Perfect Day at CocoCay recently launched as an epic beach day experience totally worthy of putting on your must-do family vacation list. CocoCay, a private island in the Bahamas that you can only visit via Royal Caribbean cruise ship, underwent a $250 million dollar transformation that includes endless ways for your family to bag thrills or totally chill out. My 7-year-old daughter and I got to visit, and here are the twelve family-friendly activities we can’t stop talking about.

  1. Soak in the warm, tropical waters of Chill Island

I have literally never experienced waters so warm, clear and gorgeous. You walk in and immediately say “ahhhh, this is vacation!” Sands on the beach are soft and white and the water is crystal-clear, shallow and still. It’s like entering the most amazingly tranquil, natural bath. It gets even better when you have a Coco Loco drink in hand (non-alcoholic versions of this frozen coconut drink are available). 

  1. Kick-start your adrenaline at Thrill Waterpark

Two towers with 13 water slides, including the tallest in North America, are there for you to secure all the bragging rights you want. My daughter and I loved The Slingshot, which is a half-pipe that catapults you into moments of zero gravity. 

  1. Float Up, Up and Away in a helium balloon

Glide 450 ft up in the air on a giant, tethered helium balloon. Take in the most incredible views of the island, from the various blues of the water to the tall, colorful water slides jetting into the sky. 

  1. Swim and groove at the Oasis Lagoon

The Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool has beach-like entry for the little ones, several coves for swimming, a DJ pumping up the party atmosphere and a swim-up bar. Chill-seekers will enjoy the in-water loungers and private cabanas with attendants. 

  1. Jump the waves in the Caribbean’s largest wave pool

What kid doesn’t love rolling waves, especially as they’re dispensed on the regular in a humongous wave pool. The Caribbean’s largest wave pool is on CocoCay and it was hard to convince my daughter to leave it even after an hour, but there are so many awesome activities on this incredible island and we had only one day to tackle them.

  1. Zip over it all

A 1,600-ft zipline course allows you to glide over all the various attractions on the island with the wind in your hair. Just make sure to check weight requirements first.

  1. Climb and swing in the Adventure Pool

Kids will get a kick out of the floating lily pads, rock-climbing wall and rope swings in the Adventure Pool. Some parents will want to try too. Just remember, it’s not about the outcome, but the climb!

  1. Keep little kids busy at Splashaway Bay and Captain Jill’s Galleon

Splashaway Bay aqua park features fountains, sprinklers, buckets, water slides, geysers and water galore. Captain Jill’s Galleon has dry slides, water canons, ropes and a splash pad. Perfect for the parents, tables are offered right by the restaurants so that other family members can relax while the little ones play away.

  1. Munch on some tasty grub

Complimentary salads, sandwiches, tacos, fresh fruit and more is served for lunch at Skipper’s Grill. Captain Jack’s boasts flavorful chicken wings worth licking your fingers over and French fries with dipping sauces for when snacks are craved.

  1. Lounge overwater at the Coco Beach Club

Opening in December 2019, you will be able to bliss out in the first overwater cabanas in the Bahamas.

  1. Sport it up on South Beach

Also opening in December is an area called South Beach that includes volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer and paddle boarding.

  1. Enjoy an easy, relaxing vacation

Cruising offers families activity-filled adventures without having to plan out all the details. Eleven Royal Caribbean cruise ships departing Florida and the Northeast stop at CocoCay. We visited on the newly revamped Navigator of the Seas, which includes an awesome aqua coaster and a blow-dry bar that did my daughter’s hair fancier than I’ve ever been able to do. A cruise vacation features entertainment for everyone and checks all the boxes so you can totally unwind. Happy sails!


Related: Check out our articles on the best hotel pools in the U.S. and beautiful family getaways (with a Caribbean vibe) in the U.S.

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