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I booked an $1800 floating cabana in the Bahamas. While Instagram-worthy, here are 6 reasons why I don't recommend it to everyone

04 Mar 2023

We paid $1,800 for a floating cabana at Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas. It was unquestionably luxurious—with an over-the-water hammock and exclusive lunch—but I wouldn’t recommend it to every traveler.

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island, has twenty private bungalows “floating” over the island’s turquoise waters. These cabanas are, by far, the most opulent way to spend a day on the island.

On my recent cruise, my travel party and I reserved a floating cabana for $1,800. There were eight of us sharing the cabana, which broke down to $225 per person. It wasn’t the cheapest way to spend our day by any means, but we were hopeful the cost would be worth it.

And while I certainly enjoyed myself during my eight hours on the island, I left with a few key takeaways I think others should be aware of.

From increasing prices to unexpected sea creatures, here’s why I wouldn’t recommend Perfect Day at CocoCay’s floating cabanas to everyone.

What is a floating cabana? Let’s take a tour

Royal Caribbean's floating cabanas are located within the Coco Beach Club, an exclusive area of Perfect Day at CocoCay that must be reserved in advance.

Related: Coco Beach Club: cost, tips & review

The beach club has its own infinity pool, Mediterranean restaurant, bar, and seating areas, along with private beach access. Floating cabana guests are free to use any of the Coco Beach Club’s facilities in addition to enjoying time at their private cabana.

As you walk along the Coco Beach Club’s lush, flowery paths, you’ll reach the entrance to the floating cabanas. There are two sets of ten cabanas on the island, which are located on opposite ends of the beach club.

Your cabana attendant will guide you to your cabana for the day. Cabana attendants act as your personal concierge and can deliver drinks, food, and anything else you may need directly to the cabin.

A covered living space in the cabana includes a plush couch and two lounge chairs, along with a coffee table. A screen is located on the wall next to the couch, where you can control the music from your cabana’s speaker and call your cabin attendant.

Also under the covered section of the cabana is a sink and mini fridge. Drinks in the mini fridge cost extra, but are included in Royal Caribbean’s drink packages.

The cabana also features a freshwater shower. Snorkeling equipment is found inside the shower area, which is complimentary for cabana guests.

Outside from under the roof of the cabana are four pool chairs, which are perfect for sunbathing between dips in the ocean. An umbrella can be opened between the pool chairs for extra shade, and a cooler with complimentary water bottles are found here as well.

Next to the pool chairs is a dining area. This area is perfect for enjoying lunch from the Coco Beach Club restaurant, which you can either get delivered to the cabana or eat in the restaurant itself.

Suspended over the crystal clear, turquoise Bahamian waters is a netted hammock, which is arguably the best place to relax in the entire cabana.

Of course, we can’t forget about the slide. Each cabana features a neon green slide launching guests directly into the ocean. This slide is especially popular for kids, but is fun for guests of all ages.

Are the floating cabanas worth it? Here’s why I wouldn’t recommend them to everyone

Whether or not something is “worth it” on a cruise is highly subjective, as it ultimately depends on your travel style and budget. For some cruisers, booking a $700 drink package may be worth the cost whereas others may prefer saving that money for an upgraded stateroom or shore excursion.

Nonetheless, here are six takeaways I took from my experience in the floating cabana that you should consider when choosing whether to book one or not.

For $1,800, we got a good deal on the floating cabana, but prices are increasing

While we paid $1,800 for a floating cabana, it’s not uncommon to see prices as high as $3,000 for a one day reservation. Prices at Perfect Day at CocoCay have been increasing due to high demand, so it’s unlikely you’ll see pricing lower than $1,800 for the cabana.

In fact, on my upcoming sailing on Icon of the Seas, the floating cabanas are priced at a whopping $3,799! Even if you split the price with eight guests, it’s nearly $500 a person.

It’s hard to justify spending over $3000 for an eight hour cabana rental, even if it provides an unforgettable day. That $3000 could easily be put toward other onboard expenses like drink packages, dining packages, or spa treatments.

It could even cover the cost of a weeklong cruise in a balcony room!

The cabana is fun with a large group, but may be unnecessary for just two people

Cabanas are priced per cabana and not per person, so you’ll pay the same amount whether sharing the cabana with your spouse or with seven of your friends.

Unless you’re celebrating a special occasion—such as a honeymoon or 50th anniversary—or you really don’t care about the cost, I would argue the cabana is almost too much space for just a few people.

If I were traveling with just one or two other people, I might opt for a different kind of cabana on the island. Outside of the floating cabanas are private cabanas on land at the Coco Beach Club, Thrill Waterpark, and Chill Beach. Not only are these priced lower, but they still offer a private, luxurious way to spend the day.

Related: Guide to Thrill Waterpark at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Even if cost isn’t a factor, the floating cabanas have so much space and amenities that it’s hard to take advantage of everything in just one day, especially if there are so few people in your travel party.

There’s so much to see at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Perfect Day at CocoCay has no shortage of free, fun things to do. From Oasis Lagoon pool to kids splash areas and a variety of beaches, there’s really no need to spend anything extra on the island.

While I certainly loved my time at the cabana, I found myself just as happy on previous trips to Perfect Day at CocoCay where I enjoyed only complimentary areas. I spend most visits to the island lounging in a chair at Chill Beach, where I spend $0 extra and still have an incredibly relaxing day.

Perfect Day at CocoCay beach

Even if you do want to book something extra, there’s a lot more than just the Coco Beach Club. Consider trying the zip line, booking a jet ski excursion, or renting snorkeling gear for the day. A quiet day at the cabanas is not for everyone when there are more adrenaline-filled activities elsewhere on the island!

The cabanas are a great choice for adults, but your kids might be bored

If you’re cruising with kids, a floating cabana may not be the best idea. While you may appreciate the peaceful, private atmosphere of a cabana, they aren’t the most kid-focused activity.

Related: 50 best cruising with kids tips & secrets

Many families prefer spending the day at Thrill Waterpark, the Oasis Lagoon pool, or Splashaway Bay. These areas of the island are exceptionally family-friendly and provide endless fun for kids of all ages.

The Coco Beach Club offers incredible amenities, but you don’t need a cabana to experience the club’s best perks

The Coco Beach Club is an excellent place to spend your day at Perfect Day at CocoCay. The club’s infinity pool, lounge areas, and beach access is perfect for guests in search of a peaceful atmosphere.

In lieu of reserving a cabana, you can always choose to buy a day pass to the Coco Beach Club. Day passes can be reserved on the Cruise Planner for around $150-250 depending on the sailing, and they include access to all areas of the club aside from private cabanas.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner site

Day pass access also includes lunch at the Coco Beach Club restaurant, which offers a more upscale menu compared to other food options on the island.

I’d argue that the amenities and hangout spaces of the Coco Beach Club almost rival that of the floating cabanas. During our day in the cabana, I found myself wanting to use the beach club’s amenities, but I felt almost obligated to spend time in the cabana we reserved due to the price we paid.

If you book a floating cabana, be prepared for some unexpected guests in the water

As soon as I got to the cabana, the first thing I did was climb up the slide and slide into the water below. If I had known about the unexpected guests we’d receive later in the day, though, I might have decided against it.

On our way back from lunch at the Coco Beach Club restaurant, we spotted a nurse shark swimming below the cabanas. Later in the day, a few members of our group were in the water when a stingray swam right past them!

Look, I know you should expect to encounter fish and other sea creatures in the ocean, but if you’re afraid of swimming in close proximity to sharks and other large sea creatures, you might be better off spending the day in more shallow waters!

Would I book a floating cabana again?

Even though I wouldn’t recommend Royal Caribbean’s floating cabanas to everyone, I wouldn’t be opposed to booking one again for the right price.

Whether or not I would book the cabana again would come down to a few factors:

  • Group size: Splitting the cost of the cabana with a large group is much more affordable than booking it for just 2-4 people
  • Overall price: I definitely wouldn’t spend over $3000 for the cabana, but if I found it for $1800 again, I would consider making a reservation
  • Purpose of vacation: If I were sailing to celebrate a milestone or special occasion, enjoying the island in a cabana would be an enticing option

Overall, having a “home base” on the island was definitely a nice perk, and the cabana was a fun way to splurge and enjoy quality time with our travel party.

I went to CocoCay for the first time, and here's what I'd do differently

19 Jan 2023

I went to Perfect Day at CocoCay for the first time, and I learned some things that will enhance my experience when I return to the island.


The first (and last) time I visited Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay was in 2010 when I was eleven years old. Since then, a lot has changed. In 2019, it received a $250 million renovation and was renamed to “Perfect Day at CocoCay.”

Royal Caribbean focused on adding incredible thrills, including a 1,600 foot zip line, freshwater pool, helium balloon, and waterpark that features one of the tallest waterslides in the world at 135 feet.


The island’s beaches are brimming with beach chairs and umbrellas for passengers who would rather spend the day soaking up rays on the beautiful beaches. If you’re willing to spend the money, private cabanas are also available for rent.

Pricing varies based on sailing, but they usually start at $999 for a cabana on Chill Island, Oasis Lagoon, and South Beach.

Additionally, they added a colorful pier to the island, meaning that guests no longer have to tender ashore. The walk time from ship to the Arrivals Plaza is about six minutes, and every attraction can be reached in another ten minutes from there. There are also trams that escort guests throughout the island.

I had such a great day hanging out on the revamped island for the first time, but here are my thoughts on what I’ll do differently next time!

Stick to one main activity


From zip lining, splashing around at the waterpark, sunbathing on the beach, and snorkeling, to kayaking and swimming with pigs, there’s so much to do and so little time to do it all.

Since it was my first time visited the renovated island, I wanted to see and do as much as possible.

I booked the full day pass for Thrill Waterpark, and I was so excited to ride Daredevil’s Peak, one of the tallest waterslides in the world.

Both Odyssey of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas were docked on the day I was there, so the waterpark was busier than I thought it would be. It took about an hour and a half just to ride two waterslides!

There were other rides that I wanted to try, like the Sling Shot and Twister, but the lines were about an hour long each, and I was looking forward to relaxing on the beach for awhile.

The next time I visit CocoCay, I’ll stick to one activity, whether that’s the waterpark, beach, or hanging out at Oasis Lagoon.

Get off the ship early


I wish I had disembarked the ship as soon as I could, as I waited about an hour to go ashore.

By the time I got the waterpark, most rides had a wait time of at least thirty minutes. Unless, that is, you were willing to ride the Screaming Serpent (I wasn’t!).

I think that if I had gotten off early, I would have been able to sneak a few extra rides in, but even if the lines would have been the same length as when I arrived, it would have been nice to hangout in the wave pool before it got crowded.

By the time I got to Chill Island, it was impossible to find a vacant chair, so I ended up placing my items on my towel off to the side because I didn’t want to spend a long time scouting for one.

If you want a front row lounger, it’s crucial that you get off the ship as soon as you can to secure your spot for the day! Plus, why wouldn’t you want to spend as much time as you can on the island? You can always head back in early if you get tired or want to enjoy the ship’s amenities with fewer people onboard.

Buy shore excursions in advance


I am a huge fan of purchasing everything in advance via the Cruise Planner, but since this was technically a work trip and I didn’t know what my schedule would entail, I refrained from doing so.

I made some friends onboard who had booked the Thrill Waterpark, and I spontaneously decided to tag along; I didn’t buy my pass until the night before, so I paid a whopping $149!

They, however, got a Black Friday deal and paid around $50 each.

While I thought riding Daredevil’s Peak was both nerve-racking and incredible, I don’t think it was worth the nearly $150 price tag, especially since I only rode one other slide before we all headed to Chill Island for some much needed relaxation. 

Looking ahead at my future cruises that visit CocoCay, I can purchase a pass for $79.99 and $88.99, which seems much more reasonable to me.

Plan ahead and book your shore excursions for CocoCay beforehand! This is not only a way to save money, but some experiences tend to sell out quickly, like the cabanas and Coco Beach Club.

Bring snorkel equipment


While I was hanging out on Chill Island, I kept hearing people talk about all the fish that they were seeing! Usually, I only snorkel on dedicating snorkeling excursions; however, I want to start carrying a mask with me in case the opportunity presents itself!

I’m familiar with the traditional beach warning flags (i.e., red for high hazard, yellow for medium, and green for low), but I didn’t know that purple meant presence of marine life. They had a purple flag blowing in the breeze, so I feel I missed out on seeing some neat stuff!

I was a bit bummed that I wasn’t able to see the “huge” fish and stingray that everyone was talking about!

I also visited Honeymoon Island on this cruise and having snorkel equipment would’ve been great there, too.

Check the times for the Snack Shack (and other dining venues)


Here at Royal Caribbean Blog, many are fans of the mozzarella sticks at CocoCay, so I was planning on giving them a try while I was there!

Unfortunately, I didn’t check the operating times for the Snack Shack, and it was already closed when I got there around 3:30pm. Our all aboard time was 5:30pm, so I assumed that they would have remained open a little bit later.

I was frustrated that I didn’t get to see if the mozzarella sticks lived up to the hype, so this is first on my list of things to do when I return in a few weeks.

I saw a lot of people carrying around funnel cakes, and they looked tasty, too!


Thankfully, though, I was able to eat a delicious meal at the Chill Grill, so I wasn't left hungry and disappointed. I enjoyed being able to make my own tacos, and I thought they were much better than El Loco Fresh onboard. 

Overall thoughts on Perfect Day at CocoCay


I don’t remember all that much about the island from my first visit years and years ago, but my dad said that he enjoyed a day ashore with only the ship's guests. 

The beaches are pristine, and the day can be whatever you want to make of it.

Personally, I prefer it over Labadee by far. I never feel the need to purchase an excursion there; I’m content just finding a place to hangout on the beach.

I love how Perfect Day at CocoCay's activities are meant to appeal to a wider range of people and interests; you can go to a waterpark, ride a helium balloon, hang out and listen to music at the swim up bar in Oasis Lagoon, or relax on the beach all day.

Plus, the market is also much more relaxed. You can walk in and out of the individual stores without feeling pressure to buy anything.

I’m so glad that I finally got to experience it, as I’ve been wanting to visit since it was revealed nearly three years ago.

Couple gets married in helium balloon 450 feet above Royal Caribbean's private island

17 Dec 2022

Destination weddings took on a whole new meaning last week as two Royal Caribbean cruisers tied the knot at Perfect Day at CocoCay. But the newlyweds didn’t get married on the island… they got married above it!

CocoCay helium balloon

Thomas and Nancy Budzyn were wed at the top of Royal Caribbean’s Up, Up, and Away helium balloon at Perfect Day at CocoCay. While weddings on a cruise are nothing new, this may be the most unique cruise wedding we’ve seen yet!

The Up, Up, and Away helium balloon at Royal Caribbean’s private island takes guests 450 feet in the air for 360 degree views of this Bahamian paradise. As the highest vantage point in the entire Bahamas, the helium balloon provides a view of the island like no other.

On December 9, 2022, two Royal Caribbean cruisers were married on the helium balloon. We wanted to learn more about their special day.

The newlyweds

Thomas and Nancy Budzyn live in Naples, Florida and are frequent Royal Caribbean cruisers, both of whom hold Diamond Plus status in the Crown & Anchor Society.

While the pair had met years ago, their relationship as a couple began after the cruising restart, and they took their first cruise together in July 2021. As the two both work remotely, they can cruise often and have been on thirteen cruises together since the restart.

I couldn’t help but ask how the idea of getting married on the Up, Up, and Away helium balloon came to be.

“We have been to CocoCay so many times together and always have a great time,” Thomas mentioned. “Plus, it’s so beautiful there. It just seemed like the perfect place to have our perfect day.”

Thomas and Nancy were the first couple to get married in the balloon, although another couple had previously gotten engaged there!

“Everyone always does the same thing. We wanted to do something different and hopefully be trendsetters.”

After a trial run in the balloon during a cruise over Thanksgiving, Thomas and Nancy were ready to return in a few weeks for their special day.

The ceremony

One of the main issues with the Up, Up, and Away helium balloon at Perfect Day at CocoCay is that rides are weather dependent. Weather conditions must be ideal–with very little wind and no rain–for the helium balloon to run.

Thomas explained how this was a potential issue for their special day.

“The only concern was the wind, as that could cause the balloon not to go up. We were mentally prepared for a last-minute venue change, either the wedding pavilion or somewhere on the beach.”

Luckily their wedding day brought sunny blue skies. They were notified 30 minutes before the ceremony that the balloon ride would take place.

The ceremony was small, with six attendees: the couple, the island’s Entertainment Manager, the balloon operator, the officiant (Nancy’s best friend), and another friend that took photos. The Up, Up, and Away helium balloon can accommodate thirty people in total.

“The balloon ride is short,” Thomas said. “The whole thing from boarding to unboarding was around 12 minutes. We had a short, simple ceremony to fit within the time constraint.”

After the wedding

After the ceremony, the wedding party headed over to Oasis Lagoon and each had the island’s signature drink, the Coco Loco. They took several photos on the bridge over the lagoon before heading back to the ship.

A private tram escorted the newlyweds back to Symphony of the Seas, where they took a few photos with the island’s dancers and band.

Once back onboard, Thomas and Nancy headed to the casino (a little post-wedding luck, perhaps?) before enjoying champagne and cake.

Thomas mentioned how the staff was excellent during the planning process and wedding ceremony.

“The staff were all just as excited as we were. The crew, both on the island and on the ship, made us feel like they were part of our wedding and our family.”

The only caveat with getting married at Perfect Day at CocoCay? The heat.

“One does not realize how hot it is,” Thomas joked, “until you walk from the ship to the balloon in a tuxedo!”

Thank you to Thomas and Nancy for sharing their story with us at Royal Caribbean Blog. Congratulations and we wish you many happy years together!

40 Perfect Day at CocoCay tips, tricks and secrets

26 Nov 2022

Will your cruise ship visit Perfect Day at CocoCay? 

Royal Caribbean sought to deliver the ideal private island experience with its expansive offerings at CocoCay, with plenty for guests of all ages to enjoy.

Before you hit the beach, pool, or slides, here is everything you need to know about Perfect Day at CocoCay!

1. What is Perfect Day at CocoCay?

CocoCay is Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, which means only Royal Caribbean cruise ships can go there.

Just like any port your cruise ship will visit, your ship docks there and it is up to you if you want to get off and visit.

There is no cost to walk around and explore the island, and much of the offerings are complimentary, such as the beaches, pool, and food.

Freedom of the Seas in CocoCay

Basically, the island is one enormous shore excursion run by Royal Caribbean that you do not have to spend any extra money (although you certainly can in some cases) to enjoy a fun day at the beach.

You might be wondering what the appeal is of visiting a cruise line operated island in lieu of a Caribbean country, and the answer is everything that you can do here.

Unlike other Caribbean islands, there are lots of activities centrally located within a short walk off the ship. From swimming, to the beach, to waterpark, and plenty of food, you've got everything in close proximity and run by Royal Caribbean to ensure there is consistency with the experience across the board.

Wonder of the Seas in CocoCay

Perfect Day at CocoCay is almost an extension of the cruise ship experience, making it easy for cruise ship passengers to enjoy without the "middle man" of shore excursion and outside vendors you would have to navigate on another island.

2. What's new at Perfect Day at CocoCay?

You might be wondering what is the difference between Perfect Day at CocoCay and the "old" CocoCay, if you happened to visit that in years past.

In 2019, Royal Caribbean expanded and refurbished the entire island. To say there’s a lot more to do now would be an understatement.

Guests can now choose among a great variety of activities, including:

  • Multiple beaches
  • CocoCay water park (extra admission cost)
  • Freshwater pool
  • Zip line (extra admission cost)
  • Private beach club (extra admission cost)
  • Various dining options (nearly all included)

In 2023, Royal Caribbean will add a new adults-only area at Hideaway Beach.

In short, there are many more choices of how to spend your day.

3. What should you bring to Perfect Day at CocoCay?

Since Royal Caribbean operates the island, there is a bit less to have to bring than to a regular cruise port.

The most important things you should bring to the CocoCay are:

  • SeaPass card
  • Cash: The artisan market only takes cash.  Tipping cabana attendants also requires cash.
  • Sunscreen
  • Closed-toe shoes: If you are going on the zip line, these will be needed.
  • Beach towels: You can get these from the ship.  If you are in a cabana or Coco Beach Club, towels are provided for you.
Two cruise ships at CocoCay

It's also a good idea to bring sunglasses, hats, and wear a rashguard to protect yourself from the sun. Most of the year, the sun will be shining and the last thing you want to do is bring home a sunburn from your time there.

Don't forget anything special you may need for kids, such as baby supplies.

I also recommend a good beach bag to carry everything with you on and off the island. 

4. Your drink package works at Perfect Day at CocoCay

If you purchase a Royal Caribbean drink package for your cruise, you can use the drink package benefits while at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

This means if you have the Deluxe Beverage Package, you can enjoy unlimited alcoholic beverages, along with bottled water, sodas and more. Likewise, the Royal Refreshment and Soda Package benefits extend to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Perfect Day at CocoCay October 2021 photo update | Royal Caribbean Blog

Just like on the ship, souvenir cups or drinks served in pineapples/coconuts are not included with your drink package benefits.  If you have the Deluxe Beverage Package, you can get a discount on the souvenir cup.  Or you can ask for the drink in a regular cup to pay no additional charge.

If you are a Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle Club guest, your daily drink vouchers are accepted at CocoCay as well!

5. Your Voom package works at Perfect Day at CocoCay

If you have a Voom internet package, you will have internet connectivity at Perfect Day at CocoCay.  

WiFi coverage extends across the island, which means you can stay connected and share photos or videos with friends back home.  Heck, you can even post updates on our message boards!

6. Best times for shortest water slide lines

Thrill Waterpark is home to Perfect Day at CocoCay's incredible water slides, and as you might imagine, a lot of cruisers are going to want to try them all. 

While lines for the slides are usually quite manageable, here are the best times to try the slides to have a minimal wait:

  • Before 11am
  • After 3pm

7. Secret menu item at Snack Shack

Snack Shack serves up some great food, but they also have a menu item that is not listed on the printed menu.

If you ask nicely, you can get a chicken parmigiana sandwich that is essentially a cross between the crispy chicken sandwich, mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce.

8. Buy Thrill Waterpark admission before the cruise to save money

If you want to go to Thrill Waterpark, you will absolutely spend less money if you pre-purchase it before your cruise.

Royal Caribbean sells its waterpark passes via the Cruise Planner site and regularly puts the tickets on sale.  If you want to save money (that is everyone), buy your tickets before you board the ship.

9. There is lots to do that costs nothing extra

There is a lot of attention for the activities on Perfect Day at CocoCay that costs extra, but there is a lot of fun things to do that costs absolutely nothing extra.

First and foremost, you can walk around Perfect Day at CocoCay without paying extra.  Just like any port of call, you can walk off the ship and explore on your own.

Here is a list of things that is included with your cruise fare when you visit Perfect Day at CocoCay:

  • Splashaway Bay
  • Captain Jill's Galleon
  • Skipper's Grill
  • Chill Grill
  • Snack Shack
  • Oasis Lagoon pool (Beach  chairs, umbrellas and towels)
  • Chill Island (Beach  chairs, umbrellas and towels)
  • South Beach (Beach  chairs, umbrellas and towels)
  • Sports Courts
  • Fitness Classes
  • Freshwater showers
  • Tram service
  • Beach access wheelchairs

10. Free tram service around the island

Keep an eye out for the complimentary trams that are found around Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Beginning when you walk down the pier, you will find tram service to take you down the pier to save some steps (you will have plenty at Thrill Waterpark).

Once on the island, there is complimentary tram service that can take you all corners of Perfect Day at CocoCay. 

As a bonus, many of the trams are solar powered!

11. If you want a quiet spot, go to Chill Island

Chill Beach at Perfect Day at CocoCay

If your idea of a fun day is quiet time getting away from it all, head to Chill Island.  Chill Island is accessible via the green pathway that is towards the left side when you walk onto Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Once at Chill Island, keep to the left side of the area for pristine ocean views that has no music or the sounds of people at the pool or water park.  Instead, you will find only the sound of the ocean waves.

Perfect Day at CocoCay aerial of South Beach

Another good option for a quiet spot is South Beach.

While South Beach has a floating bar and some music playing, it gets far less crowded than anywhere else because it's a longer walk and not as obvious a place to find when walking off the ship.

The further down South Beach you walk, the less people you will find.

12. DIY Ice cream sandwiches

You will find self-serve soft serve ice cream machines at Perfect Day, along with chocolate chip cookies.  See where I am going with this?

Grab two cookies, dispense ice cream between the two and combine for an awesome dessert.

13. Keep an eye out for chickens, iguanas and birds

This is a fun tidbit, but Perfect Day at CocoCay is home to more than just beautiful views.  If you walk enough of the island, it is not uncommon to see wild chickens roaming the grounds, along with iguanas that sometimes get close to the dining areas to see if any scraps of food rolled away.

Seagulls can also be found flying around, so be sure to keep an eye on your food.

Regardless of the animal, please do not feed any of them.

14. Got kids? Don't miss the free slides

It is easy to gravitate towards Thrill Waterpark, but Royal Caribbean provides two water splash areas for kids that costs absolutely nothing extra.

Captain Jill's Galleon and Splashaway Bay are located immediately at the entrance to the island from the pier.

If you have younger kids (elementary school age or younger), you may find these areas a great fit for kids, with seating around both areas for adults to supervise.

Both of the splash zones include small slides, water cannons, geysers and more.  

Children up to 42″ and 200lbs are able to use these areas.

Given there is no cost to go here, and many of the slides in the waterpark have height requirements, families with younger children may prefer Splashaway Bay and Captain Jill's Galleon.

15. Chairs & umbrellas cost nothing extra

You don't have to worry about hustling to find a spot at CocoCay.

There are chairs and umbrellas in every region of the island, with plenty to go around. If you visited CocoCay in the past, you may recall shade being at a premium, but Royal Caribbean has added a ton more seating and umbrellas to go with it.

The only seating that truly goes quickly are the seats at the swim-up bar in Oasis Lagoon, but it is easy enough to swim up and place an order without a chair.

16. Don't miss the floating bar

Located near South Beach, Royal Caribbean operates a floating bar in the ocean.

It is less of a swim-up bar, and more of a wade-up bar, but once you get to it, you climb a short ladder to get onboard the tiki bar and enjoy drinks in the ocean.

The floating bar has a limited selection of drinks, and no blender, so plan on beers or basic mixed drinks.

17. Your SeaPass card works almost everywhere

Just like on the ship, Royal Caribbean designed Perfect Day at CocoCay to be reliant on the SeaPass card instead of cash.

Your SeaPass card will get you into Thrill Waterpark, Coco Beach Club, and any shore excursion you book. Don’t worry about losing shore excursion tickets. Everything is loaded to your SeaPass card. 

It is also how you pay for drinks or souvenirs.

The one place your SeaPass card does not work is the Artisan Market, so bring cash for that.

18. First visit strategy

Royal Caribbean hoping to reopen Perfect Day at CocoCay soon | Royal Caribbean Blog

Is it your first time to Perfect Day at CocoCay? Here is what you should consider when planning your day.

First and foremost, get up and and out to the island as early as you can. By being ashore early, you can beat the crowds that descend later on.

Since there is so much to see and do on the island, it may make sense to try a few places out during your visit, rather than commit to just one.

Keep in mind that you can't do it all in one visit. While you can certainly knock out a few big parts of the island, don't try to visit every inch in one visit. Plan to come back again!

A good idea is start with the Oasis Lagoon pool first, and then hit the beaches after.  The pool tends to get busier as the day progresses, so going to Oasis Lagoon earlier means you can enjoy more of the space without as many people.

Once you get your fill of the pool, decide on a beach to visit, or perhaps beach hop to get a sense of what each offers.

Chill Island and South Beach are the two most popular beaches. Chill Island is closer to more activities (and the ship), so if mobility is an issue, it may be a better choice.

Thrill Waterpark and the Coco Beach Club are extra cost options, and if you elect to book one of them, plan on spending most of your day there. If you do book one of these, be very certain to get onto the island as early as you can to maximize your time.

I would not recommend booking Thrill Waterpark and Coco Beach Club for the same day, because there is not enough time to enjoy both options.

19. There is no breakfast on CocoCay

I advocate getting off the ship as early as you can to take advantage of your time there, but make sure you grab something to eat on the ship first.

There is no breakfast option on the island, and food does not open up until the lunch offerings begin later in the morning.

The Coco Beach Club is the one exception, and offers coffee and pastries to its guests.

20. Book a Thrill waterpark cabana if your family is going to the waterpark

Whether or not you should book a CocoCay cabana for the day is a tough decision usually, unless you are going to the waterpark.

If you have at least 3 or 4 people that want to buy admission to Thrill Waterpark, you should take a hard look at the Thrill Waterpark cabanas.

Not only does a Thrill Waterpark cabana offer a relaxing and private spot for your family to enjoy, but it includes admission to the waterpark for up to 6 guests into the waterpark.

If you have 4-6 guests, then the decision becomes a near slam dunk to get the cabana, in my opinion, because the extra cost of the cabana will be substantially less since you were going to pay for the waterpark passes.

21. Will it be too cold if I am visiting in December, January, or February?

Generally speaking, the tropics do not experience the same kind of winter temperature swings found further north.  It remains mostly temperate, if not warm, throughout the winter months.

That being said, cold fronts can certainly make their way down to the Bahamas, and it is not unheard of for the temperature to drop into 70s at times.

The good news is the ocean temperature does not change much, and will remain warmer for longer periods of time after the air temperatures drop.  

Oasis Lagoon can be on chillier side during winter months, but one person's "cold" is another person's "you just have to get used to it".

I have found CocoCay to be more than enjoyable in the winter months, including the swimming options. If you are coming from somewhere that has snow during winter, CocoCay in December through February will feel divine.

22. Is it worth it to rent a cabana?

If you can afford it, a cabana rental is a great way to splurge during your day.

Cabanas offer privacy, shade, fantastic waiter service, and a "home base" for your family during your day. Your cabana attendant will bring you complimentary food throughout the day, as well as take drink orders.

Of course, cabanas have an extra cost and they are not cheap.  Not to mention you may feel a sense of obligation to stay in the cabana to "get your money's worth".

The reason to book a cabana is for the privacy and service it provides.  There is plenty of umbrellas and shade around the island, so don't worry about that.   

The more people you have, the more compelling a cabana is to book. If you have 6-8 guests, the price per person makes the choice far more reasonable.  If you can split the cost between two families, then you really have a great value.

23. Where should you eat at Perfect Day at CocoCay?

One of the unheralded improvements Royal Caribbean made to CocoCay is the upgraded dining choices.

The days of only having burgers and hot dogs are gone (although you can get them still), and there is a wide variety of complimentary food on the island.

The two main areas to eat are Chill Grill and the Snack Shack.

Chill Grill is like the island's Windjammer, with the most variety of food  to pick from, along with shaded seating nearby. You will find salads, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and much more.  Chill Grill is also where to go to get soft serve ice cream.

Skipper’s Grill is centrally located and very similar to Chill Grill.

The Snack Shack offers more grab-and-go choices, such as chicken sandwiches, mozzarella sticks, burgers, and even a light Greek salad. Snack Shack is the only restaurant inside Thrill Waterpark.

The Coco Beach Club has its own restaurant and you will not find burgers, hot dogs and other typical island fare here.  Instead, there is lobster, steak, grilled fish, ceviche, babaganoush and plenty more to enjoy.

Moreover, you can order unlimited entrees at the Coco Beach Club restaurant, so feel free to try a couple of dishes while you are there.

Captain Jack's is an extra cost restaurant near the pier, which has wings and fries. Unless you are craving chicken wings and would be disappointed not to get them, you can skip this.

24. Day beds at Coco Beach Club go very quickly

If you bought admission to the Coco Beach Club, plan to get there as early as you can for prime seating.

There are a handful of day beds and in-pool loungers at the infinity pool that are available to whomever claims them first.

While there are plenty of beach lounge chairs and umbrellas to go around, seating around the pool goes very quickly.  So if you want one, plan to arrive early.

25. You can get fresh towels on the island

Bringing pool towels to use on Perfect Day at CocoCay is what most people do, but don't feel like you need to stick with the same towels all day.

There are towel stations strategically located around the island for you to go to and exchange your wet towel for a fresh one.  This is really helpful for kids who love to use their towels early and often.

If you bought admission to the Coco Beach Club, they have their own branded towels, so don't bother bringing one off the ship.

26. No rash guards on slides

Something you should know about is the lifeguards are pretty strict about not wearing rash guards while going down the water slides in Thrill Waterpark.

You can certainly take off the rash guard and hold it as you go down, and then put it back on, but in my experience I had to do this every time I went down a slide without a raft in the water park.

Why? Because rash guards (or shirts) cause drag on the slide, and can slow you down to the point you could actually stop.

27. You can snorkel at CocoCay

Whether you bring your own snorkel equipment or rent gear from Royal Caribbean, there is a spot for snorkeling.

You can use your own snorkel gear and not have to pay anything to access the snorkel area.  Alternatively, you can rent gear on the island.

There is even a lifeguard on a platform near the deeper part of the snorkeling area, and you will see plenty of marine life, including fish, stingrays and perhaps even a sea turtle.  

There is a plane wreck under water, which attracts marine life too.

28. Excursions available too

If you want to mix in some fun excursions to your day in the sun, you can find a few interesting choices.

The two most popular add-ons are the zip-line and Up, Up & Away Helium Balloon Ride.

The Up, Up & Away Helium Balloon Ride takes you up to 450 feet above the island on a tethered balloon.  Not only are the views amazing, but it provides the best photos while visiting.

The Perfect Day CocoCay Zipline takes you across three zip lines around the island, and it is a really fun experience, perfect for anyone that has never zip-lined before.

Keep in mind you need to be at least 48 inches tall, and weigh between 75 lbs and 275 lbs to go on the zip line.

There are also a few other excursions you can book:

  • Jet ski rental
  • Floating beach mat rental
  • Scuba diving
  • Kayak rentals

29. Water slide height restrictions

Before you book a pass to Thrill Waterpark, you should know about the minimum height and maximum weight restrictions to ensure there are no unexpected surprises later.

Daredevil's Peak® waterslide135 feet48 inches minimum300 lbs.
Dueling Demons waterslides75 feet 48 inches minimum300 lbs.
Screeching Serpent waterslide50 feet 48 inches minimum300 lbs.
Green Mamba waterslide50 feet 48 inches minimum300 lbs.
Manta Raycers waterslides25 feet40 inches minimum300 lbs.
The Slingshot waterslide60 feet 48 inches minimum or 42 inches with swim vest and supervising adult companionMax single person: 300 lbs.
Total raft weight limit: 550 lbs.
The Twister waterslide60 feet48 inches minimum or 42 inches with swim vest and supervising adult companionMax single person: 300 lbs.
Total raft weight limit: 400 lbs.
Splash Speedway waterslides40 feet 42 inches minimum 300 lbs.
Adventure PoolN/AGuests under 42 inches  must wear a swim vest at all timesN/A
Wave PoolN/AGuests under 42 inches  must wear a swim vest at all timesN/A

30. Lost? Look for signs

While Royal Caribbean provides you with a nice Perfect Day at CocoCay map in your cabin before your visit, I think you can leave the map in the room.

There are lots of signs throughout CocoCay to tell you where to go, and navigating is a lot easier than you might imagine.

When you get to the Arrivals Plaza, the pathways are color coded:

  • Light green: Chill Island
  • Orange: Oasis Lagoon, Coco Beach Club
  • Light blue: Thrill Waterpark

As you walk around the island, there are directional signs you can refer to as well to get your bearings. In addition, the Royal Caribbean app has a map you can refer to while on the island.

You can also hop on one of the free trams for a tour!

31. Free lockers you can use

Cococay lockers

Need somewhere to put your stuff? There are free lockers to use around Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Lockers can be found near the entrance to Thrill Waterpark and zip lines, Chill Island (north and south), and near the  helium balloon.

 Lockers are first come, first serve.  

32. Is Perfect Day at CocoCay accessible?

Yes, most of the island is accessible, although there are af ew exceptions.

  • Oasis Lagoon freshwater pool and the infinity pool at Coco Beach Club have pool lifts
  • Wave Pool in Thrill Waterpark is wheelchair accessible
  • In Thrill Waterpark, the towers to the slides have stairs
  • The tower to the Zip Line has stairs
  • Accessible trams are available on regular rotation throughout the island

33. Do the helium balloon ride early in the day

The weather changes a lot, especially at CocoCay, so if you want to ride the Up, Up & Away Helium Balloon Ride, plan to ride it early.

Depending on the winds, the balloon may only go up part of the way, and in general, winds are calmest in the morning.

Your best strategy for taking a ride up with best chance at it not being delayed/cancelled is to book it as early in the morning as you can.  

Royal Caribbean will shut it down if the winds are not favorable, and there's no guarantee it will reopen later.

34. Looking for a party?

If your idea of fun is a drink in hand, splashing around with some tunes, head to the Oasis Lagoon pool.

Near the swim up bar is a DJ that plays plenty of pumping music to enjoy.  There are even in-water tables and coves to enjoy it from.

If the music is too much for you, either end of the pool is sufficiently far away from the DJ.

You can even hear music underwater in the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, which is a neat feature.

35. Want live music?

If you prefer live music, head to Captain Jack's, where there is usually a live guitarist performing for part of the day.

The bar even has rope swing seats you can enjoy, and the whole area is covered, which means lots and lots of shade.

36. Try the Coco Loco

The official drink of Perfect Day at CocoCay is known as the Coco Loco, and it is really tasty.

The Coco Loco is the kind of frozen concoction that is sure to put a smile on just about anyone's face.

It comes with rum, but you can get non-alcoholic version as well for the kids.

37. Life jackets are available for no cost

If your child does not know how to swim, or just is not a very strong swimmer, swim vests are available to use throughout the island.

38. Drones are not allowed

While an aerial shot of the island would be pretty darn sweet, Royal Caribbean prohibits the use of drones at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

You are allowed to bring a drone on the ship to use in other ports, but drones are not to be operated onboard the ship at any time, nor on Royal Caribbean’s private destinations: Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas or Labadee, Haiti.

39. Some people actually live on the island

Nearly all of the supplies and personnel you see around CocoCay come from your cruise ship, but there is a contingent of Royal Caribbean employees that live there.

Before the cruise industry shutdown, Royal Caribbean had up to 375 employees living on CocoCay.  That number likely changed with there not being cruises operating, but there are dormitories on the eastern end of the island, where crew return to after a day working on the island.

You can see these buildings from the top of the water slide towers, or if you go up on the zip line.  They are located behind Thrill Waterpark.

40. Perfect Day at CocoCay Fun facts

Impress your friends and family with these fun facts about CocoCay!

  • Daredevil's Peak at 135 feet high it's the tallest waterslide in North America.
  • There are 6,000 lounge chairs on the island
  • There are 12,000 umbrellas dot the island
  • Thrill Waterpark has the biggest wave pool in the Caribbean
  • Thrill Waterpark also has 13 waterslides – the most anywhere in the Caribbean
  • Upgrading the island to Perfect Day at CocoCay cost Royal Caribbean over $250 million.

Royal Caribbean updates: CocoCay adults beach construction, Icon of the Seas sale date & more

21 Sep 2022

Cruise news has been a bit slow lately, but we have a few important tidbits and updates to share.

Ship at CocoCay

In order to keep everyone informed, here's a look at various pieces of news that have crossed my desk during the past week.

If you ever have a news tip, feel free to email it to [email protected] for possible inclusion in a future update!

Icon of the Seas will go on sale in October?

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

While we may not know anything yet about Icon of the Seas, a lot of people are ready to book a cruise on her anyway.

It looks like bookings might open up for Royal Caribbean's new cruise ship in October.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

According to a travel agent that was on an update call, "mid-October" is the time when bookings will open up.

From what I understand, Royal Caribbean National Account Sales Manager Joseph Casal, told agents on the call Icon of the Seas is expected to open for bookings in mid-October.

Hideaway Beach construction photos

It's been a while since we shared construction photos of the new adults-only beach area coming to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Steve Cohen took photos of the area while sailing on Harmony of the Seas.

He said while no buildings are under construction, a lot more trailers and construction equipment has moved in since the last time he was there.

Dr. Pepper on Texas cruises

Galveston cruise terminal construction

If you love Dr. Pepper soda, you'll have to cruise from Texas in order to enjoy it on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Travel agents on a webinar call on Wednesday were told cruises sailing from Galveston will soon serve Dr. Pepper in addition to the Coke products the line always carries.

Dr. Pepper is a soda brand based in Texas and due to local demand, Royal Caribbean will begin serving it as well.

No timeline was given on when it will begin being offered, but the information was shared with the context of Allure of the Seas and the new cruise terminal opening in November.

Icon of Vacations

One more Icon of the Seas update comes in the form a trademark filing.

Royal Caribbean Group filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on September 15, 2022.

The trademark is for, "Icon of Vacations" which sounds like a marketing slogan tied to the new Icon of the Seas cruise ship.


Royal Caribbean trademarks names for Perfect Day at CocoCay expansion areas

02 May 2022

Royal Caribbean has filed two new trademarks that are likely intended for areas of its private island in The Bahamas.

Perfect Day at CocoCay aerial of South Beach

It's no secret that Royal Caribbean intends to expand Perfect Day at CocoCay, having already talked publicly about plans for an adults-only area of the island.

Trademarks filed last week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office confirm one name and signal the name of potentially another new area.

Here's what Royal Caribbean filed and what it could mean, keeping in mind that not everything Royal Caribbean trademarks ends up being used.

Hideaway Beach

Already announced by Royal Caribbean as a project, Hideaway Beach was formally trademarked with a filing on April 27.

Hidewaway Beach will be an adults-only expansion of Perfect Day at CocoCay. It will be located west of the island’s pier, adjacent to CocoCay’s Thrill Waterpark

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley confirmed the area will be an adults-only area. In March 2022, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider said the timeline for opening is mid to late 2023.

The trademark filing describes Hideaway Beach simply as, "Recreational services, namely island resort services". Trademark descriptions are usually quite vague.

Little else is known about what this new area will offer beyond the fact it will be limited to adults.

Secret Cove

Royal Caribbean also filed a trademark for Secret Cove on April 27.

Just like Hideaway Beach, the trademark lists in the description Secret Cove as being, "Recreational services, namely island resort services."

Royal Caribbean has not announced or referred to anything yet named Secret Cove, but a crew member YouTube video might share insight into what it could be.

Martina, a Royal Caribbean crew member onboard the Serenade of the Seas, posted a YouTube video from December 2021 that refers to an area of CocoCay beyond South Beach called "Secret Cove" that was being used as a crew member-only beach.

"This is the place to relax, to be ourselves, and to get a little bit away from the work," she says in her video.

She describes it as a place for crew members to hang out and enjoy time off.

Whether or not Secret Cove is intended to remain crew-only or become another new expansion area for cruise ship guests remains to be seen.

It's also entirely possible the trademark refers to something else completely unrelated to CocoCay.

My Impressions of Perfect Day at CocoCay: Revisiting 13 Years Later

16 Mar 2022

If you’re a loyal cruiser with Royal Caribbean, you know it’s pretty rare to find a Caribbean sailing that doesn’t stop at Labadee or CocoCay. Both of these ports are actually private islands owned by Royal Caribbean and are frequent stops for the cruise line when sailing the Caribbean.

To be honest, anytime I saw CocoCay as a port stop for a cruise, I’d scowl at the thought of wasting a port stop at Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas. There were plenty of other islands that I’d rather spend my time and money visiting. 

Lackluster First Experience

Back in 2009, I cruised with my family onboard Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. One of our stops was CocoCay - and to say it was pretty lame is an understatement. 

After tendering to the island from the cruise ship, my family and I walked onshore to find an underdeveloped island surrounded by rocky shores. There were some lounge chairs scattered around the beach. We found a few places to shop while walking around the island.

Overall, It was pretty dull and lackluster. I was just 14 years old and my sister was 12 at the time. There wasn’t much to do on the island, so my parents bought us tickets to ride the waterslide. 

After a few less-than-thrilling rides on the blowup waterslide, we tendered back to the ship and opted for lunch at Johnny Rockets. The whole family agreed that the island was nothing special and we certainly wouldn’t go out of our way to return. 

Because of our underwhelming experience, we’d avoided any itineraries with stops at CocoCay. For years, we would look for cruise itineraries that didn't include CocoCay.

Second Chances

Fast Forward to February 2022, my family had a cruise planned onboard Harmony of the Seas with stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas and - yup, you guessed it - CocoCay! 

After Royal Caribbean’s major renovations were finalized in 2019, it appeared that the private island received a well-deserved facelift. We were excited to give the renovated island another chance after our first visit more than 13 years earlier.

The bar was set pretty low based on our prior visit, but we had heard from many people that the island had been transformed into a great port stop. Seeing beautiful pictures and videos of Perfect Day at CocoCay made the island seem like a new Caribbean island oasis. 

First Impressions

40 Perfect Day at CocoCay tips, tricks and secrets | Royal Caribbean Blog

As we sailed into port, we could easily spot the Up, Up and Away balloon soaring above the blue sea. The colorful flags from the port could be seen blowing in the wind. It was a beautiful, warm day for our last port stop. 

The island looked as bright and vibrant as the many pictures and videos I had seen online. We could already see from the ship that the island was way more developed than before. It almost felt like we were pulling up to a resort!

My mom is notorious for choosing to stay on the cruise ship when we dock in ports that she’s uninterested in. She said that CocoCay was so lame before that she might stay on the ship. Luckily, we convinced her to give the island a try, as she could easily head back to the ship if she wasn’t enjoying her day. 

Wonder of the Seas Live Blog - Day 7 - Perfect Day at CocoCay | Royal Caribbean Blog

As we walked along the pier under the colorful awnings, we were immediately impressed by the new CocoCay. The island was glistening with white sand along the ocean.  There was a shuttle running from the ship to bring guests to the amenities; however, we enjoyed walking along the ocean.

To start, it was a welcome change that we didn’t need to tender to the island this time. It saves so much time when you can just walk off the ship and get your day started!

Oasis Lagoon

Perfect Day at CocoCay photo update | Royal Caribbean Blog

With a little research, we decided our first stop would be Oasis Lagoon. Plenty of signage helped direct us towards the lagoon, which is actually the large freshwater pool in the Caribbean.

Even better, there was a swim-up bar in the Oasis Lagoon. My sister snagged a lounge chair that was partially submerged in the lagoon. There was great music pumping from the DJ across the lagoon. 

We were amazed at how large the lagoon was! There were tons of chairs and umbrellas surrounding the pool. The swim-up bar was our first stop after getting settled. The day called for pina coladas!

One of the perks of visiting Royal Caribbean’s private island is that you can continue to access your internet and beverage package! We were ready to indulge in our daily allowance of 5 Diamond + drinks. 

The Oasis Lagoon was so much fun, we ended up spending most of the day here. With great music and plenty of drinks, we were having a great time relaxing.

Even more fun - we had an unexpected Royal Caribbean Blog staff meeting! As fate would have it, Matt himself was cruising with his family onboard the Freedom of the Seas and docked right next to our ship. This was actually our first time meeting in person, so it was a fun coincidence.

Funnel Cake

Perfect Day at CocoCay photo update | Royal Caribbean Blog

After a few drinks at the pool, it was time to find something for lunch. We walked through the large buffet area on our way to the Oasis Lagoon, but we were looking to try something a little different. 

We’d heard Snack Shack was a great place to grab lunch, so we headed towards South Beach. Having so many options for food was another welcomed change. Everywhere we looked, there was either a bar, buffet or ice cream machine!

We ordered chicken sandwiches at the Snack Shack, along with mozzarella sticks and french fries. But, we were all the most excited about the funnel cakes! That crispy, powdery cakey goodness hit the spot on our last day of vacation.

Everything we ordered at the Snack Shack was delicious. The chicken sandwich with pesto mayo tasted like a Chick-fil-a sandwich.

An insider tip - don’t leave your food unattended! My dad sat down with his french fries and hot dog before getting up to snag some ketchup. About 15 birds swarmed the table and tried to steal as many fries as they could. 

Shops and South Beach

While enjoying our lunch, we marveled at everything CocoCay had to offer. South Beach had so many activities for those looking to do more than have a cocktail at the beach. You can find activities like volleyball, basketball, snorkeling, paddle boarding and ping pong. 

We also enjoyed shopping around the many stalls that adorned touristy shirts, magnets and beach bags while polishing off our funnel cake with an ice cream cone. There were plenty of shops for those looking to support the local economy, as the stalls were all operated by locals. 

Final Thoughts

Perfect Day at CocoCay blew all of us away! The whole family truly enjoyed our day at CocoCay. Even my mom, who typically hates spending her day at the beach, said she loved the island and was very impressed. 

It was obvious that Royal Caribbean invested heavily in making its private island a destination that cruisers will want to visit. I can totally understand how people love to visit CocoCay repeatedly. 

The entire day was very laid back and relaxing. Everything at CocoCay is so easy, making it feel like a true day of vacation. There was no need to worry about transportation or logistics - you walk right off the ship and you’re right where you need to be! 

I loved being able to use my daily drinks at the island too. Oasis Lagoon was the perfect place for us to spend the day relaxing w drinking and dancing Next time, I’d love to visit the floating bar on South Beach. 

We saw so many families having a great time too, which is easy to do with all the waterslides, waterparks and activities. CocoCay is certainly a great spot for families with kids of all ages. 

I honestly wish I could transport my 14 year old self to the new CocoCay! That big blowup waterslide from the old CocoCay couldn’t even compete with all the new amenities offered.

If you haven’t visited the new Perfect Day at CocoCay, or you’re avoiding it like we were, think again! I promise you’ll be impressed by everything that Royal Caribbean has done to make the island an amazing destination. 

Royal Caribbean updates: adults-only beach update, new Covid testing partner & more

26 Jan 2022

There's a smattering of Royal Caribbean news to share from this week of interest to most cruise fans.

Harmony of the Seas 2017 Live Blog - Matt's Cruise Preview | Royal Caribbean Blog

Just halfway through the week, and I have news tidbits to share.

New partnerships, construction updates, and deployment changes are all changes that can easily be summed up in this post as a quick way to catch you up on what's happening.

If you ever have a news tip, feel free to email it to [email protected] for possible inclusion in a future update!

New Covid testing partner

Royal Caribbean has a new Covid-19 testing partner in Quest Diagnostics.

Royal Caribbean has incorporated Quest Diagnostics as a pre-cruise and return home testing option. Quest Diagnostics is a lab with over 1,800 locations throughout the United States available to support testing needs.

You can visit for information on testing options.

The cruise line says guests can expect Quest to provide test results for most Royal Caribbean guests electronically (via email or through Quest’s secure patient portal, MyQuest) in 48 hours or less.

Hideaway Beach construction update

Construction is continuing at Perfect Day at CocoCay on a new adults-only beach.

Hideaway Beach is a new expansion on Royal Caribbean's private island that is scheduled to open at the end of 2022.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader twangster shared photos while Odyssey of the Seas visited CocoCay on January 24.

Wonder of the Seas is scheduled to begin sailings on March 4, 2022 from Fort Lauderdale.

Singapore cruises to expand to regional ports

Royal Caribbean announces new Singapore sailings on two cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

Singapore was the first place Royal Caribbean was able to restart cruises after the shutdown of 2020, but they've only been short sailings to nowhere.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said yesterday that Singapore is working with various governments of countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to allow cruises to visit ports.

Up until now, cruises on Quantum of the Seas from Singapore have been limited to "cruises to nowhere" that have no port stops.

First look: Royal Caribbean cruise ship begins sailing again in Singapore | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean has cruises on sale for sailings from Singapore to Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam on board Spectrum of the Seas. 

The Spectrum of the Seas cruises are scheduled to sail beginning on October 21, 2022, with the voyages between three and nine nights, subject to receiving the relevant governmental approvals.

Royal Caribbean returns to Jamaica

Good news to share that Harmony of the Seas docked in Falmouth, Jamaica today.

Photos by Wayland Hostetler

This is significant because Harmony is the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to visit the island since 2020.

Perfect Day at CocoCay beach bed review

24 Jan 2022

There are many ways to plus your visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay, such as renting a bed bed for the day.

Beach beds are an optional rental you can purchase to use while visiting Royal Caribbean's private island for the day. reader Shannon Ford tried one out on a recent Freedom of the Seas cruise, and shared her thoughts on what to expect if you get one.

Beach bed review

My family and I recently rented a Beach Bed at Chill Island at Perfect Day at CocoCay. This was a last minute decision that we booked 3 days before we set sail. The price is typically $199, however, about 2 weeks before our sailing, the price dropped to $149, which is the price we paid.

There are two areas with Beach Bed Rentals. The first are the Chill Island Day Beds, which is where we were. When looking at the map of CocoCay, these are at the bottom lefthand corner.

The second area are the Breezy Bay at Chill Island Day Beds. These are behind the Oasis Lagoon near the Floating Cabanas.


Upon arriving to the area, there was a stand where we checked in and received our wristbands. Each Day Bed receives 4 wristbands, and yes, children count.

We were given a quick lay of the land and were on our way. The Day Beds are pre-assigned and we were given Bed #12, which was a perfect location.

Of the 30 Day Beds in this area, 21 had been rented and they were accepting walk-ups for the remaining beds. With two ships in port, 15 beds were allocated per ship. Beds 1-5 were for Freedom of the Seas, Beds 6-10 were for Harmony of the Seas and so on and so forth.

The beds have a roof but no walls, however there are white curtains on two sides for privacy (and shade). They proved very helpful for our nap later in the day.

The rental also includes 2 loungers, 2 floating mats and a cooler filled with ice and 4 cans of spring water. Your name is also written on a chalkboard on your assigned day bed. I think this is done for two reasons. One, so you can easily find your bed and two, so crew know which beds are not rented.

We did see a couple lay out in the bed directly behind us (#29) which had not been rented. A crew member came over and politely inform them that the day beds needed to be rented in order for them to be used.

Bartenders typically walk the area and will serve you at your day bed. However, due to Covid, we were told upon check-in that they were extremely short-staffed and not to expect them. We never saw a bartender in the area. This was not an issue for us. If you do plan to drink, the closest bar is The Wacky Seagull and is fairly close.

Unlike the cabanas, the day beds do not have a safe to store any personal belongings. However, you can store any items you like in the lockers nearby, free of charge. We never felt the need to do this and just let down the curtains when we went to get food and left whatever we had on the bed. With that said, we didn’t leave anything of real value either.

That leads us to the food. Unlike the cabanas, no one is there to serve you lunch, you need to go and get it yourself. Again, this was not an issue for us. Our original plan was to bring our food back to the day bed to eat, but it’s a good walk, so we decided just to eat at the picnic tables at the Chill Grill. Considering what a messy eater my 6 year-old is, this was a wise choice.

And finally, the beach area for this section of Chill Island was perfect. Our son enjoyed building sand castles (more of a sand house), playing in the water and lounging on one of the floating mats.

It also seemed to be the area for snorkeling, as we saw many many snorkelers in the area. If you have young children, this is a great area as there are no waves. My son who absolutely loves the Splashaway Bay on CocoCay, never wanted to leave the beach, so we never made it over to that area.

We finished off our time at the Day Bed with a family nap. It was amazing! I had set my alarm to make sure we didn’t miss the ship, but there was also a crew member checking each of the beds to make sure everyone was awake.

We had to be back on board by 5pm and we left the area around 4:20pm. There are nearby showers and bathrooms which we all visited before heading back to the ship.

Final thoughts

Breezy Bay at Chill Island vs chill island day bed on coco cay - Shore Excursions - Royal Caribbean Blog

So do you need to rent a Day Bed? Absolutely not. Loungers were plentiful all around the island. Will we rent a Day Bed again. Absolutely!

Having the day bed just made our day at CocoCay better and simply Perfect (pun intended). We currently have an Oasis Lagoon cabana booked for our March cruise that we booked on Black Friday, but we are considering switching to a Day Bed Rental if they become available. Currently, they are sold out.

We paid $149 which was an excellent value, but would I purchase it at $199? I think so. It just makes the day easier, especially with a child and I’ve spent $200 on stupider things.

When you also factor in, the dedicated loungers, the two floating mats and a cooler, it all adds up.

In my opinion, the Chill Island day beds are a great choice for smaller families that want a private, dedicated area with easy access to the beach.

Check out Shannon's YouTube channel for lots more travel information & tips.

Guide to Hideaway Beach adults-only beach at CocoCay

02 Nov 2021

Royal Caribbean announced it will add a new adults-only area to Perfect Day at CocoCay, called Hideaway Beach.

There are not many details on what to expect with this new area, but already the expansion is generating a lot of interest among cruise fans who want to know what will be offered and when it might open.

Hideaway Beach will become one of many distinct areas of Royal Caribbean's private island, and this post will include as much information that we know about the area as things progress.

Here is what you need to know about Hideaway Beach when it opens.

What is Hideaway Beach?

On September 1, 2021, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley announced plans for an expansion of Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The only detail provided in the announcement was the name of the area, Hideaway Beach.

Hideaway Beach is the first expansion of CocoCay since Royal Caribbean launched Coco Beach Club in 2020.

Then in October 2021, Mr. Bayley told investors on an earnings call it will be an adults-only beach area.

Where will Hideaway Beach be located?

Royal Caribbean has not announced its exact location, but sources on the island have repeatedly pointed to an area on the north side of the island, adjacent to the CocoCay waterpark.

The western end of CocoCay is still undeveloped, and only being used for storage and housing for some of the crew members.

Check out the CocoCay map.

Will Hideaway Beach cost extra or will it be complimentary?

It is not certain yet if Hideaway Beach will have an admission cost or not, as the cruise line has not announced pricing or other related details.

During the earnings call, Mr. Bayley said the new area will increase the island's capacity by 3,000 guests and said the new area will improve the cruise line's overall profitability and drive more more revenue. 

"It will allow us to increase our capacity by approximately 3,000 people a day in late '22, which is obviously going to help improve our overall profitability and drive more revenue, both both ticket and on board."

It is unclear if the additional revenue will be a reflection of an admission cost, or simply more people on the island will generate additional spending elsewhere.

When will Hideaway Beach open?

Friday Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

According to Mr. Bayley, Hideaway Beach should open in mid to late 2023.

More Perfect Day at CocoCay information

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