Perfect Day at CocoCay

Do's & Don'ts of Perfect Day at CocoCay

In:
01Jun2020

Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day at CocoCay is a private island in The Bahamas that in just one year has become an incredibly popular destination for any Caribbean sailing.

While the island measures less than a mile wide from east to west, it is packed with so many fun activities for your family to enjoy, including water slides, beaches, parasailing, zip lines, helium balloon and more.

Royal Caribbean's ships typically visit the private island on most Caribbean itineraries, with some ships offering two stops in one sailing.

In order to make the most of your visit, here are some Perfect Day at CocoCay tips taken from multiple visits.

Do prebook to save money

Whether you want to visit Thrill Waterpark, go for a ride on the Up, Up & Away helium balloon, snorkel or pretty much anything else that will cost extra at Perfect Day at CocoCay, be sure to pre-book it before your cruise.

Royal Caribbean regularly discounts activities and add-ons you can enjoy while at CocoCay, and this means money saved compared to waiting to reserve it once onboard.

Moreover, booking in advance assures you of a spot and protects against something selling out. It is common for the Coco Beach Club, cabanas or the water park to sell out, so book early.

You can view prices and make reservations on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planer site.

Don’t forget your Seapass Card

In order to disembark your ship, you will need your SeaPass card, but that is not where the usefulness of the card ends.

Your ship card is what you need to order drinks, gain access to Thrill waterpark and pretty much charge anything on the island.

Make sure you have everyone's card before you leave your stateroom.

Do take the tram

Royal Caribbean provides complimentary tram service around the island, and to and from the ship on the pier.

Walking distances are not terribly long, but taking the tram will save you energy you will want to have for a full day of fun in the sun.  In addition, trams can take you to the major areas of CocoCay.

When it is time to head back to the ship, ask any crew member where the tram picks up nearby. If you rent a cabana, your cabana attendant may be able to hail one for you.

Do choose the right beach (or pool)

There are five beaches and four pools for guest use at Perfect Day at CocoCay, and they each have different offerings and advantages.

  • Beaches
    • Chill Island
    • Breezy Bay
    • Harbor Beach
    • South Beach
    • Coco Beach Club (costs extra)
  • Pools
    • Oasis Lagoon
    • Coco Beach Club (costs extra)
    • Adventure pool (inside Thrill Waterpark & costs extra)
    • Wave pool (inside Thrill Waterpark & costs extra)

You want to plan ahead which areas you want to spend your time at, keeping in mind you can hop around as you see fit.

If you want a simple beach day, with the quietest serenity around, Chill Island is the place for you.  South Beach is also quite easygoing, and the fact it was recently refurbished in early 2020 and further away from most activities makes it an attractive choice.

Oasis Lagoon pool is a great family area, and there is a DJ near the pool bar that will keep the crowd going all day long. You can find quieter and less-crowded spots in the Oasis Lagoon pool at the ends of the pool.

Don’t miss live entertainment and games

Throughout the day there is entertainment for guests who want more than just splashing around.

Captain Jack's features a live guitarist on most days, and Oasis Lagoon features a DJ. The embarkation plaza also has an assortment of live music and even Bahamian dancers to welcome you.

There is a sports court at CocoCay that features hard courts and sand courts for basketball, volleyball, cornhole and more.

Don't forget to take advantage of your drink package

If you bought a Royal Caribbean drink package, you can take advantage of its 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.Your drink package on the island can be used just like onboard the ship. 

Just give your SeaPass card to any waiter or bartender while ordering, and you can enjoy the same sort of drinks while in paradise. 

Keep in mind that the island's drink selection may be more limited than on the ship, but they usually have a good assortment of favorites.

You should also be aware drinks served in souvenir cups and/or fruits (i.e. pineapples) are not included with the drink package, although you can get a discount on them.

Don't forget cash

While Royal Caribbean advertises CocoCay as a cashless island, there is one major exception: the straw market.

The artisan market offers Bahamian handmade goods, and these are available only through cash.  

In addition, you may find it advantageous to have a few dollars on hand for tips.

Don't miss the pool

While it may seem counterintuitive to spend your day at a pool when at a private island in the Bahamas, but the Oasis Lagoon pool is my favorite spot at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, and it features a swim-up bar, in-pool seating, geysers and music throughout the day.

If you are looking for the party, it is usually in and around the pool.

Don’t waste time eating on the ship

Royal Caribbean's food at Perfect Day at CocoCay is more than hot dogs and burgers. In fact, there is so much good (and complimentary) food on the island that going back to the ship to eat is actually a mistake.

Snack Shack is open most of the day, and serves up some of my favorite food anywhere. The crispy chicken sandwich and mozzarella sticks are worth ordering multiple times.

Over at Chill Grill, you will find a wide selection of food. Salads, sandwiches, grilled meats, tacos and more can be found here, and I love the variety of choices.

If you happen to be at the Coco Beach Club, their exclusive restaurant is worthy of being a specialty restaurant back on the ship, so be sure to come hungry.

Do rent cabanas in advance

If you want to rent a cabana while at CocoCay, do not wait until you are onboard the ship or at the island to reserve one.

Cabana rentals go very fast, and they almost always sell out months or weeks before a cruise. Your best bet is to log into Royal Caribbean's site and reserve one so that you can ensure your family has it for when you arrive.

In addition, pre-booking will always get you a better price than if you wait to book something onboard or on the island.

Don't sleep in if you are going to the water park

An important tip for anyone who purchases Thrill waterpark admission is to get there early.

Lines for the popular water slides will build as the day progresses, so get off the ship and to the waterpark early to get plenty of rides in before everyone else arrives.

The best times to enjoy the water slides with the shortest lines are before 11am, or after 3pm.

Do book the Coco Beach Club

If you want the absolute best service and a sense of exclusivity, book a spot at the Coco Beach Club.

This upgraded and limited-capacity area of CocoCay offers guests a less crowded area, complete with infinity pool, beach loungers and an exclusive restaurant.

The crown jewel of the Coco Beach Club are the floating cabanas, that were inspired by the ones in Bora Bora. They are more opulent than any of the cabanas elsewhere on the island.

Of course, this area costs extra and it is not cheap. Prices will vary from sailing to sailing, so check prices before your cruise begins. Believe it or not, lots of people pay these prices and admission and the cabanas will sell out.

Save these CocoCay tips!

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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.

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