Paradise Islands in Bahamas

June 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Bahamas

When choosing a Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral or nearby you have the opportunity to visit some islands you never even knew existed. Labadee, Princess Cays and CocoCay are all examples of these paradise islands and they all have one thing in common, the islands are used exclusively by the cruise lines who own them since are private islands. Said that, forget busy ports, hassling street vendors and uncertain territory, and arrive in style at your own private island instead.

Labadee, Princess Cays and Cococay

Islands like Labadee, Princess Cays and Cococay are far too small for locals to reside in, and therefore have been leased out to the cruise companies, in order to provide an exclusive getaway for cruise passengers and a valuable income for the local governments. The cruise lines have transformed the once dead land into mini paradise islands. These islands feature regularly on many Caribbean itineraries that have Bahamas as main destination. Often reached by tender only, the islands lie uninhabited out in the middle of the ocean, waiting to indulge the lucky passengers who step ashore.

If you are lucky enough to visit a private island as a port of call, the real luxury is having the freedom to make the day as relaxing or as active as you want it to be. Whether floating out across the bluey–green coral reefs takes your fancy, or even parasailing, it’s all on offer. Whatever you choose, a day in paradise can be surprisingly tiresome, so a big buffet style beach barbecue usually comes as standard.

Royal Caribbean comes out top in the owners stake with access to two of its very own islands, Labadee and CocoCay. They are also pretty much the only cruise company to have ownership of an island outside of the Bahamas. Of all the islands, Labadee is one of the online pokies australia most popular compared with Cococay. Labadee is situated on the north coast of Hispaniola near Haiti. Labadee is part of a larger, inhabited island occupied by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Labadee boasts 260 acres of beautiful beaches, exotic foliage and coral reefs bordered by contrasting mountain slopes and it is ideal for honeymoon and all inclusive packages.

Land is reached by tender (an accessible small ship to transfer you to the shore when waters are shallow) which allows for an impressive and truly unique perspective of the cruise ship. Once ashore, Royal Caribbean have provided an abundance of activities and tours, including, kayaking, parasailing and jet ski hire, allowing guests to take a tour down the coast of the island – or, for the less adventurous, floating beach mats (great for both sunbathing, and floating out to sea on!), snorkeling around the tropical reefs and shopping for beautiful handmade local goods. Kids will be a million miles from boredom with an Aqua Park, featuring trampolines and inflatable slides.

CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’ second offering, a small, isolated and secluded island situated around 55 miles from Nassau, encompassing 140 acres of Bahamian land. Again reached by tender, the island has recently undergone a huge renovation providing an improved guest experience. The only people occupying it will be guests from the ship and staff, this creating both a relaxing and safe environment.

CocoCay features much of the same activities as its sister island, including the Aqua Park, jet skis, skuba diving and opportunities to parasail and kayak. In addition, guests can do snorkel out to sea to explore both an antique ship and plane wreck, which is not to be missed. To wash away the salt water a must is to sample either a “Coco Loco” or “Labaduzee” one of the islands signature cocktails.

Cruise Day 2: Destination Cococay

May 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles

When traveling from Miami to Bahamas, usually cruisetours port second day at Cococay port to enjoy the island. Here is a story about the second day of a cruise line trip to Bahamas stopping at Cococay.

Day two began a little after 8:30am, because the girls in the room next store, some beat up 40 somethings decided to make noise. After taking quick showers in our airline size bathroom, we threw some clothes on and went up to Deck 11, to the Windjammer Cafe for Breakfast. Walking up the eleven decks, instead of taking the elevator, emerging toward the stairs we found the line for the tender to CoCo Cay winding up the stairs, and it was only 9am.

Here we can see that the passengers woke up very earlier in the morning to enjoy the island. After taking breakfast at Majesty of Seas. Usually the cruise dock in the port earlier in the morning, around 6am. That time is really amazing to take a look over the cruise and see the sun appearing on the horizon.

For breakfast they had the usual banks of food, omlets make to order, bacon, scrambled eggs, french toast, fruit, coffee, juice you know the works. I tried a little French Toast which was not to bad, and Tiffany did the usual healthy foods, or scambled eggs and fruit, and oh a yogurt. We decided to sit port side of the ship, giving us an unobstructed view of CoCo Cay in the morning sun. After grabbing two towels from the pool, we went back to our 114ft stateroom and changed into our bikini and shorts, grabbed a bag and went off to catch the tender. Some of the best views of the ship, Majesty came from the ride on the tender to CoCo Cay. Our tender Coco Cutter II had two desk both open air, giving beautiful views of the island and the ship.

This is maybe the most nervous part. When traveling from the cruiseship to the island in the Coco Cutter and you are wondering how CocoCay island will look once you arrive there.

Arriving on CoCo Cay was a treat for both of us, since it was Tiffany’s first time on foreign soil. The caption of the photo was “Tiffany takes the Bahamas”., and food prep places. We decided to play it low key, we rented two water mats, dropped our stuff on some beach chairs and ran for the water since the sun was already boiling hot (just like back home). The water was crystal clear, with little schools of fish swimming around. The beach was not what either of us expected, a little rocky, nothing like the soft sand of Florida. Once in the water you could float on the mats aimlessly, looking at the fish, and coral reefs which were close by. We laid in the water for maybe an hour, then went back to the sun.

This is really true, the small village selling Bahamian souvenirs or goods. And it’s also true that the water is crystal clear. This is really good for couples that are planning a wedding on a private island, maybe to take photos or honeymoon.

While Tiffany laid on a chair, I wondered off and found a hammock which I climbed into and watched the birds for 1/2 hour on the other side other island. After going back in the water for a little while we took a walk along the beach to the north. The beach got longer and smoothers, you could see the sand bars, where Royal Caribbean set up the water slides, and in land was the basketball court. This end of the beach was much quieter and more tranquil, very peaceful. When we returned it was time for lunch.

Lunch was barbacue style, ribs, hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers, corn on the cob and juice. Dotting around the eating area were chickens, which was a little odd and a little scary, you could never tell when it might attack for some of its dead brother.

After lunch we went back to the water, laying on rafts we had a pleasent conversation with two couples, one from Detroit and another a couple of state troopers from Ohio. Sometime after 2pm, we decided to take a short walk over to the straw village. Inside the village we found lots of cheap clothes, toys for kids, and gifts for the kids. For GiGi we sent back a necklace, and a hand carved mask, some instruments for Alexander and Loki, and we could for ourselves a piece of wood. A carving of two people, on which the gentlemen then carved our names into it

Each story is different, so next time you visit the island, we’ll be glad to hear your story, too.

CocoCay is the Latest Private Beach Visited by Cruise Ships

January 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles

From Frommer’s we get this post excerpt talking about Coco Cay.

Coco Cay is an uninhabited private island of the Bahamas, two square miles in size and 50 miles from Nassau, owned by Royal Caribbean International, the big cruise line. To it, passengers on ships of Royal Caribbean are tendered (brought by small, sea-shuttles) to spend the day in beach-centered recreation. There they pay $8 for mixed drinks offered by a Royal Caribbean bartender see thru pokies, $10 for a float mat, $6 for a “snorkeling life vest” mandated for use by persons snorkeling, and additional charges for parasailing, wave running, and admission to an extra-charge aqua park. Royal Caribbean, quite obviously, earns a great deal of additional income from that day on the secluded little isle.

Read more here Ever Heard of Coco Cay? It’s The Latest Private Beach Visited by Cruise Ships Instead of Real Port Cities.