Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

Celebrity Cruises will visit Royal Caribbean's private island for the first time. It's symbolic of the two lines' closer relationship

18 Apr 2024
Elizabeth Wright

Celebrity Cruises is scheduled to call at Perfect Day at CocoCay on Monday, April 22. It’s the first time Royal Caribbean’s sister line will visit the private island since its $250 million renovation.

Celebrity will visit CocoCay

Celebrity Reflection, a Solstice Class ship that was launched in 2012, is set to depart from Fort Lauderdale on a 5-night cruise on Sunday that'll visit CocoCay and Cozumel. 

She will be docked alongside Wonder of the Seas on Monday. On Tuesday, Celebrity Beyond and Freedom of the Seas are scheduled to visit CocoCay. 

By the end of the year, Celebrity will have sailed to CocoCay 47 times on cruises ranging from short 3-night getaways to weeklong Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

CocoCay aerial with balloon in view

Fares start as low as $277 per person for a 3-night cruise onboard Celebrity Reflection. 

Prior to Celebrity’s expansion, access to the island was reserved for those sailing on Royal Caribbean ships. Now, passengers can enjoy the family-friendly amenities during the day before returning to one of Celebrity’s upscale ships. 

Onboard, you won’t find any thrills that have come to define the Royal Caribbean brand, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, zip line, and AquaTheater high diving shows. 


Instead, Celebrity focuses on delivering a refined experience with world-class cuisine, high-end accommodations, and top-tier entertainment.

Typically, Celebrity’s itineraries highlight more unique ports across the globe, with two ships stationed year-round in Asia and Europe. 

Due to the demand for cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean, Celebrity will now offer sailings throughout the year, many of which will call at CocoCay. They will also tap into the weekend cruise market.

Celebrity Ascent

"Our customers are consistently asking for more opportunities to visit this stunning region year-round, have more weekend options so they can get away easier, and have expressed a desire for a private island destination,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises.

“By introducing this new program, we can meet this demand and offer something new and historic to all our guests.”

Read more: 5 things I hope Royal Caribbean steals from Celebrity Ascent (and one they shouldn't)

Perfect Day at CocoCay is a popular destination that’s known for its beautiful beaches, thrilling water slides, and upscale amenities

Royal Caribbean

According to Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley, the demand for Perfect Day at CocoCay is “exceptionally high.”

"CocoCay is the number one destination that Royal Caribbean goes to in the world out of 100 global destinations, because it’s a curated experience designed and built to deliver a high-level experience to the customer,” Bayley said.

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Utopia of the Seas, is scheduled to enter service in July 2024. 

Going down the slides

It’s the first new build for the line that’s beginning with 3- and 4-night cruises, as transitioning from weeklong to weekend sailings is typically a hallmark of older vessels. The ship will visit CocoCay twice per week, compared to Icon of the Seas' singular weekly visit. 

Additionally, Royal Caribbean recently completed the island’s adult-only Hideaway Beach expansion, bringing the island’s capacity to 13,000 passengers per day.

Read more: I just spent 11 days on Celebrity Edge – did it live up to the hype?

Though guest satisfaction is paramount, sailing to CocoCay benefits Royal Caribbean Group from a financial perspective

Hideaway Beach

With CocoCay located about 140 miles from Miami, it’s a quick and convenient destination, which helps reduce the company’s fuel consumption and costs.

Plus, visiting private destinations, including Royal Caribbean’s Labadee, Haiti, helps keep more profits in-house.

There’s no competition for shore excursions, ensuring that passengers spend money with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, rather than a third party.

Infinity pool

It’s easy to find cheaper operators in ports like Nassau and Cozumel. On my upcoming Celebrity Reflection cruise, for instance, an ATV tour in Mexico starts at $85.99 through the cruise line, whereas a tour through Cozumel Tours by Johann and Sandra is just over $100 for a shared vehicle.

Though CocoCay has complimentary beach chairs, a large freshwater pool, and plenty of dining options, the island is known for its paid activities, ranging from Thrill Waterpark to the upscale Coco Beach Club.

It’s not uncommon to see admission to the waterpark starting around $150 per person, with overwater cabanas sometimes costing upwards of $4,000 or $5,000.

Read more: I rented a $2,000 cabana at Royal Caribbean's adults-only area of CocoCay

Members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society can have their loyalty status matched within Celebrity’s Captain’s Club

Icon of the Seas

Climbing the ranks of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society is rewarding. From complimentary drink vouchers to exclusive events, discounts on laundry, and more, the company excels at keeping fans “Loyal to Royal.”

Though Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are owned by Royal Caribbean Group, the lines appeal to different crowds. According to Celebrity Cruises, 51% of guests on 7-night cruises are 60 years old and older. Additionally, Baby Boomers make up the majority of guests onboard Caribbean sailings, with anywhere from 47% to 63% of passengers coming from this generation.

Royal Caribbean is the more family-friendly of the two, with activities geared towards even the youngest sailors onboard.

Celebrity Apex docked in St. Thomas

Whether you've been a devout Celebrity or Royal cruiser, you don't have to give up all of your loyalty perks. Depending on your cruising needs, you may find yourself wanting to try the other line, as they both have a lot to offer! 

Perhaps, for instance, your children are grown and you're seeking a more refined vacation, but you've only ever cruised with Royal. 

You are able to match your Crown & Anchor status to Celebrity's Captain's Club once you accumulate 30 cruise points. Similarly, those within the Captain's Club can match their status to the Crown & Anchor Society upon reaching the Select tier. 

Wonder of the Seas at CocoCay

Though the programs aren't identical, you can benefit from perks like complimentary drinks, discounted Wi-Fi, upgraded bathroom amenities, and more. 

The only caveat is that you cannot match into the top level for either program. Those who are part of the elusive Pinnacle Club won't be able to become a Zenith Captain's Member. Instead, the highest you can match into is Elite. 

Similarly, the highest status you can achieve via the status match in Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society is Diamond. 


Currently, you only earn points on the line that you're sailing with, so if you're cruising on Celebrity, you won't earn Crown & Anchor points. 

In September 2023, Andrea Shay, AVP of Loyalty for Celebrity Cruises, mentioned that there's a possibility of consolidating Royal Caribbean Group loyalty programs

Shay acknowledged that the current status matching program doesn't thread the Royal Caribbean Group brands together. 

"We have some status match between the brands today, but there's such a huge opportunity for us to do more and really take advantage of the connection and us being part of the same family," she said. 

Celebrity is working with sister brands to hopefully reveal more information about what this could potentially look like. With Celebrity now sailing to CocoCay, an integrated program would make sense, as it would provide greater value and recognition for guests while fostering a stronger connection between Royal Caribbean Group brands.

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

Get our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with cruise news & advice

    We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy