Looking for the perfect family getaway? Consider taking a Royal Caribbean cruise to their new, $250 million private island known as Perfect Day at CocoCay. Experiences at private islands in the Bahamas have become popular cruise activities these days and the Royal Caribbean International cruise line decided to get in the game in a very big way. A tropical utopia for kids, Royal Caribbean CocoCay has a lot to offer, whether your family is adventurous or just looking for a relaxed day at the beach.
There’s a water park featuring the tallest waterslide in North America, Daredevil’s Peak. The slide includes a 135-foot plummet that will have adrenaline junkies telling tales of courage long afterwards. A 1,600-foot long zip line stretches across the island in several directions. The Up, Up, and Away, a helium balloon ride providing guests the highest vantage points in The Bahamas. The island also boasts the largest freshwater pool and the largest wave pool in the Caribbean. If the beach scene is your thing, the CocoCay Beach Club is great for families.
Here are some handy planning tips for making the most your day at Royal Caribbean CoCoCay. After all, there is a lot to do on the island and you won’t be able to do everything!
Getting to Royal Caribbean CocoCay
There are multiple ways to get to CocoCay and all involve boarding a ship. Go as part of a 3-4-day cruise on ships such as Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas. Longer voyages on Oasis Class ships, Allure, Harmony, and Symphony of the Seas can also get you there. Depending on how long you want to be away or how much you enjoy cruises, you have plenty of options. Royal Caribbean cruises drop passengers off at CocoCay for 8-hour visits.
Check out our review of the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas.
Plan Your Royal Caribbean CocoCay Day in Advance
Upon departing the ship, SailPass cards, beach towels, swim gear, and sunscreen are all you need. You can either walk down the newly built pier or take a shuttle to CocoCay. Once you arrive on the island, you’ll have choices about which direction to start in, so read the signs carefully.
Chill Island includes Oasis Lagoon and beaches with loungers, as well as a straw market to shop for local products. Most kids will want to start their day at Thrill Water Park. With 13 slides, a 1600-foot zip line, wave pool, and an aquatic obstacle course, can you blame them? There are no bad choices here! There are lockers near the water park. Be sure to grab one early so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Dreaming of a trip to Europe? Check out our article about a Royal Caribbean Mediterranean Cruise with kids.
Know How Much Things Cost
Be sure to check prices and plan in advance, as the island fees are not included in your cruise fare. Access to the water park costs $44 to $99 per person for the full day and $39 to $74 for a half day, with kids 3 and under free. A combo water park and zip line package runs between $99 and $179. Up, Up, and Way is $39 to $99 for adults and kids 13 and over, with children 4 to 12 are charged $24 to $64.
If your kids are interested in the zip line or helium balloon ride, book a time slot in advance. If there are strong winds, these rides may be canceled. Winds tend to pick up in the afternoon so try to score an early time. It’s better to be prepared and not lose the opportunity if bookings fill up. The island’s pools and beaches are free, as is all the food on the island, so you can easily have the perfect day at CocoCay without spending additional money.
Fun for the Entire Family at CocoCay
There is so much for the entire family to do together at CocoCay. Everyone will love the Wave Pool, where a timer on the back wall counts down to the start of very large waves. Parents will just want to hold onto their young ones, but the waves are pleasant and manageable for all ages.There is no height or weight restriction on Up, Up, and Away, a helium balloon which takes guests 450 feet above CocoCay, giving you a prime peek at the island from above.
Beach time is a luxury at CocoCay, so head towards Chill Island for some fun and relaxation. Kick back in cabanas or on daybeds. Beginning in December, Royal Caribbean will have overwater cabanas to rent at Coco Beach Club. Up to 8 people can enjoy each cabana with includes attendant service, a private hammock, a minibar, and a personal slide into the sea!
Enjoy the fare at the Chill Grill, the largest dining venue on the island. Another fun option is South Beach, where you’ll find games such as volleyball, paddle-boarding, and beach ball. Jet skiing excursions are also available.
Attractions Younger Kids Will Enjoy
Kids of all ages will love Thrill Waterpark. Splashaway Bay is an aqua park with sprinklers, geysers, drench buckets, pools and five water slides with 3 racers little competitors will love. Don’t miss Captain Jill’s Galleon pirate ship with water spurting out from all sides. You’ll see it as soon as you enter the island. It’s ideal for kids who are under 42 inches and it will be easy for them to spend loads of time there. It also comes at an ideal price — free of charge!
Note: Kids must be 48 inches tall for slides on Daredevil’s Tower and 40 inches with a life vest on Splash Summit.
Kids will also enjoy spending time swimming, splashing, and jumping in the water at Oasis Lagoon. They can even get a mock cocktail at the swim-up bar or relax in a private cabana with the rest of the family. Chill Beach and Harbor Beach are two other great options with younger kids.
Attractions Older Kids Will Enjoy
Older kids will be able to do everything in Thrill Water Park, and they could easily stay there the whole 8 hours. The 135-foot Daredevil’s Tower features 7 single-rider water slides, twin Dueling Demon drop slides, launching racers, fume slides, the high-speed Screeching Serpent, and Green Mamba, a tube slide. There are also 6 multi-rider slides. Don’t miss the island’s Adventure Pool, an interactive aqua obstacle course featuring floating lily pads, a rock-climbing wall, and two swing ropes to bounce, climb, and swing on.
The zip line is an exhilarating experience. It’s for anyone who weighs at least 50 lbs. The 1,600 foot-long course takes you across the island in 3 different directions, ending across the harbor with an option to go through a water fountain and get soaked. It’s very safe and riders can do a double and ride alongside their companion, perfect for a mom or dad and a child.
Where to Eat at Royal Caribbean CocoCay
CocoCay is an extension of the cruise experience. All food is complimentary and available all over the island. You’ll find soft-serve ice-cream and chocolate chip cookies, places to refill water bottles, and waiters at the pools and on the beach to take drink orders (drinks are free depending on your drink package). For lunch, head to the aforementioned Chill Grill or Skipper’s Grill for sandwiches, tacos, hamburgers, salads, and fruit. Captain Jack’s is good for drinks and bar food.
Definitely look for the funnel cake kiosk, a snack that will make your kid’s face light up. Snack Shack on South Beach serves funnel cake, too. Be sure to give your kids a head’s up that the day is ending so they can complete their activity. There is no question that you will all want to come back for another perfect day at CocoCay.
Disclosure: Our writer was invited on a media trip by Royal Caribbean to cover CocoCay to facilitate this article. However, as always her opinions are always entirely her own.
Lead Image by: Flickr/Ricardo’s Photography