Perfect Day at CocoCay

Royal Caribbean won't offer overnight stays at Perfect Day at Cococay

In:
27May2020

It looks like overnight stays at Perfect Day at CocoCay will not be happening after all.

In the past, Royal Caribbean hinted at the possibility of offering cruises that had an overnight, or even longer, stay at its private island in the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed answered a question during a webinar on Wednesday that touched on the status of the cruise line's plans to offer overnight stays.

"It's something that we have talked about and we even did late night days in Perfect Day at Coco Cay, where we had fireworks and we had a concert." 

"But as of now, it doesn't look like we will be doing overnights because our guests, even with our late night stays, once they want to come back, they really do want to come back onto the ship and enjoy the fine dining and they want to enjoy the entertainment that we have onboard."

While overnight stays may be sidelined as an idea right now, cruises that feature multiple stops at CocoCay seem to be a hit with guests.

"Those have been more successful because people say, Oh, I didn't get a chance to really experience everything I wanted to do at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Maybe today I want to do the thrill side and the next visit I want to do the chill side."

Royal Caribbean celebrates one year anniversary of Perfect Day at CocoCay opening

In:
05May2020

It may be hard to imagine, but it has been exactly one year since Royal Caribbean officially opened its revamped private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

In the year since Perfect Day at CocoCay opened, it has quickly become a favorite destination of so many cruisers, even those who questioned the massive overhaul concept.

In celebrating the anniversary of the opening, I thought it might be fun to look back at the highlights from the first year of paradise.

The announcement

At a ceremony in March 2018 in New York City, Royal Caribbean announced its plans to expand its private island in the Bahamas, CocoCay.

The $200 million transformation (later it increased to $250 million) was part of an even bigger announcement to reveal the Royal Amplified fleet upgrades.

Originally, the timeline had an early opening in September 2018 with the completion of the pier, followed by the majority of the island will launch spring 2019. This timeline changed quite a few times in the months to come, but the objectives remained in tact.

Royal Caribbean hoped this destination would offer guests more than just a beach day experience.  A water park, zip-line, cabanas, dining venues, and even an upgraded luxury beach option were part of the initial plans.

“It’s true that our ships are technological and engineering marvels in their own right and offer a multitude of unexpected experiences; but our destinations are an equally important part of the cruise vacation,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We are introducing the Perfect Day Island Collection to deliver the most memorable vacation for adventure seekers on land and on board our ships. Once completed Perfect Day at CocoCay will be the ultimate family destination in the Caribbean.”

Pre-opening - March 2019

Royal Caribbean took a phased approach to opening its private destination, beginning with opening its new pier, along with the Oasis Lagoon pool, Snack Shack and Chill Grill.

On March 16, 2019, Mariner of the Seas docked at CocoCay, marking the first time a Royal Caribbean ship docked and disembarked guests on the island.  

While the water park and other venues were still under construction, guests got their first look at what Royal Caribbean had in mind.

The largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, Oasis Lagoon,offered a massive complimentary pool day for guests to enjoy. This included a swim-up bar, fountains and in-pool seating.

Two dining venues opened as well, Snack Shack and Chill Grill. These venues served up more than hot dogs and hamburgers, with the largest variety of private island food Royal Caribbean has ever had.

The Artisan Market was also revamped and opened, where Bahamians could sell guests their many wares in a straw market environment.

April 2019 - Splashaway Bay and Skipper's Grill open

A few short weeks after the initial venues opened, Royal Caribbean opened up two new areas: Splashaway Bay and Skipper's Grill.

Splashaway Bay is a complimentary aqua park for kids that features geysers, drench buckets, sprays and more. A complimentary option, it is a real hit with younger kids who enjoy non-stop splashing.

Skipper's Grill is another complimentary dining option on the island that provides lunch and snacks to guests.

In addition to the newly opened venues, it appears Royal Caribbean has expanded its Voom internet access to the island, marking the first time any of its private destinations offer internet access on the island.  

Up, Up and Away goes up for the first time

About a week later, one of the signature attractions Royal Caribbean added to Perfect Day at CocoCay launched.

The Up, Up and Away helium balloon takes guests 450 feet above Perfect Day at CocoCay, providing the highest vantage point in The Bahamas.

May 4 - Grand Opening of Perfect Day at CocoCay

Fourteen months after being announced, Royal Caribbean officially opened Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Guests sailing on Navigator of the Seas were welcomed to Perfect Day at CocoCay, where a number of new venues, activities and offerings were officially open for guest use.

Among the many options now available to guests, Thrill Waterpark was highly anticipated and open as well. 

Thrill Waterpark is home to Daredevil’s Tower, where guests can try a number of single-rider waterslides of various heights, including the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America.

Additional highlights are the twin Dueling Demon drop slides, launching riders from a vertical position; the Manta Raycers, where friends can race down twin open flume slides; the high-speed, fully vertical Screeching Serpent; and the coiling Green Mamba, a massive aqua tube slide.

Younger kids could enjoy the complimentary Captain Jill’s Galleon, which is an interactive play structure loaded with swashbuckling thrills.

Royal Caribbean also revamped its beach offerings with the dedication of Chill Island.

The 1,600 foot zipline opened as well, marking yet another fun activity for families to try.

Summer 2019: Late night stays & Two-stops

Off the bat, Perfect Day at CocoCay was such a hit with guests that Royal Caribbean announced it would add select sailings that visit Perfect Day at CocoCay twice, along with late night stays.

Beginning September 30, 2019, Royal Caribbean began to offer 4-night itineraries to the private island destination across nearly 40 sailings. 

In addition, three one-of-a-kind cruises with late-night visits to the island were offered on Navigator of the Seas. These visits included traditional Bahamian-inspired activities, including a Junkanoo Jam Up Party, an island barbeque and performances by a calypso band and fire dancers, topped off with unforgettable farewell fireworks before setting sail.

The official beer of Perfect Day at CocoCay!

In the fall, Royal Caribbean teamed up with Funky Buddha Brewery to create an exclusive beer for Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The Chilla Thrilla beer is available only at the island, and offers a fun and different option for guests to enjoy while spending the day there.

Coco Beach Club opens - January 2020

The final phase of Perfect Day at CocoCay opened on January 31, 2020 with the grand opening of the Coco Beach Club.

The Coco Beach Club is a exclusive area of Perfect Day at CocoCay that offers an oceanfront infinity pool, upgraded cuisine and the only floating cabanas in the Bahamas. Plus, there is a complimentary restaurant at Coco Beach Club featuring lobster, snapper, and steak— plus a buffet of soups, salads, and starters. 

Entry to the Coco Beach Club requires an additional cost. Guests can choose between a day pass to the Coco Beach Club, as well as the option to reserve a cabana or floating cabana.

The attention-grabbing floating cabanas also debuted, which sought to bring a bit of Bora Bora to the Bahamas.

The 20 luxurious cabanas feature a private slide into the ocean, overwater hammock, dining area, freshwater shower, wet bar and an unbeatable ocean vista.

Have you visited Perfect Day at CocoCay yet? What is your favorite spot on the island? Share your memories, tips and advice in the comments!

Recipe: Make the Coco Loco official CocoCay cocktail at home!

In:
04Apr2020

With there being no Royal Caribbean cruises for many weeks (if not months), that also means there are no visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

If you want to get that private island feel back at home, you might consider putting on your sunglasses, turning up the reggae music and making yourself the official concoction of CocoCay: the Coco Loco.

The Coco Loco is the kind of frozen concoction that is sure to put a smile on just about anyone's face, and ever since I had my very first one, I was hooked.

While at home, it is easy enough to make a batch yourself so that you can feel like you are sitting on Chill Island.

Photo by Lori Barrett

Coco Loco Ingredients

Makes one cocktail

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Papaya Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
  • 3/4 oz Dark Rum (Or make it a virgin Coco Loco without the rum)
  • 3/4 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/4 oz Grenadine
  • Crushed ice

Suggested music while preparing

  • Kenny Chesney - No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems

Coco Loco Instructions

  1. Toss all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the potion into a cocktail glass.
  3. Dress it up with a fresh wedge of pineapple.

Royal Caribbean to live stream sunrise at Perfect Day at CocoCay on April 2

In:
01Apr2020

Royal Caribbean will live stream sunrise over Perfect Day at CocoCay on its Facebook page.

In an effort to "brighten" everyone's day, Royal Caribbean sent an email that they will live stream sunrise on the Royal Caribbean Facebook page to‌mo‌rr‌ow.

The video will take place at the cruise line's private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Live streaming will begin at ‌7‌:‌1‌5a‌m E‌S‌T on A‌pr‌i‌l 2‌, 2‌02‌0.

To check out the broadcast on Thursday, simply visit Royal Caribbean on Facebook and you’ll find the live stream at the top of the page. I'm looking forward to starting my day by being virtually transported to paradise!

Will you start your day with the sun rise at Perfect Day at CocoCay? Let us know in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean adds option to add extra guests to cabanas

In:
05Mar2020

Royal Caribbean has updated its cabanas at Perfect Day at CocoCay to allow additional guests to be added beyond the cabana capacity for an added price.

The description of the private cabanas at Perfect Day at CocoCay now lists an added option to go beyond the maximum capacity for $50 per person, up to 2 additional people.

The new option shows up for Chill Island cabanas, Oasis Lagoon cabanas & South Beach cabanas on the Cruise Planner site.

Thanks to RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader CGTLH for alerting us to this change.

Video: 10 things you didn't know about Perfect Day at CocoCay

In:
25Feb2020

Perfect Day at CocoCay is filled with great activities and things to do for the family. Chilling at the beach, going down water slides, dining around the island and more are part of a day at this private island.

Matt shares a look at the top ten things you might not be aware of prior to visiting Royal Caribbean's destination.

And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: What are you most surprised by at CocoCay?

View the 2020 Perfect Day at CocoCay cabana map

In:
17Feb2020

Royal Caribbean has an updated map of its cabana and daybed locations on Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The new map lists locations in the newly opened areas of South Beach and the Coco Beach Club.

Cabanas at Perfect Day at CocoCay are available for rent in six different areas, while day beds are availble in four areas.

8 things you should know about the Coco Beach Club before you go

In:
10Feb2020

Royal Caribbean just opened the Coco Beach Club at Perfect Day at CocoCay, and it is already a big hit with guests who love having a secluded enclave to enjoy during their visit to the island.

This extra-cost venue is all about providing an exclusive, brag-worthy spot to anyone that values being in a limited-access spot.

Having just visited the Coco Beach Club, you will not want to miss any of these important tips prior to checking it out for yourself.

No tickets needed

If you buy admission to the Coco Beach Club, there are no shore excursion tickets to show.

When you check-in at the entrance, the staff will scan your SeaPass card and be able to see your admission purchase and grant you access.

If you do decide to leave the club to venture around the island, the staff will give you a bracelet to make reentering super simple.

Food is amazing

Royal Caribbean's culinary offerings in the Coco Beach Club are worthy of a specialty restaurant back onboard a ship.

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.  The menu reminds me of a cross between Coastal Kitchen and Solarium Bistro, and it is so good that you will want to come very hungry to the meal.

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.

Day beds and loungers are first-come, first-seated

The beach club offers lounge chairs, day beds and in-pool loungers throughout the club and they are available to whomever claims them first.

There are plenty of beach lounge chairs and umbrellas, but if you want an in-pool lounger or day bed, be sure to get to the club as soon as you can.

Book early before it sells out

Royal Caribbean has clearly hit a home run with the Coco Beach Club, because passes to this exclusive area sell out quickly.

If you want to visit, be sure to book a spot as soon as you can prior to the cruise.  

Access Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site in the months leading up to your cruise and book a pass to ensure you get in.

Ask to be on waitlist if it does sell out

If you are too late to buy a pass because it is sold out, then you can ask the Shore Excursion desk once onboard about being put on a waitlist.

This happened to me after I booked a cruise at the last minute and passes were sold out.  The Shore Excursion staff on your ship can add you to the waitlist upon request.

Keep in mind that the waitlist may or may not work, but it is the last hope for getting in if it is sold out.

Coffee and tea available in the morning

The Coco Beach Club is the only place on Perfect Day at CocoCay that serves coffee in the morning.

If you hurried off the ship to get one of those day beds by the infinity pool, you will be happy to know there is coffee, tea and Danishes available to enjoy in the morning.

The coffee cart is located to the left of the entrance area as you walk into the Coco Beach Club.

Reservations needed for lunch

The Coco Beach Club restaurant takes reservations for lunch to prevent lines or extended waits to dine.  

There is a staff member throughout the day at the entrance to the restaurant taking reservations, with lunch running between 11am and 3pm.

Stop by there early to secure a spot for your family.

Towels provided

No need to grab towels off the ship, because the Coco Beach Club provides towels for you to use during the day.

In fact, these towels are not the typical blue Royal Caribbean towels. The cruise line came up with a special towel just for the Coco Beach Club, adding to that sense of exclusivity.

I tried it: Coco Beach Club at Perfect Day at CocoCay

In:
04Feb2020

Royal Caribbean opened the Coco Beach Club a few days ago, and I had the chance to try out this new exclusive beach area on the cruise line's private island.

The premise of the Coco Beach Club is simple: an area of Perfect Day at CocoCay for guests who are looking for an exclusive area that offers upgraded service and food choices.

Located between Chill Island and South Beach, Coco Beach Club is a short 10 minute walk from where your ship docks.

 

Admission is purchased before the visit, and loaded onto the SeaPass card, so when you arrive, the staff scans your SeaPass card for entry. 

Coffee and tea is served in the morning, something unavailable elsewhere on CocoCay.

The bar at the center of the club offers plenty to drink, and like anywhere else in Perfect Day at CocoCay, the drinks cost extra (unless you have a drink package, then it is included).

Once inside, you have the choice of going to the beach, hanging by the infinity pool, or any point inbetween.

The beach here has been dredged and refined, and the result is water clarity and color that reminds me more of one of the Virgin Islands than the Bahamas.

There is complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas along the beach, with towels provided as well. In fact, the towels are not the standard blue Royal Caribbean towels, but special Coco Beach Club logoed grey and white towels.

The infinity pool is a spectacular area, where you can wade and enjoy the day.  Many guests commute between the beach and pool as they see fit.

 

 

 

There is also complimentary beach chairs and pool loungers available, and these are first-come first-served.

There is additional seating to the left of the infinity pool on a deck area, that features rocking chairs, umbrellas and couches.

 

Of course, I cannot overlook the cabanas. Coco Beach Club offers two varieties of cabanas: beach cabanas and the floating cabanas.

The floating cabanas represent the most luxurious cabana offerings by Royal Caribbean to date. In true Bora Bora style, two sets of floating cabanas are found on either side of the Coco Beach area. View many more floating cabana photos.

Floating hammock, private shower, mini-bar and water slide are just some of what makes these floating oasis' stand apart.

Beach cabanas are at the back of the beach area, and feature an upgraded cabana experience compared to cabanas outside the Coco Beach Club.

While these cabanas do not have a water slide or private shower, they are still well-appointed private retreats.

So why should you pay extra to go to the Coco Beach Club instead of enjoying the ample complimentary areas of Perfect Day at CocoCay, along with their more reasonably priced cabanas?

The answer is how much you value being somewhere special and exclusive.

Just like a first class seat on an airplane that gets to its final destination at the same time as economy seated passengers, the Coco Beach Club is all about offering an elevated day where you feel like you are somewhere special.

The service reminds me of a day pass resort in Cozumel, where the wait staff is continuously checking if you need something.

The cabanas are a step or two ahead of what a private cabana is all about.

And the restaurant is food worthy of being a specialty restaurant on a cruise ship. It reminded me of a blend between Coastal Kitchen and Solarium Bistro.

Appetizers are served at a buffet, while a waiter takes your entree and drink orders.

The menu offers anything but your standard beach food: filet, lobster, grouper, ceviche and baba ganoush, for example. The food is included with your admission.

Caesar Salad

Grouper

Coco Lobster sandwich

Maine Lobster

You certainly do not need to buy admission to the Coco Beach Club to have a great day at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Far from it, because Royal Caribbean crafted a private island experience that sets the new standard for what we can expect from them. The beach club is about offering something more, if you so desire.

The costs will vary from sailing to sailing. Originally a day pass cost between $50 - $90 per person, but in the days since the club opened, prices have jumped up to $199 per person (I paid $79 for my visit). The beach cabana begins at about $1000, and the floating cabana ranges between $1500-$3000.  Not cheap at all, but the prices match the level of service and upgrades you would expect for that price.

Overall, I had a great day at the Coco Beach Club and thought it mixed great service with upgraded, well, everything. Having been to Perfect Day at CocoCay quite a few times last year, I felt like the Coco Beach Club experience was a measurable step above what I had been used to elsewhere on the island.  Considering how impressive Perfect Day at CocoCay has been, holding the Coco Beach Club in such high esteem says something about what this venue is all about.

Does the Coco Beach Club sound like paradise to you? Let us know in the comments if you plan to buy a pass!

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