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Private Islands Disney's Castaway Cay, Carnival Corp.'s Grand Turk & Half Moon Cay, RCI's Labadee & Coco Cay, Princess Cays etc.

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Old December 6th, 2008, 10:40 AM
WarmWaters WarmWaters is offline
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Default Royal Caribbean's Coco Cay : Compiled info

I have compiled some information from various threads that I have printed to take with, for our stop on Wednesday at CocoCays and I thought I will share it with the board as I have learned so much from previous posters.
Its been done hastily, please add more useful info for those of us who wants to have the information but does not have a whole lot of time to do the research.


Printable map of Coco Cay : http://members.csolutions.net/morrica/cococay.htm

"Walk to the opposite part of the island that most people never get to. - take a right just past the shopping area, look for Coconut Willie's bar and the pay to play area and go to the right of there. Really shallow there but it is very nice as it is quiet and peaceful. if you don't want too much sun, head to the left when you get off the tender boat. we kept walking along the coast line (15 - 20 minutes away) and it got less and less crowded and still had lounge chairs - a nice quiet spot to relax.
The water was so clear, shallow and warm.Walk round to the far side of the island to a shallow lagoon away from the crowds. The snorkelling is not very good. The bottom part of the map is the less crowded side of the island. - near the tender placement that has lots of iguanas.
How long does it take to walk all the way around Cococay? Its a small island. - trail is a couple of miles round trip. It's really beautiful, so walking slowly and stopping to take in the spectacular scenery, it's probably about a 45-60 minute walk. - saw chickens and some little gecko's and iguanas.
It's a beautiful little island. - hermit crabs. - a very nice walk. You do tender into Coco Cay. There is no wharf. The entire island is not all beach. There are shady areas with many Australian pines and palm trees, plus shrubs. There are penty of lounge chairs and hammocks.

Besides the little Bahamian huts selling typical Bahamian merchandise, there will be a BBQ (free) from 11:30 – 1:30 We are not beach people but we did enjoy the nature trail. It goes to the far side of the island so you are away from the crowds. There are interesting plants to see. Eat early. The beach is nice so we went in briefly. about. Coco Cay has snorkelling but it isn't great. They have sunk a plane to create an artificial reef. - we took a stroll in the water and there were numerous stingrays in the water, buried under the sand. All they did was get up and flutter to another spot when we approached. .We enjoyed our barbeque lunch and then we did the nature trail ( a nice hike through the "jungle" of Cococay to the other side of the island. I was really surprised at the number of chairs and hammocks.- took a rocky path that meandered inland. It was mostly rock and not too wide, the native plants were thick along the path. We went up and down the rocky path until we came out to the beach about a half a mile from the main Coco Cay facilities and beach area. As we walked to the narrow and rocky beach area, we saw two comfortable lounge chairs nestled back under some palm trees. It is private and for RCCL ships only. RCCL provides, a BBQ lunch.- 11 30 am - 1 30 pm - BBQ chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, an assortment of salads, fresh fruit, cookies, with tea or water. You can purchase other drinks. You can go back to the ship for lunch. Beach towels are put in your cabin – there is a fee if not returned.You should bring your beach towel from the ship with you. The island is a place to relax and unwind. You can take a long walk on the beach or down the center of the island on a nature trail. There are many hammocks or lounge chairs spread out throughout the island. The shade is provided by palm trees and other vegetation. There's a main swimming area but you can really swim anywhere-the water is fairly shallow so when the tide goes out, you can walk out quite far. My family enjoyed just sitting in the shallow water and relaxing. There's a small waterpark area and another place for snorkelingYou take the regular tender in and walk to the back side of the island where the waverunners are. Nice beach - water park is right there. Pretty sunny part of the beach though.All chairs and hammocks are free.

If you want REAL seclusion, pack up some water and get on the trail that runs down the spine of the island. to what is called "lands end". . This is literally the far eastern tip of the island, maybe a mile & a half from the tender docks. The water is indescribable as you look out. About the only man-made thing you'll see is the occasional fishing boat or big cabin cruiser off in the distance coming out of Andros Island (over the horizon). In the middle of the Bahamas' bright blue water lies the secluded island of CocoCay. With its white-sand beaches and spectacular surroundings, CocoCayis reserved exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests, this tropical paradise has recently been updated with new aquatic facilities, nature trails and a ton of great places to just sit back, relax and enjoy a tropical drink.

Located in Bahamas' Berry Islands chain, CocoCay is an exclusive 140-acre private island playground for Royal Caribbean guests. Royal Caribbean just invested over $20 million into renovations and additions. From new snorkeling and scuba-diving facilities and expanded docks to additional restaurants, bars, and shops, the renovations touched all areas of the island. a new building for the first aid station staffed by a full-time nurse.
A hard surfaced pathway has been completed on CocoCay, which permits access to selected parts of the island by guests who utilize wheelchairs. Beginning at the tender dock, the path joins the straw market to restrooms, the Sea View Cafe, a covered dining shelter, and a new patio on the beaches.

Caylana's Castle Cove - Royal Caribbean recently added a new 20,000-square-foot aqua adventure park. a chance to play and test their skills on a series of challenges from floating rock-climbing walls to aquatic trampolines.
Situated just offshore in the crystal-blue waters around CocoCay, the park features fun, floating activities to appeal to visitors of all ages. These include two 14-foot castles with one side for climbing and the other for sliding; two 25-foot floating trampolines; several "slidewalks" and aqua logs; and two water teeter-totters.

Snorkel Shack makes signing up -- and gearing up -- for one of CocoCay's underwater adventures easier and more convenient. With equipment from the Snorkel Shack, guests can check out the sunken plane wreck, explore the coral reef or attend a fish-feeding frenzy. For deeper explorations, the Diver's Den offers certified divers an opportunity to experience the crystal- clear waters of the Bahamas on a one-tank, shallow-water beach dive that takes them to 40 feet below, where a PADI scuba instructor will help identify the varied marine life and coral formations.

CocoCay Wave Runner Adventure - Guests looking to pick up the pace can stop by the new Wave Hut to get outfitted with their own WaveRunner(R) and head out on a guided, 50-minute, wet and wild adventure. Highlights include Great Stirrup Cay Lighthouse, Slaughter Harbor, Star Fish Alley and the abandoned island community of Cistern Cay.

CocoCay Nature Trail - guests can explore the island's attractions on the new three-mile-long Nature Trail. The trail cuts through lush areas along the north and south shorelines of the island. Guests who prefer to combine their strolling with shopping can get back to civilization Caribbean-style at the Straw Market, a re-creation of a Bahamian village complete with cottages and artisan huts. Locfree beach barbecue. For liquid refreshments, Junkanoo Jacks, Stir-it-up and On the Rocks are three new bars serving a wide array of drinks perfect for sipping in the Caribbean sun.

SeaTrek Floating Beach Mat - This super soft foam mattress is ideal for the beach or water. The floating beach mat is available all day at your leisure.

SeaTrek Waverunner Experience - This guided 50-minute adventure will take you around the Berry Islands, neighboring CocoCay. You will watch a safety video and receive an orientation, before boarding your Waverunner for an informative and exciting guided tour. Some of the sights you may see include the Great Stirrup Cay Lighthouse, Slaughter Harbor, Star Fish Alley and the abandoned island community of Cistern Cay.

SeaTrek Parasailing - Come fly the skies of CocoCay. This tour will take you up 400 feet above CocoCay for a breathtaking and memorable flight. Enjoy the panoramic scenery of the crystal blue water below and the surrounding islands from a birds eye view.

SeaTrek Scuba Dive - Experience the crystal-clear water of the Bahamas on a one-tank shallow water beach dive. This tour is for certified divers and proof of certification is required. You begin your dive in waist-deep water and continue to explore the reef up to a maximum depth of 40 feet. Your SeaTrek instructor will help you identify the various marine life and coral formations this reef has to offer. The tank and weights are included for all divers. Equipment package includes regulator, B.C., mask, fins and snorkel. This is limited to certified divers who have been on a dive within the last two years.

SeaTrek Snorkeling - Discover the underwater world, even if you've never snorkeled before! Professional SeaTrek instructors will guide you every step of the way, with equipment instruction and a marine life area orientation. An abundance of beautiful coral reef and tropical fish to see, this package includes all the snorkeling equipment and all day use. Be sure to see the fish-feeding extravaganza at our sunken plane wreck. A must see at CocoCay! The snorkeling equipment is available at your leisure all day.

SeaTrek Kayak Adventure - a very informative and interactive kayak tour in the beautiful turquoise waters around CocoCay. You will receive an orientation on how to use your safe, stable 2-person kayak. Then it's time for your leisurely guided tour through the shallow clear waters where you will encounter a variety of beautiful marine life. Touch and learn about Starfish and Conch. Encounter Stingrays and possibly Eagle Rays on this unique eco-adventure!

SeaTrek Aqua Park - Caylana's Castle Cove - climbing a giant floating sand castle on CocoCay?- at the largest Aqua Park in the Caribbean. Bounce on our huge in water trampolines. Rock and roll on our floating "Water Totter". Test your balance as you run across the log roll. Climb high and slide down the huge sand castle "
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  #2  
Old December 20th, 2008, 10:52 PM
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Thanks for compiling that info. I have been to CoCo two times (that is 2 out of 4 attempts).

The Waverunner experience sounds lots of FUN. I was supposed to do that in Labadee last spring (but we were not able to tender in).

My DH and I will be on a B2B Majesty in April. We are hoping that since we will be going to CoCo Cay two times, that we may be lucky and be able to tender in at least one of the times.

The other times we went were in NOV and May, so we are hoping April will be OK weather wise.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 11:46 PM
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THANKS FOR YOUR TIME ! Very interesting.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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Thank you so much!!! I was just looking for info about things to do at Coco Cay Your post is great and very informative!!!
Thanks again!!!!
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Old March 5th, 2009, 10:10 PM
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Very informative, thanks!
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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Just a quick review of our day at Coco Cay. Being to Princess Cays before, I was very impressed with what this stop had to offer, compared to the facilities at Princess's private island.

The tender boats that ferry you back and forth to the island are big, I am guessing they can take at least 150 people and you have the option to sit on the open deck in the sun or underneath in the shade.

Once we got to the island we opted to walk around and explore. We walked down to the snorkel shack and the main beach area. I was interested to find the sunken plane and it seems they sunk it where most people go in to snorkel, there are life savers on duty on platforms in the water and the sunken plane is somewhere in there in the area where it looks like another island is close by. We walked for about an hour and a half.

I took a bottle of water and my runners as it is rocky in some parts and the path that crosses through the island is rocky as well. I saw some people doing it bare feet in the hot sun, with the path not sandy, they had a hard time getting back. There is a sand bank a ways out and the water is shallow and warm. Bring beach towels.

We saw lots of chickens and roosters, they mostly hang out around the eating area. I wanted to go and see the iguanas. They are as you dock with the tender to your right hand side near the water past the vendors selling their wares. Some people took bananas to feed them, there were at least 6 big iguanas at Iguana Bay. There is a sign near where they live on the rocks close to the water.

In the middle of the island next tot the pathway, we found some ruins and the grave of Blackbeard, the pirate. There are bathrooms in the middle of the island next to the pathway for those who are walking around the is;and.

Lunch was great, lots to eat. I enjoyed the ribs. There was a band playing. All in all a very enjoyable relaxing day.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 07:57 PM
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It seems the consensus is that the Water slide is not worth the money... any opinions... we will be there on the IOS next week...
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 10:15 PM
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I did the waverunner experience several years ago. It was one of the best things that I have ever done on any cruise! We saw the biggest starfish I have ever seen, even in an aquarium! They were bigger than a dinner plate and they were everywhere! It looked like over 100. Great fun, lots of splashing, beautiful scenery! I would do it in a heartbeat again!
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmWaters View Post
Just a quick review of our day at Coco Cay. Being to Princess Cays before, I was very impressed with what this stop had to offer, compared to the facilities at Princess's private island.

The tender boats that ferry you back and forth to the island are big, I am guessing they can take at least 150 people and you have the option to sit on the open deck in the sun or underneath in the shade.

Once we got to the island we opted to walk around and explore. We walked down to the snorkel shack and the main beach area. I was interested to find the sunken plane and it seems they sunk it where most people go in to snorkel, there are life savers on duty on platforms in the water and the sunken plane is somewhere in there in the area where it looks like another island is close by. We walked for about an hour and a half.

I took a bottle of water and my runners as it is rocky in some parts and the path that crosses through the island is rocky as well. I saw some people doing it bare feet in the hot sun, with the path not sandy, they had a hard time getting back. There is a sand bank a ways out and the water is shallow and warm. Bring beach towels.

We saw lots of chickens and roosters, they mostly hang out around the eating area. I wanted to go and see the iguanas. They are as you dock with the tender to your right hand side near the water past the vendors selling their wares. Some people took bananas to feed them, there were at least 6 big iguanas at Iguana Bay. There is a sign near where they live on the rocks close to the water.

In the middle of the island next tot the pathway, we found some ruins and the grave of Blackbeard, the pirate. There are bathrooms in the middle of the island next to the pathway for those who are walking around the is;and.

Lunch was great, lots to eat. I enjoyed the ribs. There was a band playing. All in all a very enjoyable relaxing day.
Thanks for your report. I am thinking of doing the nature trail during our visit in May. If you take the path down the middle of the island, do you have to return the same way or can you cut down and come back along the path that runs close to the beach where the kayaking takes place?
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Old March 26th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Am I then to understand one side of the island has the beaches and one side is rocky and not for swimming?

Can you walk all around the island or down the middle and back on one side?

I am just trying to get a clear picture here.

I am used to Ladadee which of course in not really and island.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familycruzer View Post
Am I then to understand one side of the island has the beaches and one side is rocky and not for swimming?

Can you walk all around the island or down the middle and back on one side?

I am just trying to get a clear picture here.

I am used to Ladadee which of course in not really and island.
yes it is typical of islands... one side nice and the other windy or rocky.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Thank you for sharing the information. It's very helpful. I'm looking forward to Coco Cay!
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Old April 27th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makethegrade View Post
It seems the consensus is that the Water slide is not worth the money... any opinions... we will be there on the IOS next week...
There is a charge to use the waterslide? Is there a charge for Caylana's Castle area?


Edited to add that I found the answer: http://www.recmanagement.com/200309fp03.php Not worth $75 to me for my family to play here for less than an hour.

Last edited by paminohio; April 27th, 2009 at 03:51 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 08:47 PM
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Great info!

We hit CoCo Cay on Saturday May 30th as we are taking a 3 day cruise on RCI's Majesty of the Seas. This will be our 2nd cruise as we did a 4 day Carnival cruise to Cozumel back in 2004. We never made Key West on that trip since they were renovating the dock at that time. With an extra day at sea instead, we had a great time and I hope we have an even better time our 2nd go round!


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Old May 17th, 2009, 03:18 AM
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I have cut and pasted all the questions and answers regarding Coco Cay from the most recent thread to the last time I updated this thread. Please add any useful info as this thread might be helpful to those going for the first time as a one stop shop regarding info on Coco Cay's.

Coco Cay...what are the odds of missing this port ?

“Private islands are missed stops 20% of the time due to unfavorable sea conditions. The only compensation you would receive is a refund of any scheduled shore excursions. .

Coco Cay is a flat tropical island surrounded by beautiful jewel-toned blue sea water. For free, you can walk the nature trail at the island. There is also a swimming area with huge toys such as the pyramid, a kind of giant seesaw, a giant trampoline and similar contraptions. There are many hammocks under shady palm trees and Australian pines, also more than enough lounge chairs. The beach is great and the water is very clear so if you want to rent a floating mat ($10 US for all day rental) it would be very relaxing.

Just kick back and relax with a book at a shady spot and a restful view of the ocean. It's a beach day! You can find a lounge chair or hammock...swim, eat, drink....whatever strikes your fancy. It's just like being on the ship---the food is included, but alcohol and sodas will be charged to your room account.
If lazing around isn't for you, they have waverunners, parasailing, etc....that you can book. They have floats for rent (but wait until you get there to decide if you need them!!) if you just want to float in the clear water!
You can come and go as much as you want, or stay the whole day...it's up to you!
All you need to bring is your pool towel, sunscreen, book...that's it! Don't bring anything expensive (cameras, camcorders....) if you plan on leaving your stuff lying around while swimming. No one will bother your old book or flip-flops!


Great Stirrup Cay is RIGHT next to Coco Cays!

Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island is in the BerryIslands of the Bahamas. CocoCays, Royal Carribeans private island, was once called Little Stirrup Cay, and is also in the BerryIslands. The two islands are only about 2000 feet from each other.

Heres a pic. CocoCays is on the left, and Great Stirrup Cay is on the right. http://i39.tinypic.com/igaz6a.jpg

You absolutely do see the ship visiting at Coco Cay if one is visiting the same day. When at Coco Cay, you can see the NCL ship at Big Stirrup Cay if one is visiting the same day. If you sit on the beach at Coco Cay, you can look over and see Great Stirrup Cay in the distance.
This pix shows just how close they are....this is a pix of NCL tendering taken from CoCo Cay.
http://inlinethumb44.webshots.com/45...600x600Q85.jpg


Comparison between the Private Islands

I find Coco Cay a little more restful than RCC’s Labadee. My first private island was Labadee and I was in love but then we went to Cococay I was a little disappointed it was a little too rocky and sea weedy for me. It was going to Half Moon Cay I wasn't expecting much...I was wrong out of the three it is the best.


NCL’s Great Stirrup Cay compared to Coco Cay : Which do you like better ?

Both islands are fine, but my personal preference is Coco Cay. It seems more comfortable. I mean folks are not all jammed into a few places, but RCI has activities more spread out. I also think the BBQ is superior to that of Great Stirrup Cay.

Hands down Coco Cay! Great Stirrup Cay is nice, but they only did two excursions (snorkel and parasail). Additionally, they did not have much shade and the beach area was lined up with chairs and people stealing others' umbrellas all day. The snorkeling wasn't near as good, although if you swim all the way out to near the lifeguard, you get to see a few neat fish.

Coco Cay has a much larger island with much more to offer. People are split up around the island doing different things, so it is not as crowded. There are also a large amount of excursions offered there. Even without the excursions, there is much shade, hammocks even, many beach spots, a nature trail, much snorkeling to see including a sunken airplane, and other items, and just so much more to offer.

We like NCL better, less expensive, freestyle cruising(eat when/where we want, no suits for him, no dresses and heels for me). The islands are about the same, and close enough, you could almost spit and hit the other. The water has been pretty rough, currents go around the islands, and wham into the tender.


Half Moon Cay or Coco Cay?

I've been to both and Half Moon Cay is much better than Coco Cay. Both private Islands are great.
Hands down Half Moon Cay!

I have been to both Cococay and Half Moon and of course they are both beautiful but Half Moon is right out of a magazine. The beaches are powdery sand that extends far into the water so there is no sea weed or rocks. The bar is right on the beach so you can hear the live music all along the beach. All in all it is the perfect idyllic beach.

I've done both as well and have to admit.. I thought Half Moon Cay was much nicer!!! It is simply paradise! HMC is consistently mentioned as "The Best" private island in the cruise industry publications.

CoCo Cay is much bigger then GSC and there is a lot more beach space and activities. GSC is cool because you can walk around the entire island and find some really private places. There is a really cool light house in the center of it. I also think the reef is nicer off of GSC if you are in to snorkeling.

Have been to both islands and feel that Coco Cay is far better and offers more activities. Also I felt the BBQ on Coco Cay is much better than the one offered by NCL. There is a very tame and adorable cat on GSC, however.

If you have been to Coco Cay already and would like to try something different, check out NCL's Great Stirrup Cay.


Storage Lockers available ?

I am trying to figure out where to put my camera when I ride the waverunners. Don't want to leave my camera & clothes laying open free!!

No one will take your clothes...I promise. There are lockers for those on excursions...you really don't need one if you just plan on playing in the water. Don't bring an expensive camera--something cheap is fine and no one will take a cheap camera.

Are there changing facilities on the island itself? Is there a secure area to stow my camera bag while in the water snorkeling or should I just leave it on the ship?
Leave the expensive cameras on the ship--bring a disposable if you must...no one will bother cheap stuff!
There are restrooms--you could change there. You can always go back to the ship to change, and then come back.

They had lockers for rent ($4) if you were doing a water excursion, so you can lock up valuables of you need to. We rented one while we were out on the jet skis. Personally I thought it was insane that we were paying $104 for the tour (total for 2 people) and had to pay extra to secure our stuff for an hour.

Snorkeling on our own - I would recommend bringing your own snorkel, fins, and inflatable life vest (required) and snorkel for free and hang on the beach. There is a barbeque available for lunch free of charge. You can then play volleyball, limbo, or whatever RCCL offers that day, listen to the band, or go for a nature walk around the island. If you go past the snorkel shack, past the area where you catch the tender back, and stay on that line, there is shopping and a walkway that goes past iguana alley. Also, right behind where they usually hang out is a "lagoon" that manatees sometimes visit.


Coco Cay Review - The water was smooth as glass and we had no problems tendering into port.

We were on the 9:00 tender and we had booked the Wave Runner excursion for 10:30. We walked around for about an hour before signing in at the Wave Hut at 10:00. Once we were signed in we explored a little more before we had an orientation and safety meeting at 10:30. We were on the Wave Runners (Erin drove since she has driven one before, I was the picture taking passenger) around 11:00. We were on the Wave Runners for a little over an hour, we had several opportunities to go full throttle (fun, but a little scary trying to hang on from the passenger seat) and the course we took to each stopping point included twists and turns. At one stop our guide got off the wave runner and picked up to Caribbean Stars (looks like giant star fish) that we could hold and get pictures of. This tour was the first time we had done an excursion through the ship and we had a great time! My only complaint was that it was only an hour, it was slightly overpriced for the amount of time spent out on the water.

Lunch was VERY crowded and the sea gulls were pretty aggressive. We each got a Coco Loco which was pretty good, but very sweet. We tried to get one in a regular glass, but there weren't any available so we ended up with a souvenir mug.

Pictures : http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/10...%20May%202009/.


Coco Cay - fishing?

Is there a place on Coco Cay to fish from the beach? Is it allowed? Is a permit needed?

It can be done. I fully understand why RCCL would not want a bunch of people wandering around with fishing rods on the island, but they don't seem to mind a person that goes about it staying out of others way as much as possible.

http://www.myfishingpictures.com/wat...=125181&size=1 Bonefish, 21", Coco Cay Bahamas

I did pretty well with a few good sized bonefish, barracuda, also hooked and lost a decent permit. Only had good water till noon when the tide really dropped and the flats disappeared. I hit the water first thing on the island and headed to the farthest point. A few RCCL employee's saw me at the far end but no one gave me any trouble. As for legal regulations, a shorebound angler in the Bahamas does not require any license of any type. If you know what you are doing there are some excellent flats fishing opportunities on that island.

Did you just take a fishing pole with you? I told my dad to get a Pocket Fisherman pole if he wanted to try his hand at a bit o fishing on the island but like you said you would have to get out early and go to the other side where not many people venture.

I took : 2 travel spinning rods/reels 8lb and 10lb class, 2 travel fly rods 7wt and 8wt, Waist belt tackle system, Wading boots,Tackle boxes. All fit very neatly into a modified backback that I use for fishing excursions.

http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i6...i/IMG_0462.jpg
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i6...i/IMG_0460.jpg

It's not really an environment where you can just cast out some bait on a bobber and catch fish. The bonefish are extremely spooky and take a real eye to spot them and get a lure infront of the school before they see you. The barracuda are a little simpler to catch and can be done on a light spinning rod with a tube lure. There are alot of cuda's in the shallows and they make great sport.
A pocket fisherman would be fine for catching some smaller cuda's and maybe some puffers, but not up to snuff for the larger fish that inhabit the shallow flat on the southern side. To really be successful there you have to put in some research time about what your actually trying to catch.
Pic of the bonefish:
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i6...i/IMG_0739.jpg

Bonefish are catch and release. They are just a blast to catch as they can rip off 100yds. of line in a few seconds, fastest fish on the flats. Barracuda are the same, great sport fish but with the worries of ciguatera poisoning, they aren't worth the risk.
I did talk with one guy and he evidently caught a nice mutton snapper out of one of the deeper holes on the flat. It was of legal size so he took it up to the kitchen area and they offered cooked it up for him. The key is to know the laws for where your fishing and what is legal.


Topless @ Coco Cay - Is it possible ?

I would say it could be done easily on the far side of the island where not many people go. ive seen several people there befor wearing thongs The island is surprisingly large and although you can try to circle the island to the farthest side it seems that there are always others strolling the island themselves so you would never be alone.
Let's not forget these private islands are a "family" environment. I emailed RCI for a clarification on whether the dress code for CocoCay was topless or not and the following statement was sent back to me: "Of course not, the proper attire is bathing suits, shorts, tank top, and all summer clothes."
I have seen it before, if you walk down the beach awhile, there will be very few people. Those that are walking stay at the waters edge so if you lay at the top of the beach you will be left alone. If someone from RC comes by the mosty they are going to do is ask that you put your top on.
RCI will not intervene, unless someone complains. As a matter of FACT, there were two topless sunbathers ON the Rhapsody several days last month. A lot of staring but no one confronted them . . . including RCI staff.
I say that if you make an effort to separate yourself from the crowd, then it should not be a problem. There is plenty of room to keep a distance from someone who holds different values than yourself.
Just returned from Coco Cay and yes it is possible. We walked a good ways down the beach away from everyone and had a nice little "private" area of beach to ourselves.
If you walk down the nature trail for a bit, there are shoots off to the beach and I think you could definitely find some private beaches back there. We didn't see any children on the nature trail...it is pretty boring and I can't imagine the kids last more than the first few hundred feet.

Excursions -

The excursions are all "follow the leader" style---you can't use the waverunner and go off on your own...you will spend most of your time either waiting for the "slowpokes" to catch up, or (if you're a slowpoke) trying to catch up to the speedier folks! The only money you need to spend on Coco Cay is for alcohol or sodas!

What about the kayak excursion? The trip includes a lesson in how to kayak. Another option is Hobie Cat sailing.There is also parasailing.

Jet ski excursions

We enjoyed the jet skis! I did see in the cruise compass that if you signed up for the 9:00 excursion your passenger rode for free. That might help you save a few dollars. The jet skis were follow the leader, but unless you are a very experienced driver you still had fun. They liked to keep 100 yards between each jet ski and you were instructed to follow the wake of the craft in front of you. They did lots of turns so it wasn't just riding in a straight line.

Parasailing looked like it was a lot of fun, but it is just as expensive as the jet skis and the excursion isn't as long.

DO NOT rent jet skis in Nassau. If you visit the Bahamas board you will see where a lot of people get ripped off. They don't keep a proper time log and call people in early or say they returned the jet ski late in order to get more money out of you.

I've read about two different jet ski excursions on Coco-Cay, one official RCCL excursion ($95 for driver, $25 for passenger) and one that seems to be on the island that you can just walk up and get a 50 minute guided tour.

We were at Coco Cay a couple years ago and did the jet ski's. We just walked up to the area that had them and presented our ship card and they charge it to our room. It was $85 per person a couple years ago. You each had your own jet ski or you could double up, and they took you out in follow the leader fashion and the a tour around the island. They would stop ever once in awhile so you could enjoy the view and the sites below in the water.
CocoCay is RC's private island. They own it. Therefore, all excursions are "official". You probably can walk up and sign up for the tour, but if you want to do it at a certain time, I would book it early.

Snorkle Excursion

The excursion says "At your leisure". I know that means we can start whever we want, but does that mean the equipment is ours for the day? Can we go in for awhile, take a break and go out again? Can we stay out as long as we want?
but when we did, it meant for the day. We didn't turn our equipment in until right before we left the island. If you enjoy relaxing, you'll love this excursion!

The snorkeling excursion is done from the beach. You're paying for gear rental and an orientation lecture. I've heard if you bring your own gear, they require you to rent the safety vest. As of last may snorkel vest were still required, and could be rented for $6 if you didn't need any other gear. You can get by without a vest if you snorkel on the opposite side of the island, as there are very few people in that area.

Waverunners

It's actually a tour around some of the islands. You start out with an instructional safety video and then they pick the order of riders. It's follow the leader type. They go in order and you raise your hand for the position you want. I'm more experienced and wanted to go fast so I raised my hand first an got it.

There were two guides and you make a few stops on the way. One guide is the leader and on some legs of the tour he'll go full throttle and the more experienced can keep up but the second guide is in the rear to make sure the less experienced don't get lost or hurt. When you make stops the guides gather everyone up and talk about the history of the islands and will dive down and bring marine life up to show and talk about. They'll also let you get off and swim around a little until everyone catches up.

It was a lot of fun. It's a lot harder to tip one than you think...unless you're trying to.

The water wasn't super deep in most places though you are wearing a life vest so it doesn't really matter. The guides were really good too!
My DH and I did the waverunners. We each rented our own, and it was 79 a piece, I think. .

I had a bit of an issue with mine... There is a safety mechanism that shuts the waverunner down if you do do fall off. On mine, the key was attached to my lifevest, and everytime I would hit a large wave, I would bounce off the seat and the life jacket would pull the key out of the ignition. In an attempt to switch to an operational jet ski, they made me get off the jet ski I was on, and swim to another. Because the key needed to stay with the waverunner, they made me take my life vest off first. However, between being slippery from my suntan lotion, choppy waves, and a lack of upper arm strength, I had difficulty getting on the second jet ski. I spent about eight minutes treading water with no life jacket. Had we been able to wait until the first stop, where the water was shallow enough for me to touch bottom, it might have gone a little better.

If you're not a strong swimmer, I would skip it.
Why did they attach the key to your lifevest and not your wrist? We did this excursion and it was attached to our wrist.

We were first timers when we did this excursion. We each chose to drive our own waverunner. DH was about 5th in line since he said he would go fast and had shown he could drive. My DS, 16 at the time, was second to last and I was last in line (fine by me ). They are really not hard to drive, just stay in the middle of the wake the one in front of you makes. If there is a big swell coming, back off the throttle a little and pick your butt up off the seat a little so your legs act as shock absorbers.

No one in our group flipped over though one person did lose their passenger when they hit a swell. You do need to turn gently if you are going fast just like you have to in a car so it really isn't hard. I don't think I would have been able to get myself back on the waverunner though had I fallen off but I could have had DH push

As far as being a non-swimmer, you will be required to wear a life jacket, everyone has to were one. As long as you are comfortable floating in water over your head and won't panic, then go for it. If you are going to be at all nervous, then don't waste your money.

The waverunners don't go out towards the ship rather away from it. Don't think you can get a really good picture in front of the ship. You go out to a small island and at that point you could stop and take a picture but the boat is pretty far back. The tenders leave early. I believe we were on the first one at 8 or 8:30 a.m.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Good thread.

Looking at the hand drawn map, I guess we get the snorkel vests from the SeaTrek Dive Shop - but where on the island is the best place to snorkel out to the planes, replica wrecks and lifeguard dock?

From the gps coordinates I got from another site (DiveSpots) - it looks like they are off the Lands End section of the beach - but I cant tell. The map drawing almost looks upside down compared to the google map shape of the island.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 06:16 PM
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Default Stopping in September, watch the jellies!

We went to Coco Cay in September and it was full of jellyfish. Apparantly, the jellyfish migrate to the bahamas during hurricane season...this is what one of the locals told me.

I would highly recommend not even bothering to rent a floating mat, bcs the jellies will just float by and oops....watch out! We couldn't even enjoy a relaxing swim here.

We had a couple at our dining table show us the marks on their arms from snorkeling thru there that day. The jellies were having a feast on us.

I hope this was a one time occurrence, but the locals alerted me that this was common place to see that many in Sept.

Thanks for posting all the great info! I never knew about the hiking trails and such....We are going to check that out in Feb 2010 when we visit. I will post when we return.

Last edited by MICHLEV1974; June 2nd, 2009 at 06:19 PM. Reason: typos and more data
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:51 PM
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Went to Coco Cay this past Saturday and really enjoyed it. The weather was not the greatest, but DH and I lounged in a hammock for at least 2 hours and got burned. BBQ was very good. Lots of things to do it you chose to. We just relaxed all day.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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I have been snorkeling twice at Coco Cay. You do have to swim out to see the best fish and the current can be alittle tricky. Go early before all of the activity(snorkelers, jet skiers, kayakers, etc.) gets the water more stirred up. The area near the plane and between the plane wreck and the breakwall(lots of rock and coral formations) worked best for me. The shipwreck would be a great place for beginners to start. Also, beginners can see lots of fish behind the rock formations to the right of the cove. You don't have to swim very far to those areas and the current can be friendlier. I highly recommend that you go out to the deep water area that is marked off outside the breakwall, too. The water is probably 50 feet deep. We saw 4 stingrays that were beautiful swimming right underneath us. I have been there in January and May. The water obviously was alittle cooler in January, but tolerable. Great snorkeling both times. I had never snorkeled until we went to Coco Cay. It is a great place to learn because you have the equipment all day and it is only $29. Lots of people had their own stuff, but they do make you get a vest.

I have been to many places and Coco Cay ranks as one of the most beautiful and relaxing places that I have ever been. Royal Caribbean has done a great job making the island user friendly.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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I have cut and pasted all the questions and answers regarding Coco Cay from the most recent thread to the last time I updated this thread. Please add any useful info as this thread might be helpful to those going for the first time as a one stop shop regarding info on Coco Cay's.

Tell me about Coco Cay!

Tell me some things I should or would want to know about this island. I'm very curious! Coco Cay is beautiful! Don't stop at the 1st beach area you come to, unless you like crowds! (Most folks won't walk an extra few steps and bunch up at that 1st beach and are all on top of each other!!!)
Don't rent a floating mat in advance---you may find you don't need one, and if you do want one, they are readily avail. on the island.
There is a BBQ lunch which is included in your fare. Just like on the ship, alcohol and sodas can be purchased with your seapass.
The waverunners are a "follow the leader" sort of thing---you can't go off on your own, so if that's not what you want, wait until another port to do that!
Consider this a "sea day" on land! It's one of my favorite days! DH and I did the waverunner excursion. We loved it!!! It was a great adrenalin boost. If you do it though, don't forget your sunglasses. Between the sun and the water spray you will be squinting your eyes the entire time.

What to do in Coco Cay?

Drink cocoloco's, ride waverunners, take a small sailboat out, drink cocoloco's, snorkel, walk all the trails, drink cocoloco's, eat the bbq lunch, play in the floating playground, drink cocoloco's.

Considering a RCCL trip and can't tell what else there is to do on CocoCay other than beach activities? Does anyone know if this island has a similar activities center such as on Castaway Cay? Its the perfect beach day. You can snorkle right from the shore and see fabulous fish. There is a large floating inflatable for the kids (at a charge.) Parasailing, jet skis, kayaks, or just lazing on a beach chair with a fruity drink. I went with older teens who had a great time. The younger kids all seemed happy-why not, with sun, sand and no responsiblities?

Sand volleyball court with shaded bleachers and a basketball court to the right of the sport beach (equipment rental area).

Coco Cay transfers -

How often will the transfers run from the ship to the island ? Will we be able to come and go several times during the day or once there are we stuck?
There are three tender boats and they run constantly from about 7:30 AM until 4:00PM. Of course, those times may vary slightly. But you can come and go as often as you please. It does take awhile, though, because you have to wait until the tender boat is sufficiently full and it takes awhile to unload the tender boat also.

You can make as many trips as you want, but it would eat up a lot of time to take several trips. You won't be "stuck" at the island though. In the middle of the day, they generally don't wait for a full boat---but toward the beginning and end of the day, they will!

Cabanas at Coco Cay -

Does anyone have pictures of the Cabanas?
Lovely pictures of the cabanas here : http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1022526
I wasn't aware that there WERE cabanas! We never needed any--there's PLENTY of shade! There are 6-8 (I can't remember exactly how many) cabannas near the spa building.
How do you rent them and what is the cost? I don't recall a Spa building when i was there. Whereabouts is that?
There is no cost for the cabannas, first come first served.

To find them, walk towards where the ship is anchored. (I think it was turn right at the signs and then keep straight.) You will see a "lighthouse" type structure and there is a small building that houses a spa, open air bar and the cabannas are in that area.
No need to rush. They were still available @ 12:00pm and we got on the island at 9:30am. We got our cabanna around 1:00 while we were doing alternating spa appointments. We did get the last one available, but I think the majority of people don't know they are there. Most of them are hidden by the spa building and most people head to the main area where the chairs are.

Coco Cay - Wheelchair Accessible?

Will be visiting in September and have one person in our party in a wheelchair. She can walk a few steps, but mostly will need the chair. I read that the main path has been upgraded to a hard-top. Any tips, ideas, etc. I would appreciate any thoughts on this.
I'd check with the "special needs" dept. and see if they have those "big-wheeled" wheelchairs---good for soft surfaces, for rent. That would enable her to go "off-path".
But, if she can walk some, you could get her near to a chair, and then she could sit there all day. Last time I was on Coco Cay, Jan 2009, there were the big balloon-wheeled chairs that are able to roll over sand. I think there were four lined up near the dock where the tender boat lands.

Also on the tender boat there is a large area in the front where the folks in wheel chairs sit while the boat sails. That saves such folks from having to struggle with the steps and stairs in the tender boat.

Coco Cay- parasailing, jet ski's or both?


We will be in Coco Cay from 7am to 4pm. I am interested in doing both jet ski's and parasailing if possible- since they are both listed as 1- hour long excursions. Anyone taken these? If so, were they worth the money? Is it possible to do both?

Two final concerns -
1) I don't want to get off the ship right away- if possible. I've heard of long lines and thought maybe if we waited 1 hour it wouldn't be that bad? Can we do this if we have booked excursions?

2) Is the bbq lunch the only option? Reports of flies on the food grosses me out.
The jetsking is a group tour....you must follow the leader and leave plenty space between each other, you can't go off on your own and there is an short instructional thing you do first.

As far as getting off I have never had a problem with lines getting off the ship early....actually an hour or two later is usually the busiest or around 11am....but in any case I haven't found any of the lines annoyingly long at any time...but I have always been off Sovereign or Monarch...may be longer if you are going to be on Freedom or a bigger ship...they usually do run plenty tenders and have one waiting to pull up as soon as one leaves. You don't have to get off in the first group if you have an excursion later in the day! And, many times, you don't have to book the excursions in advance...we've always been able to do a "walk on" booking....just decided to do something, and they have room!

Yes, the BBQ is all that's avail. on the beach. You can always go back to the ship and eat---you can come and go as you please. We never saw flies on the food!

Both excursions you want to do are popular, I would recommend reserving your slots early if you decide to do these.
I did notice on our May 11th sailing that if you reserved the first jet ski excursion (I think at 8:30) that you got a free passenger ticket.


Snorkeling - Coco Cay -

We have our own masks and snorkels but no fins and vests. I've read that we can rent the vests for $6 but can we also rent the fins? Does anyone have any experience with this? Yes you can.

There are three lifeguard piers in the snorkeling area. Each pier has a sunken object that has a lot of fish.
When looking out from the beach, the pier in the middle has a sunken airplane many fish in this area. Pier on the right has part of a ship.

The lifeguards throw food into the water when you're around the pier, so you'll see a lot of fish up close and personal.

The drop off area is on the left between the two sets of rocks. You must go in between the rocks and you'll see the dropoff. The current is a lot stronger out there as well. I saw about 4 sting-rays and a fished that looked like a Barracuda (not a fish expert so I don't know), sea turtles, octopus, nurse shark and various fish.

This was only my 2nd time snorkeling in my life. I tested the equipment by the piers and then spent the most of my time past the rocks (drop off area). You HAVE to do a 3-5 minute orientation on the beach and the tour guide will go over the areas again with a map of the snorkeling area.

2 Snorkeling Pictures in this thread : http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=908645

Actually, there are lots of other things if one looks close enough. This is a dinner plate sized star fish in 2 ft of water. This is an Octopus clutching a mussel shell not 20 ft from the loungers. If you are patient and alert you will be rewarded.
On Youtube, there is a movie of a small shark in only a foot of water : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNjYl...eature=related

CocoCay : Cash and passports

Not including the mini- straw market - but basically dealing with the snorkel vests, locker rentals and drinks - are they all charged to your seapass card? If so, is there any reason to bring cash off the boat (unless you wanted to go the mini-straw market?

Also, since this is a private island - are passports required? from what I have read, it isnt like you have to clear customs or anything like on Nassau. So, if I dont need cash or passport, then I can leave the boat with nothing more than my seapass card. . .

Am I correct in thinking this way?
No--there's no use for cash at all, since Coco Cay is the same as being on the ship. As long as you don't plan to purchase anything at the market, no cash is needed.

You do NOT need to bring a passport---for all purposes, you're still on the ship! (Even Nassau doesn't require you to have a passport--none of the countries do) It's our OWN country that is making us have a passport---not the cruiseship or the Caribbean countries! You don't need a passport on Coco Cay but you DO need your Sea Pass. That is the way the ship keeps track of who is on board and who is on the island and who has come back to the ship. So as you leave the ship and as you return, your Sea Pass will be run through that machine with the funny bell sound.

You will need cash if you want to buy souveniers at the Bahamian Straw Market. Dollars are fine. Other things on the island such as the famous Coco Loco drinks, you use your Sea Pass. I hope you like Coco Cay as much as I do. It is such a special place.

Blackbeard's grave?

Is it true that Blackbeard's grave is on Coco Cay? Just wondering? Thanks for the help!
I'm certainly no expert, but I highly doubt it as according to historic accounts he was beheaded on a Royal Navy ship off the coast of North Carolina. If true, I'm not sure how he would have found his way to the Bahamas - or that anyone would have cared to bury him...................
Feel free to dig in the sand. I'm pretty sure if Blackbeard's grave WAS on Coco Cay, RCI would charge you to see it...so far, no such "excursion"!!! No. Blackbeard was killed in Beaufort Inlet in North Carolina. He was beheaded and his body was was thrown in the water. His head was taken to Portsmouth and hung from the top of a large pole as a warning to others. Rumor is that his skull became a ceremonial goblet for a college of William and Mary fraternity.

Which do you like better...Cococay or Great Stirrup?

Hate to say it but Stirup Cay was horrible.. sand chairs IF you can get one, don't think about getting a lounge chair unless you are on the first boat over. No where to really explore If you do snorkle out to the break front, Yes there is good snorkling there, but watch out you don't drift back out to the ship or elseware. The BBQ was decent, but long walk back to your chair, Not enough area to eat at a table!


Coco Cay - Aquatic Adventure Tour?

Anyone this? Is it worth $39.00? How is the Boat? I would appreciate any info on this excursion. Would love to do it, if it is worth it.
I had been looking at that myself and it seems to me that it may be a new addition. I have been exporing my options on and off for over a month at RCI website, and I don't recall seeing it there in June.
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Last edited by WarmWaters; August 6th, 2009 at 01:18 PM. Reason: .
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