Everything You Need to Know about Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s Private Island

Where to eat, play, and swim on Royal Caribbean's private island.
Perfect Day at CocoCay is Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas (Photo: Adam Hendel)
Perfect Day at CocoCay (Photo: Adam Hendel)

Perfect Day at CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island oasis in the Bahamas. Up to two ships can dock at the island’s pier, and it’s staffed by 350 employees who reside full time on the island. There’s a lot for families to see and do at CocoCay, including a freshwater lagoon for swimming, a waterpark with the tallest waterslide in North America, and opportunities for shopping and dining.

Here’s what is—and isn’t—included when you visit Perfect Day at CocoCay on a family cruise with Royal Caribbean, plus which activities are best for kids and teens.

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Arriving at Pefect Day at CocoCay

The pier at Perfect Day at CocoCay (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
The pier at Perfect Day at CocoCay (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Once your cruise ship is ready for disembarkation, you’ll hear an announcement from the cruise director that you can leave the ship. If you’re scheduled to do an excursion during your visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay, you may be given a specific time to meet on the pier. Otherwise, you can exit the ship whenever you’re ready. 

Before you leave the ship, make sure you have your key card, cash (for tips or the market), sunscreen, beach towels, and other beach essentials. Rafts and snorkel gear are available to rent on the island. You can get towels from the towel kiosk on the ship’s pool deck, and wet towels can be exchanged on the island.

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A complimentary tram runs from the pier to the island entrance. You can also choose to walk—it’s only five minutes on foot—which will afford you some great photo opportunities along the way. As soon as you enter the arrivals plaza, you’ll be greeted by Captain Jill’s Galleon, a pirate ship splash zone with water cannons and small slides. This is great if you’re vacationing with toddlers or elementary school age kids.

Tip: The first guests to leave the ship are greeted by a full Bahamian welcome parade. This is really fun, and you can watch from the ship if you’re not one of the lucky folks at the front of the line.

What’s Included in Your Perfect Day at CocoCay

Aerial view of Perfect Day at CocoCay (Photo: Adam Hendel)
Aerial view of Perfect Day at CocoCay (Photo: Adam Hendel)

While some of the most popular activities cost extra at CocoCay, much of Royal Caribbean’s private island is completely free for all guests, including most of the dining options. Drinks are also included if you’ve purchased a drink package for your cruise.

CocoCay is easily walkable for most ages and abilities, and once you get your bearings you can get from place to place on the island within about three to five minutes. If you aren’t able to walk or prefer to mix it up, there’s a free island tram that stops at all of the major attractions. 

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There are complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas all throughout Perfect Day at CocoCay. It’s smart to decide where you want to make your home base for the day and claim your spot early. If your family doesn’t want to sit on the beach all day, Oasis Lagoon and Splashaway Bay are great places to hang your towels. If the beach is more your speed, head to Chill Island. 

Tip: Lifejackets for kids are located throughout the entire island and are included in your visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Splashaway Bay at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Splashaway Bay splash area at CocoCay (Photo: Vladimir Vasquez)
Splashaway Bay splash area at CocoCay (Photo: Vladimir Vasquez)

Admission to Splashaway Bay is included in your visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay. This Royal Caribbean splash park is a fun spot for little kids to play on water structures, go down age-appropriate water slides, and get dunked by the huge bucket. It’s similar to the Splashaway Bay water parks onboard Royal Caribbean ships.

Oasis Lagoon at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Another complimentary area for guests at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Oasis Lagoon is the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool and boasts three different alcoves. Here you will find a zero-entry pool, a swim-up bar, and a more relaxing area. Oasis Lagoon is a great place for the whole family.

If you’re vacationing with teenagers, they may enjoy the DJ and party vibe by the swim up bar. And if you need a spot to relax while the kids swim, the quiet side of the lagoon has chairs right in the gentle water.

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Chill Island and South Beach at Perfect Day at CocoCay

At both Chill Island and South Beach, you’ll find beachfront access with complimentary chairs and umbrellas. The biggest difference between the two beach areas is their location. South Beach is somewhat more removed from the rest of the island, while Chill Island is more centrally located to the other CocoCay attractions. Chill Island also has a large buffet nearby, while South Beach only offers a Snack Shack for refreshments.

Both beach areas are perfect for families who want the ultimate beach day in the Caribbean. Water temperatures remain in the 70s even during the winter vacation months.

What’s Not Included at CocoCay 

Some activities and areas at Perfect Day at CocoCay are only available for an extra charge. These generally sell out in advance, so be sure to book ahead of time if you’re interested.

Private Cabanas and Daybeds at Perfect Day at CocoCay

If you want a more permanent place for the day than a public beach chair, you have the option of renting a cabana or daybed for an additional fee. These tend to sell out quickly and are in high demand, especially for families, so you may want to book yours ahead of time.

Cabanas range from simple beachside spots whose primary feature is privacy to more elaborate offerings that mimic the overwater bungalows of Bora Bora. But be aware that cabana rentals are not cheap—in some cases, extremely not cheap—and most families are able to stake out a spot for free on the island and still fully enjoy their day without the added expense.

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Thrill Waterpark at Perfect Day at CocoCay

CocoCay has the tallest waterslide in North America (Photo: Adam Hendel)
Thrill Waterpark has the tallest waterslide in North America (Photo: Adam Hendel)

Thrill Waterpark is the place to be on Perfect Day at CocoCay if you or your kids love waterparks. Children under 14 must be accompanied by a paying adult, while kids under four are free. There are ample complimentary chairs and umbrellas here once you’re inside the water park. Some of the most popular features of Thrill Waterpark are:

  • Daredevil’s Tower, which has seven different slides, including the 135-foot Daredevil’s Peak, the tallest waterslide in North America. 
  • Splash Summit, with six smaller waterslides for the not-so-thrill-seeking members of your family. 
  • Adventure Pool, home to an obstacle course, a rock wall, and rope swings.
  • And, last but not least, the Caribbean’s largest wave pool.

Up, Up And Away at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Guests can soar to 450 feet above CocoCay in a helium balloon (Photo: N. Morley)
Guests can soar to 450 feet above CocoCay in a helium balloon (Photo: N. Morley)

Board a giant helium balloon to soar up to 450 feet above land and sea with Up, Up and Away, which grants you the highest vantage point in The Bahamas. Kids ages three and under can ride for free with an adult admission.

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Zip Line at Perfect Day at CocoCay

For an extra fee, you can crisscross CocoCay and soar high above the harbor on a 1,600-foot long zip line course. If you think you’ll do both the zip line and Thrill Waterpark, you can bundle the two experiences to save money on both.

Coco Beach Club at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Admission to Coco Beach Club gives you access to an exclusive beach, a beachfront infinity edge pool with in-water loungers, a clubhouse, beach chairs and umbrellas, and complimentary dining at the Coco Beach Club restaurant, where you can dine on filet mignon and lobster. For most families, this extra bit of luxury is probably not worth the expense.

Family Dining Options at CocoCay  

There’s no shortage of dining options on Royal Caribbean’s private island, and with the exception of Coco Beach Club restaurant and Captain Jack’s restaurant, it’s all included in your stay.

Skipper’s Grill

Food is included in your visit to Perfect Day to CocoCay (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Food is included in your visit to Perfect Day to CocoCay (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Located next to Splashaway Bay, Skipper’s Grill serves burgers, tacos, salads, and a variety of grilled items along with gorgeous waterfront views. Dessert options here include double chocolate chip caramel brownies and soft serve ice cream. For an additional cost (or included in your drinks package), the self-serve beer station serves up a cold one to enjoy on a hot day.

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Snack Shack

There are three Snack Shack locations on CocoCay, two of which are accessible to all guests (one near Oasis Lagoon and one on South Beach) and a third which is located at Thrill Waterpark (which requires admission to the waterpark to access). Typical fare at Snack Shack includes hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, and appetizers such as mozzarella Sticks.

Chill Grill

The largest dining venue on CocoCay, Chill Grill offers beachy vibes along with plenty of shady spots and picnic tables. The food options here range from jerk chicken sandwiches and juicy burgers to build-it-yourself tacos and vegetarian delights. There’s a full-service bar and self-serve beer station that are included if you’ve purchased a drinks package.

Captain Jack’s

With waterfront views and live music playing all day long, Captain Jack’s is one of the most popular dining spots for families on the island. The a la carte menu is popular with kids and the full bar is a hit with parents, but unlike most other dining options on CocoCay, Captain Jack’s is not free.

Beer and Drinks on CocoCay

It’s not just the restaurants that serve drinks at CocoCay. You can purchase alcoholic beverages (or use your drink package) at a number of other spots on the island.

  • Located at opposite ends of Chill Island, the Wacky Seagull and Wacky Seagull Junior bars serve up beer and cocktails to enjoy while you’re lounging on the beach.
  • Like its name suggests, The Floating Bar is a floating tiki hut near South Beach that’s within easy “wading distance” of the shore. Come here for ice cold mixed drinks like a piña colada or a Coco Loco, the signature drink of CocoCay.
  • The swim-up bar at Oasis Lagoon offers mixed drinks and a party vibe inside the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean.

The Best Way to Spend Your Perfect Day at CoCoCay

Adventure Pool at CocoCay (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Adventure Pool at CocoCay (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

There is no wrong way to spend a Perfect Day at CocoCay, but you will need to make some decisions around your top priorities. That’s because it’s virtually impossible to do it all in a single day. Pick your favorite activities and try not to embrace the island vibes rather than overdoing it.

As a final note for families, be aware that not all Royal Caribbean cruises and ships stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay. If visiting this private island paradise is a priority for your family, double check the cruise itinerary before you book to make sure at stop at CocoCay is included.

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Jenn Greene
Jenn Greene is a freelance travel writer who discovered her words were best used to help travelers plan family vacations. When she isn't cruising the Caribbean or at her favorite theme parks riding roller coasters, she can be found on the farm helping her daughter with her livestock for show season.

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