Perfect Day…CocoCay is the saying for this island, and it is perfectly true. The day was spectacular, warm, mid-70s, sunny, with some of the bluest, most gorgeous water we have seen. We are on CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island, and it is fun and pretty eye-popping. Previously called Little Stirrup Cay, the island is less than a mile long and about 200 yards wide. On it, they have built zip lines and a water park with the tallest water slide in North America; lined the beaches with what seems like thousands of chaise lounges, umbrellas, hammocks, and cabanas; brought in a dive and snorkeling shop; set up 5-10 food and bar venues that are free of charge to cruise passengers (including funnel cakes!); imported hundreds of kayaks, water rafts, and wheelchairs with giant rubber wheels to get through the impossibly fine, white sand; constructed stationary kiosks and platforms out in the Caribbean for swim-up parties; created a system of interconnected swimming pools with islands and bridges; and then dumped two shiploads of passengers to make it all Party Central! Thousands of people on a small private island barely made a dent in its busy-ness, as everyone spread out and filled in the empty spaces. As you can see in the pool pictures, there is even a swim-up bar. We are amazed at architects who can take a barren small island and turn it into a destination you really want to return to! The sand, most likely, was imported by the thousands of tons, but the iguanas, however, are native creatures… NOT imported!
Of course, cruise ships are always looking for a way to make your money, their money. While all the food and chairs/cabanas/hammocks were free, entrance to the water park is $44 per person (“Just swipe your cruise card, sir!”). Zip lining is $79 per person. Drinks, of course, range from $7-15. Diving is $85. Snorkeling gear is $40. Paradise comes at a price. After a week at sea, crossing the Atlantic, it was a glorious day in the sun and sand.
In the photos, you can see most of the things listed above that we discovered on the island. We were really taken with the impossibly blue water and the ways that it was different colors of blue. In the last few photos are the swim-up bar, but look at the roofline in the next-to-last photo…enlarge it…the 19 visitors, another group ready to party, are all facing the same way! We found it funny. Next stop: the USA, after more than a year away. We are excited!!