Perfect Day at Cococay Review: Is It Worth It and What to Expect
Last week Jeremy and I embarked on our first cruise together for a grand celebration of our one year wedding anniversary and 25th birthdays. I am only 13 days older than him but my Mom and I always joke that Jeremy married a cougar 😉.
One of the highlights of our cruise was a day at Royal Caribbean’s much anticipated and newly renovated $250 million dollar private island — Perfect Day at Cococay.
The first phase of Perfect Day at Cococay opened on May 4th with a large majority of the attractions available to all guests. A few amenities — Coco Beach Club and the over-water cabanas — are still under construction and will open in December 2019.
The island is home to the tallest waterslide in North America, the largest freshwater pool and wave pool in the Caribbean and some of the most amazing white sand beaches and turquoise waters.
Throughout the rest of 2019, 11 ships will dock at Perfect Day at Cococay:
Adventure of the Seas
Allure of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas
Grandeur of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas (we sailed on this ship)
Navigator of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas
Rhapsody of the Seas
Symphony of the Sea
What we review in this post:
Getting around Cococay
What to bring?
What is included?
What costs extra?
Food and drink at Cococay
Our Final Take: Is it worth it?
Getting Around Cococay
The cruise ship arrived at Cococay around 7:30am. Before getting off for our “perfect day”, we quickly stopped at the Windjammer for some breakfast. Our favorite breakfast items include: 2 fried eggs, chicken sausage, cereal, and coffee of course!
The ship docked at a newly built pier which eliminated the need for tenders. Once the ship was cleared for arrival, we hurried down the stairs to first deck to disembark. We quickly bumped into an extremely long line of people waiting to get off.
Pro tips: There is no need to wait in the long line to be first off the ship. There are plenty of amazing beach and pool lounges around the island. It is not worth getting up insanely early to secure “the best spot” — there really is not a bad spot around.
If you buy waterpark tickets in advance, your itinerary will say to meet at the park entrance at 8:15am. This is not true. You can enter the park at your convenience with a simple scan of your seapass.
If you don’t want to wait in line for towels by the gangway of the ship you can easily pick up towels at various towel exchange booths around the island.
Once the line cleared, we were off the boat and on our way down the pier and onto the island. We were greeted at the entrance by dancers and lovely Caribbean music.
It is very easy to get around the 125 acre island. The island itself is very walkable with plenty of sings to help you navigate to the next activity. The majority of the island is covered in paved walkways to eliminate the amount of time required to walk in the hot sand.
For those who need additional help getting around, there is a tram service that runs every 15 minutes and includes stops at Thrill Waterpark, South Beach, Chill Island and Oasis Lagoon.
If you are thinking about going to Thrill Waterpark — you will have plenty of steps by the end of the day thanks to all of the stairs it takes to climb to the top of Daredevil’s peak. We tracked out steps for the day on our Fitbit Versa watches. This watch is perfect to wear on your Perfect Day because it is waterproof (and can be worn on all attractions), tracks your steps and helps you keep track of time throughout the day.
What to Bring?
Seapass (no need for cash unless you want to buy something at the Straw Markets)
Plenty of sunscreen
Flip flops/Water shoes (you will not be able to wear shoes on the waterslides)
Pro tip: It is best to leave jewelry behind in the safe in your stateroom as you are not allowed to wear it on the waterslides. This will also help prevent important/expensive jewelry from being lost in the ocean.
What is Included?
Access to the island
Towels: you can exchange for clean dry towels at various booths around the island
Beach chairs, lounges, hammocks and umbrellas around the island
Lockers: located around the island to store personal items
Beach access: Chill Island, South Beach
Pool access: Oasis Lagoon, Splashaway Bay, Captain Jill’s Galleon
Sports courts: beach volleyball, spike ball, cornhole
Food & Drink: Skipper's Grill, Chill Grill, Snack Shack (drink packages carry over to the island)
WiFi: Voom internet purchased on-board the ship will also be available for use on the island
Life jackets: available throughout Thrill Waterpark for kids
Beach access wheelchairs
There are two towel exchange booths around the island to grab dry, clean towels throughout the day (located near Oasis Lagoon and inside Thrill Waterpark). Life jackets are also available for kids in the waterpark.
There are free lockers located at various stations around the island. The lockers can easily fit large backpacks and beach bags. No keys are required - simply enter a 4 digit code of your choosing.
What Costs Extra?
Thrill Waterpark: $44-$99 per person
Zip Line: $79-$139 per person
Up, Up and Away (helium balloon): Age 13+: $39-$99 per person, Age 4-12: $24-$64, Age 0-3: Complimentary
Captain Jack’s: A La Carte Menu Items
Cabanas, daybeds throughout island:
Chill Island Cabanas: $299 - $569
Oasis Lagoon Cabanas: $299 - $569
Thrill Waterpark Cabanas: $499 - $869 includes complimentary park admission
Beach rentals (kayaks, snorkels, jet skis) and shore excursions (swimming pigs, stingray city, reef snorkeling, sandbar getaway, parasail adventure, glass bottom boat)
You can secure a cabana at the prime location on Chill Island for a daily rental fee of $299 to $569.
Looking for a shore excursion? Stop by the wave hut for various water activities including swimming with pigs, parasailing, reef snorkeling, jet skis and glass bottom boat tours. All shore excursions will cost extra.
Food & Drink at Cococay
One thing Jeremy and I really enjoyed about the experience on the island is that pretty much all of the food is included. There are various locations around the island to enjoy crispy chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, mozzarella sticks, funnel cake, chocolate chip cookies, soft serve ice cream, and more!
Most food locations open at 11:00am and the food is hot and ready right when it opens! We never experienced long lines and the service was excellent.
The Snack Shack opened even earlier than expected when a severe thunderstorm rolled through. We were cold and wet and looking for something to warm us up.
We opted for two crispy chicken sandwiches, fries, chocolate chip cookies, and washed it down with strawberry kiwi juice. Everything was delicious!
To order, you just walk up to the window and ask for anything that you would like. No credit card or seapass needed. It is a pretty cool experience :)
Note that your drink packages from the ship will carry over to the island. If you did not purchase a deluxe drink package, there are complementary juice and water stations around to keep everyone hydrated.
Later in the afternoon we decided to check out what the Skipper’s Grill had to offer — which is located in the middle of the island. They were serving up tacos, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and more. You can also find unlimited soft serve ice cream here to cool off from the hot sun.
Pro tip: Take two chocolate chip cookies and fill soft serve ice cream in-between to make an ice cream sandwich -- you will thanks us later ;)
Jeremy helped himself to a make you own taco salad and said that it was delicious! We capped off our island eating experience with a big soft serve ice cream cone.
Pro tip: If you are interested in dining at the Skipper’s Grill be sure to arrive before 2:30pm as they start breaking down the food stations for a hard close at 3:00pm.
There are vegetarian and gluten free options at various locations around the island. Keep an eye on your food! If left unattended, seagulls are sure to steal your treats!
Food: Snack Shack (Thrill Waterpark & Oasis Lagoon)
Food: Chill Grill (Chill Island)
Food: Skipper’s Grill (Harbor Beach)
Drink: Floating Bar (South Beach)
Drink: Swim-up Bar (Oasis Lagoon)
Drink: Captain Jack’s (Harbor Beach)
Drink: The Wacky Seagull (Chill Island)
Thrill Attractions at Cococay
A week before the cruise departed, we made sure to purchase day passes to the Thrill Waterpark. It was quite obvious that Royal Caribbean was marketing the waterpark as one of their main attractions post remodel.
We secured two Thrill Waterpark Full Day passes for $34.99 per person. The tickets were in our stateroom when we arrived on the cruise ship and also automatically loaded onto our seapass cards.
The waterpark was the first item on our agenda to maximize our “perfect day” at Cococay. We headed straight to the entrance of the park after disembarking the cruise ship. By heading there first thing in the morning we were able to avoid crowds and long lines on the waterslides.
Getting into the waterpark was extremely easy — we definitely recommend purchasing your tickets ahead of time — however if needed you can also purchase them on the island.
If you purchase tickets ahead of time, you can simply scan your seapass card at the entrance and you are on your way! You will also receive a wristband for easy re-entry.
Before heading up to the slides we grabbed two lounge chairs and an umbrella right in front of the wave pool. This ended up being an incredible spot as it was right next to the Snack Shack, bathrooms, smack dab in the middle of the waterpark and a short walk to the South Beach.
Pro tip: Set yourself up for the day near the wave pool. You cannot go wrong with this location.
Our first attraction of the day were the Family Tower waterslides to get us acclimated to all of the thrills! We highly recommend starting with The Twister as it was the tamest slide in the park. Make sure to grab a tube at the bottom before heading to the top. The Slingshot was my favorite ride in the park — definitely gets your adrenaline pumping and probably not the best for younger kids with a zero gravity drop. The Splash Speedway slides are a fun slide to race against family and friends!
After conquering all of the slides in the Family Tower, we bravely made the trek up Daredevil’s peak. As mentioned before, you will be climbing lots of stairs! Jeremy’s favorite slide in the park was the Green Mamba.
In our opinion, here is a ranking of slide by intensity — the more smiley faces, the more intense the slide!
Daredevil’s Peak: 😃😃😃😃😃
Dueling Demons: 😃😃😃😃
Screeching Serpent: 😃😃😃
Green Mamba: 😃😃
Manta Raycers: 😃
We tried all of the slides and they were all incredible! We really enjoyed our time at on the slides at Daredevil Tower.
Later in the afternoon we stopped at the adventure pool to tackle the rock wall located at the far end of the pool. Don’t let this little wall fool you - it was actually quite hard. Some of the hand and foot holds twist as you scale your way up the wall. It was challenging but fun!
The lily pad obstacle course is the perfect places for tweens to hangout and have some friendly competitions.
Believe it or not we spent the majority of the day in the wave pool. It was the perfect place to cool off from the hot sun.
The waves were the ideal size for adults to dip and dive between — yet they were not too intense for children to also enjoy a thrill. The pool gradually slopped down like a beach and the deepest part of the wave pool was 5’ 10’’.
The wave pool was very well patrolled by lifeguards and was never over crowded.
Overall, the wave pool is the coolest spot on the island ;)
Up Up and Away
Chill Attractions at Cococay
After hitting all of the attractions at Thrill Waterpark, we decided to take a trek to explore the island. We stopped at Oasis Lagoon to find it was the liveliest part of the island with a large swim-up bar, music and plenty of drinks to go around. Given we were looking for something a bit more relaxing we didn’t stop for long.
Right past Oasis Lagoon you will find the outskirts of Chill Beach. Chill Beach looked like a nice spot to grab a lounge chair and relax; however, we heard from our waiter at breakfast that the South Beach was one of the best beaches on the island — so we kept on walking.
Finally we arrived at South Beach which is home to the floating bar, beach volleyball courts and tons of shady lounge chairs set beneath beautiful palm trees.
Our waiter was spot on! The South Beach is absolutely stunning with pristine sand and crystal clear water. We jumped in the water to cool down from our walk and quickly came across a small stingray swimming in the shallows. It was incredible!
The floating bar seemed like a big hit — the view of the open ocean is spectacular and is definitely a place we would have stopped if we had the drink package.
After a dip in the ocean, we took a nap under the shade of the palm trees. Jeremy and I agreed that we had never felt more relaxed!
Our Final Take: Is it Worth It?
If you booked a Royal Caribbean cruise, the Perfect Day at Cococay is hard to beat.
It’s got everything from pristine beaches to friendly staff, major waterpark thrills for both kids and adults, and enough drinks and food to go around!
So, what is our final take?
Yes, we highly recommend booking a cruise with a stop at Cococay, it will hands down be the highlight of your next cruise!