Royal Caribbean voyages to double the fun at the private island

CocoCay's waterpark opened earlier this year.
CocoCay’s waterpark opened earlier this year.

Royal Caribbean International has added nearly 40 sailings in the coming year that will feature two stops at its Perfect Day at CocoCay private island.

The four-day cruises on Navigator of the Seas from Port Canaveral and Mariner of the Seas generally sandwich a stop in Nassau between the two visits to nearby CocoCay.

Royal Caribbean will sail three Navigator cruises that stay at CocoCay late into the night.

Entertainment will include traditional Bahamian-inspired activities, including a Junkanoo Jam Up Party, an island barbecue and performances by a calypso band and fire dancers, topped off with fireworks.

Both Virgin Voyages and MSC Cruises are preparing to offer private beach attractions in the Bahamas that provide evening activities.

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MSC Cruises to feature in a TV documentary tonight

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A behind-the-scenes documentary filmed on MSC Seaside is set to air on Channel 5.

Secrets of the Mega Cruise Ship will give viewers the chance to see life on the ship as 5,000 passengers visit destinations across the Caribbean.

Film cameras were given access to the ship’s dining venues and bars, and also below deck where performers prepare to appear in shows and staff get ready to work in the restaurants.

The 90-minute documentary, due to appear on Channel 5 tonight (Monday), also features sections on the vessel’s waste disposal and water systems.

MSC Seaside sails 365 days a year with around 1,500 officers and crew onboard, according to the line.

Antonio Paradiso, managing director for MSC Cruises UK and Ireland, said: “It is an honour to have this great opportunity to show the British public another of our beautiful ships and all the onboard features we are famous for, while also offering a unique behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on of one of the world’s most advanced cruise ships.

“There is no better way to demonstrate how fantastic cruising is than to physically show people, and this feature-length documentary provides a great opportunity to do just that.”

MSC Cruises reveals details of the private island

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Gallery: First pictures of MSC Cruises’ private island Ocean Cay revealed

MSC Cruises’ new private island in the Caribbean will give guests a “ticket to paradise”, according to chief executive Gianni Onorato.

Ocean Cay, 20 miles off the coast of the Bahamas and 65 miles from Miami, will boast eight “pristine” beaches, seven reserved for different guests, such as families, Yacht Club or Aurea Spa passengers, and one for the crew.

There will also be a sunset beach, lagoon beach and main beach where all water sports and activities will take place. Water sports will include snorkelling to a shallow sunken shipwreck through to scuba diving.

Lectures on the coral life around the island and what MSC has done to clean up and preserve it will be offered, something Onorato felt would be popular with younger guests and children.

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Every Caribbean itinerary from Miami, whether sailing to the Eastern or Western Caribbean, will call at Ocean Cay. Onorato said: “Because it’s so close to Miami, we can stay there until 1am so people can experience it at night and still be back in Miami for 6am the following morning.”

Guests will be able to watch movies under the stars with their feet in the sand.

Food will include a family buffet and a food cart going around the island, but the ship’s restaurants will remain open all day as many guests are expected to go back on board to eat. The furthest point of the island is a 17-minute walk from the ship and “completely flat”, Onorato said.

Deckchairs and some activities will be included in the cruise price, but cabanas, cocktails, island Wi-Fi, and certain sports like scuba diving will be extra. All will be bookable through package upgrades via the MSC app.

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Onorato also revealed there would be a second private island, for groups of 30-40 people, that could be booked out exclusively for the day. He said this would be a perfect upsell for travel agents. Costs for this and other extras would be added to the website at the end of the month.

The island will have three shops; one selling Bahamian goods manned by locals, one selling Ocean Cay-branded merchandise and the other selling MSC items.

Onorato said it was his “dream” to open an island in the Mediterranean but explained that the only location it would be possible to have an island open year-round, off the North African coast, was currently out of bounds.

“We will have to wait, but it is my dream to open a private island in the Mediterranean at some point,” he said.