Though CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private Bahamian island, is not visited by
all of its ships, the company nevertheless announced today it’s completed
some $20 million worth of enhancements. Ships that visit the island include
Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas (3- and 4-night trips Miami) and
Sovereign of the Seas (3- and 4-night sailings Port Canaveral). Sister
cruise Celebrity has one ship -- Galaxy, on its ten-day seasonal Caribbean
itineraries out of Baltimore --that stops at CocoCay.
Among new and updated features on the 140-acre private island, part of the
Bahamas' Berry Islands chain, include:
Two new bars: Junkanoo Jacks and On the Rocks, to complement three existing
bars. A third, Stir-it-up, was extensively refurbished.
A nature trail, stretching for three miles around the entire island (which
is one mile long and 1/4 miles wide).
The new Snorkel Shack and Diver’s Den have gotten new facilities which
basically offers more selection in rental gear as well as in underwater
A Nassau-inspired Straw Market. This one evokes a Bahamian village and
contains various huts selling the usual souvenirs (t-shirts, conch shells
and baskets) -- with a twist. In a series of artisan huts, Bahamian
craftspeople are ferried out to the island on days when ships are in port to
showcase (and sell) their handmade creations.
Not on the list of “new additions” is a set of portable cots though on one
cruise last fall the island could have used them. In November, CocoCay made
headlines when waters got too rough to allow passengers on Majesty of the
Seas, which tenders folks in to a floating dock, back onboard. Instead, more
than 1,400 of the ship’s 2,200 guests spent the night, “roughing it,” on
lounge chairs and wrapped in beach towels (not to mention blankets,
comforters and pillows sent over from the ship) on CocoCay. Many of the
”stranded” passengers found the once-in-a-lifetime experienced, however
impromptu, of camping on a private island quite an adventure (Royal
Caribbean’s offer of a full refund and a certificate for a free four day
cruise to those impacted didn’t quash spirits either). In fact, some are
trying to convince the cruise line to schedule another CocoCay overnight
during a Majesty of the Seas voyage -- this one on purpose, of course. A
Royal Caribbean spokesman is coy, however, about any plans to do so.