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Coco Cay is Royal Caribbean's own Bahamian island, located about 45 miles north northwest of Nassau. Before being re-christened CocoCay by Royal Caribbean, the island was known as Little Stirrup Cay. It really is a deserted island; the locals who sell arts, crafts, souvenirs and knick-knacks in the straw market reside on nearby Great Harbor Island, and commute to CocoCay whenever a ship comes into port. In CocoCay, Royal Caribbean has created an idyllic world to enjoy, transporting you away from all the cares in the world.
 
CocoCay is adjacent to Great Stirrup Cay, the locale of NCL's private island. From your ship, you'll be able to see the NCL vessels anchored off the larger island. If you take the parasailing excursion, you'll get a good lay of the land of the two islands.
CocoCay has a tropical marine climate, with year-round daytime temperatures ranging from the low to high 80s F. The dry season begins in November and lasts through April, while the rainy season commences in May and extends through October, with the heaviest rains taking place from June through August.
 
Coco Cay is an island in the Berry Island chain. Located between Freeport and Nassau, it provides 140 acres of private beaches, shopping and activities exclusively for passengers of Royal Caribbean, which has leased the island since 1990. Celebrity Cruises, which is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., also makes calls there.
 
Access to the island is via tenders, which take the guests from the ships anchored a mile or so offshore to a sheltered cove on the north side of the island.  These are generally not the ship’s lifeboats but rather boats based on Coco Cay.  The tenders deposit and retrieve the guests from a pier that was built for this purpose.
 
The landing is in the more developed part of the island.  Directly ahead of the disembarking guests are the shops. Nearby are the Adventure Ocean children’s facility, the dining areas, and most of the bars, sports facilities and popular beaches.  These are interspersed amongst tall palm trees, which shade the sand.
 
The water surrounding the island is remarkably clear even in the more developed part.  There is lots of thick white sand.  However, Royal Caribbean cautions that guests should be mindful that there is rough coral underneath.
One can use the beaches, lie in the deck chairs and enjoy a barbecue lunch for free.  There are charges for some of the equipment, activities and services on the island.  All such charges, with the exception of charges for hair braiding  (cash only – U.S. dollars), are charged to the guest’s shipboard account.
Amongst the equipment that can be rented are Hobbie Cats, Paddle Boats, wet suits, kayaks, snorkeling equipment and floating beach mats.   In addition, there are various organized activities, such as parasailing, scuba diving, and tours that are available through the ship’s shore excursions offices.
 
CocoCay is a small, flat island at the north end of the Berry Island chain. It's just a stone's throw from Great Stirrup Cay, which is owned and operated by NCL. There's not much going on at CocoCay save for the Royal Caribbean facility.
 
Your ship will lay anchor off CocoCay, and you'll take a tender aboard a double decker tender boat; the tender takes between 5 to 10 minutes to bring you from ship to shore. You'll disembark at the island's Tender Landing, located at the marina basin on the east end of the island. From there, it's a short and easy walk to any of the island's four beach areas. All shore excursions depart from within a short walk of the main shore complex.
 
It's best to get an early tender ticket from your ship if you want to enjoy the maximum amount of time on the island.
 
Throughout your time on CocoCay, a reggae band will be playing music to get you in the mood of having fun. If you're hungry, a BBQ lunch and snacks are served at Blackbeard's and Bahama Jack's Grilles, and you can enjoy your repast al fresco on picnic tables under the palm trees. If you're thirsty, you can buy adult beverages at the Wacky Seagull, Junkanoo Jack's, Wacky Seagull Jr., Bahama Jack's, Island Oasis and Coconut Willies bars. Non-alcoholic beverages are readily available.
 
CocoCay seems to resemble a Caribbean-flavored Disney park, decorated as it is in pastel hues and run in a highly efficient manner. You'll be sharing the island with between 2,000 to 4,000 other guests; if you'd like to get away from the crowds, make your way to Barefoot Beach, which is a 5-minute walk from the central area. The sand on Barefoot Beach is actually softer and less gritty than the sand to be found at the island's other beaches.Cruise passengers really enjoy their time on CocoCay. Your time on the island is what you make of it--the watchword is having fun!
 
How You'll Get There
CocoCay is a very popular port for cruise ships making 3-, 4- and 7-day cruises to the Bahamas from Florida ports as well as from Charleston, Baltimore and New York. As a general rule, ships arrive at the island's tender anchorage at 8:00 am, and depart at 5:00 pm. In 2015, CocoCay is slated to host 753,000 passengers sailing on 265 ships, down 16% and up 16%, respectively, from 2014.
 
Stepping onto the beaches of CocoCay will require you to take a tender from your ship, which will drop anchor not too far offshore. Access to the island is via tenders, which take the guests from the ships anchored a mile or so offshore to a sheltered cove on the north side of the island.  These are generally not the ship’s lifeboats but rather boats based on Coco Cay.  The tenders deposit and retrieve the guests from a pier that was built for this purpose.
 
The landing is in the more developed part of the island.  Directly ahead of the disembarking guests are the shops.  Nearby are the Adventure Ocean children’s facility, the dining areas, and most of the bars, sports facilities and popular beaches.  These are interspersed amongst tall palm trees, which shade the sand. In addition to the typical beaches and souvenirs, CocoCay also offers a nature trail and a sunken replica of Blackbeard's ship,
 
The water surrounding the island is remarkably clear even in the more developed part.  There is lots of thick white sand.  However, Royal Caribbean cautions that guests should be mindful that there is rough coral underneath.
One can use the beaches, lie in the deck chairs and enjoy a barbecue lunch for free.  There are charges for some of the equipment, activities and services on the island.  All such charges, with the exception of charges for hair braiding  (cash only – U.S. dollars), are charged to the guest’s shipboard account.
Amongst the equipment that can be rented are Hobbie Cats, Paddle Boats, wet suits, kayaks, snorkeling equipment and floating beach mats.   In addition, there are various organized activities, such as parasailing, scuba diving, and tours that are available through the ship’s shore excursions offices. 
 
Things to do
When it comes to activities, there's plenty to do. Explore the coral reef or coconut palm groves, take a nap in a shaded hammock, relax and enjoy drinks at one of three on-site beaches, or take to the water on a paddleboat, banana raft or floating mat. Shore excursions are also available and include everything from Wave Runner trips, kayaking and parasailing to snorkeling, scuba-diving and glass-bottom boat rides. Snorkeling and Sun Bathing at Coco Cay. If you wish to enjoy a little more restful adventure, rent a floating mat and bask in the calm ocean waters. Relax on the beach, play a game of volleyball, sip on a cool drink, listen to the steel drum band, Additionally, there's Caylana's Aqua Park, a water-based playground that features a floating sand castle, a water totter and a log roll. Note: Most of these cost extra.

Eating Out
In the way of food, you'll find a complimentary island barbecue with the usual grilled fare: hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. You'll incur additional fees for alcoholic beverages, souvenirs and shore excursions. Visitors can use their onboard accounts for such purchases while ashore.
Queen Anne's Revenge.Mixed and frozen drinks are offered at three bars on each of the island's three private beaches -- Barefoot Beach, Coconut Willie's Beach and Snorkel Beach.Water is free, but sodas and cocktails may be purchased. This is the place to try a “Coco Loco”, Coco Cay’s signature drink and one of favorite tropical cocktails.
 
Shopping
Not much to buy here. Minimal souvenirs and hair braiding are the only offerings. A straw market offers the usual island souvenirs -- purses, jewelry, clothing and the like. Hair-braiding is also available. There are no other shops or restaurants on the island. While the Bahamian Dollar is the Bahamas official currency, on CocoCay you'll be buying your drinks, souvenirs and excursions, and renting equipment, on your SeaPass or Sign & Sail Card. And for most cruises, the functional currency is the US dollar.



 
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