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12 Things You Can Do At Royal Caribbean's CocoCay If You're Not A Beach Person

Updated: Feb 3

I don't know about you, but I'm not particularly fond of beach days. It's something about the lugging of stuff, the constant stickiness of sunblock and sand, and the difficulty it takes to peel a wet bathingsuit off to pee. Add children to the mix and the sun-filled day of schlepping and sweating just feels really exhausting.

Isn't the point of a cruise to relax and unwind?

I'm from Florida, so for me another beach day isn't really a draw for me, so I like to spend my time a little differently than most on the cruise lines' private islands. Here's some ideas that worked for me for a literal perfect day, at CocoCay.

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a shallowed beach shaded by palm trees with beach chairs

Breakfast Onboard

Start the day with a long, big breakfast in the ship dining room. Enjoy, you have all morning.

Wading Without Committment

You'll want to wear a bathingsuit on shore, even if you don't plan to spend much (or any) time at the beach. You'll feel more in the spirit of things, and frankly you'll be a little overdressed if you wore anything else!

Scope out the shallow beach area to the left of the ship and enjoy some shallow wading before things get busier.

bridge overlooking beach with trees and rocks

Just bring a small bag with sunglasses, water and sunblock for the day. You don't really need anything else, because it's not a full-on beach day for you!

shallow beach with sand

Wander CocoCay's beach shops and kiosks

Everything is the same for the most part, and pretty high prices, but it can be fun to buy a hat or sarong at one of the colorful beach shops. This is an easy way to kill 25 minutes before lunch.

Get your hair braided

When I was a little girl I remember getting my whole head braided on one of the islands. It cost my parents about $100 at the time, and I felt like Cleopatra. I remember being so proud of the braids and beads when I went back to school, but after a few weeks of wearing it, the braids of course had to come out.

When they did, my hair was coming out in clumps! As an uninformed kid, I associated hair loss with cancer, and spent a whole school day fretting that I must have gotten cancer! Thankfully, it was just the natural loss of hair and all was well (I didn't know about chemo!).

Anyway, get your hair braided - even if it's a few strands, it's fun! Chairs are set up all over the kiosk shops area.

Take a beat and have some lunch at the free buffet

Enjoy BBQ, ice cream and more! There's some nice shaded tables in the sand around the corner of the buffet pavilion, or take it back to your beach chair. It's an enjoyable area for a nice (free) meal while on shore.

woman takes a selfie in front of palm trees and a beach

Take a walk around the island to burn off that buffet lunch

I spent a good amount of time just walking around. Beware that based on time of day and time of year, this can be a hot and tiring endeavor. You'll need something better than flip flops to wear. Bring a coverup to keep your shoulders from burning too.

lagoon with central fountain

Poke into the pool area and see if the swim-up bar looks inviting

On my walk I discovered tons of hidden alcoves with pools, secret beaches and more. Forget the map, just wander and see what comes up. If the pool bar looks inviting, stop in for a waste-deep sit down at the swim-up bar for a cold drink.

large pool with bar and palm trees

Take the free trolley around the island

There are stops around the island to grab the free trolley. Ride around for fun, or use it to get back to the ship.

Cool Off at a Splash Pad

Who says it's just for kids? You'll want to get wet at some point after your walk, trust me.

splash pad blue and colorful

Listen to some tunes from the rope swings at the central bar

My favorite part of the day. Swing and sip, groove to classic rock and country tunes, and enjoy the vibes of paradise. You'll find this bar to be central to the main attractions on the island, or wandering like I did. Near the splash pads!

outdoor bar with nautical decor

Enjoy some rum topped pina coladas

Get a rum floater and I promise your day will be great.

girl drinks a rum drink on a swing

Have a snooze in a hammock

Before retiring to the ship for a shower and evening entertainment onboard, consider finding a shaded hammock by the kiosk shops for a quick snooze.

view of two ships docked

You'll enjoy this port on most of the Bahamas bound Royal Caribbean cruises out of the Floridian ports. While you are there, you may want to also consider the ship tours, or getting on and off the ship throughout the day.

There is no obligation to get off the ship in CocoCay, but even if you are not a beach person, I found that it was an enjoyable day in a paradise setting, worthy of some relaxation and cocktails fitting of the vibes. Enjoy your Perfect Day in CocoCay!


Hi, I'm Maria!

Globetrotting since 1995, I'm not a blogging nomad or a social influencer.

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