Carnival Drastically Increases Private Island Rental Prices

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Carnival Cruise Line has quietly increased prices for cabana and beach villa rentals on its private island in The Bahamas, Half Moon Cay. Guests booked on upcoming cruises who are planning their time ashore have noted dramatic increases in recent months for both types of private beachside retreats.

Beach Rental Prices Increase

The rentals in question include both “beach villa” and “cabana” rentals on Half Moon Cay, Carnival Corporation’s private island destination in The Bahamas.

The “beach villa” is a 2-story beachside retreat, with unobstructed ocean views and a private sun deck. The air-conditioned rental has a 5-person hot tub, refrigerator, mist shower, and dining area. Snacks, water, and soda are included in the rental price, as well as water floating mats and snorkel gear. Up to 8 guests can share the villa for one excursion price.

In comparison, the “cabana” rental is a smaller option, able to accommodate only 4 guests for a single excursion fee, and only one story rather than two. Cabanas are still air-conditioned and come with the same amenities – snacks, water, soda, water mats, and snorkel gear. Cabanas do not have any hot tubs.

Half Moon Cay Cabana
Half Moon Cay Cabana (photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock)

Currently, the price for a beach villa is listed as beginning at $999.99 (USD), while cabanas rent for $699.99. Both types of rentals are for the whole day, and guests can come and go as they please.

Previously, prices for both the villas and the cabanas were dramatically lower. Villa prices in late November 2022, for example, were just $649.99, while cabana prices were $449.99. Looking even further back, villas were priced at $599.99 in January 2022, while cabanas were $359.99 in January 2022.

By these prices, both villas and cabanas have increased by 50% in just over a year’s time, an incredible rate change that may be startling to many cruisers who enjoyed the rentals last year but may find them too pricey this year.

A third private option, the “Private Oasis” that can accommodate up to 12 guests and includes such luxuries as an 8-person hot tub, personal chef, private butler, and more in a 1,620-square-foot cabana perched partially over the water is even pricier at $1,999,99. In January 2022, the private oasis was priced at $1,595,99 – still a dramatic price increase, but not as substantial as the other increases.

Why Such Increases?

Carnival Cruise Line can increase prices on such private rentals however they choose, and there has been no announcement about why the rates have changed so dramatically.

This follows with other recent price increases, such as upping the price of bottled water in November 2022, and price increases for gratuities and Wi-Fi service jumping as of April 1, 2023.

Many cruise travelers enjoy the private luxury of villa and cabana rentals, and the popularity of the rentals, as well as how limited they are, can easily drive the price up.

Half Moon Cay Villa
Photo Credit: Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

Carnival may be seeing the price increases as an opportunity to capitalize on exclusivity and appeal to travelers with bigger budgets who are willing to pay for even more privacy on the private island.

Improved amenities may also be part of the pricing strategy, if the cruise line opts to upgrade the services and benefits provided to those who rent the retreats. There is no evidence that this has been done, however, but it may be a possibility for justifying the price.

Guests noting the dramatic price increase are also speculating that the company’s debt burden as it recovers from the pandemic-related industry shutdown could be a cause behind the high prices. So long as guests are willing to pay the higher prices and the villas and cabanas are still selling out, prices will undoubtedly remain high and provide a nice profit margin for the cruise line.

Other Options on Half Moon Cay

Ships from both Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line visit Half Moon Cay, which is located 100 miles (161 kilometers) east-southeast of Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas and another popular port of call.

The destination is widely popular among cruise guests because the private island is not as crowded as other tourist ports that may have multiple ships from different lines visiting at once.

At Half Moon Cay, both Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line plan their visits carefully so only one ship is docked at once, ensuring a true private island experience.

Guests can enjoy many of the island’s amenities, including beach lounge chairs, island games and activities, beachside lunches, and more without any extra fees. Snorkeling and watersport equipment is available for rental, and a variety of shore tours are offered, such as kayaking, horseback riding, tram tours, and bike tours.

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