On our recent trip onboard the Norwegian Sun, we had originally booked a small cabana for our day at Great Stirrup Cay. After meeting with the concierge, he talked us into booking an oceanview villa. Looking back and knowing the day we had, I’m so glad that we did!

Let’s get down to brass tacks. I’m sure you all want to know. How much did it cost? We originally paid $211 for the small cabana. The villa cost us $349 for the day. What did that get us compared to what the small cabana was offering? Air conditioning. Our own interior villa space with a bathroom, sofa, refrigerator stocked with water, a table for eating, and a television. A dedicated bar and lunch buffet area. A private beach. I would say it was worth it (maybe for the bathroom alone).

Next to the bathroom is a closet with a safe. This is a perfect place to put your valuables while you enjoy the beach! No need to worry about your stuff getting stolen while you are out in the water!

Tip 1: Arriving at the Island

Our villa tickets stated to check in at the shore excursion desk once you arrive on shore. Actually, you will check into the villas and cabanas desk which will be to the left of the shore excursion desk on the other side of the walkway.

After checking in at the desk, we walked up the hill to the left and caught the shuttle to the villas. The shuttles also take guests to the cabanas, so make sure you get off at the right stop!

Tip 2: Get there early

I know, I know. No one wants to get up early when you’re on vacation. However, hear me out. The beach is amazingly quiet and relaxing early in the morning. Arriving early will also give you a chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the beach without the loud groups and music of the other villas which will inevitably start to happen later in the afternoon. We got there around 9:30 am and had a lot of quiet time at the beach before other guests started arriving.

Tip 3: Lunch and Other Snacks

They start serving lunch at 11:30 and stop serving around 2 pm. Staff will start coming around about a half hour before they stop serving lunch to warn you. My tip… Skip breakfast on the ship, get to the island early and have lunch when they start serving. It’s fresher and it give you a chance to maybe come back at the end for a parting snack.

In your villa at arrival, you will have a refrigerator stocked with bottled water. On the table, you will have coffee, tea and a basket of fresh fruit. After a while, the staff brought us chips and fresh salsa. If you want other drinks, the staff comes around periodically throughout the day to take orders. Or, if you prefer, you can walk down to the bar to order drinks.

Tip 4: The Private Beach

Bring water shoes. The beach at the villas is steep and rocky. Water shoes will make the trek from your villa to the water a little less treacherous.

Tip 5: Heading back

When you decide to head back to the ship, you will walk back to the main building where the shuttle dropped you off. The staff there will call for the shuttle to bring you back to the main part of the island to get on the tenders back to the ship. Make sure you give yourself enough time for all of this to happen before the last tender back to the ship leaves!

Note: I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention this… We only paid $349 for the villa. The people in the villa next to us insinuated that they had paid around $600. At the time, we just thought it was because they had so many people in their villa, and there is a charge for more than 6 people in a villa. However, the shore excursion page states that the villas cost $699. I know that the price varies depending on your ship, sailing date and other factors, but that variance seems excessive.

Have you enjoyed a day at the villas at Great Stirrup Cay? Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!