Royal Caribbean officially opens upgraded CocoCay

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Daredevil's Tower features seven single-rider waterslides of various heights, including the 135-foot-tall Daredevil's Peak. The water park has 13 slides in all.
Daredevil's Tower features seven single-rider waterslides of various heights, including the 135-foot-tall Daredevil's Peak. The water park has 13 slides in all.

Royal Caribbean officially opened its new and improved Bahamian private island, the first of five in a series it will brand with the "Perfect Day" moniker.

The Perfect Day at CocoCay is a $250 million upgrade of the CocoCay island that Royal Caribbean has been visiting for years. Its signature feature is a 135-foot tower with seven water slides running off it. The Daredevil's Tower is part of an extra-fee water park that will also include a wave pool, billed as the largest in the Caribbean, and an adventure pool with an interactive obstacle course.

Another part of the island offers the Oasis Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean. Like some of the other features, Oasis Lagoon has been open prior to the weekend's grand opening. The island has been taking calls on its newly built pier since March.

A 1,600-foot-long zipline course crisscrosses Perfect Day at CocoCay.
A 1,600-foot-long zipline course crisscrosses Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Royal Caribbean said that 12 of its ships based on the East Coast and Florida will visit CocoCay, including two in the short-cruise market, the Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral and the Navigator of the Seas from Miami.

The larger, improved ships are designed to work in tandem with the upgrades at CocoCay to make short cruises more appealing, especially to first-timers.

"The short cruises are very attractive -- it's like a test drive for the new to cruise, because it's not a big investment in time, it's not a big investment in money. So, by putting in better hardware, it's really flipping the cruise industry upside down," said Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean's senior vice president of sales, trade support and services.

In a recent conference call for investors, Royal Caribbean executives said that ships with CocoCay in their itineraries are booked better than those without.

The pier is designed to handle two large ships at a time. Royal Caribbean president Michael Bayley said the island was built for a peak load of 10,000 passengers but that Royal Caribbean has been looking at the potential for three-ship calls.

Perfect Day at CocoCay's Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean.
Perfect Day at CocoCay's Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean.

Some of the attractions will be free, while others will not. Full-day entrance to the water park will cost $44 to $99, depending on seasonality.

There is also a zip line ($39 to $99) and a helium observation balloon ($39 to $99).

A second phase of Perfect Day is scheduled to open in December. The upscale Coco Beach Club will have overwater cabanas, some of which will rent for $1,599 a day, along with an infinity pool and a club area that has day beds, loungers and an exclusive restaurant.

Four more Perfect Day islands are in the works worldwide, including another re-worked island and three that will be new from the ground up, Royal Caribbean said.

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