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Why You Should Absolutely Visit Perfect Day At Cococay In 2023!

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, is the perfect place to relax and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. It provides a great stop for any Caribbean cruise, and it’s one of the best of the cruise private islands. With an abundance of pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and a range of activities to satisfy all ages and thrillseekers, Perfect Day at CocoCay provides a memorable day of fun. You can visit the thrilling water park, engage in exciting water sports with kayaking or jet skiing, or get your heart pumping with some competitive beach volleyball or basketball. Or, you can just lounge around on the beach, soaking up some sun.

Perfect Day at CocoCay | Entrance to island

After a rebranding and massive upgrade, Perfect Day at CocoCay opened in May 2019. We have now made five visits to Cococay and have had a fabulous time on every trip. This is a don’t-miss experience. And, if your debating itineraries that do and do not include a stop at Cococay – choose the one with the Perfect Day visit.

Cococay offers something for everyone. Keep reading for an overview of what you can expect when you visit, as well as some highlights that make it memorable and delightful for folks of all ages. (Also, be sure to check out what you can do at CocoCay for free!)

Perfect Day at Cococay: A Quick Overview

The island has five main sections (neighborhoods) for guests to enjoy.  Thrill Waterpark, Oasis Lagoon (a massive pool), Chill Island, South Beach, and Coco Beach Club.  Both Thrill Waterpark and Coco Beach Club have admission charges. The other three are complimentary.

The entire island spans about 125 acres. It’s relatively easy to get around with wide pathways and great signage. There’s also a great tram system that runs continuously throughout the day. There are a sufficient number of vehicles running at anyone time such that the wait for a tram is not very long.

The first time we visited Cococay was during a cruise on Odyssey of the Seas shortly after the long Covid disruption. Our ship was less than half full, and we were the only ship visiting that day. The entire island was occupied by 1500 guests.

On our most recent visits to the island, we sailed on Symphony of the Seas. The ship was near capacity, and we weren’t the only ship in port. I don’t know the exact numbers, but there were easily 4,000 – 5,000 guests visiting the island that day. We could definitely tell the difference, but it was still loads of fun.

Thrill Waterpark

I have previously written about visiting Thrill Waterpark during our Odyssey cruise. A few points to highlight here.

Thrill Waterpark features 13 water slides of varying levels of intensity. Ranging from group rides with modest to moderate thrills to intense waterslides to challenge your bravest daredevil. In most pictures of Perfect Day of Cococay, the extremely tall Daredevil’s Peak dominates the skyline, and it’s been described as the tallest waterslide in North America at 135 feet. (Currently, the tallest waterslide in the world is in South America — Brazil’s Kilimanjaro and stands over 163 feet.).

Admission to the waterpark requires a fee for full-day admission. The exact price varies by sailing, but generally falls between $50 to $90 per person. However, you can usually get discounted tickets through advanced online purchases. Keep your eyes open for sales. The best discount we have seen thus far was 50% -off during Black Friday. Also, if you purchase one of the Waterpark cabanas (which are generally priced at the same rates as all of the other cabanas on the island except for the more expensive ones at the Coco Beach Club), the price includes waterpark admission for up to 6 people.

The waterpark includes other activities besides the waterslides. And, there are plenty of loungers and umbrellas throughout this neighborhood when you’re ready for some simple sun.

The Wave Pool

When we visited the wave pool on our first visit, it was not remotely packed. Not so the last few times. It was well visited. Yet still, it never felt overly crowded, and the increased visitors added to the exuberancy and overall festiveness.

Warning, the waves can be surprisingly strong, quite large, and roll much faster than you initially think. On two separate occasions, I was knocked over and dragged fully under the water despite my best efforts. To be clear, I was standing in the shallower end of the pool where the water was literally below the knee. 

The Adventure Pool

This pool is integrated with an obstacle course. It’s open to guests of all ages and does not require that much time to complete. The obstacles include hopping across a trail of floating lily pads, scaling a rock wall, and two swing ropes. 

The Beach Experience on Perfect Day at Cococay

View from South Beach

The island has several beautiful beaches for you to enjoy. Two beaches have complimentary access (Chill Island and South Beach), and one is associated with the premium Coco Beach Club. We enjoyed both Chill Island and South Beach, but they each have their own distinct vibe.

During our visits, Chill Island has had more of a rest and relaxation air compared to South Beach. South Beach has lots of activity, many comings and goings, and more of an active, high-energy vibe. It hosts a very active sports pavilion featuring volleyball and basketball and has a very busy beach.

Beach Beds at Breezy Bay, Chill Island – Perfect Day at Cococay

Amenities

You will find an abundance of complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas throughout the island. You also have the option to rent beach daybeds or different types of cabanas. This is true for all of the neighborhoods. If you rent a Thrill Waterpark cabana that includes admission to the waterpark (for up to 6 people).

Likewise, if you rent a Coco Beach cabana, that procures admission to the Beach Club (for up to 8 people). Coco Beach cabana guests also have access to 2 sets of complimentary snorkel gear.

View of the luxurious overwater cabanas at Coco Beach Club.

Note Coco Beach has two different types of cabanas. Regular beach cabanas are similar to those found in other neighborhoods. It also has beautiful overwater cabanas. The overwater cabanas are more than twice the size of the beach cabanas and provide a luxurious 675 square feet. Each overwater cabana also includes a wet bar, a two-person hammock, and a private slide that directly accesses the ocean. 

Since our first visit to Perfect Day at Cococay, the pricing on upcharge items and excursions has increased significantly. Previously, we had booked a discounted cabana by the water park. We had no trouble reserving it, and it was reasonably priced for our group.

On our most recent cruise, cabanas sold out quickly. We were doing a back-to-back, and none were available for either sailing. Moreover, the price had doubled.

Beach Beds at South Beach

But, being shut out of the cabanas introduced us to the delightful option of the beach daybed. It was an excellent substitute. A fraction of the cost and much more affordable. While it did not have all the bells and whistles of a private cabana, it was good enough for what we needed.

For example, there wasn’t a private cabana attendant or a call button for quickly requesting service. But, there were service people who would stop by periodically for drink orders. We were relatively close to the food areas and could go and bring plates back. There was no safe. But there was a towel stand at the entrance to the beach bed area.

Beach Beds include two floating beach mats and a stocked water cooler.

The pricing for cabanas and beach beds varies by sailing and also fluctuates over time. Currently, the starting price for December sailings: Beach Beds are $199 (for 4 people); regular cabanas are $999 (6 people); Coco Beach Club beach cabanas are $1,499; Overwater cabanas are $1,799 (8 people).

The Oasis Lagoon

Roya Caribbean bills the Oasis Lagoon as the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean. It features three swim-up islands and an array of seating – some that is partially submerged in the water. There are also multiple coves to explore.

Access to the Oasis Lagoon is complimentary. While there is no charge for any of the loungers or water seating, this area also has adjacent cabanas which have a rental fee.

Other Activities and Attractions Available on Perfect Day at Cococay

Many activities on Cococay are free. Such as the actual beach, beach games, Splashaway Bay, and Galleon Pirate Ship. Floating beach mats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Galleon pirate ship with children’s play area at Cococay – adjacent to Splashaway Bay

Splashaway Bay

Although it shares a name with the children’s waterplay area found on many of Royal Caribbean’s ships, the Splashaway Bay found on Cococay rises to an entirely different level. It has five waterslides instead of two, two drench buckets instead of one, and many other stations of water toys. Everything is bigger and wetter. There is also plenty of lounge seating along the periphery for observers who want to stay dry. This area is complimentary.

Some of the most exciting activities have a fee. These are booked as excursions.

  • Certified Scuba Dive Without Equipment — You must be a certified diver. This excursion includes a tank and weight belt. You can dive at a maximum depth of 40 feet.
  • Snorkeling — This is essentially a rental of snorkeling equipment. You may keep the equipment for the duration of your stay on the island and play at your leisure. Note that you are permitted to bring your own snorkeling equipment and snorkel without any added charges.
  • Wave Jet Tour — You drive your own assigned vehicle and follow a guide as part of a 75-minute tour. You can add a second passenger for a reduced fee.
  • Kayak & Snorkel Adventure Combo — This combines the 90-minute kayak tour with all-day snorkeling.
  • Kayak Adventure — Ride in a 2-person kayak for 90 minutes following a local guide.
  • Cococay Zipline — This activity has height (minimum 4 feet) and weight restrictions (maximum 275 pounds) and requires closed-toe shoes. The zipline crisscrosses the island and spans 1600 feet. The entire ride lasts about 45 minutes.
  • Up, Up & Away Helium Balloon Ride — The balloon holds up to 30 passengers, and it can soar up to 450 feet above the island. The ride is approximately 10 minutes.
Helium Balloon on Perfect Day at Cococay

Some of the written material regarding Cococay has also at various times stated that parasailing, paddle boards, and glass-bottom boat rides are available. However, we have not seen anything along those lines recently. And, for the excursions currently listed for some of the 2023 sailings, those activities are not listed.

Dining Options on the Island

Here’s a short take on the food on CocoCay: It’s fine, but it’s not a reason to visit. Generally, the food on the ship was uniformly better.

You’ll find numerous complimentary dining venues throughout the island. With the exception of alcoholic beverages, Captain Jack’s Grill, and Coco Beach Club, all food is included. 

Both Chill Grill and Skipper’s Grill serve similar food. Food is served buffet style with several different stations offering different types of cuisine such as tacos and fajitas, burgers, and barbeque. The food is nothing to rave about, but it is generally okay.

Snack Shacks – You’ll find three of these smaller walk-up venues strategically stationed across the island. They serve basic fare like burgers and fries. You can also find funnel cakes.

Coco Beach Club has its own restaurant that serves Mediterranean fare which is included in the price of admission.

Captain Jack’s Grill & Bar is essentially a pirate-themed pub that serves food priced ala cart. The advertised signature dish is chicken wings and fries.

Tips for Planning Your Visit to Perfect Day at Cococay

  1. Make advance reservations for key activities and make them early.

In theory, you can book the premium options when you arrive on the island, but it’s not a good idea. We were unable to get into Thrillpark on one visit because they had reached capacity via advance reservations. Plus, be on the lookout for sales. We scored some half-price items during a Black Friday promotion (we were able to refund the original and rebook at the reduced price).

  1. Bring plenty of sun protection.

The sun is very bright here. Bring sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses.

  1. No need to cart towels off the ship.

There are several towel stations located on the island, including at the entrance to all of the daybed areas. If you rent a cabana, towels will be waiting for you. Note that if you do bring towels from the ship, you must remember to take them back, so you don’t get charged.

  1. Bring some cash.

To be used for tips and at the small shopping market.

Crowd returning to ship at end of the day
  1. Be prepared for weather interruptions.

Adverse weather conditions may cause the shutdown of some activities. For instance, if the winds are too high, no balloon rides will be offered. If it rains, the water slides are suspended. If there is lightning seen or anticipated, ocean swimmers may be called back to shore temporarily.

If an activity that you paid for is completely shut down, you will receive an automatic refund. However, if there was an intermittent suspension of service, that’s a different story. If you feel like the length or frequency of suspensions prevented you from getting full enjoyment of a particular attraction (e.g. the waterpark), you should go to the shore excursion desk onboard to request a full or partial refund. It will not be automatic.

Closing Thoughts

No matter what your age or activity preferences are, you’re sure to find something to love at Perfect Day at CocoCay. So, if you’re undecided on which cruise itinerary to choose – we say go with Cococay. It’s worth it!

Elaine Warren

Founder & Crew Chief

Elaine founded this website after publishing the book The Family Cruise Companion’s Guide to Cruising With Kids. She has sailed on 36 cruises (and counting). She loves helping families navigate their way to an adventure-filled, fun, and memorable vacation.

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