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Just back from Perfect Day At Coco Cay

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Posted (edited)

We were also on the Memorial Day weekend Symphony of the Seas 3 day cruise, our first time on an Oasis class ship and first time to CCC. 

 

A few newly learned tidbits of facts and impression of Cococay, hope they might be useful to other cruisers:

 

1.) We didn’t book the water park but from outside the water park did not look crowded, though I did hear others say the water slides wait time was still long.  The slashaway area (with tipping buckets)  was free for all and loads of fun. 

 

2.) The Oasis Pool area filled up as the day went on.  It was practically empty when we first walked by it at 9AM but by 12noon it was a little harder to find two loungers together with an umbrella.  The pool and the bar all looked clean and inviting.  

 

3.) The South Beach area with the floating bar has lots of chairs and umbrellas and some natural shade. The water is very shallow for about 200 yards and you can walk far into the ocean without needing to swim.  We saw a few stingrays and a little shark like creature and lots of fish.  Good snorkeling for those who don’t know how to swim.  

 

4.) Chill Island Beach, lots of chairs and umbrellas though not much natural shade.  Very breezy and comfortable compared to the pool, or even South Beach and it is the choice for snorkelers.  Deeper water to actually swim and lots of colorful fish.  The further you go the calmer and clearer the water. 

 

PSA to snorkelers: Unfortunately the plane wreck is now out of the boundary defined by buoys and ropes and the good reef area is now only accessible by paid snorkeling excursions.  But there is still a sunken boat by one of floating platforms.  As far as free snorkeling in the Caribbean and Bahamas go this is still a pretty good location.  

 

5.) Food stations are large and lines were short if any.  Finding a table at peak lunch hour could take a couple of minutes but still not impossible.  The standard burgers and hotdogs and the little sandwiches were very tasty.  DH had his fill on corn on cob. Bars didn’t seem crowded either. 

 

6.) Zipline, we didn’t try but it looked much shorter than the one in Labadee.    

 

7.) We booked helium balloon rides but could not go due to high wind.  It didn’t feel windy at all at ground level only comfortably breezy but the ticket lady said it was too windy at 450 meters in the air so the balloon was grounded.  

 

8.) The day was mildly cloudy and we applied layers of sunblock still ended up with a little sun burn.  So lather up please especially if you get a bright sunny day.  

 

9.) Overall a very nice private island.  Due to balloon cancellation by wind we end up not spending anything on excursions but still enjoyed our day very much. 

Edited by Cruising Latitude

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A correction: the balloon went up to 450 ft not 450 meters.  

 

Another addition: self serve beer in the buffet.  You just swipe your card and pull the lever.  How convenient is that?  

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8 hours ago, Cruising Latitude said:

Another addition: self serve beer in the buffet.  You just swipe your card and pull the lever.  How convenient is that?  

 

Sounds like a cross between the Bionic Bar and a slot machine. Who needs casinos with wait staff when they can have the machines dispense the drinks automatically. They might be on to something here....

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17 hours ago, Cruising Latitude said:

 

 

7.) We booked helium balloon rides but could not go due to high wind.  It didn’t feel windy at all at ground level only comfortably breezy but the ticket lady said it was too windy at 450 meters in the air so the balloon was grounded.  

 

 

 

We watched them raise the balloon later in the afternoon, I assume as practice or something.  No one was on it and I was glad, it was swaying pretty far.  It would have been a scary ride.

 

Sorry it was cancelled on you, as it looks like it would be a neat experience to see everything from above!

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42 minutes ago, Sunkissed Mommy said:

 

We watched them raise the balloon later in the afternoon, I assume as practice or something.  No one was on it and I was glad, it was swaying pretty far.  It would have been a scary ride.

 

Sorry it was cancelled on you, as it looks like it would be a neat experience to see everything from above!

 

Our morning balloon ride was cancelled because of a lightening threat. They told us if we saw the balloon go up twice, that meant it was back on schedule. The first was a test. We eventually did the ride later that afternoon.

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19 hours ago, Cruising Latitude said:

We were also on the Memorial Day weekend Symphony of the Seas 3 day cruise, our first time on an Oasis class ship and first time to CCC. 

 

A few newly learned tidbits of facts and impression of Cococay, hope they might be useful to other cruisers:

 

1.) We didn’t book the water park but from outside the water park did not look crowded, though I did hear others say the water slides wait time was still long.  The slashaway area (with tipping buckets)  was free for all and loads of fun. 

 

2.) The Oasis Pool area filled up as the day went on.  It was practically empty when we first walked by it at 9AM but by 12noon it was a little harder to find two loungers together with an umbrella.  The pool and the bar all looked clean and inviting.  

 

3.) The South Beach area with the floating bar has lots of chairs and umbrellas and some natural shade. The water is very shallow for about 200 yards and you can walk far into the ocean without needing to swim.  We saw a few stingrays and a little shark like creature and lots of fish.  Good snorkeling for those who don’t know how to swim.  

 

4.) Chill Island Beach, lots of chairs and umbrellas though not much natural shade.  Very breezy and comfortable compared to the pool, or even South Beach and it is the choice for snorkelers.  Deeper water to actually swim and lots of colorful fish.  The further you go the calmer and clearer the water. 

 

PSA to snorkelers: Unfortunately the plane wreck is now out of the boundary defined by buoys and ropes and the good reef area is now only accessible by paid snorkeling excursions.  But there is still a sunken boat by one of floating platforms.  As far as free snorkeling in the Caribbean and Bahamas go this is still a pretty good location.  

 

5.) Food stations are large and lines were short if any.  Finding a table at peak lunch hour could take a couple of minutes but still not impossible.  The standard burgers and hotdogs and the little sandwiches were very tasty.  DH had his fill on corn on cob. Bars didn’t seem crowded either. 

 

6.) Zipline, we didn’t try but it looked much shorter than the one in Labadee.    

 

7.) We booked helium balloon rides but could not go due to high wind.  It didn’t feel windy at all at ground level only comfortably breezy but the ticket lady said it was too windy at 450 meters in the air so the balloon was grounded.  

 

8.) The day was mildly cloudy and we applied layers of sunblock still ended up with a little sun burn.  So lather up please especially if you get a bright sunny day.  

 

9.) Overall a very nice private island.  Due to balloon cancellation by wind we end up not spending anything on excursions but still enjoyed our day very much. 

 

This is a huge disappointment, and may drive me to cancel my snorkeling plans on CocoCay.  I was more excited about the plane than anything else...the fact that it's still on the maps is a bit deceptive.  We had booked the snorkel at your leisure, but may cancel that in favor of relaxing on the beach, oasis pool, or at the floating bar.

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3 hours ago, Sunkissed Mommy said:

 

We watched them raise the balloon later in the afternoon, I assume as practice or something.  No one was on it and I was glad, it was swaying pretty far.  It would have been a scary ride.

 

Sorry it was cancelled on you, as it looks like it would be a neat experience to see everything from above!

 

Yep! I went back to the ship before 3 and I saw it going when I was waiting on top of the Ultimate Abyss.  The ticket lady said they would do a test run to around 200 ft up to test the wind.  If the wind reached above 18 to 20 miles per hour it would be too dangerous. 

 

56 minutes ago, senrab said:

 

This is a huge disappointment, and may drive me to cancel my snorkeling plans on CocoCay.  I was more excited about the plane than anything else...the fact that it's still on the maps is a bit deceptive.  We had booked the snorkel at your leisure, but may cancel that in favor of relaxing on the beach, oasis pool, or at the floating bar.

 

We were disappointed too as we had planned to swim out to see the plane.  I knew it was weird that Royal removed the little plane symbol from their latest Cococay map.  

 

The positive side is: at least for now you do not need to bring your own life jacket.  You can take one from the rack.  But then again if I weren’t a strong swimmer I would take my own just in case Royal changed its mind.  

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21 hours ago, Cruising Latitude said:

We were also on the Memorial Day weekend Symphony of the Seas 3 day cruise, our first time on an Oasis class ship and first time to CCC. 

 

A few newly learned tidbits of facts and impression of Cococay, hope they might be useful to other cruisers:

 

1.) We didn’t book the water park but from outside the water park did not look crowded, though I did hear others say the water slides wait time was still long.  The slashaway area (with tipping buckets)  was free for all and loads of fun. 

 

2.) The Oasis Pool area filled up as the day went on.  It was practically empty when we first walked by it at 9AM but by 12noon it was a little harder to find two loungers together with an umbrella.  The pool and the bar all looked clean and inviting.  

 

3.) The South Beach area with the floating bar has lots of chairs and umbrellas and some natural shade. The water is very shallow for about 200 yards and you can walk far into the ocean without needing to swim.  We saw a few stingrays and a little shark like creature and lots of fish.  Good snorkeling for those who don’t know how to swim.  

 

4.) Chill Island Beach, lots of chairs and umbrellas though not much natural shade.  Very breezy and comfortable compared to the pool, or even South Beach and it is the choice for snorkelers.  Deeper water to actually swim and lots of colorful fish.  The further you go the calmer and clearer the water. 

 

PSA to snorkelers: Unfortunately the plane wreck is now out of the boundary defined by buoys and ropes and the good reef area is now only accessible by paid snorkeling excursions.  But there is still a sunken boat by one of floating platforms.  As far as free snorkeling in the Caribbean and Bahamas go this is still a pretty good location.  

 

5.) Food stations are large and lines were short if any.  Finding a table at peak lunch hour could take a couple of minutes but still not impossible.  The standard burgers and hotdogs and the little sandwiches were very tasty.  DH had his fill on corn on cob. Bars didn’t seem crowded either. 

 

6.) Zipline, we didn’t try but it looked much shorter than the one in Labadee.    

 

7.) We booked helium balloon rides but could not go due to high wind.  It didn’t feel windy at all at ground level only comfortably breezy but the ticket lady said it was too windy at 450 meters in the air so the balloon was grounded.  

 

8.) The day was mildly cloudy and we applied layers of sunblock still ended up with a little sun burn.  So lather up please especially if you get a bright sunny day.  

 

9.) Overall a very nice private island.  Due to balloon cancellation by wind we end up not spending anything on excursions but still enjoyed our day very much. 

this was the most helpful. Thanks for sharing. We are cruising June 9 on Harmony. There are 11 of us.  I am a seasoned cruier having been to Coco Cay often. Excited to see their changes. Nothing is Perfect even on Perfect Day but it will take awhile to work out the wrinkles. Look at the alternative we could all be at our jobs!

 

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On 5/27/2019 at 7:01 AM, gatour said:

Interesting, last week when even the Cruise Director and Activity Directory made reference to immediately getting off the ship and head directly to the water park to avoid lines later in the day.

Always have done this at any Land Water Park or Amusement Park. Good advice

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On 5/26/2019 at 11:11 AM, gatour said:

Water parks in Florida, charge the same price regardless if you actually use the slides etc.

 

While it can be made to work by using different colored wristbands, but that would require staffing the entrance of each slide etc.

 

Way back when, Disney sold a ticket booklet at that had A-E tickets.  You actually had choice of several different levels of ticket books.  The number of each A-E tickets varied for each booklet.  So one person can get a minimal booklet while others could get the full monty.  However, Disney eventually dropped the ticket books and went with the day pass concept.  They thusly could save money by not staffing each ride with ticket takers.  Ironically enough, with the fast pass and now fast pass+  system they are back to staffing the entrances with "ticket" takers.  However, I guess the math includes how much they are getting for entrance tickets (which have increased at a greater rate than inflation) and hotel rooms.

 

So yes it is about the money.

Agree. Spent weeks at Amusement Parks. Have always had pay Full price, thousands of dollars even though dont ride a single ride. Just do my job watching the newest/youngest Grand Child, while all others enjoy the rides...

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On 5/28/2019 at 9:41 AM, Sunkissed Mommy said:

I was dreading Perfect Day because I was really upset about them ruining the island with overdevelopment.  However we left loving it.

 

I too was lukewarm on Coco Cay, having been there last year while it was under construction and not finding a lot to do with our kids there. For just the two of us, it worked out well. We found a couple lounge chairs on the south beach and hung out there for a couple hours. Didn't get any food on the island, just a few drinks. We were back on the ship for lunch and stayed there.

 

I do feel that it's a bit overdeveloped, to the point of the whole thing feeling "manufactured" (if done well, it can be developed without _feeling_ like a manufactured, curated experience). It started right off the ship with the obviously-just-planted trees and the amusement park style signage/entrance. The south beach had much more of a "this is just a beach on an island" feel to it.

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We purchased the half day thrill water park passes a few months ago for our sailing in July. Does anyone know how they enforce the times? We have 7:30-10:45am. Is there a separate wrist band? I wasn’t sure how they did the half day vs full day. Thanks!

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8 hours ago, mommamiller04 said:

We purchased the half day thrill water park passes a few months ago for our sailing in July. Does anyone know how they enforce the times? We have 7:30-10:45am. Is there a separate wrist band? I wasn’t sure how they did the half day vs full day. Thanks!

 

Someone commented about different colored wristbands.  That would be the simplest way to differentiate!

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10 hours ago, mommamiller04 said:

We purchased the half day thrill water park passes a few months ago for our sailing in July. Does anyone know how they enforce the times? We have 7:30-10:45am. Is there a separate wrist band? I wasn’t sure how they did the half day vs full day. Thanks!

Wondering too, especially as they seem to have discontinued the half day tickets.

Someone did comment that you just give your sea pass upon entry.  So as long as you don't exit, they wouldn't know the difference.  

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1 hour ago, LuCruise said:

Wondering too, especially as they seem to have discontinued the half day tickets.

Someone did comment that you just give your sea pass upon entry.  So as long as you don't exit, they wouldn't know the difference.  

For the remaining 1/2 visitors...the (different color) wristbands will quickly identify those passengers in contrast to the "all day" ones. The do check wristbands on several of the waterpark activities.

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I was there two weeks ago on symphony with the half day pass.  We left on our own accord after lunch but never had any wristbands until we walked out the front entrance.  They asked if we wanted to come back later and gave us a yellow wristband but didn't scan our sea pass or check what we purchased.  It was the first time symphony was there so maybe they have changed it since but that was my experience. We weren't designated in any way having only the half day pass vs the full day.

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24 minutes ago, Mendels1029 said:

I was there two weeks ago on symphony with the half day pass.  We left on our own accord after lunch but never had any wristbands until we walked out the front entrance.  They asked if we wanted to come back later and gave us a yellow wristband but didn't scan our sea pass or check what we purchased.  It was the first time symphony was there so maybe they have changed it since but that was my experience. We weren't designated in any way having only the half day pass vs the full day.

Good info.  Since they have phased out the 1/2 day passes...how they handle things may change each week until there are no longer any active passes.

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1 hour ago, Mendels1029 said:

I was there two weeks ago on symphony with the half day pass.  We left on our own accord after lunch but never had any wristbands until we walked out the front entrance.  They asked if we wanted to come back later and gave us a yellow wristband but didn't scan our sea pass or check what we purchased.  It was the first time symphony was there so maybe they have changed it since but that was my experience. We weren't designated in any way having only the half day pass vs the full day.

 

That was kind of what I was picturing. To purchase the all-day passes is only $10 more than what I bought the half day at, so I am guessing they are calling it a wash.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mommamiller04 said:

 

That was kind of what I was picturing. To purchase the all-day passes is only $10 more than what I bought the half day at, so I am guessing they are calling it a wash.

On our Anthem cruise, it was another $30-35 per person, which is why we went with half day.

On our Navigator cruise, the full day was more reasonable.

IWish the half day tickets though went to noon and not 10:45am (if they do start counting).

 

2 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

For the remaining 1/2 visitors...the (different color) wristbands will quickly identify those passengers in contrast to the "all day" ones. The do check wristbands on several of the waterpark activities.

Are you saying that they have been doing this now at CoCo Cay?  Or just mentioning that it's one way for them to proceed?

Edited by LuCruise

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2 minutes ago, LuCruise said:

On our Anthem cruise, it was another $30-35 per person, which is why we went with half day.

On our Navigator cruise, the full day was more reasonable.

IWish the half day tickets though went to noon and not 10:45am (if they do start counting).

 

Are you saying that they have been doing this now at CoCo Cay?  Or just mentioning that it's one way for them to proceed?

They started checking wristbands anyway for Thrill Waterpark on Coco Cay...but on certain locations/slides...they reportedly checked the colors as well. Now that only full-day admission is available...that process will likely wind down to simply checking if someone has a wrist band for admission (Thrill Park Cabanas get 6 admission bands/cabana for example).

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On Coco Cay today on Navigator. It’s been a gorgeous day. We went over to Chill Island Beach early and are back at the ship now for a bit. We sail at 7:00 tonight. Here are a couple of pics from my aft balcony (8392) right now and from my lounger a little while ago (if they post.)

 

2F154D91-4C3B-4FCF-A75A-30B2B1FAD0A0.thumb.jpeg.00d1e4ff05457a8574acbbb993a63226.jpeg

 

 

B3066143-2702-42CD-859F-961A1772A958.thumb.jpeg.3fabcdb090c4f61523d40543d5880c71.jpeg

 

EB6339EB-C01C-4F41-A17A-0DED4A1B0F7C.thumb.jpeg.a837043384389acaf98275c60caa3e0b.jpeg

 

8C0FD854-5763-4D16-920F-B0BF893EEDC9.thumb.jpeg.b677b4f3f33193d1324a8448ebcc708f.jpeg

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We were just at Cococay two days ago (Thursday) on Mariner.  The island is very impressive.  I would say that our overall experience wasn't as positive as some others, but some of that is probably my own doing.  I had booked a Beach Bungalow and all day waterpark tickets for our family of 5.  The combination of the two things really didn't go together well.  We decided to spend the morning at the Bungalow.  It was really nice, but being in the water on South Beach wasn't great.  There is lots of sea grass in that area that isn't very fun to walk on.  Also we encountered fire coral.  Despite growing up in Florida, I had never encountered this before.  Several people along the beach had problems with it including my wife.  The lifeguards had a spray bottle of vinegar that helped, but it ruined the day for some.  There was one young girl who was stung and wouldn't stop crying for a long time.

 

The bungalow included lunch delivery.  My wife picked from a menu a day or two before and it was delivered.  The burger was ok, but otherwise the food that was delivered wasn't good.  The food was better from the island options.  I wasn't able to get to the buffet before it closed to try that.

 

My hope was that lines for the waterpark slides would be shorter in the afternoon.  That didn't really work.  We had all day waterpark passes that were pretty cheap at $24/person.  We used Seapass cards to get in the park.  They didn't give us any wristbands, so I'm not sure how they were differentiating all-day from half-day passes.  Lines stayed pretty long even in the afternoon.  Some of the slides are pretty long, and only one person (or tube) is allowed down at a time.  This means that even lines with only a few people move very slowly.  This is a big problem with the Daredevil's Peak.  My son and I tried to ride it.  After climbing many stairs, the line didn't seem too bad.  Unfortunately, looks were deceiving.  We waited about 10 minutes and the line barely moved.  I decided to time how long between riders.  It was at least 1 minute between each rider.  You can do the math.  20-30 people in line doesn't seem like that many, but that's at least a 20-30 minute wait.  We gave up, and a lot of other people did as well.  Seems like there may be a reason that other parks haven't built slides this long.  They know it makes for bad wait times.  We had fun in the wave pool.  The wave pool is small enough that you can keep an eye on your children which is nice.  There were life vests available to use in the wave pool if your children aren't strong swimmers.  We have been to several water parks as a family and usually have a great time.  Our overall response to this one was "meh."  Really wish they had put in a lazy river.  Only a couple of the slides are interesting and the wait for those was just too long.  We won't be going back to the water park.  If you are on a cruise with a fair amount of kids, I'd think twice about going to the water park.

 

So I think the island and its updates are great.  My gameplan for our family just didn't work very well.  In the future, we will probably stick to the free stuff.  There are two areas for younger kids to play, Splashaway Bay and the galleon, that don't cost any money.  We only got to spend a little time at the pool, but it seemed great and we hope to spend more time there in the future.  We're looking forward to going back with a different gameplan.

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