Perfect Day at CocoCay fuels demand, could in future have 12,000 visitors/day

The Up, Up and Away helium balloon tethered over Perfect Day CocoCay, where most attractions are due to open in May The Up, Up and Away helium balloon tethered over Perfect Day CocoCay, where most attractions are due to open in May PHOTO: Royal Caribbean

Yields for Royal Caribbean cruises that include Perfect Day at CocoCay pre-booked experiences are up double-digits versus the same sailings a year ago, Richard Fain said, calling the development a 'game-changer' for the industry.

The official opening isn't for a few days, but attractions have been rolling out and Chairman/CEO Fain said the feedback has been 'exceptional.'

Potential for overcrowding?

One of those early visitors was analyst Steven Wieczynski of Stifel, who during Wednesday's earnings call asked about the potential for overcrowding now that CocoCay has a pier able to berth two large ships.

Perfect Day was designed for 4,000 to 6,000 people on the island and is engineered for peak demand of close to 10,000, according to Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

Three-ship days under study

The company has been looking at the potential for three-ship calls, Bayley said, which could take the numbers up to 12,000 people a day.

It's a 'pretty large island' and only one-third is developed, he added.

Royal Caribbean overall chalked up a record wave season and the fact that bookings are at record levels in both rate and volume is despite a higher mix of short Caribbean cruises in 2019, CFO Jason Liberty noted. Short cruises tend to book closer in. 

The Caribbean comprises more than half of Royal Caribbean's capacity this year, and Liberty said new ships and Perfect Day are 'clearly fueling additional and high-level demand.'

CocoCay's new pier began taking ships in March.

Perfect Day attractions

Perfect Day attractions scheduled to be available in May include Thrill Waterpark, the over-water zip line, Splashaway Bay aqua park, Up, Up and Away helium balloon, Captain Jill’s Galleon, Skipper’s Grill dining, Captain Jack’s dining, Chill Island, Chill Grill dining and Oasis Lagoon freshwater pool.

The elements scheduled to be open by December include South Beach, Coco Beach Club and the overwater cabanas.

There is no extra charge for experiences like Oasis Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean; the shipwrecked Captain Jill’s Galleon, with its slides and water cannons; Royal Caribbean's biggest Splashaway Bay and the new sports courts on South Beach.

What's free, what's not

Dramatically enhanced beaches like Chill Island and South Beach provide free beach chairs and beachside activities. Five new complimentary dining venues are located throughout the island.

Examples of activities that carry a charge, which varies by season, include Thrill Waterpark, with 13 waterslides and a wave pool. Full-day access costs $44 to $99; half-day access (afternoon only) is $39 to $74. There's no charge for children up to age 3.

The zip line fee ranges from $79 to $139.

Combination packages for Thrill Waterpark and zip line range from $99 to $179 for a full day and from $89 to $149 for a half day.

Admission to the exclusive Coco Beach Club with its clubhouse and infinity pool, costs $54 to $99 for ages 13 and older and $34 to $69 for ages 4 to 12. There's no charge for children 3 and younger.

Posted 01 May 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review