Key West, Florida has been scratched from each ships' five-day cruise schedules and replaced with a visit to Little Stirrup Cay, a private island in The Bahamas. When it sails from Jacksonville on March 14, 2013, Carnival Fascination will make the first of nineteen calls to the island, which are scheduled through December 2013, with an additional six calls planned in 2014. Carnival Ecstasy, which sails from Port Canaveral, Florida, will visit Little Stirrup Cay eleven times in 2013 and once in 2014.
In Carnival's letter to booked passengers, Little Stirrup Cay is described as Paradise! And indeed it is. As part of the Berry Islands in The Bahamas, Little Stirrup Cay is located approximately 55 miles north of Nassau and features beautiful white-sand beaches, scenic nature trails, and a coral basin that is home to manatees, stingrays, tropical fish, and other marine life. A wide selection of shore excursions, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking are available.
Does that sound familiar? About the only thing left out of the description is that Little Stirrup Cay is also known as Coco Cay. That's right, it's Royal Caribbean's very own private island. Carnival has given their booked passengers the opportunity to reschedule their cruise due to the change; however, they'll be sorry if they miss the opportunity to explore Coco Cay, err... we mean Little Stirrup Cay.
Image: Carnival Fascination