Royal Caribbean‘s private island in the Bahamas spans an impressive 125 acres, and it’s called Perfect Day at CocoCay. Tourists can enjoy both exciting activities and peaceful beaches. Regarding cruise liners in the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean isn’t alone in having its own private island. According to Cruise Critic, the Bahamas are a paradise on the four major cruise lines: Norwegian, Carnival, Disney and Princess.
A few weeks ago, on the last day of my first Royal Caribbean cruise, I visited CocoCay. It was like being on a ship within a ship, but I wanted real Bahamian life. Here’s what a trip there looks like.
A seven-night cruise set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and ended in CocoCay. The cruise ship also made stops in Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatán, Honduras.
Only passengers on Royal Caribbean cruise ships can visit the island. This port is a common stop for Caribbean cruises, and as Insider reported, two ships can be anchored there at any time. Royal Caribbean claims that in 1985, the island was leased until the year 2050 by Admiral Cruises, a company it acquired in 1988. Royal Caribbean refreshed the island with a $250,000,000 makeover in 2019.
As far as the cruise line is concerned, the only permanent residents of CocoCay are its staff. Guests of Royal Caribbean are welcomed to the island by a band playing Caribbean music as they disembark from the ship.
The island’s cuisine and many of its pools and beaches are among the many amenities that cruise passengers can enjoy at no cost.
Waterpark admission and excursions like ziplining, snorkeling, and hot air balloon rides are examples of the exciting features that usually come at an additional cost. There are numerous signs and maps to help visitors find their way and three distinct routes denoted by color. The green path leads to Chill Island, the orange trail to Oasis Lagoon, and the blue path to Thrill Waterpark.
A free tram connects various parts of the island, but walking is also an option.
It costs nothing to visit Chill Island if you’re the traveler only interested in unwinding during your vacation. If you’re looking for a place to kick back and relax, Chill Island is the spot. Unlike the other beaches on CocoCay, this one is completely silent. There are plenty of free umbrellas and chairs available.
You’ll have no trouble finding a place to relax. Royal Caribbean claims that CocoCay has 12,000 umbrellas and 6,000 lounge chairs.
It costs $150 per week to rent a daybed on the beach so that you can chill out in style. Cabanas are available, some of which are perched right over the water. You’ll need to set aside a hefty budget of $1,100 per month to rent one of these.
A swim-up bar is available just offshore. You can celebrate that your cruise ship’s all-inclusive beverage package also covers CocoCay with a few drinks. Visit South Beach, located on the opposite side of the island, for a livelier day at the beach. Volleyball, basketball, and even a life-size game of billiards are just some of the many outdoor sports available here.
Both of these beaches provide convenient services at no cost to you. There are also secure lockers for storing personal items.
Complimentary life vests are also available as part of the amenities. Snorkeling gear can be rented from huts on both beaches for $37 per day. The fish I saw while snorkeling off Chill Island were among the most interesting I’ve ever seen.
There are plenty of beachside stores to stock up on sunscreen and other necessities and purchase fun beach souvenirs like t-shirts.
Visit Oasis Lagoon if you’d rather swim than frolic in the sand. As far as Royal Caribbean is concerned, it has the largest freshwater pool in the entire Caribbean.
There are several relaxing nooks in the pool, lively tunes, and a bar where you can enjoy your favorite beverage while you lounge in the water. Splashaway Bay, a children’s water park, is located right next to Oasis Lagoon.
Guests on Royal Caribbean cruises will recognize the playground as a replica of Splashaway Bay. Guests don’t have to pay anything to use it. Thrill Waterpark, the “big kids” water park next door, charges $130 for entry. You can find waterslides and the island’s wave pool in this part of the island.
The hot-air balloon adventure, which ascends as high as 450 feet, is also popular among adventurers. On the day I went, the wind gusts were too strong to launch the balloon. (The ticket price ranges from $24 to $64 year-round.)
Before leaving CocoCay, I snatched one last look at the island from the ship. I could make out some of the other 700 islands that make up the Bahamas, and I wondered what it would be like to travel to some of those other islands.
While I did enjoy my time at CocoCay, I couldn’t help but feel like I was just hanging out on the ship’s dock rather than in a foreign country. I would have preferred to spend my time on a Bahamian island learning about the local culture rather than experiencing the thrill of a waterslide or zip line.
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