On his final day aboard the Bare Necessities nude cruise in the Caribbean, Mike writes about Half Moon Cay, Holland America's private island paradise turned nudist paradise.
Mike has provided daily nude cruise reports since the first day of the trip. For anyone considering a nude cruise or even just learning about nudism for the first time, Mike's well-written trip reports are a great read.
West of Half Moon Cay, near Cat Island, Bahamas, Aboard The M/S Holland America Maasdam (February 12, 2007) -- They saved the best for last.
After the Maasdam's visit today to Half Moon Cay, Holland America's "private island" in the Bahamas, many aboard our ship are wondering why we bothered to visit any other ports, sail more than 1,800 miles, or literally go anywhere else besides this idyllic slice of paradise.
We anchored off the island early this morning and tendering operations began with the large and fast island tender ships shuttling Maasdam passengers and crew to the island. Using large island tenders instead of the smaller and slower ship-borne tenders/lifeboats Maasdam carries with her, everyone was able to get ashore quickly, also thanks to the very elaborate channel cut harbor Holland America made for this incredible destination. Passengers loaded and unloaded easily from the tenders using a drop-down boarding ramp, directly onto the large pier-side landing.
Half Moon Cay Map - today home of full-moons
Once ashore, everyone was astounded by the scope and the quality of Half Moon Cay. Its most prominent feature was the absolutely immaculate, mile-long beach of pure, fine white sand, unspoiled by even a single boulder, seashell, reef, weed or rock outcropping. Many among us agreed that is was the finest beach we have ever seen, including the famous beaches of Orient Bay, Runaway Bay, Seven Mile Beach, and even the famous white sand beaches of Tortola and St. John's.
Strewn along this fabulous and breathtaking expanse of beach were hundreds of comfortable lounge chairs, canvas beach shelters, fresh-water showers, restrooms, shade huts, and fully-equipped cabanas. Behind the row of beachside improvements, there were three fully-equipped bars, a shopping market with vendors and gift and craft stalls, and a fabulous and efficient food pavilion and shady eating areas. It was spectacular, and every comfort was provided for us for the day.
Best of all, of course, and nearly beyond belief for all of us aboard the Maasdam, was that all this beauty and comfort was our to enjoy exclusively for the day, nude. Think of it as our own personal Club Orient, and you can get an idea of the size, quality and beauty of Half Moon Cay, then add the fact that we were all able to enjoy it in Nature's own bathing costume, and you can imagine how delighted were all were to be here on this glorious day.
All too soon, it was time to tender back to the Maasdam for our final night aboard, which should be great as well. We have encore performances on tap from all of the wonderful guest performers that have entertained us during the past ten days, including Elton John tribute artist Joel Mason, comedienne Julie Barr, and juggler Max Winfrey. All of that is just the warm-up for the obligatory Passenger Talent Show, which is always a must-see cavalcade of hilarity.
Tonight we pack our bags and place them outside our cabin doors, to be removed overnight to the ship's hold, and by 10:30 Tuesday morning, Maasdam will be rid of us...but we suspect the crew and officers aboard will remember us for some time to come, as we all certainly will remember them. This has been the best cruise, by far, of the 10 nude cruises we've done with Bare Necessities over the past 15 years, and we doubt any future cruise could improve upon it very much. The ship and crew were fantastic, the ports and weather were great, and we sailed with some of the nicest and most fun-loving folks there are.
As Nancy Tiemann said as she accepted our Captain's farewell gift yesterday on the Rembrandt Theater stage, "We've sailed on bigger ships; we've sailed on longer trips; but we've never been treated better." Agreed.
Two more notes before signing off from the Maasdam:
- This was Cruise Director David Martin's second-ever cruise as a cruise director. He did an amazing job, and his tireless efforts won the praise of every Maasdam passenger. His debarkation talk was amazing as well -- touching, genuine, and unforgettable.
- The final total for the "On Deck for the Cure" benefit walk for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer research foundation was 789 walkers, with over $15,000 donated to the foundation. That broke the old HAL record by more than double. (More about this accomplishment)
Thanks Mike for giving us an honest glimpse inside what a Bare Necessities nudist cruise is all about. When a vacation is a journey, you have truly traveled.
I'm hoping to package the whole nude cruise trip report series into a single PDF for easy reading. The PDF would be a nice resource for future visitors to this nudist travel blog. Stay tuned for more.