Silver Travel Explorers Club: CocoCay in the Bahamas with Royal Caribbean

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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? 

CocoCayCovering 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.

CocoCayLying 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?  

CocoCayCocoCay 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 admission.

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). CocoCayUnless 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. 

Alternatively, Splashaway 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?

CocoCayOver $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! 

Top Tips

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.

CocoCayDownload 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  

Royal Caribbean offers a wealth of ways throughout the year to enjoy CocoCay, the Bahamas and so many more islands sprinkled across the entire Caribbean. Cruises visiting CocoCay sail from Miami or Fort Lauderdale in Florida or Baltimore in Maryland and vary in duration from 2 to 9 nights. Sail under the tropical sun aboard your choice of Enchantment of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas.

Lonely Planet Caribbean Cruise Ports Travel Guide to Budapest and Hundgary

Win a copy of the Lonely Planet Caribbean Cruise Ports Travel Guide

Simply add a comment below as to why you would love to visit CocoCay. The best entry made in the month of November will win a copy of the Lonely Planet Caribbean Cruise Ports Travel Guide which will be sent to the winner in December 2021. 

 

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Other Members' Thoughts - 13 Comment(s)

  • Happy3
    2 days ago
    This sounds like a fantastic experience. Added to a Royal Caribbean cruise its a great chance to relax and enjoy the facilities onboard the ship whilst exploring the islands.
  • SilverTravelUser_3212
    11 days ago
    I'd like to visit CocoBay for the warmth of the sea, the smiling sun, the soft silver sand or to lie on a lounger set in the shallows of the CARIBBEAN'S LARGEST FRESHWATER POOL! Wowzer!
  • JUDE-MD
    19 days ago
    Who wouldn't want to visit Coco Bay? There really is something for everyone. I would love to take that helium balloon trip to see all that is on offer from a fantastic floating space odyssey.
  • Joe-Jennings
    23 days ago
    We would love to visit Cococay to re-experience the wonderful atmosphere of the Caribbean.
  • GypsyWanderer
    24 days ago
    I have sailed round the B.V.Is but so many years ago. Another cruise is the clear blue Caribbean waters is due and The Bahamas sound wonderful. Exploring islands and Cococay’s straw market sound perfect. I just need the book to get my itchy feet moving and my sea legs sorted,
  • Rowsie
    25 days ago
    Who wouldn't want to visit Cococay? After such a long dark 2 years of no travel it sounds like the most wonderful place!
  • Planetzutu
    25 days ago
    When I lived in Trinidad I learned how to plait straw and velvet so would love to go to the straw market.
  • you
    25 days ago
    A really good book to ''pick up and put down'' when one has a few moments of 'me-time'
  • doublet
    26 days ago
    It would make make my day to go to Coco Cay, and a have a dip in the sea and a coctkail or three.
  • Ken-Baines
    26 days ago
    I have never been to the Bahamas so CocCay seems a perfect place to start!
  • LizCraw5
    26 days ago
    Always wanted to do a Caribbean cruise, this would be a great insight before going
  • DianaS
    26 days ago
    Would love to go and explore such a scenic area with friendly locals, and like to read about the places I am going to visit. ,Have several Lonely Planet Guides and they are full of helpful tips, thank you.
  • greatgran8
    26 days ago
    The place you always thought a caribbean island should be like and want to visit.