Thinking about introducing your kids to a cruise? Royal Caribbean International’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, is finally open and bursting with one-of-a-kind experiences. We recently had the opportunity to visit the island—a first in the cruise line’s new Perfect Island Day Collection—and came back with plenty to report. If you’re considering a cruise soon or just want to know what this epic island has to offer, keep reading!
A Private Island Experience Like No Other
In an effort to push the envelope in cruise line experiences and provide a “perfect” destination for every type of traveler, Royal Caribbean International spent the last year and $250 million transforming their private island in The Bahamas into an impressive 125-acre beach haven for thrill seekers and beach chillers alike. From ginormous water slides and wave pools, to thrilling zip lines and helium balloon rides, to pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear tropical water, guests can now customize their own perfect beach day at CocoCay Island.
Go to Extreme Heights at the Thrill Waterpark
Located in the heart of Perfect Day at CocoCay, you’ll find the Thrill Waterpark. If you’ve got a crew of adrenaline junkies, this impressive waterpark boasts two brag-worthy towers with 13 water slides. When you arrive, make your way to the top of Daredevil’s Tower and take the plunge down Daredevil’s Peak. This impressive, 135-feet-tall water slide comes with serious bragging rights—it’s the tallest water slide in North America! Once you’ve got your feet wet and your adrenaline pumping, you’ll want to try the Dueling Demons, two drop slides that will take you from a vertical position, down a tube slide and to the bottom in a matter of seconds. For riders who want to ease into the “big” slides, Daredevil’s Tower also offers twin open flume slides, a high-speed fully vertical slide and a massive coiling tube slide.
After conquering the slides at Daredevil’s Tower, head over to Splash Summit, the waterpark’s second tower, and tackle the even more epic action: multi-rider slides, a zero gravity slide and more. No trip to the waterpark would be complete without riding the waves at the the largest wave pool in the Caribbean! You’ll also find an obstacle course, rock climbing wall and two rope swings in the Adventure Pool.
photo: Royal Caribbean International
Play at the Biggest Aqua Park at Sea
For little water bugs looking to get in on the waterpark action, Splashaway Bay offers the largest aqua park at sea. Kids will find an array of playful fountains, sprinklers and geysers along with two massive drench buckets and five water slides, including three new racers. If your tots are looking for even more excitement, just a stone’s throw away from Splashaway Bay are the swashbuckling thrills of Captain Jill’s Galleon. This interactive pirate ship comes with three dry slides, 16 water cannons, rope features and a splash pad. The best part? These attractions are both complimentary, so you don’t need to purchase a Thrill Waterpark pass to enjoy them.
Chill at the Largest Freshwater Pool in the Caribbean
In addition to water slides, splash pads and wave pools, Perfect Day at CocoCay offers the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean. Head over to Oasis Lagoon and take advantage of the pool’s three distinct coves, each with its own vibe and underwater sound system. With features like beach-entry and a swim-up bar, you might not ever want to get out. If you do, consider treating your crew to a little R&R in one of the private cabanas, complete with cabana attendants.
Go Up, Up & Away
Perfect Day at CocoCay is all about creating lasting memories through extreme experiences. Proof positive? The helium balloon ride, Up, Up and Away. Hop on board this signature attraction and get ready to take in the breathtaking views of CocoCay Island and the pristine blue waters of The Bahamas as you soar 450 feet in the air. Psst…Up, Up and Away provides the highest vantage point in the Caribbean!
photo: Royal Caribbean International
Take a High-Flying Ride Across the Island
If you’re looking for another way to get that bird’s eye view of the island, plan to take a ride on the island’s speedy zip line. The 1,600-foot-long zip line course crisscrosses across the island, taking you from the arrival’s plaza, over the wave pool and Adventure Pool and across the harbor. All riders need to wear closed toes shoes, so don’t leave the boat without them.
Plan to Spend Some Time Chilling at the Beach
Perfect Day at CocoCay is not only about thrills. The extreme makeover brought a revamp of the island’s “chill” zones which makes the destination even more attractive to families. Chill Island offers pristine, crystal clear tropical waters and powder-like white sand beaches perfect for little feet. Grab a bite to eat at the Chill Grill, the largest dining venue on the island, and then relax under one of the beach umbrellas.
Psst…you can find all your beach day faves on South Beach, including volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer and paddle boarding as well as snorkeling and jet ski excursions.
More to Come!
In December 2019, Perfect Day at CocoCay will offer a luxury expansion to the island. With the addition of the Coco Beach Club, guests will have the opportunity to experience the very first overwater cabanas in The Bahamas—each with their own private water slide, overwater hammock, shower and dedicated attendant. If that doesn’t sound dreamy enough, the Club will also offer a 2,600 foot beachfront infinity pool and an exclusive Mediterranean dining venue.
Insider Tips & Tricks
1. If you purchase a Royal Caribbean drink package or deluxe beverage package on your cruise, you can use the package benefits while at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Souvenir cup drinks or drinks served in coconuts or pineapples are not included.
2. Your Voom internet package will work at Perfect Day at CocoCay with WiFi coverage extending across the island.
3. If you plan to ride Daredevil’s Peak and/or The Slingshot, go when you first arrive. The lines get long around lunchtime (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) and in the late afternoon, after 3 p.m.
4. There is a secret menu item at the Snack Shack inside the Thrill Waterpark. Ask for a chicken parmigiana sandwich and you’ll get a cross between the crispy chicken sandwich, mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce.
5. If you plan to go to the Thrill Waterpark, pre-purchase your tickets before your cruise and save some money.
6. If your crew is tuckered out after a day of slipping and sliding or you’ve got a lot gear to go to and from the ship, complimentary trams run all over the island and on and off the pier.
7. Make your own DIY ice cream sandwiches! Self-service soft service ice cream machines can be found at Perfect Day at CocoCay along with giant chocolate chip cookies. Head to one of the snack bars to pick up two cookies and then beeline it over to the soft serve machines and combine the two. You can thank us later!
Choosing the Perfect Ship
Families can visit Perfect Day at CocoCay by booking a cruise on one of Royal Caribbean’s 11 ships. Short Caribbean escapes are offered onboard the Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas and longer sailings are offered onboard the Oasis Class ships, including Allure, Harmony and Symphony of the Seas. If you’re sailing from the Northeast, there are also plenty of options onboard the Grandeur, Adventure and Anthem of the Seas.
If you’ve got a crew of first-time cruisers, we highly recommend a three-night Perfect Day at CocoCay weekend cruise onboard the Navigator of the Seas. This ah-mazing ship just received a $115 million remodel and not only offers two first-of-its kind onboard water slides (The Blaster which is the longest aqua coaster at sea and Riptide which is the industry’s only headfirst onboard mat racer water slide), but a rock climbing wall, sports court, surf simulator machine, mini golf course and re-imagined Caribbean resort-style poolscape and splash pad. Other new additions include the first standalone blow-dry bar at sea, a three-level signature bar with rooftop deck, a redesigned teen space, laser tag and escape room, plus several new dining options, including Johnny Rockets Express, El Loco Fresh, Hooked Seafood and Jaime’s Italian.
For a full list of sailings, visit royalcaribbean.com/cococay-cruises and be sure to stay tuned for more additional Perfect Day Island Collection destinations in Asia, Australia and the Caribbean.
Rates start at $303 per person.
—Kristina Moy (all photos courtesy of the writer unless otherwise noted)
This trip was paid for by Royal Caribbean International, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.