Your Frugal Guide to Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay
First of all, you might be asking:
“What in the world is Perfect Day at CocoCay?”
Well, it’s nothing short of a tropical oasis in the Bahamas available exclusively for Royal Caribbean cruise guests. CocoCay recently received a $200 million face-lift, turning it into a frugal destination in itself. It’s definitely the perfect way to experience the best of the Bahamas without having to spend a fortune on pricey excursions!
So if you’ve been thinking about setting sail with your family aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship with access to CocoCay, I tested out this new private island myself to see what all the hype is about. And today, I’m sharing my frugal guide so you, too, can experience an absolutely perfect day here!
What’s included in the experience?
Here’s something you’ll love to hear: most of the experiences at Perfect Day at CocoCay are complementary beyond your cruise fare! This list includes:
- Oasis Lagoon—the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean with a swim-up bar and underwater music
- Captain Jill’s Galleon—an interactive water play structure just for your mini-mes, filled with miniature slides and water canons
- Splashaway Bay—the largest version of Royal Caribbean’s aquatic adventure playground with fountains, pools, sprinklers, geysers, and whirlpools
- Chill Island—wade in the crystal-clear tropical waters and sink your toes in the white powder-like sand for ultimate chill vibes
- South Beach—action-packed beach with sand volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer, and paddleboarding
- Additional amenities—from lockers to beach chairs, loungers, umbrellas, beach towels (these must be checked out onboard and brought to the ship), freshwater showers, and even WiFi (purchased through the Internet packages onboard to carry over onto the island), you’ll be all set for a memorable experience!
What’s additional & how much does it actually cost?
While there are many activities and attractions included in the cruise price, others require you to hand over some of your hard-earned vacation dollars. Familiarize yourself with this list so you know what to expect and can narrow down your must-dos!
- Thrill Water Park—includes 13 waterslides, a wave pool, adventure pool, and action-packed rides! Access will cost $44 to $99 per person for the full day and $39 to $74 for half a day. Kids three and under admitted for free. With all the free things to do at CocoCay, if you really want to do the water park, I suggest opting for the half-day admission.
- Up, Up & Away Helium Balloon—for a bird’s eye view from 450-feet up in the air, it’ll cost you $39 to $99 per person (ages 13+) and $24 to $64 per person (ages 4-12). You can’t pre-reserve your passes, however, as this attraction depends on the wind conditions.
- Zip Line—have thrillseekers in your travel crew? The 1,600-foot-long zip line is calling your name. For a fee of $79 to $139 per ride (depending on the season), you can soar above the Waterpark and Harbor Beach.
- Coco Beach Club—opening December 2019, Coco Beach Club will be your Caribbean haven. It includes an infinity pool and a private, upscale restaurant serving lobster and Mediterranean fare. This club is only available, however, to those paying a per-person beach club admission fee of $54 to $99. Or a luxury overwater cabana rental of $999 to $1,599 for up to eight people. These cabanas are designed with a private seating area. Not to mention, sectional furniture and separate dining and lounging areas, plus a mini-bar and the dedicated service of an attendant. The best part? You can swing from your very own over-the-water hammock or slide down your water slide into the blue ocean waters below.
- Chill Island, South Beach & Oasis Lagoon Cabanas—for ultimate relaxation, you can rent a cabana at any of these spots for $299 to $569. They come with curtain closures, sectional seating, four beach loungers, and an umbrella-shaded dining area with four tables and chairs. There’s also a cooler stocked with bottled water and a speaker for playing your own music, a USB outlet, as well as a storage locker and fresh towels.
- Additional a la carte amenities—paddleboards, kayaks, jet skis, snorkels, and other watersports rentals are available to you for an additional fee.
What about dining on the island?
After spending some time under the sun and splashing around in the water, you’ll have worked yourself up an appetite. The good news is, the food here is delicious! There are plenty of options to please even the pickiest of palates—from hamburgers to hot dogs, tacos, salads, sandwiches, and more!
While dining is complimentary on the island at Skipper’s Grill, Chill Grill, and three Snack Shacks, there are additional options available to you at a cost. For starters, Captain Jack’s, the island hangout, is where you can purchase a la carte food and drink choices.
Or, if you bought the drink package as part of your cruise fare, any drinks on the island will be complimentary! Be sure to add wading out to the floating bar at South Beach to your list so you can cool off with a refreshing libation. Just watch out for those fancy drinks served up in a pineapple as those will hike up the price!
When should you buy?
If you plan on enjoying more than just the complimentary amenities and attractions at CocoCay, keep in mind that purchasing additional activities before your arrival at the private island will be less expensive. To cross this off your list prior to traveling, login to your Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner or the Royal Caribbean app.
Frugal Travel Mama Tip: Royal Caribbean often runs a sale on pre-cruise purchases before setting sail. This is the best time to purchase these amenities before the prices nearly double upon arrival!
What should you bring?
When you’re ready to hop off the ship and get to exploring Perfect Day at CocoCay, be sure you’re as prepared as possible! That way, you won’t have to worry about spending money on necessities you forgot to pack. Here’s a list of some must-haves to get you going in the right direction:
- SeaPass card—it’s needed to exit and re-board the ship; you won’t need any cash, however. That is, unless you plan to visit the straw market on the island for souvenirs and trinkets. You can charge anything additional directly to your SeaPass.
- Sunscreen (and A LOT of it)—while there are plenty of umbrellas, there isn’t a lot of shade. You’ll find yourself needing to reapply sunscreen, so your perfect day isn’t ruined with a not-so-perfect sunburn!
- Hat/Rash Guard—again, you will be in the sun for hours, so come prepared.
- Proper footwear—this is especially important if you plan on riding the zip line! It requires you to wear closed-toed shoes.
- Portable charger—you’ll want to capture all your memories on the island. Though with no outlets around (unless you purchase a cabana), your only way to stay connected is with your trusted portable charger.
- Waterproof phone case or bag—while lockers are available on the island, they aren’t easily accessible near the beaches. I highly recommend a waterproof phone case or bag to store your belongings!
Ultimately, you can spend as much or as little as you want! It’s up to you how you choose to enjoy a perfect day here at CocoCay as part of your Royal Caribbean cruise—no matter if you’re a budget-conscious traveler or looking to vamp up your family vacation experience.