Royal Caribbean to resume calls to its private destination of CocoCay on October 15


Hurricane Matthew inflicted damage to many areas of the Bahamas, including Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay.  The cruise line has skipped scheduled stops there since the storm passed, but will resume calls later this week.

CocoCay is scheduled to welcome guests back starting on Saturday, October 15.

If that schedule holds up, Enchantment of the Seas should be the first Royal Caribbean ship to return to the private destination on that date.

The extent of the damage to CocoCay has not been disclosed, although Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley issued a letter to guests last weekend that indicated the cruise line was working with Bahamian officials to help repair and restore services in the region.

"There are fewer details to share yet in the Bahamas, but he need will no doubt be great, and we will do all we can to assist. We are in contact with the Bahamian government to understand their most urgent needs and how we can help."

Royal Caribbean provides update on damage to CocoCay and Labadee from Hurricane Matthew


Ever since Hurricane Matthew passed through the Caribbean, many Royal Caribbean fans have been concerned about what damage the storm had on the cruise line's private destinations.  Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley shared an update with guests aboard Allure of the Seas.

Thanks to Kathy Van Wormer Sanders for sharing this letter

Here is the excerpt from the letter regarding Labadee, "In Haiti, the area near Cap Haitien that is home to Labadee was thankfully spared the worst of the storm.  Our staff was able to remain onsite throughout the week and is making sure the facility is in a clean and safe condition.  The school we operate for local children was closed for several days but class will be back in session next week."

In regards to CocoCay, there were fewer details that Bayley shared, "There are fewer details to share yet in the Bahamas, but he need will no doubt be great, and we will do all we can to assist.  We are in contact with the Bahamian government to understand their most urgent needs and how we can help."

Royal Caribbean is also providing aid and supplies to the people of Haiti, as outlined by Bayley in the letter, "Together with our longtime NGO partner, the Pan-American Development Foundation (PADF), we are already providing relief supplies to affected areas near Port-au-Prince, and have established a matching fund for contributions.  PADF is using our seed money to purchase tarps, water, rice and beans for areas hit by the storm.  There's good news, in that hospitals are operating, but that means medical supplied will be needed soon.  We have also sent trucks with mattresses, sheets and blankets to some hard hit areas, and our ships will also be dropping off supplies."

Royal Caribbean is actively working on providing ways for its guests to donate to help support these efforts, "We expect to have our relief plans for the region fully shaped in the next few days, including ways guests can help."

If you would like to donate towards the rebuilding efforts, consider a donation to the Help Haiti Now effort by PADF.

Royal Caribbean changes CocoCay Beach Lounger amenities


The Beach Loungers at Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay have been a popular choice for guests that want shade from the sun, along with some additional perks, but those perks appear to have been removed from a Beach Lounger rental.

A Royal Caribbean Blog reader aboard Majesty of the Seas had reserved a Beach Lounger prior to her cruise, and received this letter to inform her that the benefits of the Beach Lounger have changed.

The big changes are the amenities previously offered are no longer included, and that has resulted in a lowering of the price to $45.

Formerly known as cabanettes, the beach loungers are clam shell beach umbrellas that offer privacy and protection from the sun.

Review: Beach Loungers on CocoCay


Please welcome guest blogger Kayla Gillman, who is here to talk about her recent visit to Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay in the Bahamas.

For an upgraded beach experience on Royal Caribbean's private island Coco Cay without the cost of a cabana, you may want to consider the shaded Beach Loungers located on the South Beach of CocoCay (the beach formerly known as Barefoot Beach). 

I recently had the chance to visit the island while aboard Majesty of the Seas, and since it was my friend's first cruise, wanted to do something a little extra special during our visit.

We disembarked the ship in the morning around 10:30 AM, and made our way to the Shore Excursions desk on the island. Here, we were asked to step around to the back of the building where a tram quickly scooped us up, and brought us on our way down to the Lounger area. If you are not a fan of long walks on the beach, this would be a great option for you. However, I have found that walking down to this area of the island to be quite enjoyable as you get a chance to see the vast majority of the island along your way.

Upon arrival, we walked over to the shaded bar area where we were greeted by our attendant. She handed us our towels, and showed us which loungers were still available to us (the loungers are available on a first come; first serve basis so if you have a particular space in mind plan on getting there early).

We selected our lounger, and our attendant followed us with a cooler of water and a fruit plate. Our two beach mats were already brought out and leaning up against one side of our clamshell lounger.

We relaxed for a little bit and grabbed a Coco Loco (souvenir cup and all!) from the bar where we were first greeted by our attendant, who was available there for us the remainder of the day.

I have to say, I thought that for what we paid for two people this was an excellent value as the beach mats alone run $18 per person. We very much enjoyed floating along the beach with our drinks and relaxing in the shade of our cabanette. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a quiet, calm beach day.

It also appears that there is quite a bit of construction happening in the area – it looks like there have been some new cabana structures added to the area as well, but I did not notice them in use.

Need a break from lounging around? The excitement of the brand new Floating Bar is just a quick walk away – you can see it from your lounger!

We swung by here for a quick drink, and I have to say this is quite a welcome and fun addition to the beach.

At the end of our day, we turned our towels back in to our attendant and wandered our way back down the beach and made our way back to the tenders. Looking forward to the chance to book one of these loungers again and enjoy a fun day on Coco Cay!

Beach Loungers may be reserved ahead of your cruise via the Cruise Planner. They run $59.00 for two people, and included you receive 2 floating beach mats, 2 bottles of water, towels, and transportation in addition to the reserved shaded "clamshell" loungers. Keep in mind when reserving the loungers, that you will only need to book under one person – this will cover the admission for two people to your lounger.


#TeamCocoCay #ClubCocoLoco #SorryMatt

Spotted: Beach Bed rental on Royal Caribbean's CocoCay


Earlier this week, we found new Beach Bungalows available for guests to rent at Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay, and stumbled upon another way to relax: beach beds.

Full-day beach bed rentals are now available on CocoCay, which allow you and those in your group to enjoy your own beach bed, nestled among the palm trees of South Beach. They provide a relaxing view of the ocean, while allowing for privacy with adjustable curtain walls.

Each beach bed includes two floating beach mats, a cooler stocked with four bottles of water and beach towels. Transportation to and from Beach Beds is via private Cocolimo.

The cost for each beach bed rental is $150 and has a maximum of six people per beach bed. 

Thanks to Kayla for alerting us to this addition.

Spotted: CocoCay Beach Bungalows at South Beach


Guests visiting Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay have a new option for a little privacy and fun.  Beach Bungalows are now available on Royal Caribbean's web site to reserve.

Royal Caribbean built 35 of these beach bungalows in the South Beach area of the island. Each bungalow rental costs $225 and accommodates up to six guests.

Royal Caribbean describes these beach bungalows as a haven of tranquility, a type of "members-only" area. Each beach bungalow includes floating beach mats, water, and beach towels. Transportation to and from Beach Bungalows is via private Cocolimo shuttle transportation.

These new beach bungalows are in addition to the CocoCay cabanas available for rent that have been available for a number of years.

Royal Caribbean has been working on adding upgraded enhancements to CocoCay since July, and the South Beach area is seeing a lot of attention. In addition to the beach bungalows, there are new restrooms that have been added that are just a 5 minute walk from South Beach, as well as 650 new lounge chairs at South Beach.

Thanks to Shannon for alerting us to this news!

Spotted: New swim up bar at Royal Caribbean's private island Coco Cay


Guests visiting Royal Caribbean's private destination of Coco Cay in the Bahamas will have something new to try on their next visit.

Royal Caribbean added a new swim up bar for guests to enjoy while out for a swim.  It is located near South Beach/Barefoot Beach.

The new bar is floating in the ocean, which means guests have to swim to it in order to get a drink.  Michael Poole reports the new bar was added just a few weeks ago.

The rules of the bar are posted at the bar

  • Adult Only Bar - No children under the age of 18
  • Must be able to swim
  • No diving, flips, horseplay, stunts, trucks or pushing allowed
  • No diving or swimming under bar

Royal Caribbean is in the midst of upgrading a number of experiences on the island, including new cabanas and even a dock for the island.

Do you want to try this bar on your next cruise stop in Coco Cay? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

What you need to know about CocoCay beach loungers


If you're going to Royal Caribbean's private island of CocoCay and are intersted in getting one of the best values for a bit of privacy, here is your guide to what you need to know about renting a beach lounger.

What are the beach loungers?

Formerly known as cabanettes, the beach loungers are clam shell beach umbrellas that offer privacy and protection from the sun.

In CocoCay, the beach loungers have an advantage over the cabanas because they are closer to the ocean for quicker "commutes".

What is the cost of a beach lounger?

Each beach lounger rental costs $45 and covers two guests.

What services come with the beach lounger?

The beach loungers are located in the South Beach area, which are away from the crowds and food.

As of September 2016, the amenities included with the beach loungers have been removed and a beach lounger rental now only includes the clam shell beach umbrella.

How do I reserve a beach lounger?

Guests can book a beach lounger online, via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner.

In addition, the concierge onboard can reserve a beach lounger or guests can book them at the Shore Excursions desk.

Keep in mind that reservations tend to go quickly for beach loungers, so it is best to reserve as soon as possible.

Royal Caribbean makes improvements to private island of CocoCay


Royal Caribbean's private island of CocoCay is very popular with guests and on your next visit there, it may be slightly different than you remember.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Sean McLellan recently visited CocoCay over the weekend and sent us a report of some noticable changes.

Cabanettes have been renamed

The "cabanettes" that are available to rent now have a new name

Excursions desk indicates that they are now called "Beach Loungers" and it now runs just under $50 for 2 people for 2 big bottles of water, a fruit plate and towels.

New trams between Tender/Barefoot Beach

In the past, Royal Caribbean has provided a shuttle that is pulled by a tractor to get guests to help with the long distance walk involved.

There are now some new trams availabe to take guests.

Sean notes these new trams, "run quieter, a tad smoother, and taller so there's less chance of bonking your head on the way out. Oh, the driver gets a little fan."

New tram route

Previously, the tram ran on a path south of the nature trail that went past the island's barracks and ended up east of the Cabanettes.

There's now an entirely new tram path that is "shorter" according to the tram driver, which has newly been created that runs north of the nature trail and ends up east of the Cabanettes.

There's some big piles of sand marking the terminus that look new.

New shower at Barefoot Beach 

A new fresh water shower has been added to Barefoot Beach.

Sean indicated it is, "a nice addition that is just north of the Barefoot Beach Cabanettes/Beach Lounger bar".

Promise of a Barefoot Beach restroom facility

For the past year or longer an outhouse has been stationed on the previous tram route that is about a 2 minute walk from the cabanettes.

Sean's tram driver indicated that there are immediate plans to construct a restroom facility at the cabanettes, which would be a highly welcome change.

A day on Royal Caribbean’s private island of CocoCay


Royal Caribbean Blog writer Michael Poole is back today to give you a look at what a day at CocoCay looks and feels like!

Chances are you have heard a lot about Royal Caribbean’s private island Labadee, but Royal Caribbean's other private destination is called CocoCay. 

Sure they have many similar features about them and quite a few differences, but I’m going to refer you back to Royal Caribbean Blog podcast episode 73 for that discussion.  Today, I’m going to discuss what a day in CocoCay is like and what a first timer can expect while spending a day in paradise.

The only real downfall of CocoCay is the tender ride over to the island.  Due to the depth in the water the ships must anchor a few hundred yards out and a small tender boats run back and forth. 

These tender boats are owned and operated by Royal Caribbean and there is no charge for the short ride over.  One of the biggest complaints of the tendering is the lines can back up during peak hours.  The peak hours are when you first arrive and generally an hour before you leave. 

Once you get on the tender boat you will be able to capture some great views of the ship and island, so get that camera out! 

As you are pulling up to the island you will notice some cabanas to the left facing the anchored cruise ship.  These are available to rent for $250, generally only open to suite guests and then any remaining cabanas are open to everyone else. 

Having never rented on myself, I can’t provide a lot of feedback on them, but in CocoCay you don’t have any access to water in the Cabana area. 

Now that you have arrived in CocoCay, the first thing you must be thinking is where do I go? 

Sure you have a few options, but most people tend to walk to the left where you will find the first beach area.  This is going to be the most crowed area in CocoCay, but there are a lot of beach chairs. 

If laying in the sun is not something you enjoy they have a hundreds of shaded hammocks around the island, which is truly paradise. 

My favorite place to explore in CocoCay is a beach called, Barefoot beach.  I always tell my friends when we arrive you have to take your shoes off!

This beach is going to be the longest walk, but the most secluded from others.  The best way I can describe getting there is walk to the shore line, and keep walking right you will run into it within 10-15 minutes.  I will note there are no bars or restrooms around you, but not a deal breaker for me. 

If you happen to bring the kids with you they have a large aqua park available to reserve.  The cost for one hour of playtime is $22 and it’s a blast, even for the adults! 

I must admit I went out to play with my younger sister last month and really enjoyed it, but it’s some workout.  I would suggest you reserve online prior to the cruise or once on board, they were sold out all day, while we were in CocoCay.

Some other options you can find on the island are sea doo rental, kayaking, and parasailing, though many of these are for the adults. 

CocoCay offers a complementary buffet style lunch on the island at 11:00am.  Some of the items you can find here are: baked bbq chicken, ribs, hamburgers, fruit, baked-beans and mac-n-cheese. 

Is this going to be the best meal you have all week, not a chance, but it can be fun to eat on the island. 

Now that you have lunch down you must try their signature cocktail on the island, it’s called the Coco Loco.  It’s a frozen island drink and I warn you, chances are you are going to want more than just one. 

If you have the premium or ultimate drink package these are included, otherwise they are $12 each. 

Generally after lunch you can find me napping somewhere around the island, but that’s why I love it so much there it’s simply paradise. 

My favorite place to relax in the afternoon is an area covered in hammocks.  Remember when we first arrive in CocoCay I mentioned everyone goes to the left, however if you turn to the right that’s where you will find hammocks everywhere.

There is actually a small bridge and once you walk over it you will see all the hammocks.  I relaxed here last time and actually spotted a few iguanas. 

That wraps up our day in Royal Caribbean’s private island of CocoCay.  Have you ever visited CocoCay before?  What did you enjoy doing while you were there?