9/18 Half Moon Cay (Mom Goes Down)

Published: March 28th 2018
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Today our stop is Half Moon Cay. Holland America Line’s Half Moon Cay was named for its long crescent beach. Both HAL’s vessels and Carnival Cruise Lines ships stop at this privately-owned paradise. Located on 55 acres of the 2,400-acre Little San Salvador Island, It is an international bird sanctuary in The Bahamas and only two percent of the island is developed. We've been here several times before and participated in some of the activities offered. There's a variety to choose from: horseback riding on the sand and through the surf, a stingray adventure,a visit to the Half Moon Lagoon Aqua Park, maybe a hike on a nature trail or simply relaxing in an air-conditioned, private beachfront cabana. That doesn't make sense for us at $500/day but a group could rent one complete with butler service and massage hut. We have reserved a clam shell for the day.

I've been awake since 5am. I just couldn't go back to sleep so I finally give up at 7 and start preparing for the day. That takes about 20 minutes and I'm ready for breakfast before leaving the ship. Not so fast. Karen needs time to prepare so I must wait....and wait. What is she doing? We get to the buffet just after 8. No crowd this time so I add two eggs over medium to my cereal, prunes and coffee. We're done by nine and return to the room to get our beach towels and bag of goodies for our beach getaway. I was supposed to bring back a couple small cartons of milk to enjoy with TV tonight and breakfast is the only time they offer milk at the buffet. Unfortunately, in all the excitement I forgot so they'll be no milk and cookies tonight.

We take the elevator midships down to level A, wait briefly and board our tender to the island. Since Carnival owns the islands, they have their own large ferry boats handling hundreds of passengers at a time. It's just a ten minute ride to the pier and the pilot, with many trips to his credit, effortlessly docks the boat and we all disembark. Having been to the island just last year we know right where to go to secure our clam shell. Early risers have already claimed the shelters close in so we must hike a ways down the beach. It's not far but the soft, silky sand makes for a strenuous trek and I notice Mom is dropping back. I push on, locate the attendant and mark our assigned sunshade with some belongings before returning to help Karen. To my surprise, she has persevered, having changed course to the more solid beach area at water's edge and has reached our site unassisted. This feat is rewarded by her testing the comfort of one of our lounge chairs. Perfect.

Reluctant to enter the beautiful ocean water only 30' away, I persuade her to move to a lounger just a few feet from the water and soon she gathers up the nerve to enter the Caribbean's warm, turquoise lagoon. Standing barely knee deep she loses her balance and down she goes. The sand is soft so no damage is done but it's the end of her ocean experience for now and I reluctantly return with her to the the safety of our clam shell. Soon it's time for lunch, 11:30-1pm. The ship provides a nice buffet with different meats, fruits and vegetables, breads,water and ice cream. Sodas and alcohol are available with the flash of one's ship card. After lunch, we return to our chairs and spend another hour on the beach before returning to the cruise ship via the ferry.

A short nap brings us to dinner time. A shower and fresh clothes puts me in the mood for a nice dinner and Karen is not about to discourage that thought. With reservation in hand, we report to the Pinnacle, a restaurant which has a dining fee. Yes , I'm paying for dinner when we could eat anywhere else for free. It's embarrassing. Mom orders crab cakes while I have a shrimp cocktail. We both order filet mignon and share a large baked potato and sautéed mushrooms. I add a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to wash it all down and top it all off with deserts, strawberry cheesecake for me and a berry dish for Karen. You see, money is nothing to me. Someone, please stop me!

At 7:30pm, we get our seats at the theater for the comedy of Mike Robinson, a very talented and funny ventriloquist. This guy is really entertaining. We seat ourselves strategically near the exit so we can scoot out quickly for the next venue where the BB King Blues Band is playing immediately after the theater show. Our plan works flawlessly and we get great seats at the blues show before all the codgers shuffle their way in, following us from the theater. We listen to some great music for another 45 minutes and, with intermission, say goodnight and return to our stateroom by 9:30pm. Karen is asleep but I'm watching an animal nature show while finishing up this latest blog. Tomorrow is a sea day. We'll talk then.

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