I love the smaller island. While speaking to the dive master, he did state that they are developing the other side of the island to add more, however it is fine just the way it is. We brought our own floats, including pump, and had a great time just floating around all day.

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IMHO, there is no comparison between Great Strirrup and CocoCay. CocoCay wins hands down!

 

NCL has not developed much of their island, therefore the only place for people is on the beach where the tender lands. There are very few chairs for all the passengers and it gets very crowded. The bar and food service facility is basically one large area and again, not large enough for everyone. The lunch buffet is marginal and there are very few facilities on the island.

 

In contrast, CocoCay is wonderful. RCCL has developed the area with plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks. There are several beach areas to enjoy and it's possible to find totally secluded spots on the sand if you want to be away from the crowds. There are several food service and bar facilities as well as a water sports complex, floating iceberg/climbing wall, waterslide, volleyball area etc. There are also several hiking trails around the island etc. Because CocoCay is so well planned and spread out, you won't feel as crowded as you would at Great Stirrup.

 

If I were ever to take another NCL cruise (highly unlikely) I wouldn't even get off the ship at Great Stirrup.

 

Sorry, but this post has many things wrong. GSC has hammocks and picnic tables as well. Small little shops to browse, the food isn't important to me but I ate and was full. You can go off exploring on your own, it has hiking trails, one all the way over to the light house. They have ping pong, volleyball, non-motorized water activities. Just so many things wrong, I'm not sure they were on the same island as I was.

 

Also, when we were there, we could get off the ship and tender to GSC, RCC passengers couldn't. Their tenders were not strong enough for the wave conditions. We waved at them stuck on the ship, while we were sitting on the beach!

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Sorry, but this post has many things wrong. GSC has hammocks and picnic tables as well. Small little shops to browse, the food isn't important to me but I ate and was full. You can go off exploring on your own, it has hiking trails, one all the way over to the light house. They have ping pong, volleyball, non-motorized water activities. Just so many things wrong, I'm not sure they were on the same island as I was.

 

Also, when we were there, we could get off the ship and tender to GSC, RCC passengers couldn't. Their tenders were not strong enough for the wave conditions. We waved at them stuck on the ship, while we were sitting on the beach!

 

There are people who have agendas...to either bash or overly praise a cruise line rather than honestly assess them. Those types are never confused by the facts and can't distinguish facts from opinions. ;)

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I've been to CocoCay once and NCL's island three times. Even though I went to CC only once it was far better. As you get out of the launch turn to your left and just keep walking. You'll get out past all the other cruisers and start to feel like Robinson Crusoe.

 

The friends we went with still rave about the BBQ and we're planning to go on the Majesty again just for that BBQ.

 

We actually had a good time at the NCL island in February because the snorkeling was pretty good but that's the best I can say for the island. It is overcrowded and you cannot get away from the crowds. Even walking to the lighthouse means passing many, many people. And the food is not good. (Tell you the truth the buffet on the Sky was terrible too - maybe they got the food there!)

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I've never been to CC so have no comment other then the fact that my DD and SSIL were there and loved it.

 

Regarding the lunch/picnic/buffet on GSC, I don't quite understand all of the complaints. It's a picnic. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads, etc. And tons and tons of fresh fruit. Gourmet food? Absolutely not. But decent "cook out" type food. And remember, if you don't like what they are serving at the cook out on GSC, just jump on a tender and go back to the ship for lunch.

 

CG

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We've been to Coco cay twice and enjoyed just finding a hammock and taking it easy. We stopped at GSC on our Spirit cruise a couple of years ago, but the water was a bit choppy and my wife was 4 months pregnant. We chose to stay on board. Everyone who went ashore seemed to have a fine time. It's a beach cookout. You would think it's the same food from the ship. Same burgers, hot dogs and fruit. We'll try again this August.

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I can only speak for gsc...and It was nothing but paradise:peven in the rain.the water was so warm .we were there last wed... It rained but it was so beautiful.the sand and beach was so clean.perfect for snorkeling/swimming crystal clear.

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Just back from the Pearl. We thought Great Stirrup was a ok spot. Nothing wonderful. We have been to Disneys private as well as Labadee and Stirrup would have to be at the bottom of the pile for sure!!!! Food was awful, nothing any more exciting than the buffet on board the ship. Very crowded, lounge chairs were very tightly packed in one area. Little market area was nothing more than bad t-shirt shops.

 

Weather turned very rough early afternoon and a lot of problems with tenders. I heard that some passengers even threw up!!!!

 

I don't think we would bother to venture to the island again.

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Food was awful, nothing any more exciting than the buffet on board the ship.

 

Not to be a wise guy, but what would expect the food to be? Were you expecting NCL to fly in a 5 star caterer from Paris to make the food for a beach barbeque? :rolleyes:

 

Just FYI, we no longer get off the ship at GSC, so it's not as if I think it's a must-see destination.

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