On Site: Norwegian Cruise Line's Exclusive New Silver Cove

A new exclusive, oceanfront resort-style area – Silver Cove – has opened at Norwegian Cruise Line’s 270-acre private Bahamian island, Great Stirrup Cay. This new area is a plus for those cruise guests seeking a more upscale experience ashore.

Once arriving on the island, those booking a Silver Cove villa or spa treatment are greeted and shuttled by tram to the Silver Cove reception center. Guests will be wowed by the stunningly gorgeous beach views, visible through the welcome center’s expanses of glass.

At a marble desk and amid chic décor (see slide show photo above), Silver Cove guests are checked in for the day, receive access bands and are escorted to their private day-time villa accommodations.

38 New Villas

Thirty-eight new villas range from studios to one- and two-bedroom villas, plus two family suite villas. Six of the one-bedroom villas have a wet bar and a private master bedroom. Two-bedroom family suite villas also have a private dining area, an entertainment area and a larger master bedroom with a spa tub and a shower.

During our time at Silver Cove, we ventured to the Ocean Villa, essentially a studio villa designed for couples or a family. Accommodating up to six, it offers a living room equipped with a couch, coffee-tea bar, large flat-screen TV with on-demand movies, beverage chiller, two chairs and a small table, plus a bathroom with a toilet, sink and large shower.

All cabanas, including the studios, have a glass wall providing unobstructed beach views, as well as an open-air covered patio with two loungers facing the beach. A beach umbrella is also provided for each villa so guests can head into the sand and surf with shade nearby.

Price-wise, the studio rentals range from $299 to $699 per day for up to six people; one-bedroom villas cost $349 to $799 for eight to 10 people; and the two-bedroom villas are $599 to $1,100, but those can host up to 16 people.

Elevating the Experience

Harry Sommer, the new president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line (taking the helm of the line on January 1), told travel advisors attending a Partners First discussion on Norwegian Encore that the line is seeking to deliver more upscale experiences for guests. Speaking about Silver Cove, he said, “this takes the private island experience to the next level." 

It’s expected that many of Silver Cove’s luxurious villas will be booked by guests staying in The Haven, the line’s exclusive ship-within-a-ship enclave available on Norwegian Encore and other newer ships. Haven guests have first dibs at booking the villas before villa reservations open to all guests.

Beyond the luxury of exclusivity and private space, what else do guests experience with a villa rental?  First, when the munchies hit, room service delivery is available to all villas/cabanas. Silver Cove guests can also head for a complimentary buffet lunch at the Silver Cove Restaurant and Bar, attractive with festive blue patio umbrellas. 

That said, Silver Cove’s most popular resort space may be the Moet & Chandon Bar, where the tropics and champagne meet. Garnished with strawberries, Moet Ice Imperial is described as the first Champagne served over ice. Expect to pay $25 per glass or buy the entire bottle for $85.

Silver Cove’s guests also can book spa treatments at the full-service Mandara Spa, which has sea views and several outdoor hot tubs. That said, all guests onboard Norwegian’s ships calling at Great Stirrup Cay can book a spa treatment here; if they do, they have access to both the spa and nearby Silver Cove restaurant.

From Silver Cove, it’s easy to simply look up to spot what else is new at Great Stirrup Cay. There is a new 3,000-foot-long zip line course, which costs $89 for adults and $69 for children. 

So while Great Stirrup Caye was the “original” private island experience, the oldest such option for guests in the cruise industry, it’s decidedly fresh these days. From Silver Cove to an impressive zip line course, there's much to entice guests ashore. 

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