What’s your perfect day in port on a cruise? For some cruisers, it’s relaxing on the beach, umbrella drink in hand. For others, it’s all the water sports. Your kids might vote for an epic amusement park, while young professionals might be looking to let loose and party.
Royal Caribbean‘s private Bahamian island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, aims to create the ideal vacation day for nearly everyone with its plethora of attractions. It features multiple beaches, a giant pool, water play areas and thrill rides for kids and adults of all ages. Plus, there’s plenty of dining areas and bars to keep you fueled up for all the fun.
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A visit to the island can seem overwhelming at first. Which beach do you choose — or should you head straight for the pool? Should you book an excursion, or is there no need? Can you enjoy the island without paying extra or do you need to cough up hundreds of dollars to have fun?
In this guide, I’ll take you on a comprehensive tour, so you can get a better sense of how to plan your perfect day the next time you visit Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day.
Note: Prices for activities and rentals can vary based on sail date and whether they’re booked pre-cruise, on board or on shore.
Where is Perfect Day at CocoCay?
Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay is located in the Bahamas. It’s part of the Berry Islands, northwest of Nassau and southeast of Freeport, both popular cruise ports in the Bahamas. It’s roughly 140 miles east of Miami.
The island sits just to the west of Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line‘s private island, and you’ll be able to see that island and visiting NCL ships from Perfect Day.
The island is smaller than 1 mile long and 1/3 mile wide.
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Which cruise ships go there?
Nearly every Royal Caribbean ship in the fleet will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay at some point, either during a season of Caribbean or Bahamas cruises or during a repositioning voyage from one cruise destination to another.
It’s easier to list the ships that won’t be visiting the island. Through April 2025, ships that won’t ever dock at Royal Caribbean’s private island include:
- Brilliance of the Seas
- Navigator of the Seas
- Ovation of the Seas
- Quantum of the Seas
- Spectrum of the Seas
It used to be that only Royal Caribbean ships regularly called at Perfect Day, but now sister cruise line Celebrity Cruises is getting into the action. Beginning in April 2024, Celebrity Reflection will sail three- and four-night cruises from Fort Lauderdale that will visit the private island. Other Celebrity ships that will call on the island a handful of times in 2024 and 2025 include:
How do you get to and around Perfect Day at CocoCay?
Two cruise ships at a time can dock at the long pier jutting out from Perfect Day at CocoCay. Passengers can walk off the ship via the gangway instead of taking a tender boat, as they might have to on other cruise lines’ private islands.
Once on the island, pathways lead to the various beaches and attractions. It’s not actually that far to get anywhere around the island, but when the Bahamian sun is beating down on you, it can feel a lot longer. According to the map, it’s 14 minutes from the arrivals plaza to the farthest beach, Cove Beach. But you can have your feet in the sand within three minutes of stepping foot on the island.
For those who can’t or don’t want to walk the long pier from the ship to the island and from the arrivals plaza to the beach, Royal Caribbean runs a fleet of electric trams that run every 15 minutes. Stops include Thrill Waterpark, South Beach, Coco Beach Club, Oasis Lagoon, Chill Island and Up, Up and Away. Wait at the tram stations for a pickup.
What are the Perfect Day beaches?
Perfect Day at CocoCay has six beaches and the Coco Beach Club. It can be overwhelming trying to decide where to go first when you step foot on the island. But you really can’t go wrong — and if you do, just get up and go somewhere else!
The beaches have different vibes, and some are closer to or farther from the arrivals plaza or other amenities such as dining and beach sports. Let that combination decide your first destination. All have complimentary lounge chairs with beach umbrellas (so nice not to have to pay for shade!) and lifeguards.
CocoCay’s seven beaches are:
The closest main beach on Perfect Day is Chill Island, a 5- to 10-minute walk from the arrivals plaza. Here you’ll find two big and one small sheltered bays with calm water. One end has daybeds and the other cabanas to rent, and in the middle are the open-to-all lounge chairs. In the middle is the Island Market for shopping and the Chill Grill, one of the two main complimentary barbecue lunch venues on Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Breezy Bay at Chill Island
Beyond the rocky breakwaters of Chill Island is Breezy Bay at Chill Island, a smaller, less protected beach. The shore excursions and kayak rental huts are at the corner where the two beaches meet, and your jet ski tours will depart from this beach, as well. Daybeds are available to rent.
There’s a Snack Shack between Breezy Bay and the Oasis Lagoon pool, but otherwise you’re not so close to food on this beach.
Harbor Beach surrounds the Harbor Lagoon, the calmest waters on the island as the lagoon only has one narrow outlet to the sea. This beach is ideal for families with young kids as it’s close to both main lunch spots, the Splashaway Bay water play area and the Oasis Lagoon pool. And it’s not far from the ship.
This tiny beach area on the other side of the bridge from the arrivals plaza is Perfect Day’s event venue. Weddings are held here, and you can rent out the area for other private functions as well. There’s no swimming outlet here, so you’ll need to make the short trek to Chill Beach to get wet.
Coco Beach Club
If your idea of a perfect day is living the VIP lifestyle, you’ll want to buy access to Perfect Day at CocoCay’s exclusive Coco Beach Club. Your pass gets you access to the private beach, infinity pool and upscale beachside restaurant and bar.
Pricing for a Coco Beach Club day pass can vary wildly. Folks online say they’re a deal at $89 per person but can run more than $200 per person. Keep an eye out for sales. Cabanas and daybeds in the beach club cost extra, but the price to rent one includes the day pass.
South Beach, like its namesake, is the party beach, mainly due to the floating bar just offshore and the sports courts behind. You will be dared to jump off the bar’s platform with your beer or “chug, chug, chug” with your friends. Once you get here, via tram or nature trail, everything is at your fingertips. There’s a Snack Shack for lunch, Coconut Willie’s bar if you prefer not to swim to your cocktail, bathrooms, rentals and the aforementioned sports areas.
Past the exclusive-access cabana and daybed area of South Beach is Cove Beach, the farthest stretch of sand from the ship. No roads lead here; you have to hoof it down the beach from the South Beach tram stop.
What are the best Perfect Day at CocoCay things to do?
If you don’t love the feeling of sand between your toes, you’ve got plenty of other ways to keep busy and get wet on Perfect Day at CocoCay. After all, not everyone’s ideal day out looks the same.
The one thing that some other private islands have, but Perfect Day does not, is a spa.
The first thing you will notice about Royal Caribbean’s private island, including from the ship, is its giant multicolored waterslide tower rising above the tree line. This iconic landmark is the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak (the tallest waterslide in North America, according to the line) and it’s the signature attraction at Thrill Waterpark.
The park, accessed just off the arrivals plaza, is not included in your cruise fare and you will need to purchase entry via the shore excursions desk on your ship (or online before your cruise). Once you’re paid up, just scan your SeaPass card for entry.
The thrill zone is divided into several sections. You’ll find a wave pool, an Adventure Pool with watery obstacle courses, Daredevil’s Peak with its seven slides (including drop slides, a nearly vertical slide and racing slides) and Splash Summit, the more family-focused slide area. Here, you can try a one- or two-person raft slide, a four-person raft slide that races up a wall before splashing back down and four-way racing slides.
You must be a minimum of 48 inches tall to ride most Devil’s Tower waterslides (40 inches for the twin racing slides). The minimum height for the Splash Summit slides is 42 inches, though for the raft slides, you must be 48 inches to ride without a life jacket or adult supervision. Prepare to step on a scale before being allowed to climb the stairs up the slide towers.
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Thrill Water Park. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY
Amenities in the water park include plenty of lounge chairs, cabanas for rent, lockers, a Snack Shack and a bar to give mom and dad some liquid courage.
Note: There’s little natural shade in this area, and it can get hot walking between the slides or from the splashdown pool back up to the top of the slide to ride again. For maximum enjoyment, visit the water park first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon when the lines have died down. No one wants to wait 45 minutes in the hot sun for a ride.
Cruisers looking for some high-flying adventure with excellent island views can sign up to ride Perfect Day at CocoCay’s zip line (for a fee). The 1,600-foot course has three segments that go over the Thrill Waterpark and the Harbor Lagoon.
You’ll need to purchase zip line access as you would any shore excursion, and then check in on the island near the Thrill Waterpark entrance. Lockers are available to store your valuables while you ride. You must be at least 4 feet tall and between 75 and 275 pounds to ride.
Captain Jill’s Galleon and Splashaway Bay
Little kids have their own water play spaces on Perfect Day at CocoCay, and unlike the main water park, they’re free to use.
Captain Jill’s Galleon is a pirate ship-shaped play structure with slides, water cannons and fountains. It’s perfect for the littlest cruisers, but grownups can enjoy the views from the top.
Splashaway Bay on the island is similar to the onboard versions with a climbing structure, water sprayers, dump bucket and tame waterslides for younger visitors. Get there early if you want to snag a seat in the shade.
Children in swim diapers are allowed in all pools, beaches and water play areas on the island.
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Splashaway Bay. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY
Tired of the beach? Perfect Day at CocoCay also has a huge pool called the Oasis Lagoon for those who prefer a more chlorinated, less wavy dip.
Families tend to stick to the far end of the pool with its sloping entry and gentle fountains. The party crowd gathers around the swim-up bar and its blaring DJ beats. (Seriously, it’s the spring break I never had, and a mecca for all the bachelor, bachelorette and birthday groups.) Wandering bartenders will sell you crazy cocktails in souvenir glasses, so you won’t go thirsty when you climb out of the pool to dry off.
A nice hybrid area is the section of pool on the other side of the bridge, where you can hear the music but aren’t in the bar fray.
The pool has numerous little nooks where you can find in-the-water seats and tables for your drinks or undulating loungers in the shallows. The pool is surrounded by plenty of loungers, rinse-off showers, bathrooms, racks of swim vests and rental cabanas.
The closest lunch options to the pool are the Breezy Bay Snack Shack and Skipper’s Grill.
Up, Up and Away balloon ride
I’ve visited Perfect Day at CocoCay twice, and I’ve never seen the Up, Up and Away tethered balloon ride in action. A spokesperson for the line tells me it “is temporarily closed for maintenance until further notice.”
The colorful helium balloon can be seen around the island, and when it’s operational, guests can book 10-minute rides to soar 450 feet into the air. The balloon is tethered, so you only go up and down rather than circling the island.
You can rent floating mats from three stations, one on South Beach and two on Chill Island. You can pick up snorkel gear for personal use at the snorkel shack on Chill Island near Seaside Point.
Sports and games
If you need a free adrenaline boost on the island, you can get your competitive spirit going at two sports pavilions on Perfect Day at CocoCay. One is located at Breezy Bay and the other on South Beach.
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Bean bag toss. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY
At the pavilions, you’ll find hard and sand courts for basketball, volleyball, cornhole/baggo and other games. All are free to use.
You will not find any crew-led games for kids on the island.
What are the excursions at Perfect Day?
In addition to the major activities and attractions on island, you can book several excursions that will take you off the island — or at least out into the water. Personally, I’d save my excursion budget for a different island since the complimentary pools and beaches are so nice (or for the water park), but you’ve got a few nice options if you’re interested in water sports.
- Certified scuba dive with or without equipment
- One-hour glass bottom boat ride
- Guided kayak adventure in two-person kayaks
- Kayak and snorkel adventure combo (guided kayak plus independent snorkeling)
- Guided Wave Jet tour on a Sea-Doo jet ski
- Reef snorkeling by boat
- Sandbar getaway with snorkeling and water toys
- Swiming pigs tour in the northern Berry Islands
Does Perfect Day at CocoCay offer cabanas to rent?
If you want to reserve a private space on the island, you have options ranging from beach beds to overwater cabanas. You’ll need to decide what type of exclusive hangout you desire, as well as where on the island you’d like it be.
Note that pricing will vary by cruise and cabana location. Royal Caribbean lists prices per daybed or cabana, not per person.
Royal Caribbean rents beach beds on Breezy Bay, Chill Island and South Beach. The double beds sit atop a wooden platform with a full roof and open sides, with curtains for some measure of privacy. Your rental comes with two lounge chairs with an umbrella, two floating mats, a cooler with four complimentary bottles of water and towels.
The price you’ll pay is per bed, not per person, and each bed can accommodate four people.
If you’re looking for a more substantial retreat, you also have several options for cabana rentals on Perfect Day.
Chill Island cabanas
The Chill Island Cabanas are located at the end of Chill Island by Breezy Bay, farthest from the ship. The attendant noted that while they’re situated on a lovely protected bay, the cabanas are far from the island’s amenities. If you want to hide away in your cabana all day, they’re a great choice, but if you want a more interactive or social beach day, South Beach might be a better bet.
Each cabana is a wooden hut with an open front, thatched roof and front patio area. The interior is furnished with a sectional sofa, cooler stocked with complimentary water and a storage chest. Four lounge chairs sit out front.
A cabana attendant will bring you drinks (at going rates) and food from the Snack Shack menu, as well as towels during your stay.
Each cabana can hold eight people for the same price. You can add two more (for a total of 10) for $50 per person more.
Oasis Lagoon cabanas
The Oasis Lagoon cabanas are identical to the Chill Island versions, except they’re nestled in the greenery on the outskirts of Perfect Day at CocoCay’s gigantic pool. They’re a great place to crash after some hard partying by the swim-up bar, or for parents to relax with kids tuckered out from playing in the pool’s shallow area.
These cabanas have a hard limit of eight people.
South Beach cabanas
The South Beach cabanas are the same thatched-roof hideouts that you’ll find on Chill Island or by the Oasis Lagoon, but they’re located on the middle of South Beach between Coco Beach Club and the South Beach daybed area.
The cabana base rate is for eight occupants, but you can pay $50 extra per person to add another two guests (for a total of 10).
Thrill Waterpark cabanas
The Thrill Waterpark cabanas are the perfect places for parents to relax while their offspring get wet and wild on the slides and in the active pools.
The brightly colored cabanas are scattered throughout the water park. They’re more of a basic design than the thatched-roof cabanas — simply a platform with four wooden posts holding up privacy curtains and an umbrella-style roof. The cabanas are outfitted with a sectional sofa, resort chairs, two outlets and a cooler and a couple of lounge chairs with a shade umbrella in front.
Cabana attendants will bring you food and extra-fee drinks. Your fee includes passes for up to six people to the water park. You can invite two more guests for $50 per person, but they will also need to purchase water park day passes individually.
Coco Beach Club
Coco Beach Club is the exclusive, restricted-access area of Perfect Day. You have three options for how to gain entrance to this private beach area with its infinity pool and upscale restaurant.
The most affordable option (though it’s not cheap by any means) is to purchase a day pass to the beach club. This will give you access to the pool, restaurant and bar, and the loungers and umbrellas on the private beach area.
Or, you can upgrade with a beach cabana, located along the exclusive beachfront. These are a more upscale version of the cabanas found throughout the island.
The thatched roof huts are open on all four sides with privacy curtains, and feature a deck with four wooden loungers and a shade umbrella. Inside, relax on a chic sectional sofa or padded resort chairs. There’s locked storage, a minifridge, charging outlets and complimentary snorkel gear.
If you really want to live it up, go all out with a floating cabana, which Royal Caribbean claims are the first overwater bungalows in the Bahamas. They’re set on a dock jutting out from the beach and have similar furnishings to the beach cabanas with the addition of a circular dining table for four and a wet bar. Each also has its own slide into the sea, a two-person overwater hammock and a freshwater shower.
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Beach cabana at Coco Beach Club. TIM AYLEN/ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Each of the 10 beach cabanas and 20 overwater bungalows accommodates eight people and comes with the services of a cabana attendant. For the overwater cabanas, if you wish to add one or two guests, you’ll need to pay $50 per person extra plus the cost of a Beach Club pass. Even in this extra-free enclave, you’ll need to pay extra for all drinks you order (unless you previously purchased a beverage package).
Is food included on Perfect Day at CocoCay?
Yes, multiple venues serve a complimentary barbecue lunch on Perfect Day at CocoCay.
The two main venues are Skipper’s Grill (overlooking the Harbor Lagoon, just past Splashaway Bay on the main path) and Chill Grill (between Harbor Beach and Chill Island). They serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with stations for burgers and hot dogs, grilled chicken, tacos, salads, fruit and desserts (don’t miss the caramel brownies). Both have drinks stations, soft-serve ice cream machines and a bar.
Seating is at colorful picnic tables with shade umbrellas.
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ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY
You don’t have to trek across the island for lunch if you’ve chosen lounge chairs away from the grills. Three Snack Shack outposts — one inside Thrill Waterpark, one on South Beach and one between the Oasis Lagoon and Breezy Bay — ensure you’re never far from a meal.
The Snack Shacks are huts with multiple order-up windows where you can access a more limited menu than at Skipper’s or Chill Grill. You can choose from sandwiches (burgers, hot dogs, crispy chicken), various salads, mozzarella sticks, french fries and dessert (including funnel cakes). You’ll find drinks and fruit, too.
Take your selections back to your lounge chair or grab a spot at a nearby picnic table. Snack Shacks are open longer hours, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If you’ve paid for access to the Coco Beach Club, you will dine at its upscale restaurant and can order dishes such as lobster and steak unavailable at the island’s grill venues.
Unlike the other restaurants on the island, Beach Club passholders still need to make reservations for lunch times at the restaurant. Make them on board on embarkation day; if you wait until you’re on the island, the earlier dining times will likely be taken.
Captain Jack’s, the large bar located at the entrance of the park, has a food counter serving chicken wings and steak fries for an extra fee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It seems silly to me to pay for food at the bar when the complimentary Skipper’s Grill is a short walk away, but if you’re buzzing and don’t want to leave the bar, know you have snacks close at hand.
Does my drink package work on Perfect Day at CocoCay?
You are never far from a beer or frozen cocktail on Perfect Day at CocoCay. Even better, unlike at some other cruise line private islands, your onboard drink package is accepted on the island. Just show your SeaPass with its special sticker and you won’t have to pay another cent for your pina coladas or White Claws.
The island has eight named bars and five nameless bar stands. Roving waiters will take orders and bring drinks to your lounge chair, as well.
The bars on Perfect Day at CocoCay include:
Captain Jack’s Bar: The first bar you’ll see, right by the arrivals plaza, has covered and uncovered seating, a row of swing seats and a stage for live music.
Oasis Lagoon Bar: The pool’s swim-up bar is usually packed, but if you get out and walk around to the land-based side, you’ll find hardly any customers.
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ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY
Wacky Seagull and Wacky Seagull Jr. Bars: These bars service either end of Chill Island. You’ll find one by the beach rentals kiosk and the other by the shore excursions kiosk. The signature drink here is the Coco Loco.
The Cracked Coconut Bar: This bar serves the Harbor Beach crowd and is a fun place to watch the zip liners come flying by.
Floating Bar: Its name tells you all you need to know. This bar on a raft just off South Beach quickly gets loud and rowdy with the party crowd. It’s surrounded by palapa-covered tables in the water and circular floating mats.
South Beach Bar: This is the closest watering hole to the South Beach cabanas and daybeds and Cove Beach.
Coconut Willie’s Bar: The land-based bar on South Beach is close to the sports courts.
Is there shopping on Perfect Day at CocoCay?
Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or need to pick up the sunscreen or swim goggles you forgot to pack, you can find what you’re looking for at the shops of the CocoCay Island Market between the central portion of Chill Island and Harbor Beach. You can also get your hair braided.
There’s also a CocoCay Logo Shop across from Splashaway Bay, by the back exit of the water park.
All shops will accept U.S. dollars or your SeaPass card as payment.
What additional amenities will I find?
Restrooms and beach showers are scattered throughout the island and are well marked on the maps. You’ll also find towel exchange kiosks, designated smoking areas, lockers and first aid stations.
You can check out towels from the ship or once on shore, but you must return to the ship with the same number of towels you took with you and check back in with the towel station just after the security screening. You cannot return wet towels on the island unless you initially checked them out from an onshore kiosk.
The island is Wi-Fi-enabled with Royal Caribbean’s Voom internet. Your onboard Wi-Fi package will get you access on the island as well.
Beach wheelchairs and beach strollers with extra-thick tires for navigating Perfect Day at CocoCay’s sandy shores are available to borrow throughout the island.
Can you stay overnight on Perfect Day at CocoCay?
You can only have a perfect day and not a perfect night on CocoCay.
You’ll see plenty of beds on the island, but they’re daybeds for rent. Your cruise ship will leave the island in the afternoon, and the only people who spend the night are a handful of staff members who live on the island.
What’s the typical weather like ?
The Bahamas has great weather year-round. Expect highs in the low 80s during the winter and low 90s during the summer. You won’t find a ton of natural shade when walking around Perfect Day at CocoCay, and the sun is incredibly strong. Reapply sunscreen more often than you think you need to, to avoid burning!
The rainiest months here are June, August and September. Hurricane season runs June through November, with the peak time for storms August through October. Your ship will not call on Perfect Day if conditions are unsafe.
Don’t let a rainy forecast get you down. Like in other tropical destinations, rain showers tend to pass quickly and you can see them coming. I got caught in a downpour for about an hour on my most recent visit, so I hid under an umbrella and ate lunch. Before and after the shower, I enjoyed the beach, pool and attractions with no problem.
Note that if lightning is seen, the lifeguards are required to send everyone out of the water until they get the all-clear.
Perfect Day at CocoCay may not show up on major weather websites, but you can search on the Berry Islands or Great Harbour Cay in the Bahamas to come close.
Related: Best time to cruise to Bahamas
Can I see a Perfect Day at CocoCay map?
Sure! Here is a map of the island to help you plan your day. You can also find a map in your Royal Caribbean app, but it’s awkward because you have to zoom in too much to see anything clearly. Your best bet is to pick up a paper map at your ship’s shore excursions desk before you head out to the island.
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