NEW YORK — Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, is about to get a massive makeover that will include the addition of one of the largest water parks in the Caribbean or Bahamas.
The $200 million overhaul of the 125-acre beach hideaway — to be renamed Perfect Day at CocoCay — also will bring the largest freshwater pool in the region, a helium balloon ride that takes cruisers 450 feet into the air and several other over-the-top features.
“We’ve been working on it for about three years,” Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley told USA TODAY on Wednesday, describing a project on a scale never before seen for a cruise ship private island. “It’s really about bringing the kind of innovation and creativity that we’ve brought the past few years to our ships and creating the kind of experience ashore that we think (will) deliver the perfect day.”
Speaking with USA TODAY in advance of announcing the makeover Wednesday evening at a New York event, Bayley said the overhaul of CocoCay will include the installation of a pier that will be able to accommodate even the biggest of Royal Caribbean’s 24 ships. Vessels visiting the island now must anchor off shore and ferry passengers to land, making it off limits to Royal Caribbean’s biggest vessels.
“It’s a big change,” Bayley noted. “It’s going to allow our Oasis Class ships to visit.”
Measuring more than 225,000 tons a piece with room for more than 6,000 passengers
, Royal Caribbean’s three Oasis Class ships are more than 30% bigger than the world’s next biggest cruise vessels. They are so big they only can visit a limited number of ports in the Caribbean and Bahamas.