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CoCo Cay Cruise Port: Tips and Attractions

Water slide at Splash Summit. © Royal Caribbean
Water slide at Splash Summit. © Royal Caribbean

The CoCo Cay Bahamas cruise port has taken a big jump in appeal thanks to a $250 million expansion by owner Royal Caribbean.

The port is due east of Miami, FL, and about midway between Freeport, Bahamas, to the north and Nassau, Bahamas, to the south. Its location makes it a convenient stop for cruise ships that visit only the Bahamas. They typically visit Freeport and Nassau. Other cruises may stop there on the way to the Caribbean.

CoCo Cay is one of a growing number of privately owned cruise ports created by cruise lines in the Caribbean. The cruise lines want to keep passengers on company property and get them to spend their money there instead of elsewhere at other cruise ports. They are investing money to make these ports more and more attractive.

Royal Caribbean says CoCo Cay now includes the tallest water slide in North America at 135 feet tall, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool and the only private overwater cabanas in the Bahamas. It also offers a 1,600-foot zipline and rides on a helium balloon that goes more than 400 feet into the air.

Private cruise ports in the Caribbean are becoming more like amusement parks for cruise visitors. CoCo Cay is a good example of it.

Splash Summit, the CoCo Cay water park, has 14 waterslides including the new superslide and the “biggest wave pool in the Caribbean,” according to the company.

SplashAway Bay, the water park for children, has water cannons, five waterslides, more fountains and two drench buckets. Kids also can play at Captain Jill’s Galleon, which has slides, rope features, a splash pad and interactive water cannons.

Oasis Lagoon is the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, the company says. This centerpiece of the island includes private cabanas for an extra fee.

Chill Island is a beach getaway with daybeds, more cabanas and the Chill Grill restaurant.

Many of these amenities are complimentary. The waterpark, zipline and helium balloon are among the activities with a fee.

CoCo Beach Club is a new exclusive attraction with overwater cabanas (for a fee), an infinity pool and high-end food and cocktails.

The open-air Captain Jack’s is one of the most prominent restaurants at CoCo Cay. It features live music. Another option is Skipper’s Grill with complimentary food.

Shore Excursions

CoCo Cay
CoCo Cay aerial view. © Royal Caribbean International

CoCo Cay is a private island, so visitors will have a limited number of shore excursions that take place either on the island or in the waters around the island.

For big budget visitors, beach bungalows are “excursions” that cost between $200 and $300 a day. Beach beds for the day cost at least $150.

A beach lounger appeals to cruise passengers with smaller budgets. These lean-to shades, which serve the same purpose as umbrellas, cost about $40 to $50 a day.

Active visitors can rent jet skis for an hour and 15 minutes for just under $100 for the driver and about $20 for a passenger.

Snorkelers can spend about $40 for the equipment with discounts for children. Snorkelers enter water from the beach and not from a boat.

The helium balloon ride lasts 30 minutes and costs at least $40 per person with discounts for children.

Other excursions include kayaking, parasailing and a glass bottom boat tour.

Note all prices are subject to change.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
January 17, 2024

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