Welcome To Ocean Cay – A Luxurious Private Island That Celebrates The Caribbean

Ocean Cay Marine Reserve is MSC Cruises’ private island in the Bimini chain of the western Bahamas. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas comprise several larger islands and, literally, hundreds of smaller cays, including Ocean Cay and its dedicated marine reserve. Think of a fun-loving version of Tracy Island that celebrates its ecology as well as the good things in life and you’re starting to get the idea of this unique and beautifully conceived Caribbean retreat!
Ocean Cay aims to be more than just another picturesque stop on a Caribbean cruise. It’s a luxurious, pleasure-seekers paradise that’s also very focused on bringing the ecology of the Bahamian islands and a love of nature to the discerning passengers who tie up alongside.
Ocean Cay | MSC Cruises

What To Do In A Day (And A Night) On Ocean Cay?
Well, that’s entirely up you although, as with all our Caribbean cruises, you can do as much or as little as you choose. Why not begin with the sea and a selection of water sports that are simply second-to-none? From paddle boards to kayaks, even flying high on a parasailing adventure? Yes, on Ocean Cay, the sky really is the limit.

 

Can I Snorkel And Scuba Dive On Ocean Cay?
Oh, yes! This is a wonderful playground for snorkelling and scuba enthusiasts. Visit the Bahamian-style village and marina and, aside from a wide range of places to shop, eat, drink and relax, you’ll find the Snorkelling Centre where scuba diving and snorkelling equipment is available for hire.

So, how about a Safari Snorkel Excursion to discover the wealth of wildlife living beneath the waves, or maybe a Shipwrech Snorkeling tour where you can either strike out on your own or follow your snorkel guide? He or she will feed fish and point out the marine life that you’re swimming with. Afterwards, enjoy a private beach, a rum punch and the best seat in the house – yes, the floating chair awaits!

Do I Have To Snorkel To See Beneath The Waves?
Thanks to various Glass-Bottom Boat Excursions it is perfectly possible to see all the marine life that Ocean Cay has to offer without even getting your feet wet! The Bimini Island Glass-Bottom Boat tour, for example, offers a scenic trip around the Bimini island chain whilst viewing a wide variety of marine life including sharks, stingrays, turtles, numerous fish, exotic coral and various birds. During the voyage your boat captain will educate you about the local marine life whilst your tour guide will dive into the water to bring sea animals such as conch, starfish, sea cucumbers and sand dollars onto the boat. Alternatively, for an added touch of luxury and the chance to spot dolphins and other Bahamian marine life, try the romantic Sunset Champagne Cruise.

What Sort Of Marine Life Can I See On Ocean Cay?
Your Caribbean cruise to Ocean Cay can show you an abundance of marine life and, although we cannot guarantee exactly which species you might see, you should keep an eye out for turtles including Green Turtles, Hawkesbill and Loggerheads. All are sadly under threat, but all still live in these waters. You may also see the accomplished ambush predator, the Nassau Grouper, a specialist at surprising unwitting crustaceans and octopus and eating them whole!
Whilst you’re perusing the sea bed you may spot the shiny orange shell of the Queen Conch that likes to live on the seagrass beds, plus all manner of brightly coloured reef fish including the vivid Blue Tang. Further afield you’ll also find sharks and rays as well as Parrotfish and Snappers. But it’s not just the fish that are dazzling in these parts, the fragile, red Gorgonian coral is similarly eye-catching as indeed is the solid brown Elkhorn and round, bushy and very beautiful, Brain Coral.

Need To Relax? Luckily, Life’s A Bahamian Beach!
Of course, you don’t have to exert yourself in the slightest whilst on Ocean Cay, you might prefer to simply pick a spot and soak up the sun on the half mile of powder soft sand that goes by the name, Sunset Beach. Families may prefer Seakers Family Cove where there are plenty of toys to help keep the kids amused whilst parents relax – although they’re free to join in for some quality splash time.
And we’re still far from done with the beach options; North and South Beach is in fact the largest total beach area and a haven for gentle, sheltered swimming in the crystal clear shallows. Bimini Beach is quieter, slightly more out of the way, and offers beautiful views straight out to sea.

 

Cocktails In The Shade? How About A Trip To The Lighthouse For A Drink With ‘Papa’?
There’s nothing like sun and sea air to work up a thirst, so why not orient yourself via the 100ft red and white lighthouse (you really can’t miss it!) and head for the Lighthouse Bar inspired by writer, big- game fisherman, former local(ish) resident and cocktail connoisseur, Ernest Hemingway?

The Lighthouse Bar pays homage to ‘Papa’ - Hemingway disliked his Christian name so styled himself ‘Papa’ whilst still in his 20s – and a life size ‘Papa Hemingway’ props up the bar as if ready to regale you with tales of ‘the one that got away’. You can enjoy the view over an expertly made cocktail and, although his expansive tastes clouds the issue of a definitive favourite, a classic Daiquiri should hit the spot without falling foul of the great man’s sensibilities.
Alternatively, if you’re out and about on the island and fancy a spontaneous drink in a decidedly different setting, then why not step up to one of the 8 ‘tiki’ bars, each with a unique spin on the ‘tiki’ concept. If you’re in doubt about what ‘tiki’ is all about, then take a large dash of ‘South Pacific’ and combine with Elvis’ ‘Blue Hawaii’ add some elaborate drinks and you’re pretty much there.

How To Put A Little Bahamian Spice Into Your Life? Try Some Creole Cooking
There’s so much to do on Ocean Cay that you might just forget to eat – and that really would be a shame as the Bahamian cuisine has so much to offer. Head for Seakers Buffet and the Food Court where guests can savour freshly prepared Bahamian food. Feast on local specialities like conch salad, pigeon peas with rice, fish stew, lobster and Johnny Cake (somewhere between cake and bread and a staple that’s served morning, noon and night). You’ll also find American Classics and Kids menus too - in short, something for everyone.

To round things off, head for the Marina and the Smiling Fish where freshly brewed coffee and delicious ice cream with fresh tropical fruit will have you smiling like the eponymous fish.


How To Turn Your Bahamas Cruise Into A High-End Spa Break
Beach life, water sports, cocktails and creole food are all very well, but why not take this opportunity to turn your Caribbean cruise into a high-end spa break? The Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve can also help take pampering to the nth degree with a trip to the MSC Aurea Spa, where visitors looking for the last word in body and facial treatments can enjoy them with the added benefit of breathtaking island views. Alternatively, at the Aurea Paradise Sands, guests are treated in a cabana overlooking Ocean Cay’s turquoise waters – simply sublime!

Ocean Cay: So Good You Might Have To Do It All Again – Soon!
The possibilities are so extensive on Ocean Cay that you might just have to book another cruise to the Bahamas to make the most of what’s on offer; although we have a number of longer voyages aboard the incredible MSC Seaside that feature two visits to the island for those looking for the ultimate Caribbean cruise. 

Whatever you decide, we’re looking forward to welcoming you ashore.