You've booked your cruise and are excited to be among the first guests to experience MSC's private island in the Bahamas. Here is exactly what you should and shouldn't do during your stay.
MSC opened the doors, or should I say pier, to its beautiful private island in the Bahamas in late 2019. Although some guests got the opportunity to see the marine reserve right away, many were delayed until recently making this stop brand new to thousands of passengers this year. It is very quickly becoming a favorite stop for guests onboard MSC Cruises.
Working onboard with MSC has given me a unique ability to explore this delightful oasis more and more every single week. Here are my top Do's and Don't to make your first time visiting Ocean Cay the absolute best possible experience!
DO go snorkeling at Lighthouse Beach
Ocean Cay is home to many beautiful beaches and lagoons but the best one for finding all kinds of colorful fish and beautiful marine life is the Light House Beach. Located just on your left as you enter Ocean Cay, it is only a short walk to some of the bluest water in the Caribbean. You may even be able to see the lighthouse from your stateroom balcony as you cruise into the island!
DON'T forget your towel onboard
You won’t find any towel pick-up stations outside on the island so don’t forget to bring your beach towel from the ship with you. Towel pick-up stations vary slightly by ship so ask a crew member if you have any trouble finding them.
DO watch the exclusive ocean cay lighthouse show
All-onboard not until after dark? You do not want to miss the amazing lighthouse show. From your spot on the beach, you can watch the lighthouse turn all kinds of bright colors synchronized to music. It’s such a unique and fun show you may just stay to watch it twice ;) Already back onboard? Keep an eye on the daily program and go out to one of the open decks to see the beautiful colors light up the sky. A must-see!
DON'T take home the conch shells
Part of Ocean Cay’s charm is its low environmental impact. Teams have worked hard to safeguard the island's natural reefs, coral life, and native flora. You won’t find any trash floating in the water and there are maintenance teams that constantly work to keep the island as un-damaged by human pollution as possible. This provides a safe home for all our fish friends and other marine life as well. Keep what you find on the beach at the beach so we can keep this paradise special for years to come.
DO check out multiple beaches
There are so many enchanting beaches, you’re sure to find your own personal favorite spot. See if you can explore them all!
At South Beach you’ll find activities like volleyball, bocce ball, aqua gym…maybe even beach Olympics with the cruise staff team.
Lighthouse Beach often has a live DJ or music to keep the party constantly going.
Need something with fewer waves that’s a little quieter? The Lagoon offers more still water that is easier for kids to swim in.
Bimini Beach, on the island's far side, is also a favorite among the guests. You’ll also be able to find bars and food trucks that line most of the beaches, including lunch hours at an outdoor buffet all included in your cruise experience.
DON'T swim past any netted areas
Remember the boundaries in Ocean Cay are for your safety. Even though the island is guarded, it is still in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, home to lots of amazing marine life. You may just spot some baby sharks on the outskirts of the island. Respect their space and they’ll respect yours.
DO take advantage of the free transportation
Just to your left upon entering the island you’ll see a transportation pavilion. Free shuttles leave from the pavilion around every 20 minutes and make a big loop dropping off guests at all major beaches and hotspots. Guests can get on or off the trolley from specific pick-up points and by the time swimming around in the sun soaks up some of your energy you may just be very grateful for the free ride back to the ship!
I hope you have so much fun exploring Ocean Cay and I look forward to your feedback in the comments below.
Sending love from the Bahamas.