In a media blitz, Royal Caribbean recently announced that it plans a massive overhaul of its "private island," CocoCay, in the Bahamas.

USA Today reported that Royal Caribbean’s will spend $200,000,000 for what is described as a "massive makeover" of its private destination in the Bahamas that will include the addition of one of the largest water parks in the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean is one of the many Miami based cruise lines which entered into a long term lease with the Bahamas of one its native islands.

The island is in the Berry Islands in the Bahamas and was previously known as Little Stirrup Cay. Royal CaribbeanCoco Cay Bahamas assumed the lease of the island upon acquisition of Admiral Cruises and renamed the island CocoCay. Royal Caribbean is one of the first cruise lines to lease islands in the Bahamas for their exclusive use.

The newspaper reports that the overhaul of the 125-acre island, to be renamed "Perfect Day at CocoCay" will include a 1,600 foot-long zip-line, the largest freshwater pool in the region, a helium balloon ride that takes cruise passengers 450 feet into the air and several other "over-the-top" features.

The project will also include dredging of the coral basin around the island and the installation of a pier in order to accommodate Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships which each carry over 6,000 passengers.

The water park will have a “South Beach” area where the cruise passengers can, for an extra fee, rent  jet skis or cabanas or pay for boat excursions or parasails trips.

Royal Caribbean will receive 100% of the profits from the revenues generated by the zip lines, helium balloon rides and other activities operated by the cruise line in the renovated private island. 

In my view, the project seems to be a vote of no confidence in the existing ports in the Bahamas, Nassau and Freeport.  

According to the Tribune newspaper in Nassau, an activist in the Bahamas, Heather Carey, denounced the project in a Facebook post yesterday. 

Ms. Carey said in her post on Facebook: “Just another example of how the cruise ship industry does little to benefit us locally, and instead continues to make the visitor experience more insular to the cruise ship islands, taking away any motivation to explore places like Nassau or to enjoy the excursions we offer. . . . We cannot give away any more of our beautiful Bahamas to these bottomless pits."

Ms. Carey is absolutely correct is her assessment of the Royal Caribbean’s plans. I should also add that the high crime rate in Nassau probably factored into the cruise line’s decision to invest heavily into the cruise line’s private destination.

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

Photo credit: Royal Caribbean via USA Today. 

  • Kenny

    Yes, my thoughts exactly, the cruise lines are more or less being forced into developing their own exclusive resorts due to (1) high crime rates which dilute the market of those interested in visiting that part of the world. (2) The inability of local governments, at their small limited land area Caribbean Islands, to accommodate tens upon tens of thousands of limited budget cruise ship visitors at once. I thought I saw this coming but I was wrong in that I guessed instead of developing their own islands as short term resorts they would use their mega-giant vessels simply as floating resorts and generally sail around in circles in the tropic latitudes.

  • Don Sayman

    you can bet real money that Disney will not be far behind in expanding it’s island. with Havana,cu up to speed Nassau is finished.. crime will accelerate….

  • tinikini

    Thanks for the laugh, Kenny. Sailing around in circles in the tropic latitudes…too funny. I am surprised they did not think of that instead of spending their millions. Next it will be 40 mile high and 40 mile wide ships, no need to dock just circle the tropic latitudes. I rather enjoyed the sea days when I cruised, so I would probably be okay with that. What I am not okay with is dredging the reefs. When will man ever learn??????

  • Mark

    I wonder if they will also charge the mandatory 15%VAT tax on everything like they do in The Bahamas?

    Mexico should see what’s going on here as if the crime continues in Mexico, vacationers will find other places to go and cruise ships will find alternatives for their travelers

  • Grace D. Arling

    I understand the reasons for cruise companies wanting private islands, and I wouldn’t reject them on principle. But I have absolutely NO interest in an amusement park. Don’t care if it’s the biggest, the best, it’s not the reason I go on a cruise.

  • Chrystal glinton

    Investors think that we are fools. Bahamians are not. Just because we do not have mega dollars to invest do not believe that we do not love our country. Stop coming here to make your fortune dredge our beautiful seas and rape our land and call it progress slavery is over. We have thousands of persons in The Bahamas with cancer maybe the filth dumped from the ships is the cause. Food for thought.

  • Michelle V.

    I am thrilled to see these things coming! We live in Florida, and love to enjoy quick three and four night cruises, but who wants to go the Nassau? Most people don’t even get off of the ship! I try every time I go there to find something fun to do. We have tried all types of activities and excursions, but never been very happy with the results. I have searched for countless hours to find things to do when visiting the island. I think we will be joining the others who do not get off of the ship in Nassau. I REALLY was hoping they would step up their game and fix the port especially all the the crime and solicitation. It is just aggravating and scary!

  • Allan Horner

    In Nassau, it’s not just crime, it’s the attitude of the locals. They’re all smiles when they try to sell you something but as soon as you say “No, thanks” it becomes quickly evident that they really hate you. I am now one of those who stays on the ship when it stops at Nassau. I look forward to the revamped Cococay!

  • Sarah Szumanski

    I cruise for the cruise, not the ports. So if it just did a giant loop in the ocean, I’d be happy as a clam. LOL.