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Andy from Atlanta

CocoCay Review (6/27/19 Visit)

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We had a chance to visit CocoCay on TH 6/27 off of the Mariner of the Seas.

Summary

- Amazing, outstanding, a true game-changer.

- Flexible enough to meet the needs of everybody. 

- You can have a great time with excursions or without. 

- Thrill Park is great.  If that is your thing. 

- Overall, highly recommended. 

Our group

- 2 families with children (11, 8, 7 years old)

- We booked the full day Thrill Park via Cruise Planner at $47/adult as well as the kid rate (I forgot the total).

- 2nd RCCL trip (1st was Harmony)


Our Day (Part 1:  Thrill Park)

- RC provided a map and a 1-page fact sheet the evening before.  We felt very prepared. 

- Checked out towels and then met the gang for breakfast at 7:30am.

- Left the boat at 8:30am.  It was very fast.  No towel check-out was provided at level 1.  You will need to get towels in advance at the pool deck.

- Trams were waiting on the pier to talk folks if desired.

- Less than 5 min walk from the boat to the entrance to the island and the Thrill Park.  Live music, dancers, etc.  lots of energy.

- Easy entry to the Thrill Park, use your sea pass.  RCCL staff is onsite.

- Locker to your right after entering the park (free).

- We divided into two groups.  One group went straight to the Devil's Tower.  They rode it once and had a very small line.  Within an hour of opening the wait time was 45-60- minutes.  Key point:  Plan ahead and arrive early.  The other group secured lounger chairs under umbrellas (between the Devils Tower and the other Slide section) and headed over to the Sling Shot (the half pipe ride), Twister, and Racers.  

- Easy to find chairs.  Lots available with lots of shade. 

- Easy to find beverage (adult) and water.

- All the water slides are strong.  Fun, thrilling, scaring, high energy, etc. 

- After the slides, we hit the wave pool.  Recommended as well. Make sure you watch the young kids.  The pool is crowded and life guards can see only so much.

- We also spent time on the adventure pool.  Both adults and kids were using the attraction.  Lots of fun. 

- After about 2.5 hours on the Thrill Park we decided to go to Chill Island.  One of the reasons was the wait on the Tower Slides was getting long and we saw storms in the distance and wanted to hedge our time.

Out Day (Part 2:  Chill Island).

- Relaxing.  Laid back. Really a different vibe and energy.

- Rented snorkel equipment. My kids saw stingrays and fish.

- After about 2 hours, headed to Chill Grill for lunch. Taco bar and grilled chicken wings were strong.  We also liked the fact you can pour your own beer (w Seapass Card).  Kids loved the ice cream.

- BIG ISSUE:  TONS of birds are seagulls are onsite at Chill Grill and are very aggressive.  They are swarming on guests and attacking their plates while guests sat at picnic tables.  I saw a bird swoop down and steal a chicken wing from a guest who was about to it eat.  This needs to be fixed.  Think the movie "The Birds".

- Went to Oasis Lagoon for the rest of the day and drank our share of Miami Vice, Kracken and Diet Coke, and beer.  The Pool bar is strong and the staff are fast.  

- The pool itself is very large and can accommodate a lot of folks.  Loud music.  Party atmosphere. 

- Some lighting delays throughout our day, but no biggie.  

- Took the tram home.  

General thoughts

- Great time.  Really strong move by RCCL.  Disney will have to up its game.  Huge contrast to other cruise private islands.

- Easy to navigate and everything is pretty much 10 minutes away.  Walk or Tram.

- Totally different vibes between the water park and Chill Island. 

- Even though we only were at the water park for 2 hours, it was so fun we still feel as though we got our $$$ worth.

- Staff was great. 

- The island and layout are such that the crowded feeling is likely to be minimized.  

- Easy to get food, adult beverages, water etc.  Lockers are free.

- We did not rent a cabana.  They looked very nice.  Our hesitation is that if you rent a cabana you may feel limited to stay in the cabana and consequently miss other areas of the island.  We liked our approach of spending time at the water park, the beach, and the big pool.

- Talked to a few officer types at the island and they shared that RCCL plans on building a hotel for guests on the island and back-to-back CocoCay stays will be offered in Jan 2020. 

- The day before we stopped at Nassau and stayed until 8:30pm.  I really wish we could have stayed that long at CocoCay and shortened our time in Nassau. 

- The birds at Chill Grill are an issue.

- Other guests we were talking too on the ship felt the same about the island - it is fantastic. 

- Have a high-level plan so you can make the most of the day.  You don't have to plan every minute, but at least consider where you want "Home base" and what you want to do on the island in some order.  Hit the waterpark early to avoid lines.

Hope his helps.  Have.a blast.

Andy

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for the report.  My family cannot wait to go.  We opted to book a cabana and thrill water park because our kids love waive pools and dad loves to relax.  I enjoy both.  We were so disappointed with the food on Labadee that we go back on the ship to eat now when there but from your review it sounds like the food is better here.  Do you happen to know what food is available at the water park?

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We will be visiting Coco Cay next June on Oasis but cruise planner does not show me the option to purchase thrill park passes. Is it too soon or would it be sold out already? Any help would be appreciated.

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29 minutes ago, Wnuk said:

We will be visiting Coco Cay next June on Oasis but cruise planner does not show me the option to purchase thrill park passes. Is it too soon or would it be sold out already? Any help would be appreciated.

Probably too soon.  Keep checking as it should open in a month or two.

 

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I agree with everything you said above! We were there just a few days before you. We spent our entire day at Chill Island since we had been at Atlantis's water park the day before. The water park looked amazing and I hope to visit it the next trip. Food was delicious at Chill Grill, but yes the birds are an issue. Anyone could definitely spend 2 days at CocoCay and not get bored!

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Thank you for your generosity in sharing this, Andy From Atlanta, this is GREAT!!!!

Regarding "- All the water slides are strong.  Fun, thrilling, scaring, high energy, etc. " ... could you recommend a slide(s) that might not rench a neck?  I have arthritis and don't want a high-impact water landing... hoping for a recommendation for an experience the is a thrill but not hard on the body?  Thanks in advance!  ~FirstTime2019

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On 6/29/2019 at 2:50 PM, Andy from Atlanta said:

- Easy to get food, adult beverages, water etc.  Lockers are free.

- The birds at Chill Grill are an issue.

 

Thank you Andy for an amazing review!  We'll be at CocoCay in Feb 2020!

  1. Were there plastic cups and lids available for the complimentary drinks?  
  2. Did you notice what types of complimentary drinks were available (like water, iced tea ...)?
  3. Were the birds a problem at any of the other complimentary food venues, or just Chill Grill?
  4. Do we need to bring out own locks for the lockers?

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1 hour ago, raahc said:

Thank you Andy for an amazing review!  We'll be at CocoCay in Feb 2020!

  1. Were there plastic cups and lids available for the complimentary drinks?  
  2. Did you notice what types of complimentary drinks were available (like water, iced tea ...)?
  3. Were the birds a problem at any of the other complimentary food venues, or just Chill Grill?
  4. Do we need to bring out own locks for the lockers?

You may want to check out the @twangster Empress B2B live blog.  He did some extensive recon at CocoCay.  I think I linked to where that part begins:

 

And here's locker info:  

 

 

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On 8/21/2019 at 3:56 PM, AshleyDillo said:

You may want to check out the @twangster Empress B2B live blog.  He did some extensive recon at CocoCay.  I think I linked to where that part begins:

And here's locker info:  

Found these complimentary lockers a short walk from Oasis Lagoon Pick a 4 digit code and lock it up.  

 

Thanks so much.  I read that review and saw the lockers, but wasn't quite sure about the actual locks, even with my :201_eyeglasses: on ...😂

On 8/21/2019 at 4:33 PM, twangster said:

Amazing, thank you.  Pictures were so crisp and clear!  Loved reading that review.

I did see the plastic cups, but I didn't see any lids or straws ...

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I am with @AshleyDillo  I do not recall seeing lids ever available, and that includes on the ship.  ~~ Caveat Starbucks for coffee and fraps.  

However,  I do recall people,  carrying around their own type of insulated cup that had a straw.  They would use it for complimentary drinks.

I would say impo that the birds are not a problem, unless you are near people that I would call jerks.  
~ IE they throw food a few feet away on the ground, all of the sudden, 2 gulls are there.  They think it is cute and funny, so they throw more, now 5 gulls are there...meanwhile they are snapping pics of it.

~ They are too lazy or ignorant/arrogant to pick up after they eat, so they leave their leftover food on the table, which equates to feeding frenzy for the gulls.

~ We had a cabana, and I can tell you 1 cabana ticked off the other cabana people.  They decided to bring into the water a bag of Veggie straws.  The kid (probably 18) would dip it into the water for the fish to jump and nibble on.  He would immediately pull his hand back into the air as soon as they nibbled.  They all thought was cute...the rest of us, thought you are a jerk.  Do you know if these veggies straws are healthy for the fish?  Family of 5 or more are laughing, taking pics and telling him do it again.  By the 3rd time seagulls started swarming in.  They continued to laugh, and say take a pic.  People were talking loud enough for them to hear that this was wrong.  They did not care.  5 minutes in, revenge occurred.  They must have had a dozen seagulls flapping around them, the majority of us decided to give a very wide berth, no closer than 20 ft.  They decided to get out of the water to escape the gulls.  Unfortunately for them they were carrying that bag of veggie straws and the seagulls followed them too.  

 

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3 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

I do not recall seeing lids ever available but they should have paper straws.

Thanks for confirming.  Ugh, I understand RCI being environmentally friendly, but we already have very heavy insulated water bottles, and now will bring insulated bottles for the complimentary drinks, just a lot to carry.

I'm wondering how people wash their bottles since the sinks in the cabins are very small and shallow?

1 hour ago, Pima1988 said:

I am with @AshleyDillo  I do not recall seeing lids ever available, and that includes on the ship.  ~~ Caveat Starbucks for coffee and fraps.  

However,  I do recall people,  carrying around their own type of insulated cup that had a straw.  They would use it for complimentary drinks.

I would say impo that the birds are not a problem, unless you are near people that I would call jerks.  
~ IE they throw food a few feet away on the ground, all of the sudden, 2 gulls are there.  They think it is cute and funny, so they throw more, now 5 gulls are there...meanwhile they are snapping pics of it.

~ They are too lazy or ignorant/arrogant to pick up after they eat, so they leave their leftover food on the table, which equates to feeding frenzy for the gulls.

~ We had a cabana, and I can tell you 1 cabana ticked off the other cabana people.  They decided to bring into the water a bag of Veggie straws.  The kid (probably 18) would dip it into the water for the fish to jump and nibble on.  He would immediately pull his hand back into the air as soon as they nibbled.  They all thought was cute...the rest of us, thought you are a jerk.  Do you know if these veggies straws are healthy for the fish?  Family of 5 or more are laughing, taking pics and telling him do it again.  By the 3rd time seagulls started swarming in.  They continued to laugh, and say take a pic.  People were talking loud enough for them to hear that this was wrong.  They did not care.  5 minutes in, revenge occurred.  They must have had a dozen seagulls flapping around them, the majority of us decided to give a very wide berth, no closer than 20 ft.  They decided to get out of the water to escape the gulls.  Unfortunately for them they were carrying that bag of veggie straws and the seagulls followed them too.  

 

Thanks for confirming as well.  see note above 

Re:  birds - well, imo, that's just annoying!  We'll be sure to try and find a table away from the feeding frenzy and leftover food on tables ...

Re: veggie straws 🙄 shaking my head here... so sorry you had to experience that ... they're lucky the sea gulls didn't get overly aggressive and start pecking ie: bleeding!

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49 minutes ago, raahc said:

I'm wondering how people wash their bottles since the sinks in the cabins are very small and shallow?

How big is your insulated container? It is a shallow sink, but you can easily wash them.  You just can't soak them.  My only thought is what are you going to use to wash them?  Are you going to take a bottle of Dawn dish soap?

As far as the fools that fed veggie straws, they were getting aggressive and that is when they decided to leave.  Like I stated earlier, as soon as they left the water, the gulls did too.  Unfortunately the gulls followed them.

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7 hours ago, twangster said:

Personally I bring dish soap with me in a TSA friendly 2oz shampoo style refillable travel container and use the sink.  It works.

Thank you, yes, that is what we would bring, along with liquid laundry detergent to wash bathing suites, etc.

Edited:

I'm editing this response as I noticed you mentioned 2 oz bottles.  Is this with a specific airline?  We're permitted to carry 3.4 oz in carry on bags, but we always pack our liquids in our checked baggage.  It's been a while since we flew, so thought I'd find out if you just meant 2 oz for convenience?  Liquids

7 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

How big is your insulated container? It is a shallow sink, but you can easily wash them.  You just can't soak them.  My only thought is what are you going to use to wash them?  Are you going to take a bottle of Dawn dish soap?

As far as the fools that fed veggie straws, they were getting aggressive and that is when they decided to leave.  Like I stated earlier, as soon as they left the water, the gulls did too.  Unfortunately the gulls followed them.

We have huge 40 oz for our excursions (blue/black).  We drink a lot of water! 

I was thinking if there are no plastic lids, I could buy smaller bottles like the 3 pack in the picture for drinks.

I'll need to use some kind of cup to fill the bottles with sudsy water, maybe some paper towels and a long chopstick to swirl the water around ...  unless we bring our bottle brushes.  

I took a look at some Harmony photos and the sink is definitely deeper than Oasis!  It's squared off, whereas on Oasis, the sinks are rounded, so there isn't much depth.  
I thought they were shallow like the ones on airplanes 😆

 

40 oz insulated stainless steel water bottles.jpg

Costco water bottles.jpg

Harmony bathroom sink - 1.jpg

Harmony bathroom sink - 2.jpg

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Agree with the birds!  So many people did not watch their plates and lots of food was stolen.  Saw a hotdog get taken right out of the bun!  You need to have someone watching them close even if for 2 seconds!  As long as they are being watched properly there didn't seem to be any issues while we were there.  

 

We rented a cabana at chill island.  One thing to note when we were there in May '19 was that they were not all done but probably are now.  Ours was not completed and did not have the power outlets and deck like others.

 

One thing the Diamond Lounge Concierge told us was that soon Royal will be "testing" the capacity at the island by bringing more than one boat in at a time.  Not sure if and when this will happen and how that will affect the experience...

 

It was a great island!  From what we checked out we totally agree with the original poster.  We did not check out much beyond Chill Island because that is all we wanted to do was mostly chill!  If you have your own snorkeling gear you can use that and not have to rent any, FYI.  We went on the wave jet tour excursion which was fun, not what we expected tho.  Video of it if interested in doing it and wondering what it's all about. https://youtu.be/3dkUCgCJmMk

 

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