Carnival Cruise Lines Ratings and Reviews

Guest reviews for Private Island Beach Day

Private Island Beach Day

Take in the aqua-blue waters of the Bahamas at Balmoral Island Beach. The luxurious beach day experience includes transportation and a beach chair.
Overall rating:
3.528 / 5
3.5
 / 
5
(142 reviews) 142
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating breakdown 142 reviews
5 Stars
40
4 Stars
47
3 Stars
20
2 Stars
18
1 Star
17
97 out of 139(70%)guests recommend this excursion.
Guest reviews for Private Island Beach Day
Review 1 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Given bad reviews we read, we were pleased!!

PostedMarch 24, 2015
skizot
from Orlando, FL
Age:35-44
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Moderate
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
Value 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
After reading all the reviews, we decided to leave it to fate on what our own experience would be. Our family of 7, 5 kids ranging 17 years old to 17 months old all arrived in the Bahamas and hopped aboard the 30 minute ferry ride to the island which was highly enjoyable. The staff on the ferry boat was funny and had everyone up and dancing making this trip not seem so long.
We opted for the stingray encounter on top of the trip to the island.
Pros:
-Island was clean and very organized
-Plenty of beach chairs and even pavilions available.
-There is a beach side heated pool available that was equally well kept.
-The beach was beautiful, water was crisp and clear and my kids loved the remote location of the island that allowed them ample room to play in the sand, water and pool.
-The stingray encounter was awesome. Staff was friendly and knowledgeable. They let us stay with the stingrays as long as we wanted to, even though it was supposed to be only 30 minutes.
-The ferry boat ride back was even more enjoyable then the ride out there, again, lots of music and dancing. They even served refreshments if you wanted to purchase.
Cons:
- I hate to put this as a con, because so many people have complained about this in the past, but the cost of food on the island is very high, but expected for this being a tourist destination. We didn't eat on the island, we packed a cooler we were told we couldn't bring, but no one stopped us from doing so. So the cost of food was not an issue for us, however if you were feeding a large family like we had, it would have been pricey. Again, I didn't think it was an absorbant amount though.
- I did find a few of the staff members a little rude, but when dealing with so many tourists, hard to understand different languages and having to explain the same things over and over again, maybe that is why. This was the exception however, most of the staff we encountered were pleasant to deal with.
- There is not much to do on the island, except the beach, pool and if you paid for one of the extras (dolphins/stingrays)
- The cost for your photo CD (because you cannot take your own) was very expensive and very time consuming to even see your photos, even if you decided to not purchase. You expect to pay for the rights to the CD with your photos of course, so it might be worth it. For us, we passed on this added cost.
- There is Starbucks on the island, but definitely not an official Starbucks. They might serve Starbucks coffee, but it is not the same menu or quality of products. Hard to explain, but it seems almost like it was an imitation Starbucks at best.
Other than this, the overall excursion here was very enjoyable. For the price, well worth it to go for the kids. You get a great ferry boat ride there and back to see some of the Bahamas from sea, the island is beautiful and if you plan well to sneak your own food and have realistic expectations on how costly some of the other things are, you would probably find this equally enjoyable.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 2 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Relaxing day at the beach

PostedMarch 17, 2015
CHRKEN
Age:45-54
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Romantic Getaway
Activity Level:Moderate
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
Value 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
We enjoyed this excursion. We have been to Nassau many times but this is the first time we did this excursion. We had fun. The beach was nice, lots of chairs and umbrellas. The water was beautiful and the sand was not rocky. There is a pool also which is nice. We booked the one that included lunch and the food was good. On the island, the staff was not very friendly. Not that they were rude or anything just not as outgoing as I am used to during excursions. I wish I remembered the names of who brought us back to the pier. They were very entertaining.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 3 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Not worth money

PostedMarch 16, 2015
JLue
Age:35-44
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
Reliability / Convenience 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Fun 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Its 4.5 hrs excursion, it's really 3.5 hrs. I'm glad, it's short. Its boring.
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Review 4 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Private Island Beach

PostedMarch 15, 2015
MAR13
from Philadelphia, PA
Age:25-34
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Friends
Activity Level:Moderate
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
If you are looking for a beach day and don't want any hassle while you enjoy it this is the place for you. I been to Nassau before and I was harassed to buy things on the beach the whole time. This private island was well worth it. They take you from the cruise ship to a smaller taxi boat to the island. It is about a 25-30 min boat ride to the island, but you get to see some nice blue water the whole time. The tour guides for this excursion were very up beat and trying to make sure everyone was having a good time on the boat ride over. They have drinking on the boat for purchase, but it is cash only and a bit pricey. Are you on an island were everything is imported so keep that in mind. Once we got to the island you can pick anywhere to sit, there was a couple hundred beach chairs set up for a group of about 50 people so plenty of room. I felt like I was on an island with only about 10 people.
On the island there is a bar and lunch area, gift shop, and other excursions like the dolphins and sting rays. So if you did the swim with the dolphins or sting rays you get to relax on the beach after if you want. The bar/food was a bit pricey I opted out of the private beach with lunch and just waited until we got back to Nassau downtown area.
We got to stay on the island for a little more than 4 hours and the boat came back to take us back to the downtown area. They played music and danced the whole ride back made the trip a lot of fun and didn't seem as long. Once we got back they dropped us off in the downtown area by Senor Frogs. We walked around the downtown area for an hour or two before we returned to the ship. Overall, I enjoyed this excursion as it was a nice beach day with a bit of shopping at the end. I have done other excursions in Nassau before and so far I liked this one the best.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 5 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Not good

PostedMarch 7, 2015
grannie17
from Indianapolis, IN
Age:55-65
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Moderate
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Fun 
1 / 5
1 / 5
We didn't like this excursion. Prices of food and drink way too high. The 20 minute boat ride was very nice. The beach wasn't the greatest. Don't waste your money. We wanted to leave long before the boat came to pick us up.
No, I do not recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 6 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great Day at the Beach

PostedMarch 2, 2015
Rebekah
from West Virginia
Age:35-44
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Special Occasion
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:This was my first cruise (First-time cruiser)
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Fun 
5 / 5
5 / 5
We wanted to spend time at the beach and see the water... since it was our first time in the Bahamas and we loved this excursion. You ride a smaller boat over to the island, it is about a 25 minute boat ride to the island, but the captain and shipmates on the boat are very entertaining. Being able to view the various smaller islands is nice as well... and of course, the water was just stunningly beautiful. The island is nice. There were plenty of chairs and umbrellas. We really enjoyed relaxing on the beach. We had coffee from Starbucks and soaked up the sun. When we got back to the main island, we still had time to walk around the streets of Nassau... you are so close to the shopping ... just two streets over. We only wished the boat would have stayed longer at the port of Nassau so we could have shopped a little longer and taken in more of the local restaurants, etc. After visiting both Freeport and Nassau, I wish Carnival would stay two days in Nassau and skip Freeport.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 7 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Never Again!

PostedFebruary 15, 2015
beth52
from Abita Springs, LA
Age:55-65
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Fun 
1 / 5
1 / 5
The beach is nice but we didn't enjoy it because it was cold the day that we went (Feb 7th). Food and drinks were a ridiculous price! Bathroom was not clean. There were 2 other Carnival ships in port that day. The time that you need to meet the boat to return to your ship is posted. We wanted to leave early on an earlier boat going to one of the other Carnival ships but wasn't allowed. We had to stay the whole time and it was cold and cloudy. The excursion started late for us and got us back later than we had planned. We missed half of a private party that was planned on our ship. I would never do this excursion again!
No, I do not recommend this shore excursion.
+2points
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Review 8 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
2 / 5
2 / 5

Unbelievable price for drinks/beer

PostedFebruary 7, 2015
SanNC
from Browns Summit, NC
Age:45-54
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Romantic Getaway
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Fun 
3 / 5
3 / 5
My husband and I went on this excursion on 2/4/15.... Very affordable price, being that it was a " promotional" deal.
The most fun part was the boat ride to and from the island.
The water was cool, but nonetheless very beautiful. The temperature didn't stop neither my husband or myself ( or many others) from enjoying the beaches/water.
I guess my only dislike was being it was a "promotional" excursion, A LOT of people went. I guess I would have preferred fewer people, but what did I really expect.
Oh and the biggest negative was the HUGE price for a small cocktail. Please don't buy a drink, or beer here.....it is absolutely outrageous.
But the trip was very fun returning to the ship!
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
+1point
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Review 9 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Totally not what is described..not worth it

PostedJanuary 27, 2015
Kristy79
from Richmond, VA
Age:35-44
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Friends
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Fun 
1 / 5
1 / 5
We just visited the island Saturday, January 24,2015. The pool was not heated. nothing is included in this this excursion. No drink, no entrée. Just transportation there and back, a chair and umbrella. It's about a 30 minute boat ride to the island which was more fun than the island. Totally not worth the money.
No, I do not recommend this shore excursion.
+3points
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Review 10 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Great Time, eat first

PostedJanuary 8, 2015
mommy8
from Merritt Island, Florida
Age:55-65
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Special Occasion
Activity Level:Moderate
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Fun 
5 / 5
5 / 5
This was my second trip to Balmoral. The first one in September showed a rather unfinished resort. The Girls working there were spectacular. Warm, clear water, including the pool. Extremely expensive if you want a drink.
We just returned from another trip, with another trip to island. Staff at main bar not so friendly, bathrooms not kept up, but all the bars are now open. The pool was cold, not heated as we thought it would be. Still a wonderful ride and beautiful beach, just eat before you leave the ship and don't go there just to drink and party, too expensive.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
+1point
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Review 11 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Beautiful Beach

PostedDecember 31, 2014
JenW812
from Louisville, KY
Age:35-44
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Friends
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
It is a nice short boat ride over with a crew that is entertaining. The beach was beautiful and there are plenty of lounge chairs and space so that you don't feel like you are top of each other. I wasn't as impressed with the bar options or the unimpressive staff. We enjoyed the beach immensely. All in all, if you are looking to relax on a beautiful, clean, private beach, this is a great excursion.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
+2points
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Review 12 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
2 / 5
2 / 5

Ok for the beach, but extras are EXPENSIVE!!

PostedDecember 8, 2014
ARabidCatamount
from South Carolina
Age:25-34
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
Value 
1 / 5
1 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Fun 
3 / 5
3 / 5
This is a good excursion if you only want to go to the beach.The first thing to note is that it's about a 10 Minute walk from the cruise ship to the ferry, and then about a 30 minute boat ride to the island. The beach itself is pretty good. Lots of chairs and umbrellas, as well as a covered area around the bar that has couches and chairs. The approach into the water is a little steep, and our 3 year old stumbled on it some, but it was pretty clean, and the area extends out about 100 yards, and only gets about 4 feet deep. There is a small pool, but it is not heated.
If you change your mind about what you want to do, you can always upgrade on the island. Everything on the Island is paid for with your Sail and Sign card, so don't bother bringing any other payment forms. Now the not so good. Some of the beach chairs are mildewed, and the couch cushions all felt kind of sticky. There are no separate changing rooms, only the bathrooms, which don't always stay the cleanest. There are also no real showers, just a couple of piddly showers by the pool. The music was loud, and the DJ kept adding in weird plane and firework noises. Once you are on the island, you are there for the whole time period, and any refreshments or extras cost a lot of money. A LOT OF MONEY! I bought a whole bottle of rum in town for what one rum and coke costs on the island.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
+1point
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ARabidCatamount
South Carolina
 
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Music
Posted January 12, 2015
My wife described the music as "obnoxiously loud" and I would describe it as "inescapable." The music is loud no matter what part of the beach you are on. If you want quiet, this is not for you.
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Lynn77
Orlando, FL
 
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Loud music?
Posted January 8, 2015
We're looking for a relaxing, peaceful beach excursion in Nassau and this one sounded good until we read the feedback about loud music from the bar DJ. Does the noise travel to the lounge chair areas by the water, or is it in a separate area?
Your feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you!
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Review 13 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Fun Times!!!!!

PostedDecember 7, 2014
CruisinDaddy
from Wisconsin
Age:35-44
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Friends
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
Value 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
My wife and I took this on our trip to Nassau. You set off on a nice little 25 minute boat ride to a largely private island. Beautiful white sand beaches await you. Plenty of comfortable chairs, some with umbrellas. The water was cool when we were there but nice! Beautiful turquoise waters and abundant sunshine...what more could you ask for?! Drink prices were a bit high but overall I would gladly do this excursion again! The boat ride back was fun as the worker on the boat made a little dance competition and put on some music to make the way back more enjoyable.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 14 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Don't spend the money

PostedNovember 5, 2014
Scags
Age:35-44
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
This excursion was a waste of time and money. Go to Señor Frogs.
No, I do not recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 15 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

This was very enjoyable

PostedOctober 14, 2014
Baza
Age:Over 65
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Holiday
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Fun 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great 5 hour tour to a lovely island.
It was that good I wish it had been longer.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 16 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

nice beach

PostedOctober 13, 2014
marinedad2112
from Cincinnati
Age:55-65
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Romantic Getaway
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
Value 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Fun 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Took this tour with my handicapped wife, she had no trouble getting on & off the boat even though this tour is rated moderate activity. We changed this tour from the Ardastra Zoo tour because even though it is rated "easy" we found out the zoo is NOT wheelchair accessible. We had a pleasant boat ride to the island where there is an abandoned Sandals resort and spent a pleasant 2 hours on the beach, which wasn't crowded at all. My wife was able to sit in a chair at the waters edge which she greatly enjoyed!
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
+3points
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Review 17 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Great fun

PostedOctober 10, 2014
Nikki1
from North Carolina
Age:55-65
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Moderate
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
The boat ride to the private island was fun. The private island itself was absolutely gorgeous. This is one of the best excursions that I've been on mainly because I got to spend so much time on the beach. There was also food available, drinks, a private pool overlooking the ocean, and private little cabanas for your personal belongings. Would do this one again, however, if the cruise included Freeport, I wouldn't take the cruise at all.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 18 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
2 / 5
2 / 5

Won't do this again

PostedOctober 1, 2014
Sue57
from Baltimore, MD
Age:55-65
Gender:Female
Reason for Travel:Romantic Getaway
Activity Level:Moderate
Frequency:Frequent Cruiser (I cruise regularly)
Value 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Fun 
2 / 5
2 / 5
We thought we'd try this since it was new...we won't be doing it again. There was nothing special about this beach or the set-up. Not worth the $$. plenty of beach chairs some umbrellas, beach was nice water was good food and drinks were way overpriced. anything you wanted to use snorkels, noodles were so pricey that is was not worth it.
No, I do not recommend this shore excursion.
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Review 19 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
3 / 5
3 / 5

Fun but VERY unorganized!

PostedSeptember 30, 2014
ChrisV
Value 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
We recently did the private beach shore excursion with lunch. When we got off the ship there were no signs for the excursions just the info on the ticket-"meet at the end of the pier". We did not meet at the end of the pier but more at the end of the gangway! People had no idea where they were supposed to be lining up for this trip. After we finally figured it out and got our wristbands, we stood around a waited for a bit. The excursion was supposed to begin at 12:45 but we did not start walking to the transportation boat until around 1. And BOY did we walk...Around the market, down streets, and all the way around to where the ferry boats were leaving...NO one told us what we were doing or where we headed to so we just walked and walked...FINALLY we reached the boat around 1:30. It was about a 25 min boat ride to the island and the island was very nice. Kids had a good time! Don't forget your towels like we did! Music was LOUD and awful at the bar...that was a little annoying!!!!
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
-1point
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Lynn77
Orlando, FL
 
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Posted January 7, 2015
Is the beach (lounge area) quiet and peaceful, or can you hear the loud music from the bar there as well?
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Review 20 for Private Island Beach Day
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Private Island

PostedSeptember 30, 2014
SuperHooper
from ATL, GA
Age:25-34
Gender:Male
Reason for Travel:Family
Activity Level:Easy
Frequency:Repeat Cruiser (I've cruised before)
Value 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Reliability / Convenience 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Fun 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Took this excursion with family (4 kids), we did not have a large group so we had plenty of room/chairs/umbrellas so that was great. Other than getting in water at the beach or pool there is not much for kids to do. There is no boat going back and forth so be prepared to stay the full 4.5 hours. I think this is more ideal for adults.
Yes, I recommend this shore excursion.
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