Paradise Found at Half Moon Cay

We just returned after a pleasant cruise from Florida to Panama and back, marvelling at the new canal and visiting some Caribbean islands en route. Having never experienced a Caribbean island before, we were curious about what to expect. The first port of call would be a tiny island called Half Moon Cay, privately owned and only serviced by two particular cruise lines.

The usual travel reviews didn't sound overwhelming, but "seeing is believing" so when we arrived and tendered ashore it was quite a surprise. In the middle of a vast ocean was this beautiful little island, bathed in sunshine, clear blue water, long crescent-shaped white sandy beach, lush vegetation and palm trees swaying in the breeze. It was paradise found!.....

Arriving onshore we navigated the small welcoming courtyard with one or two souvenir stalls and a bar/restaurant. We strolled along the beach where ample free deckchairs were provided, until we found a quieter spot near to the quaint galleon-ship beach-bar and only a short distance from the really excellent complementary BBQ. We enjoyed every minute of our few hours in this tropical paradise. On the remainder of our journey there were many other spectacular sights but this small island is something I will always remember.

As someone who generally enjoys city life, being ashore on a desert island was a new experience. All the more interesting were the reviews and comments of some fellow travellers. One person said, "we stayed on the ship because we've seen this before". Some others said, "it's boring because there's nothing to do there" and "it's too quiet because there's nothing happening". One person said, "the beach was too crowded next to the dock, so we didn't stay". Someone else told me,"the BBQ spare ribs were not exactly like the ones back home". Another person said,"I didn't attend the BBQ because we can eat on the ship".

After listening to all the mumbling I often wonder why some people go travelling and what they expect. Of course, everyone is different but there's one thing I'm certain about. Where I live, it's not very often that I get invited to a free BBQ on a tropical island bathed in sunshine, with clear blue water, long white sandy beach, lush vegetation and palm trees swaying in the breeze. I can assure everyone that I would take any one of those features alone, any day of the year. Bundled altogether it's a no-brainer. There's no other way to describe it. Half Moon Cay is truly "Paradise Found"!