You can’t watch TV without seeing ads for Royal Caribbean (RLC) – Get the Royal Caribbean Group Report. The cruise line has been one of the top travel brands on TV. Many of these ads feature images of CocoCay, the company reinvented private island in the Bahamas.
The island has completely changed the game of cruise line-owned destinations. While private islands are usually beaches that offer lunch, drinks, and maybe a gift shop, CocoCay offers multiple beaches, the largest pool in the Caribbean, and multiple dining options, all for free.
If you want more than that, Royal Caribbean’s private island, which can accommodate two Oasis-class ships at the same time, offers a fee-based water park and beach club.
The company is also building a new area on CocaCay, hidden beachan adults-only section of the island that may or may not cost extra (the company hasn’t commented on the subject).
CocoCay has given Royal Caribbean a major advantage over rival Carnival Cruise Lines (CCA) – Get the Carnival Corporation report and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) – Get the report from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.. Both of these companies offer more traditional Caribbean private islands, basically beaches.
Royal Caribbean has an edge because CocoCay has more family appeal and offers differentiated experiences. You can just relax on the beach – like on the Carnival or Norwegian private islands – or you can opt for the pool (still without spending more money), or you can opt for the upgraded experience of the water park or the beach club.
Now Carnival has – somewhat shockingly – unveiled plans for its own upgraded private island experience in the Bahamas.
Carnival is building a new destination on a private island
Carnival currently offers Half Moon Cay, a pretty stretch of beach where ships cannot dock. This means that visitors must take a dinghy, a smaller boat, to transport them from their cruise ship to the island. It’s traditional, but not ideal for passengers with motion sickness. And it takes longer than just walking from the CocoCay dock.
The addition of a dock that can accommodate two ships was one of the main improvements made by Royal Caribbean during the redesign of CocoCay in 2018 and 2019.
Now, Carnival has chosen to leave Half Moon Cay as it is and instead create a second destination on a private island, Grand Bahama. On May 12, the company held a groundbreaking ceremony, attended by a number of Carnival executives and Bahamian officials.
Scroll to continue
The cruise line did not provide many details but released the following details:
Scheduled to open in late 2024, the new Carnival Grand Bahama cruise port destination is under development on the south side of the island and will continue to serve as the gateway to Grand Bahama while providing guests with a unique experience. of the Bahamas with many exciting features and amenities, as well as business opportunities for Grand Bahama residents.
It’s vague, but the company said the new port development would include “a jetty capable of accommodating up to two Excel-class vessels simultaneously”.
The area will also include “an area designated as a nature preserve and an indoor swimming pool, as well as numerous Bahamian-operated retail, food and beverage options for guest enjoyment.”
The company also provided some details to the media during the groundbreaking event.
“We will have a mile of beautiful Bahamian beach for people to enjoy. We’ll have a water park, big pools, food and drink, places where people can really enjoy what they imagine being on a boat and getting to Grand Bahama,” said carnival chair Christine Duffy. Bahamas News Organization ZNS before the ceremony.
Carnival attempts to respond Royal Caribbean
It’s not exactly CocoCay, but Carnival decided to build something that looks like a mix between a typical cruise port with shops and restaurants as well as features resembling a private island, including a beach, a water park and a swimming pool.
“As we celebrate our 50-year partnership with the Bahamas, today’s grand opening at our incredible new destination of Grand Bahama represents an opportunity to collaborate with the government and people of Grand Bahama – to contribute to the local economy through employment and business opportunities, meaningfully engage with local communities and further expand our experience offerings for our guests who will have a breathtaking new stopover to enjoy,” said said Duffy in a press release.
Carnival is making the move as Royal Caribbean has already begun work on a private beach club concept on Paradise Island in Nassau.
Named Royal Beach Club, the project will offer a 26,000 square foot swimming pool; 4,000 square foot “wading pool” for children; 14 beach bars; toilets and cabins; and supporting infrastructure.
This infrastructure includes a reverse osmosis plant, wastewater treatment plant, waste management facility, storage building and fuel storage on two acres, Royal Caribbean Blog’s Matt Hochberg, who is not affiliated with the cruise line, reported.
The new private club will also feature two 35,000 square foot dining pavilions, each capable of accommodating 1,500 passengers.