A Truly Perfect Day at Coco Cay


Back in December I received an invitation from Royal Caribbean to participate in one of their simulation cruises.  Simulation cruises have been ongoing for about a year as a part of CDC regulations, but this was the first time I was actually able to participate in one.  The invites usually come fairly last minute, which is a challenge for me with two young kids at home.  This particular sailing was on The Enchantment of the Seas, departing out of Baltimore, so I couldn’t pass it up!

The cruises operate mostly like a normal sailing, but only have about 10-20% guest capacity on board.  One downside to these simulation cruises is that they don’t do port visits.  They’re normally short sailings with multiple days at sea, the one exception being Coco Cay, the private island in the Bahamas owned by Royal Caribbean.

This one stop was THE reason I immediately jumped on the opportunity to take this sailing!  While the Enchantment of the Seas is a lovely ship, it’s much smaller and older than the current fleet of RCL ships.  The ship still offers a great experience, and as a travel agent I’m always looking for ways to gain new information and experiences that I can share with my clients. Getting to check out the newly expanded amenities on Coco Cay was definitely an opportunity I did not want to miss!

VIew of Perfect Day at Coco Cay from Royal Caribbean cruise ship Enchantment of The Seas.

Coco Cay View From The Ship

Most of the private islands owned by the major cruise lines have been operating since the 80’s or 90’s, but the difference between now and then is the upgraded amenities.  These islands used to be widely considered the worst stop of a cruise itinerary.  Basically a beach, some chairs, snorkeling, and maybe jet skis if you were lucky. That, of course, has all changed now.

Disney’s Castaway Cay has been a cruising favorite for decades, and typically ranks at the top for private islands.  With all the typical Disney flair, and even an onsite childcare facility, families have loved this port for years.  Castaway Cay has been the cruise industry gold standard that everyone is competing with.

That seat at the top is now in question with all the upgrades at Coco Cay, and I’ll be excited to see how cruisers rank them going forward.  When Royal Caribbean completed its major expansion of Coco Cay at the end of 2019, they significantly raised the standard for private cruise islands.  Unfortunately, this $250 million dollar renovation has sat mostly unused since it was unveiled, but that is thankfully changing now with ships arriving daily.

The particular day we were in port we were the only ship on the island with passengers.  With about 300 guests on the Enchantment, it meant we essentially had our own private island, which allowed me to easily explore and get a really good feel for the space in each section.


The Coco Beach Club

As soon as we arrived we were greeted with music and dancers. We then made a bee line for the Coco Beach Club, which we had booked in advance.  We chose not to wait for a shuttle, which can quickly transport you to the club if you’d rather not walk.  The Beach Club is on the far side of the island, so we were able to walk right past Captain Jacks Bar & Grill, The kids Pirate Ship, Daredevils Tower, Splashaway Bay, Skippers Grill, Up Up and Away, and Oasis Lagoon.

The Coco Beach Club is a beautiful space with its own bar, a large dining area, infinity pool, and separate beach area. There is an additional charge for this area, typically around $180 per person, and you can make your reservation using your Cruise Planner App.

We were greeted by several employees who handed us scented cold towels and drinks upon arrival to the beach club, then gave us a quick tour.  The infinity pool is absolutely beautiful with fantastic views of the beach.

Infinity pool at Coco Cay Beach Club at Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Infinity Pool at Coco Cay Beach Club

The food here is also incredible.  Lobster, steak, grouper, desserts and so much more are all included as part of your day pass.  If you enjoy coconut like I do, then you have to try the Coconut Lobster bites.  They were huge and delicious!  I took so many pictures of the food but the lighting just didn’t do it justice.  So you’ll have to take my word that it was all incredible!

With such a small number of guests, I was able to get a cabana for a reduced rate, and even with the reduced rate it was still the most expensive thing you can do on the island.  With a normal cost of around $1300 for the day, these overwater bungalows are not cheap, but they do offer an amazing experience.  Each reservation is good for up to eight people and includes your admission to the beach club.  So if you have a group of eight, you could actually save money by renting the bungalow.

Once we finished with our quick tour of the club, we were introduced to our cabana attendants.  They then escorted us along the wooden walkways and into our cabana for the day.

Private Overwater bungalow at Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Our Overwater Bungalow For The Day

Overwater cabanas at Perfect Day at Coco Cay by Royal Caribbean.

Overwater Bungalows at Coco Cay typically go for around $1300 per day, and can be booked in your cruise planner app.

In our cabana we found our premium Coco Club beach towels, floating mats, snorkel gear, and a stocked mini fridge.  There is also a screen on the wall where you can order food and drinks from the club.  The cabana attendants gave us a thorough tour, and explained how everything worked.  From the moment we arrived, the service was absolutely top notch. Anything we wanted was only a quick call away, but they checked in often enough to where that was not even necessary.

If you want to read more about our Beach Club and Cabana experience, there will be a separate review coming soon giving more details.

South Beach

After getting settled and sampling a few cocktails, I headed out to explore and see what else was new.  I was surprised at how much space there really is on the island.  When you first arrive, the island doesn’t look all that big, but the space is utilized so well and every section has its own distinct personality.

The first place I went after the cabanas was South Beach.  I thought that this was the best actual beach area on the island.  It has a nice long clean beach full of chairs, umbrellas, and cabanas.  Coconut Willies is right there so your next Mai Tai or Coco Loco is never too far away.  This is also the area with the sports courts, so this would be your spot if you’re looking to play some basketball or volleyball.  The snorkeling here is also pretty fantastic!  We saw plenty of sting rays around this area on our visit.

South Beach is on the far side of the island, and a bit of a hike from the core of the activities.  If you have younger kids, or prefer a more centralized base camp, you might want to consider another spot.  Otherwise, it’s a fantastic place to spend your day!

Harbor Beach

Probably one of the most underrated spots on the island is Harbor Beach.  I even kind of walked right by it on my first trip around.  It’s sitting almost right in the middle of the island, with a smallish beach on a cove.  The water here is very calm and shallow, which I think makes it perfect for families with small kids.  The views from here are rather unique – you can see the ships, Daredevils Tower, Captain Jacks, Skippers Grill and Splashaway bay all from your chair.

Harbor Beach with views of Daredevils Tower, Skippers Grill and Captain Jacks. Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Harbor Beach with views of Daredevils Tower, Skippers Grill and Captain Jacks.

If you have a group that is spread out over the island doing the waterpark or other activities, then this would be a great centralized spot to gather.  Chill Grill and Skippers Grill are also very close, making it a convenient spot to get your food and drinks.  Behind Harbor Beach is also where you will find some of the vendors selling merchandise.  They are close enough if you need something, but far enough that you wont notice the shops if you choose to spend your day here.

Oasis Lagoon

The jewel of Coco Cay — Oasis Lagoon also sits in a centralized spot next to Harbor Beach.  If you’re looking for a spot in the middle of everything that isn’t a beach, then Oasis Lagoon is for you.  As the largest freshwater pool in the entire Caribbean, this spot has everything you need for the perfect pool day.  A swim up bar, multiple swim up islands to relax on, and a gentle sloping entry for kids makes Oasis Lagoon a perfect spot for everyone. There are complimentary chairs and umbrellas, like you will find all over the island, or you can opt for a private cabana for an additional cost.  Splashaway bay is right next door too, so if you’re traveling with kids you’ll have easy access to their favorite spot on the island.

Chill Island

If you’re planning to participate in some of the water sport offerings, such as jet skis or snorkeling, you will probably find yourself spending some time at Chill Island.

Entrance to Chill Island area

In addition to the water sports, there are also a large number of cabanas over here.  These cabanas are typically offered at a lower price point than some of the other options on the island, so if you’re planning to do water activities and looking for a cabana, this would be a good option for you.  The snorkel shack and jet skis are located here just past the Chill Grill.  I didn’t find much appeal to this area of the island, and unless the island is very busy with multiple ships in port, I’d head to Breezy Bay instead.  Stick to the left side of the Coco Beach Club closest to Oasis Lagoon, and you’ll still have easy access to the amenities of Chill Island, while also being in a nicer beach area.

Breezy Bay

You wont find much about this area online, or at least I didn’t see it mentioned often.  I think this is a perfect beach location if you like something similar to South Beach but don’t need some of the sport activities offered over there.

Breezy Bay Beach Area at Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Breezy Bay Beach Area

Map of Perfect Day at Coco Cay

These signs posted around the island will show you your current location.

Breezy Bay has an ideal location for someone who wants to set up base on a beach and explore the other parts of the island as well.  You’re also right next to the Water Sports area but have a better beach than offered on Chill Island.  If you are someone that wants to enjoy the beach and pool area, I would head straight to the Breezy Bay beach area and try to get some chairs near the Snack Shack.  That would offer you a great spot to enjoy the beach and Oasis Lagoon.

Thrill Waterpark

I saved the best for last.  Thrill Waterpark and Daredevils Tower is truly what makes Coco Cay stand out.  Inside the waterpark you’ll find the Wave Pool, Adventure Pool, Splash Summit, and of course Daredevils Tower. The two free amenities, Splashaway Bay and Captain Jills Galleon, are just outside of the waterpark entrance as well.

Thrill Waterpark and daredevils tower at perfect day at coco cay by royal caribbean.

Daredevils tower features Daredevils Peak with is the tallest waterslide in North America at 135 feet.

The waterpark does have a separate entrance fee, which you’ll find in your cruise planning app, but it’s normally around $75 per person.

Tip: If you haven’t heard by now, the waterpark cabanas are typically the best value on the island for a group of four or more, so they tend to sell out very quickly!  Prices start around $500 for the day, which includes your cabana plus admission to Thrill Waterpark for up to six guests. Don’t forget to bring cash to tip your attendants as well.

Inside the waterpark there are two large waterslide towers: Daredevils Tower and Splash Summit.  Daredevils Tower is where you will find the tallest waterslide in North America, but it also features six additional slides with various thrill levels.

All of the slides here are an absolute blast!  Daredevils Peak sits 135 feet in the air (currently the tallest waterslide in North America), and is a super fast, fun ride.  My personal favorites are the Dueling Demons drop slides.  For the drop slides you stand on a hatch while listening to a countdown, then you’re dropped straight down into a super fast, spiraling decent.  There are two of these that face each other, allowing you to race with someone else.

On my visit to the waterpark there was virtually nobody in the park ,so lines were nonexistent.  That has been the case for most of the past two years, but the lifeguard did say that right before Covid they would occasionally have lines that could reach up to two hours on the busiest days.  Something to keep in mind if you happen to be on island the same day as another ship.

The Wave pPool is pretty standard large pool that gets deeper the further you go in with waves that get progressively bigger.  Surrounding the wave pool are the cabanas, with the bulk of them being in this area, with the rest located in front of the Splash Summit.  By the entrance of the wave pool you’ll find the majority of the chairs and umbrellas for the waterpark.

The Adventure Pool is located right between the Wave Pool and Splash Summit.  This is a great area for kids and people who want to test their balance and agility.  If you’ve had a few cocktails, you may be tempted to try this.  I would encourage you to skip it though unless you want to give everyone a show.  I watched a group of very fit athletes struggle mightily, so I chose to skip my turn and head back to Splash Summit.

Splash Summit is the other major highlight of the waterpark area, and this is where you’ll find Sling Shot.  This was without a doubt my personal favorite in the entire park.  You must have at least one other person with you, and a max of four, or a 350lb total weight limit.  The special tube for this slide is already at the top so there’s no need to carry one up with you.  I personally think this is the most extreme slide in the park based on pure thrill, which is especially true if you’re the one going backwards!

I will have a full review of just the waterpark and Daredevils Tower coming soon.

Right outside of the waterpark, requiring no wristband, you’ll find Splashaway Bay and Captain Jills Galleon.  Both of these looked totally awesome to me, and I think if I were a kid I’d rather spend my time here than the actual waterpark.  While it’s much smaller, it allows you to spend more time actually enjoying the water and activities.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the offerings already included in your visit to Perfect Day at Coco Cay if you choose not to do the waterpark.


Once the time came to end our truly Perfect Day at Coco Cay, we gathered our belongings from our cabana and caught the tram back to the walkway.  Catching the tram was rather seamless, and we were able to pick it up right outside of the beach club.  The walk back would have only taken maybe 10 minutes ,but since the tram pulled up as we started walking, we just hopped on.

If you’re sailing one of Royal Caribbean’s Caribbean itineraries, there is a really good chance you’ll have a stop at Coco Cay.  While in the past some cruise passengers chose to stay on the ship on the private island day, I don’t think that will be the case once you visit the newly renovated Perfect Day at Coco Cay.  Whether it’s thrills, relaxation, or luxury you seek, you’ll find it here at Coco Cay!

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