Disney Isn’t the Only One With a Private Island

private island getaways

As the daily temperature drops, I catch myself daydreaming about sunny islands. I’m sipping on a Mai Tai, while dipping my toes in the bathwater-warm water so clear that I can see the sea stars below. Palm trees sway in the periphery as the sun reflects off the water. It is time to make this dream a reality!

Here are the private islands and beach resorts owned by the various cruise lines. Most of them are located in the Bahamas, but there are also locations in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Belize, and the United Arab Emirates! Check them out!


Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

This Carnival Run port is known for having the clearest amber in the world, a wall originally built to ward off pirates, and an Ocean center where you can swim with dolphins! The beach towns of Sosua and Cabarete are only a half hour away. Plus there is Puerto Plata which was founded by Christopher Columbus.

This island is included in many Carnival and Costa itineraries!


Castaway Cay

Enjoy the beautiful palm trees on this private island owned by Disney Cruises. They have a water play area, game pavilion with ping pong, bicycle rentals, character greetings, and snorkeling. The Disney beach is just a short tram ride from the cruise terminal.


Coco Cay

This Royal Caribbean private island makes for a PERFECT beach day! You can walk right off of the ship and find a chair to lounge in for the day while enjoying a delicious frozen beverage!

However, in case you are up for adventure, there is plenty to do! You can dive around a sunken replica of Blackbeard’s pirate ship, kayak, or barbecue! We recommend the guided tour via jet ski excursion to ‘Starfish Alley’ where you will hop off your ski and stand in knee deep waters only to find that the entire sea floor is covered in starfish and sand dollars! This is a little pricey, but guaranteed fun if you are willing to splurge!

This island is included in many Royal Caribbean and Celebrity itineraries!


Great Stirrup Cay

Find your endless summer on this 250 acre Norwegian private island which includes a waverunner adventure on jetskis, parasailing, paddleboarding, cabanas, and an eco-boat wildlife encounter. All you have to do is take a 10 tender ride from your boat and then it’s an easy walk to the beach.


Half Moon Cay

This Holland America (Carnival) island has won “Best Private Island’ 11 years in a row! With white sand beaches. waterfront bars, biking, kayaks, and snorkeling gear there is plenty to do in this paradise. Double decked tenders will take you the 10 minute ride to shore and welcome center. Head northwest, and just beyond the welcome center is the beach.

This island is included in many Holland America and Carnival itineraries!


Harvest Cay, Belize

Norwegian will be debuting a new island in the Western Caribbean! “This new 75-acre island will have a swim-up bar, a lagoon with water sports, ziplining, and snorkeling in the world’s second largest barrier reef!” There will also be Belizean crafts, excursions to a local Mayan temple, Rainforest tubing excursions and parasailing!

Princess Cay

Enjoy the white sand shoreline of this private island owned by Princess Cruises.They have paddle wheelers, kayaks, and bungalows on hand for your enjoyment. Plus there are complimentary beach barbecues! To protect the coral reefs surrounding the cay you will be tethered to the island. At Princess Cay, the pristine beach is all around for you to enjoy!

This island is included in many Princess and Carnival itineraries!


Labadee, Haiti

This resort on the north side of Haiti is run by Royal Caribbean. They’ve set up lots to do there including the Dragon’s Breath Flight line, the local water park, and rentable cabanas on the beach. The 5 beaches are all very accessible from the centrally located pier where your ship will dock.

This island is included in many Royal Caribbean and Celebrity itineraries!


Ocean Cay

MSC will be building this private island to function not only as a special tourist destination but as a Marine Reserve intent on preserving local ecosystems! With 95 acres this will be the biggest island development by any cruise line in the area. The island will feature a zip line, wedding pavilion, tranquil inland lagoon, and a family beach with play areas.


* Honorable Mention* Sir-Bani-Yas-Island in the UAE

MSC even has a private island in the Persian Gulf off the coast of the UAE!Home to an enormous nature reserve, you can see protected cheetahs, giraffes, and flamingos! There is an inflatable water park and kid’s play area, as well as six bars for adults. Whether you relax near the barbecue or view the wildlife via safari- this island will be a great stop on your trip.