Everything You Need to Know About Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a relaxing cruise through the Bahamas? Whether this is your first voyage or a much-anticipated return visit, MSC Cruises has made it even more appealing with the introduction of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Ocean Cay is a private island, accessible only to passengers of the MSC Cruises’ cruise line. Unlike some cruise lines’ private islands in the Bahamas, though, MSC has gone all-out by ensuring that visitors will have a chance to engage with nature and marine life during this unforgettable experience.
Not that the creature comforts have been neglected. This island has so much to offer guests that you might have a hard time deciding what to do. Of course, no matter what experience you choose, you’re bound to return home with memories that will last a lifetime.
Let’s take a closer look at the wonders of Ocean Cay.
Location and Weather
Ocean Cay is located just 65 miles east of Miami, making it perfect for year-round cruising. Highs in the daytime hover in the high 80s to low 90s, with summer and fall having the highest temperatures and humidity levels.
In winter, daytime highs are slightly lower, with evenings being cooler still. However, you’ll be rewarded with drier skies. Ocean temperatures follow a similar pattern, averaging in the 70s and 80s.
Size of Ocean Cay
The island is comprised of 95 acres, with about 1-1/2 total miles of gorgeous beachfront. This makes it the largest island development by any cruise company—and the only one to offer a complete marine reserve experience!
Excursions and Activities
Here are just a few of the activities you can look forward to during your visit.
Pilot your own personal watercraft, guided by a professional. If you’d like to bring a passenger along, there’s room for one more on the back! This tour lasts 1-1/2 hours and allows you to get up close and personal with the pristine waters of the Atlantic.
Although there will be plenty to tire you out during the day, you’ll want to stay awake long enough to take advantage of this experience. View the astonishing heavens through a state-of-the-art tracking telescope while your experienced guide shares details about what you’re seeing. There’s even a welcome cocktail included.
Snorkeling and Diving
The water looks amazing enough from the surface, but wait until you’ve seen what lies beneath the waves. Since Ocean Cay is a marine reserve, you’ll be able to swim with reef sharks, loggerhead turtles, mahi-mahi, and much more.
Experienced divers can embark on a Two Tank Scuba Dive on Victory Reef, but if you’d prefer to stick to snorkeling, give the Marine Reserve Snorkel Safari a try. All equipment is included in the excursion price.
Now is the perfect time to try your hand—and your sea legs—at stand-up paddleboarding. Take a leisurely tour around the island by day, or try the Glow Night-Time experience and see how many fish your lighted board is able to attract.
if you don’t think of yourself as a fishing enthusiast, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy this 3-hour adventure. Die-hard anglers will be in heaven, as there’s no better place than the Bahamas to cast a line. Don’t forget your camera—Ocean Cay has a tag and release policy, so you’ll need to let your catch go after snapping a photo for posterity.
A motor catamaran is waiting to whisk you away to Bahama Banks. On this 2-hour excursion, you’ll enjoy a complimentary rum punch, then spend the afternoon relaxing on an Aqua Float chair. If you’re feeling energetic, Frisbee and football are also available.
Bringing the kids? Fear not—Ocean Cay has a great deal to offer its pint-sized guests. In fact, the whole family can have a blast together!
Grab an ice cream cone at the Smiling Fish, experimenting with local Bahamian flavors. Climb the lighthouse to enjoy the views and give the little ones a sense of accomplishment. Build sandcastles and splash in the gentle surf at Family Lagoon Beach or Seaker’s Family Cove. If you’d rather just vegetate, enjoy a cool, relaxing afternoon in a private cabana.
Ocean Cay is home to no fewer than eight gorgeous beaches, complete with soft white sand. In addition to Seakers Family Cove, the offerings include Lighthouse Bay (complete with its own bar), Sunset Beach, Aurea Paradise Sands, South Beach, and North Beach, among others.
That’s right—there’s a wedding pavilion on the north side of the island. If a destination wedding is on your agenda, you won’t find a more romantic place in the world to exchange your vows.
Choose from one of the all-inclusive wedding packages, or tailor the event to your liking. The talented and professional staff is here to organize all the legal paperwork, so you won’t have to worry about a thing. Vow renewal packages are also available.
Did we mention that there’s also a spa on the island? What better way to rejuvenate than to enjoy a relaxing massage, facial, or nail treatment while on vacation?
Food and Drink
You won’t go hungry during your visit to the island. With four areas ready to serve you, your only worry lies in deciding which one to visit next.
For a special experience, book a Sunset Evening Beach Picnic and enjoy your meal beneath the stars. The package even includes a blanket for you to relax on while you dine.
The beach experience, entertainment, regular experience, and most of the food is included in the price of your MSC cruise. Rentals and excursions will cost extra, as will any drinks—including alcohol—that aren’t included in a prepaid package.
What are you waiting for? With all that Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has to offer, you’ll want to book your Bahamas cruise today—and make sure that a stop here is on the itinerary!