Private Island Paradise

My family recently had the opportunity to sail from New Orleans, Lousiana on the Norwegian Pearl. This trip was one of many firsts for us. Our first visit to New Orleans, our first time sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line, and our first visit to Norwegian's private island, Harvest Caye. The port of New Orleans is unique in itself. It is very small and narrow, which keeps many of the larger, mega ships from sailing from this location. Prior to reaching the ocean itself, you have to sail nearly six hours on the Mississippi River.

On our itinerary for this cruise was a stop at Harvest Caye, Belize. Harvest Caye is a tropical paradise located in Southern Belize and expands over 75 acres.  This private island was voted the best new cruise port in 2017, and it is easy to see why! On this island oasis, you can choose to spend your day relaxing in a lounge chair near the 15,000 square foot pool that offers a swim up bar, or if you prefer to get your toes in the sand, you can grab a lounger along the seven acre, white sand beach. There is no shortage of lounge chairs on this island, even with two ships in port it did not feel at all crowded! There is also no charge for umbrellas at Harvest Caye, which is a bonus! If you are looking for some privacy, there are private canopy cabanas available to rent around the pool, or luxurious beachside cabanas that can accommodate 6 guests.

Looking for adventure?  Harvest Caye offers excursions (for an additional charge) including zip-lining from the Flighthouse, snorkeling in the world's second largest barrier reef, and a ropes course. The island also offers a salt water lagoon, where paddle boarding and kayaking are available. At no extra charge, there is a kids splash zone as well as a nature center where you can walk through a butterfly garden and see up close tropical birds and flowers. If you are in the mood for shopping, Harvest Caye offers a quaint shopping village with name brand retailers, such as Cariloha and Del Sol, as well as a few local crafters. I highly recommend the local chocolate!

We absolutely enjoyed our time at Harvest Caye, and I dream of spending a lifetime at this island oasis! However, here are a couple "need to knows" if you are lucky enough to be sailing to Harvest Caye. Unlike my other favorite private island owned by Disney, there is no complimentary lunch or ice cream on the island. There is a Landshark Bar and Grill located on the island, however be sure to note that they only accept cash, Visa, or Mastercard. Being a private island, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, one might assume you would be able to charge food and drinks to your stateroom account, however this is not the case. If you do not want to spend the extra on food and drinks, the good news is the walk back to the ship is not far. Plus, the pier is shaded and they do offer golf cart shuttle rides if needed. Our family chose to return to the ship about 1:00 PM for a bite to eat and a couple of drinks (did I mention Norwegian Cruise Line offers a free premium beverage package, even on inside cabins if you choose?), before returning to the island for a couple of hours before leaving port.

Overall, our day spent at Harvest Caye was fantastic! Sun, sand and relaxation was on our agenda. We accomplished our goals and sailed away with great memories of our day Harvest Caye!

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