CocoCay

A look at everything Royal Caribbean is adding to CocoCay

In:
Category: 
15Mar2018

Have you heard about the big changes coming to CocoCay? Royal Caribbean unveiled its plans for the Perfect Day at CocoCay that is sure to offer a lot for guests of all ages.  

Perfect Day at CocoCay will roll out in phases, beginning Sept. 2018 with the completion of the pier, and the majority of the island will launch spring 2019. Coco Beach Club, the final experience to be completed, is set to open Nov. 2019.

Here is a breakdown of everything we know that is being added to CocoCay, from racing down the tallest and most thrilling waterslide in North America or riding the tide of the Caribbean’s largest wave pool, to taking in the highest view in The Bahamas from a helium balloon 450 feet in the air, unwinding at the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, or enjoying the perfect beach day.

Splash and play

As you arrive in CocoCay (on the newly added pier), the opportunity to get soaked and cool off is right around the corner.  The shipwrecked Galleon features 30 water cannons to play with, along with Sprayaway Geyser, spraying water 82 feet in the air.

Royal Caribbean has been adding a new aquatic adventure park to its cruise ships, dubbed Splashaway Bay.  On CocoCay, Royal Caribbean will create the largest version of its aqua park yet.

Splashaway Bay will feature fountains, pools, sprinklers, geysers, water cannons and whirlpools – plus five kid-size waterslides and two massive drench buckets.

Dining

At Captain Jack’s, the island hangout and meet-up spot, guests can grab a drink at the rowboat bar and enjoy waterfront views or chow down on chicken wings and crispy steak fries – the house specialty.

For a nautical, world-traveled vibe, guests can opt to head to Skipper’s Grill for lunchtime favorites like burgers, sandwiches, tacos and salads.

Thrills

The home for adrenaline-seeking guests is Thrill Waterpark, and it will be in the middle of Perfect Day at CocoCay.  It is home to two brag-worthy water towers with 13 slides – the most slides found in any waterpark in the Caribbean – as well as the Caribbean’s largest wave pool and a kid-friendly obstacle course pool.

Key features of Thrill Waterpark will include:

  • Daredevil’s Tower – Guests will push their limits on seven exhilarating slides, including twin Dueling Demons drop slides and the duo of Manta Raycers; the high-speed, fully vertical Screeching Serpent; the coiling Green Mamba; and the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America.
  • Family Tower – Adventurous squads will share the thrill with six multi-rider slides, including The Twister, a winding tube slide for two sharing a raft; The Slingshot, a zero-gravity slide for four; and the four-lane Splash Speedway racing slides.

There will also be a 1,600-foot zip line that ends with the only splash water landing in the region.

For younger kids, Adventure Pool will offer an obstacle course of lily pads, a rock-climbing wall and swing ropes to bounce, climb and swing to their heart’s content.

Birds-eye View

You will be able to see it all with Up, Up and Away.  This colorful helium baloon will take guests 450 feet above CocoCay to provide the highest vantage point in The Bahamas and offer views all around the island.

Largest Freshwater Pool

Royal Caribbean is planning to add the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean at Oasis Lagoon.

Guests can find a spot among three distinct coves, each with their own vibe.  There will be a swim-up bar, zero entry pool access, or three mini swim-up islands with in-water loungers. 

If indulgence is more your style, private cabanas area available, complete with its own cabana attendant.

Beach time

If you are looking to enjoy time on the beach, Chill Island may be the place for you.  Royal Caribbean promises vacationers can find pristine, crystal-clear tropical waters and white powder-like sand

Chill Grill, the largest dining venue on the island, will offer beachside dining with fresh bites. Guests will also find beach day favorites here, including wave runner excursions, boat tours, snorkeling to see the spectacular marine life, as well as plentiful cabanas and daybeds for relaxation under the shade. There will also be beach bars with roaming bartenders.

South Beach will offer many activities to do while at the beach, such as volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer, paddle boarding, glass-bottom kayaking and zorbing in an inflatable zorb ball.

You can grab a bite at the Snack Shack or wade out to the floating bar to cool off with a drink.

If relaxation is more their speed, photo-worthy teepee cabanas, as well as daybeds, are perfect for napping and snapping in the shade.

An exclusive retreat

The Coco Beach Club will offer the first and only overwater cabanas in The Bahamas that seeks to offer guests with an additional level of luxury.

Cabanas at the Coco Beach Club come with an overwater hammock, waterslide and private attendant.

In addition, beachside cabanas and daybeds will offer up a private slice of paradise. Elsewhere, guests can find zen at a freshwater infinity edge pool and bar, spanning an expansive 2,600-plus feet, or enjoy an exclusive dining venue that serves up freshly made Mediterranean fare with a side of ocean views.

Your thoughts

Which addition to CocoCay are you most excited to try?  Are you brave enough to go down the Daredevil’s Tower? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean announces massive expansion for private destinations and new ship upgrades

In:
14Mar2018

Royal Caribbean announced plans for a massive expansion to its private islands, as well as fleet modernization effort.

CocoCay

Leading the big news is the announcement of a $200 million transformation of Royal Caribbean's private island of CocoCay in the Bahamas.

CocoCay will be the first in the cruise line's most ambitious project yet, which they are dubbing the Perfect Day Island Collection.  This will be a series of unrivaled and exclusive private island destinations around the world.

Perfect Day at CocoCay is aimed at offering "the ultimate family destination in the Caribbean."

Highlights include:

  • Thrill Waterpark, featuring two brag-worthy water towers with 13 slides – the most slides found in any waterpark in the Caribbean – will include the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak, the tallest waterslide in North America. In addition, the waterpark will feature the Caribbean’s largest wave pool and a kid-friendly obstacle course pool.
  • Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, with a swim-up bar and in-pool loungers.
  • A 1,600-foot zip line that crisscrosses the island at up to 50 feet high and features the only water landing in the Caribbean.
  • A helium balloon, dubbed Up, Up and Away, floats up to 450 feet above the ground providing for the highest vantage point in The Bahamas.
  • Two specially designed beaches – Chill Island for the ultimate beach escape, complete with pristine, crystal-clear tropical waters and white powder-like sand – and plentiful cabanas and daybeds for relaxation; and the action-packed South Beach with volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer, paddle boarding, glass-bottom kayaking and zorbing in an inflatable zorb ball.
  • The exclusive Coco Beach Club, will offer an upscale island experience that will feature the first overwater cabanas in The Bahamas.

The island transformation will roll out in phases beginning September 2018 with the completion of a new pier, and by spring 2019 the majority of the island’s experiences will be open. Coco Beach Club, the final phase, is set to open November 2019.

Additional Perfect Day Island Collection destinations in Asia, Australia and the Caribbean will be announced at a later date.

Ship revitalizations

Royal Caribbean also announced it will invest $900 million to reimagining its fleet through a new modernization effort called Royal Amplified.

Royal Amplified will cover 10 ships over four years, and Royal Caribbean promises the program will touch every facet of the guest experience, and introduce a wide range of innovative features and bold, new experiences, including specialized pool spaces, experiential dining and nightlife concepts, and first-of-its-kind attractions.

Royal Amplified will include the Oasis, Freedom and Voyager class ships.

Independence of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to receive updates under the Royal Amplified program. Mariner of the Seas will receive her upgrades in time for this summer. The program will continue in 2019 on sister ship Navigator of the Seas, which also will be redesigned to specifically cater to those who seek a quick getaway.

Oasis of the Seas will be completely reimagined in fall 2019, ten years after her revolutionary debut. The ship will gain new thrills, pools, bars and culinary creations, as well as introduce new restaurants and onboard adventures found on the newest Oasis Class ship, Symphony of the Seas. These enhancements will cascade to Allure of the Seas in spring 2020, making every ship in the class more adventurous than ever.

Freedom of the Seas will be up next, debuting new features in 2020, followed by Liberty of the Seas in 2021.

In developing Royal Amplified, the global cruise line analyzed multiple years of guest satisfaction ratings, venue utilization data and crew interviews to focus the major investment on key features and experiences that matter most to travelers.

Full details on each ship’s new amenities will be revealed on a continuous basis in the next three years.

CocoCay construction progress photo report

In:
Category: 
16Feb2018

Royal Caribbean is in the midst of adding a number of improvements to its private destination of CocoCay in the Bahamas.  We have a recent look at the progress being made.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader MikeOzy15 took these photos on February 14, while on an Enchantment of the Seas cruise.

First and foremost, here is a look at the progress being made on the new dock, which is scheduled to be completed in June 2018.

Some of the work being done in CocoCay is hidden to guests by walls.

There is also a new large, "life size" pool table,bowling, bocce ball, volleyball nets and a basketball court for guests to use.

Pier construction photo report from CocoCay

In:
Category: 
15Sep2017

Royal Caribbean is working on adding a pier to its private destionation of CocoCay, and we have a new photo report to share of the progress being made.

Reader Brian White took these photos on August 30, while visiting the island on a Grandeur of the Seas cruise.

The pier will connect to Cococay on the western side of the tender harbor and extend down island from there, presumably to keep the tender harbor free for future use.

The barge on the right was re-positioning at the time this photo was taken, eventually moving to the far right out of view where the end of the pier will be.


The sand they are pulling out is being dumped further down the island in the undeveloped area.

Spotted: Waterfront cabanas at CocoCay

In:
Category: 
21Aug2017

Royal Caribbean has offered cabanas at its private destination of CocoCay for years, but these cabanas have lacked direct ocean access.  A new set of cabanas have been relocated that remedy that issue and provide waterfront access.

The waterfront cabanas at Water Sports Beach provide direct water access and Royal Caribbean Blog reader Nick Vitani shared photos of these cabanas.

The cabana relocation is part of Royal Caribbean's island-wide updates that are in the process of being implemented.  

Royal Caribbean officially breaks ground on CocoCay pier

In:
Category: 
27Apr2017

Royal Caribbean held the official groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for a new pier to be added on its private destination of CocoCay.

Photo by Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society

The groundbreaking ceremony was held while Enchantment of the Seas was visiting CocoCay on a short Bahamas cruise.

Last month, Royal Caribbean announced the small island in the Bahamas will get a number of enhancements over the next couple of years, with a pier being among the first changes coming.  Once complete, the new pier will be able to handle even Oasis Class ships.

Guests visiting CocoCay have had to be ferried over on tender boats, but weather conditions have had a tendency to impede on that process.  With a pier, Royal Caribbean ships can more easily visit CocoCay.

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean confirmed the pier should be complete in June 2018.

Royal Caribbean CEO talks new ships, innovations and options coming soon to the cruise line

In:
20Apr2017

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley spoke with Travel Weekly about a variety of topics this week, which confirmed or announced a number of changes coming to the cruise line in the next few years.

Among the topics mentioned were

  • Quantum 4 (also known as Quantum Plus), will set sail in 2019 and spend its first winter in China, and, if it is not deployed to the UK earlier that summer, will spend the whole summer in China too.
  • Symphony of the Seas will feature, "an experience for kids and the kid in you, something for adventure seekers but in a nice, safe way."
  • Royal Caribbean is working on several product enhancements on Symphony of the Seas to improve the dining, entertainment and service. All will start to be revealed next month.
  • Bayley indicated Majesty of the Seas could be sailing to Cuba too, "We have 40-50 sailings calling into Havana in 2017, starting in April – mostly on Empress of the Seas but also a few on Majesty of the Seas."
  • Royal Caribbean will build a "massive water park" in CocoCay that, "will eclipse any other water park in the world."
  • Guests on CocoCay may be able to get off the ship and stay there overnight, "we will be adding some private cabana accommodation for Suite Class guests who may want to get off and stay for a few days in total luxury and privacy before hopping on another ship to come home."

You can read the entire interview with Michael Bayley on TravelWeekly.

Spotlight: CocoCay Beach Bungalows

In:
Category: 
31Mar2017

Guests visiting Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay are certain to find plenty to do in their time onshore, including a private area just for them in the Beach Bungalows.

Royal Caribbean added Beach Bungalows to CocoCay in 2016, which offer guests a private area of the beach just for guests in bungalows.  While on a recent cruise to CocoCay, we tried out the bungalows for ourselves to evaluate the option.

The Beach Bungalows cost us $195, and can accommodate up to six guests.  Each bungalow rental is good for the entire day spent in CocoCay.

They are located in the South Beach area of the island, which is a good distance from where guests disembark from their tenders.  Royal Caribbean offers complimentary transportation to and from the Beach Bungalows via its private Cocolimo shuttle transportation.

The Beach Bungalows are located at #29 on the map

Upon arrival at the Beach Bungalow area, guests check-in with the concierge desk to have a bungalow assigned to them.  Each bungalow includes two floating mats, a cooler of bottled water and beach towels.

As mentioned, the Beach Bungalows are located in a rather secluded area of the beach, which means less crowds.  It is about a five minute walk down the beach to the floating bar.  Other destinations on the island can be reached easily by requesting a cart ride from the concierge, which is complimentary.

The bungalow itself comes with a large couch and coffee table.  There is enough room to comfortably seat four adults inside.  There are also two beach lounger chairs that are just outside the bungalow, which provide even more seating options.

Each bungalow only has one full wall (in the back), but there are curtains that can be extended to provide more privacy and/or shade.

Unlike the cabanas in CocoCay, the Beach Bungalows have direct beach access, which means guests can exit their bungalow and walk right to the ocean, as opposed to the cabana guests who must exit the cabana area and then go into the ocean nearby.

During our stay, in lieu of the usual lunch buffet offered, all Beach Bungalow guests were given a new menu to pre-order their lunch.  The selected options would be delivered to the bungalow when it was ready. 

Depending on your culinary preferences, the menu ordering system can be a good or bad thing.  Personally, I enjoyed having more options than just typical BBQ food, as well as not having to take my kids to the buffet.  Delivery to the bungalow provided an extra level of service than I was expecting. 

Just like delivery food at home, certain foods can deteriorate quickly in the interim period between preparation and delivery.  Moreover, the cooked food items tended to be not as hot because of the delivery lag time.  Still, not having to leave the comfortable confines of my bungalow was not to be overlooked.

There is a dedicated bar at the rear of the Beach Bungalow area, along with servers coming occasionally by to offer Coco Loco drinks. Additionally, restrooms are located just behind the Beach Bungalow area and are a very short walk.

Overall, the Beach Bungalows save a little bit of money over their cabana counterparts while providing significantly more living space and privacy than the less expensive Beach Beds.  

The CocoCay Beach Bungalows are a great choice for families or groups that want to have a private area to sit, with easy access to the beach and lots included with the price.

CocoCay construction progress photo report

In:
Category: 
30Mar2017

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean announced a massive expansion to its private destination of CocoCay, and already work has begun in earnest.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Michael Osypowski shared with us these photos of the construction progress happening there.

Our first set of photos are of where the new pier appears to be installed.

These photos are from the rear of CocoCay.  It appears a backhoe has been use to dredge out a lagoon.

Royal Caribbean indicated the improvements to CocoCay will take a multi-phased approach, with some elements of the new construction ready in 2018, and construction complete sometime in 2019.

Royal Caribbean announces expansion of private destination CocoCay

In:
Category: 
08Mar2017

In a press conference on Wednesday, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley announced plans for the cruise line to make major enhancements to the cruise line's private destination in the Bahamas, CocoCay.

The announcement marks a significant investment in The Bahamas, and it will include construction of a pier, additional guest features and amenities, and new opportunities for vendors and craftsmen to promote the culture of The Bahamas to visitors.  The pier will be able to handle Oasis class cruise ships.

Bayley described the new additions coming to CocoCay as, "innovative" and "entertaining".  He also indicated the construction will take a multi-phased approach, with some elements of the new construction ready in 2018, and construction complete sometime in 2019. In the meantime, Bayley said ships will continue to stop at CocoCay without any disruption.

In addition to the CocoCay news, Royal Caribbean has committed to a multi-year agreement with the island nation of The Bahamas that will help grow tourism to the destination, rapidly increase the cruise line’s employment of Bahamian nationals and invest in hospitality training to develop talent in the country.

As part of the agreement, Royal Caribbean plans to work with The Bahamas government to develop a training program to provide those who aspire to a career in hospitality with a unique opportunity to participate in innovative training and development. The cruise line will create a curriculum that will prepare many thousands of students for careers at sea on board one of Royal Caribbean’s ships. The classes will be facilitated by dedicated instructors who will provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge to help them develop valuable and marketable hospitality skills. In addition to the classroom experience, students will receive on-site guidance and training from shipboard professionals.

Royal Caribbean has committed to rapidly growing the number of Bahamian nationals employed by the cruise line in the next five years. In addition, they have joint ownership of the Grand Bahamas shipyard in Freeport at which major revitalizations and drydock maintenance of its ships take place.

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