We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Owesome Beach!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay
Improve this listing
Type: Outdoors
Attraction details
Fresh Meadows
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Owesome Beach!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

My family was on the Norwegian Gem and we booked an excursion to Great Stirrup Cay for the day. We had a great time. We had gotten a cabana, which included a table and 4 chairs, four lounge chairs, mini frig and towels. The beach was beautiful and the water clear. They had a buffet lunch with sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza and salads. There were a few souvenir stands where we bought some nice trinkets. I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone. If I have the opportunity to visit again, I would jump at the chance.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

271 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful but still a bit bare-bones”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

Great Stirrup Cay is beautiful, the water is crystal clear (my friend said the water looked Photoshopped it was so beautiful) and the sand is soft. I want to preface this review with saying on the day we were there, there were very strong winds so the tender from the cruise ship to the island was rough and some people got a bit sick. This also caused a lot of pebbles and shells to come ashore, making the beach very pebbly and rough. Some of the excursions (parasailing etc) were also canceled because of the high winds.

But the water was calm and warm on the island. On the morning you get to Great Stirrup Cay, there is a "lottery" where you/your party grab a tender ticket and it tells you which group you're in to take the tender, I suggest someone in your party get up early and get a tender ticket for the 1st or 2nd group.

There are plenty of beach chairs at Great Stirrup Cay so you can be group 5 and still get chairs; but the reason I suggest you get there early is so you can pick where you want to settle down for the day. There are not too many shady spots (no umbrellas!) so you want to get there and reserve the best spots if you want to lay out near the shade. That is if you didn't reserve a cabana, which are expensive and leaves much to be desired in terms of design and appeal. If you're paying a few hundred dollars for a cabana, I think it should at least look like a cabana not a concrete shack that's missing a wall.

That being said, I suggest walking a bit further away from the tender dock so it's not so crowded. Most people congregate near the food pavilion so the further away you go from there, the less people there'll be so it'll feel like you have the whole island to yourself. Plus, after all the eating everyone does during the NCL cruise, I'm sure everyone could use a few minutes of walking to walk off some of the calories. The food was pretty good but if you have a special diet, the choices are very limited.

There is wildlife on the island and they don't harm you if you don't bother them. We saw a ton of iguanas, first time I ever saw one in real life! Do be careful though because I saw someone step on a sea urchin while they were in the water and other reviews have said that there are jelly fish.

In the end, the island is still under construction but what we saw when we were there in late May 2014 was still quite good and we thoroughly enjoyed it. If we had a choice, we would've wanted to stay at Great Stirrup Cay for one more day because there's a lot to explore (like the lighthouse and other parts of the island).

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Metairie, Louisiana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Best part of the Cruise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

Visited in June 2014. Probably the highlight of our 3 day cruise. The island has enough space for a cruise ship, although may get tight if 2 ships are using it. Access to the island is by tender, this process can be aggravating. Food and beverage service were good. We rented the large cabana and had a wonderful time. Nice to get a break from the sun. Water was beautiful and the beach was good, although a little rocky in spots. Some people complained that the cabana was too far from the toilet and food. I disagree but am not afraid to walk 5 minutes. Buffet was free and plentiful.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Too little time to explore the island”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

We really enjoyed our time on the island and it would have been even better with an overnight or at least a later departure.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain City, Tennessee, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Very pretty but rocky.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

Great Stirrup Cay is privately owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines, I visited there during a 4 day cruise. The island is very pretty, the water is clear and beautiful. The beach is very rocky though, don't go without shoes. There are lots of comfortable beach chairs. You can rent a "clamshell" for two shade chair for $30, very nice. The Norwegian servers came by often to sell/serve sodas or alcoholic drinks. The lunch served was great and huge! There were some souvenir/beach wear stores, snorkel and float rentals, lifeguards were on duty all the time, Tender boats to/from ship were comfortable. It was a nice day.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Great Stirrup Cay also viewed

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Lucayan National Park, Grand Bahama Island

Been to Great Stirrup Cay? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Great Stirrup Cay, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.