Silver Travel Explorers Club: CocoCay in the Bahamas with Royal Caribbean
30 people found this feature helpful
Win a copy of the Lonely Planet Caribbean Cruise
Ports Travel Guide
Our Explorers Club spotlights a port of call from favourite cruising areas each month. The world was first explored by water and in many cases, it remains the best way to discover a new destination. Just add a comment at the end of the feature and to be in with a chance of winning the Lonely Planet Caribbean Cruise Ports Travel Guide.
Why go to CocoCay?
Covering 125 acres but less than a
mile long and 400 metres wide, CocoCay promises a Perfect Day of tropical escape,
getting to chill in over-water cabanas, on pillow-soft sandy beaches or from a
lounger set in the shallows of the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool. Or
alternatively, taking on the thrill of hi-octane rides and gravity-defying waterslides.
Reserved exclusively for Royal Caribbean passengers
sailing to the Bahamas, CocoCay is open for adventure as soon as you step
ashore, with a host of options to delight you – and the grandkids too –
throughout the day. The ship ties up at a pier, so you can simply
stroll ashore into a world of tropical fun and relaxation – or take the
complimentary tram to your chosen part of the island.
Lying just west of Great Stirrup Cay, in the midst
of the mosaic of islands that make up the Bahamas, CocoCay is surrounded by
clear warm waters, golden beaches and teeming marine life. But CocoCay is more
than this, offering both tranquil island beauty and exhilarating Waterpark fun,
epitomising the sort of multi-faceted palm-fringed escape that so many holiday
dreams are made of. It makes for an unforgettable addition to a Bahamas or
Caribbean cruise, which Royal Caribbean offer throughout the year.
What’s good to do there?
CocoCay is a tropical microcosm that
successfully blends beautiful beaches and quiet spaces with theme park rides,
water slides and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as floating 450 feet above
the island by helium balloon.
For people looking for a laid-back experience,
the island ticks all the boxes. Good quality food and snacks,
beach chairs, sun umbrellas, towels, freshwater showers, restrooms and beach
access wheelchairs are all included. In addition, there’s free access to the Oasis
Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, which features
scalloped coves, three mini-islands and a swim-up bar. It holds 800,000 gallons
of fresh water and takes over a week to fill!
But for a truly tropical day of sanctuary, the exclusive Coco Beach Club offers access to its own
beautiful sandy beach, infinity pool and clubhouse with an à la carte
Mediterranean restaurant. Club admission charges
range from $54-99 per adult, depending on the season. And to really push the
boat out, there are 20 amazing floating cabanas here offering privacy, an
over-water hammock, a shower and your own mini-slide into the crystal clear
waters. Cabana rentals start at $999 for 8 people including Beach Club
Great as it is for couples, for multi-generational
family groups, CocoCay is absolute heaven – the youngsters can have a ball riding
the 1,600-foot-long zip line, playing in the Caribbean’s biggest-ever wave pool,
whizzing down the tallest waterslide in North America or taking their pick of 6
exhilarating Splash Summit waterslides in the Thrill Waterpark (children under
14 must be accompanied by an adult and those under 42" in height must wear
a swim vest). Unless they’d rather hit South Beach for volleyball, sea
kayaking, paddle-boarding and even zorbing on
the water in their own personal bubble. These attractions do cost extra, but
you’ll be giving the kids a day they’ll never forget.
Bay is a complimentary play area for children with five waterslides, two drench
buckets, fountains and pools while Captain Jill’s Galleon offers a
free fun play area based around a life-size galleon featuring a water cannon, a
tunnel slide and scramble net.
Little-known facts about CocoCay?
Over $250 million was spent upgrading the island to offer these
extraordinary fantasy island experiences.
You can even get married at one of the island
wedding sites to make a truly Perfect Day at CocoCay!
The helium balloon ride carries 30 passengers
at a time, gently rising 450 feet in the air to give a bird’s eye view of the
island, its beaches, the surrounding ocean – and your ship.
With a platform height of 135 feet, reached by a 200-step
climb, Daredevil’s Peak is the highest waterslide in North America. It’s the ultimate white-knuckle ride!
There is great snorkelling to be had from the island
– there’s even an artificial plane wreck that attracts a variety of colourful fish.
Bring your own snorkel or hire one on the day.
There’s a straw market run by local islanders on CocoCay, so it’s worth bringing some cash with you, as well as your cruise card, to buy drinks during your visit.
Download the PDF map from the Royal Caribbean website, so you’ll have an idea of the layout before you arrive – and know your which stop to request if you intend to take the tram to get around the island.
It’s worth getting ashore early to secure the best beach chairs. There are plenty for everyone, but the waterfront locations tend to go first.
The Bahamas bask in a tropical climate with steady
temperatures between 75°F-85°F (24°C-29°C) all year round. It may be more humid
with thunderstorms in the summer months – the wet season is usually between June
and October but the ‘liquid sunshine’ generally falls as short-but-intense
afternoon showers which quickly pass. In the winter months, the islands have a
dry, sunny climate making it the perfect escape from chilly Britain.
How to get there
30 people found this feature helpful