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?  

Royal Caribbean cancels stops at CocoCay due to Tropical Storm Arthur


Tropical Storm Arthur forced Royal Caribbean to cancel stops at its private island of CocoCay yesteday and today.

Majesty of the Seas will spend its day at sea instead of at CocoCay.

Enchantment of the Seas cancelled its arrival at CocoCay yesterday and stayed in Nassau overnight instead.

Grandeur of the Seas skipped its stop at CocoCay and instead took a sea day on its way back to Baltimore.


What you need to know about CocoCay Cabanas


If you're going to Royal Caribbean's private island of CocoCay and intersted in renting a cabana, here's a guide to what you need to know about renting your own cabana.

Photo by grimoire42

How much are the cabanas?

Cabana rentals are $200 for up to six guests.

Who are cabanas good for

The cabanas at CocoCay are perfect for someone who is planning on spending the whole day on CocoCay and wants to have a a private beach experience.

Photo by mrsfecura

What's included

  • Private ocean view cabana rental for the full day
  • Furnished with 2 luxurious resort-style lounge chairs & a sofa
  • Amenities include a deluxe lunch buffet, beach towels, 2 floating beach mats, 4 bottles of water, and 2 sets of snorkeling equipment
  • Towels for your use during the day

For the mats and snorkel equipment, you will be given coupons to go get the equipment from the rental location.

There is a bar in the cabana area but here are no attendants that will take your order and bring your drinks (unlike Labadee).  There are restrooms near the bar for use by cabana guests.

Some people have reported getting a fruit plate and champagne, although that isn't something that's always been offered.

Photo by cjdixon4

How to rent the cabanas

Suite guests get first access to the cabanas but you can go to the Explorations (shore excursions) desk onboard your Royal Caribbean ship and put your name down on a list.  It's best to put your name down as soon as possible for the best chance at getting a cabana.

We have had luck reserving a cabana on the spot in CocoCay after talking with the attendant who allows admission to the area, but that's subject to availability.

If you are not a suite guest, your best is to put your name on the list at the Explorations desk as early as possible and keep checking back on the status of your request.

Water, water everywhere but no where to swim

Your private cabana area gives you a great, private area to admire the ocean but there is no beach access from the cabanas.  Instead, you will need to walk out of the cabana area if you plan on going swimming.

The closest swimming area is a short walk away, perhaps a few minutes.

Photo by mrsfecura

Which cabanas to rent

All cabanas on CocoCay are great but the cabanas closest to the water offer the most privacy as well as the best view.

Cabanas 1 through 7 are the ones to try for but you shouldn't be disappointed if you end up with a different cabana.

Photo of the Day: CocoCay beach


Photo by hortonheardawho

Carnival cruise ships to make stops at Royal Caribbean's private island of CocoCay


Carnival Cruise Lines has announced on select five-night sailings of its Carnival Fascination will swap out a stop at Key West for the private island of Little Stirrup Cay, which is better known to Royal Caribbean fans as Coco Cay.

The Fascination sailings that will stop at CocoCay are scheduled for 03/11/2013, 04/08/2013, 05/06/2013, 05/27/2013, 06/10/2013, 06/24/2013, 07/08/2013, 07/22/2013, 08/05/2013, 08/19/2013, 09/02/2013, 09/16/2013, 09/30/2013, 10/14/2013, 10/28/2013, 11/25/2013, 12/09/2013, 01/20/2014, 03/03/2014, 03/17/2014, 04/14/2014 & 04/28/2014.

The news of Carnival stopping at Coco Cay came via emails sent to Carnival passengers that had booked the cruise previously.

The exact details of the agreement between Carnival and Royal Caribbean are unknown at this time.  Royal Caribbean has an existing agreement with the Bahamas for exclusive access to the island via its lease.  Many are speculating that Carnival will pay Royal Caribbean for access to the island because Carnival's private island of Half Moon Cay is booked up already.

Royal Caribbeans private island CocoCay awarded Gold-level Eco-Certification


Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, was awarded the Sustainable Tourism Education Program (STEP) Gold-Level Eco-Certification for its attractions and tour operations.

The award was presented by Sustainable Travel International, a leading nonprofit that support sustainable tourism development.  The certification is the top-tier program and  is among the first global standards to be formally recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and CocoCay is the first operation of its kind to receive the certification.

All on-island tours and island operations, including workplace practices, guest communications, and environmental management policies were assessed by a third-party independent of Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean demonstrated an ability to successfully apply its outstanding on-board sustainability initiatives to its shore excursion operations.

Royal Caribbean met certain criteria to receive the award, among them were these distinctions

  • Royal Caribbean performed extremely well on all policy and documentation criteria.
  • The CocoCay team performed “above and beyond” in areas of guest communications, guest education, group-size policy and visitor code of conduct.
  • All on-island vendors sell locally sourced and produced products from the Bahamas, such as artwork and locally-made crafts.

Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President for Safety and Environmental Stewardship, Rich Pruitt, commented on the award, "We are very proud of our CocoCay team and the incredible work they do every day. It is through their dedication to sustainability initiatives that CocoCay has been awarded this prestigious certification that further emphasizes our commitment to environmental stewardship. By working with organizations such as Sustainable Travel International, Royal Caribbean continues to focus on providing an incredible vacation experience both onboard its ships and its private destinations like CocoCay.”

Freedom of the Seas Video Blog - Eastern Caribbean Itinerary


In our second video blog, we preview the Eastern Caribbean itinerary aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.   We preview each of the three islands: CocoCay, St. Thomas & St. Maarten, including what the islands are known for and what the good excursions are.  Joining me on today's episode is Kaleigh Lay from CruizeCast.

Let us know how you liked the video and any suggestions you have for our cruise!

For more videos, subscribe to our Royal Caribbean Blog channel on YouTube.

Royal Caribbean reopens private island after Hurricane Sandy damage


Hurricane Sandy went through Royal Caribbean's private island of CocoCay and despite some damage, the oasis for Royal Caribbean cruise passengers is open again.

Royal Caribbean spokesperson Cynthia Martinez talked about the damage the storm did to the island, "The island of Coco Cay was impacted by the storm, with damage being sustained to some of our facilities and the beach areas. Our Coco Cay team has been working diligently to prepare the island for our guests arrival."

Despite the damage, Majesty of the Seas called on CocoCay yesterday as scheduled and Monarch of the Seas is expected to also call on CocoCay today.

Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism director of cruise development, Carla Stuart, claims that Hurricane Sandy had cost Nassau alone a collective $927,000 in lost cruise spend and taxes.

Ms Stuart noted that vessel cancelations between Thursday to Saturday last week cost Nassau an estimated $742,000 in passenger spending, plus $185,000 in likely departure tax.