Royal Caribbean opened an enhanced private island for cruisers called CocoCay Bahamas. This island used to be called Little Stirrup Cay. It is now A Perfect Day at CocoCay inviting Royal Caribbean guests cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean. This is a great tag line, but is it a Perfect Day?
My daughter and I took a 3-Night Royal Caribbean Cruise out of Port of Miami on the Navigator of the Seas. This cruise stops for a day in Nassau and a day on this private island. We had been to CocoCay Bahamas, before the renovation. So, we were really excited to see what it was like after the renovations.
As we pulled into port, one of the first big moments was seeing the long pier. In the past, you had to hop on tender boats. A tender boat is a smaller boat that you board from the ship. You would have to ride the tender boats from the ship to the island. This was a little bit of a hassle. The tenders only accommodate a smaller number. You would sometimes have to wait for a tender boat on the island to head back to the ship. After a long day playing, it was rough on the family having to wait for a tender boat.
I love that Royal Caribbean created a pier that the ships can just pull right up to the island. You literally just step down the gang plank onto the pier.
On our day at CocoCay, there were actually two ships that pulled into port. Our ship and the Embassy of the Seas. The ships parked on both sides of teh pier.
It was great, we just walked down the gang plank and were on the pier. A short walk later, we were greeted by a local band and dancers welcoming us to CocoCay.
Video Tour of Island
You can watch our whole video from CocoCay Bahamas, including our day at the Thrill Water Park and around the island.
What to Do on CocoCay Bahamas?
There are a lot of things to do on CocoCay. You can book an excursion or just relax. 😎
Let’s dive into what to do on CocoCay Bahamas.
Thrill Water Park
CocoCay has a huge water park, right on the island called Thrill Water Park. This is a separate paid admission. For park prices, it is a good price. For excursion prices, it is a great price. A lot of excursions (with water park type options) including Atlantis in Nassau are a lot more money.
The Thrill Water Park is so much fun with three huge sections. There is a huge tower of just (body) waterslides called Daredevil’s Tower. In Daredevil’s Tower, you will find the tallest waterslide in North America. At over 130 feet, it is one thrilling plunge!
I love the view from the top of this waterslide tower. You have an incredible view of the cruise ship.
There is another tower of tube slides. These are fun for the whole family. Finally, there is a wave pool. The wave pool is actually the largest wave pool in the Caribbean.
There are also lots of tables, lounge chairs, and even private cabanas. The cabanas are for rent, but positioned right by the wave pool. This is a perfect spot to relax and still watch the kids.
I love the lounge chairs at the Thrill Water Park. There are plenty of them! You will never have an issue finding a spot to put your stuff down. They also have free lockers, if you need to lock up your wallet or key cards.
You even have a spot to eat called Snack Shack. You do not have to leave the Thrill Water Park to get a drink or lunch. You can enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fries, mozzarella sticks, and even funnel cakes at the Snack Shack. All of these are free! You do not have to pay for snacks and lunch on the island.
During our day at CocoCay Bahamas, we spent the morning at the Thrill Water Park. It is always best to get off the ship early and rides the slides. The slides do get longer waits later in the morning and day. Take advantage of the limited crowds early in the morning.
You can then wander the island and find other adventures to explore.
Up, Up, and Away Balloon Ride
We love the balloon ride at Disney Springs, so we were so excited when Royal Caribbean added a helium balloon to CocoCay Bahamas. At this time, you cannot book the Up, Up, and Away online (before you leave for your cruise). You do have to book this one at the Shore Excursion Desk, once you board the ship. There is an extra cost for this excursion.
This tethered balloon is the most amazing view of CocoCay! However, the weather can affect the launch of this balloon. If it is rainy or windy, the balloon will not launch. Keep this in mind, so you do not have any disappointed family members.
If you do book Up, Up, and Away and it is canceled; your payment will be refunded to your credit card. We did not get a chance to ride the Up, Up, and Away on our visit. I will certainly book it again on our next visit. It does look like so much fun.
I love the Oasis Lagoon on the island This is a new addition and it is the largest fresh water pool in the Caribbean. There is a beach entry for the little ones and a swim up bar for the older ones. Besides relaxing in the water, you can also swim up to an island. There are three of them, if you need a little bit of shade. Your kids will love the underwater sound system!
The Oasis Lagoon is truly and oasis in the middle of the Bahamas.
This relaxing section of the island is also part of the old island. There are tons of lounge chairs on the beach. You can relax in the water, lounge in the chairs, grab a drink from the bar, or snorkel.
There is plenty of lounge chairs and spots to just relax. You can even do some local shopping as you head to Chill Island.
Captain Jill’s Galleon
Watch out for the pirates! Captain Jill’s Galleon is the epic play area for kids. This is one of the first water adventures you will see when you enter CocoCay. The kids can climb all over this ship. There are water canons, slides, cargo nets, and more. Tons for the little ones to do.
There is another amazing splash park for the little ones called Splashaway Bay. This splash park is for kids under 42 inches. There are slides, water cannons, falling water, water spouts, dumping water, and so much more. Your kids will never want to leave! Plus, this attraction is free for the little ones.
There are also chairs and umbrellas for mom and dad to take a break, while the little ones play.
Excursions on CocoCay Bahamas
Besides these main areas of CocoCay Bahamas, there are other fun excursions that you can book. You can book these online (before you leave for your cruise) or you can book them at the Shore Excursion Desk. To avoid the lines, I would book one of these before you leave home.
Some of the excursions include:
- Zip line
- Swimming Pigs Tour
- Jet Ski Tour
- Glass Bottom Boats
- Scuba Diving
There are so many things to do the island, you cannot do them all on one visit.
Where to Eat on CocoCay Bahamas
There are several dining venues that you can eat for FREE.
Right next to Oasis Lagoon and Splashaway Bay is Skipper’s Grill. You can enjoy classic grilled items like burgers and hot dogs. You can also enjoy salads, sandwiches, fruit, tacos, and more. This is an amazing menu for lunch.
This dining spot is located on Chill Island. This menu is similar to Skipper’s Grill. You can enjoy burgers, hot dogs, salads, sandwiches, fruit, and tacos.
As I mentioned earlier, the Snack Shack is located by the wave pool at the Thrill Water Park. You can enjoy burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and fries. You can also enjoy some exclusive treats like mozzarella sticks and funnel cakes! YUM!
Insider Tips for Your Day on the Island
CocoCay is an amazing island, but it is a huge island. It will take you awhile to walk around the whole island for Royal Caribbean guests.
- Captain Jack’s is a bar and snack bar with a spectacular view. They have live music throughout the day. Plus, a row of Adirondack chairs to relax and enjoy the view. This is right outside the Captain Jack’s bar, so a good spot to relax with your kids. My daughter and I spent about an hour just relaxing and enjoy the music and view.
- Look for wildlife! You may see some iguanas wandering around the island. The kids love it!
- Arrive early! With any private island, arrive early to beat the crowds. With even one ship on a private island, it can get crowded. This is especially important at the Thrill Water Park.
- Relax in the hammocks throughout CocoCay. There are lots of hammocks throughout the island, especially in the Chill Island. Even during busier times, we were still able to get a hammock or two to just relax under the palm trees.
- Take a Tram Ride from the front entrance (to the right of Thrill Water Park) to Chill Island. This is not a long walk, but it is nice to take a tram ride around the island.
- Shop for CocoCay merchandise throughout the island. These are exclusive merch for just the island. You may find some fun souvenirs to remember your perfect day.
- Share your pics on social media with WIFI. This island does offer WIFI, so you can keep in touch with family and friends at home.
- Bring your SeaPass card and some cash on the island. I rarely say bring cash, but there is a local straw market with a lot of shopping options. Bring your SeaPass card (your room key) to get access to select excursions and to exit and board the ship.
- Leave your beach towels at home! There are towel locations throughout the island. You can pick up and return towels right on the island.
So, Is it a Perfect Day at CocoCay Bahamas?
My daughter and I both agree…YES!
My daughter and I both agree…YES!
We loved our experience on CocoCay Bahamas. We had so much fun on the Thrill Water Park. We did hit the water park early in the morning, so we got through most of the rides and crowds; before it got busy. By the time we left, the lines were around 45 minutes. Certainly something to watch for when booking this excursion.
We enjoyed endless ice cream and lunch at Skipper’s Grill. Then just chilled the rest of the day at the Oasis Lagoon and Chill Island. We were able to find a hammock to watch the iguanas late in the afternoon around 2 PM. I was amazed how easy it was to find a chair or hammock. Unlike other islands where you have to search for a spot. There is plenty of space at CocoCay Bahamas.
Our day at CocoCay was A Perfect Day! It was a great dose of excitement and relaxation.
We cannot wait to experience more of the island on our next visit. 😎
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