Cruise ship operator Royal Caribbean is upping the ante on amenities, facilities and services across its land-based private islands and ships in what company officials described Wednesday as a “multibillion-dollar” effort designed to lure millennial and first-time cruise vacationers to its vessels.
Royal Caribbean’s initiative is highlighted by the debut of a new, $200 million “Global Private Island Collection” at the company’s private island in CocoCay, Bahamas in 2019. CocoCay will be the company’s first private island to offer Royal Caribbean cruisers a “Perfect Day Island Collection,” a series of “unrivalled and exclusive” private island destinations around the world.
Royal Caribbean will eventually expand the program to include its private islands in Labadee, Haiti and at ports of call in Asia and Australia, said Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean’s president and CEO. “We said, ‘let’s apply the same expertise we did in building our Oasis-class ships to our private islands to create the perfect day,’” he said.
Upon its 2019 premiere, guests will find a new CocoCay, transformed with a series of new attractions. The Thrill Waterpark will feature two water towers with 13 slides, which company officials say are the most slides at any waterpark in the Caribbean. The 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak will be the tallest waterslide in North America, they added. The waterpark will also feature the Caribbean’s largest wave pool and a kid-friendly obstacle course pool.
Also scheduled to debut in 2019 is Oasis Lagoon, described as the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, with a swim-up bar and in-pool loungers. A 1,600-foot zip line will extend across the island at up to 50 feet high and feature the Caribbean’s only water landing, say officials.
Other attractions will include Up, Up and Away, a helium balloon that will float up to 450 feet above the ground and offer the Bahamas’ highest vantage point. Two specially designed beaches, Chill Island and South Beach, will offer a quiet beach “escape” and an active beach filled with activities, respectively.
Finally, the exclusive Coco Beach Club will offer an upscale island experience highlighted by the Bahamas’ first overwater cabanas.
Royal Caribbean ships departing from New York, Maryland and Florida will offer Perfect Day at CocoCay excursions. The CocoCay program will debut in phases beginning in September with the construction of a new pier. The majority of the island’s experiences will be open by the spring 2019 said, Bayley. Coco Beach Club, the final phase, is scheduled to open November 2019.
“The Perfect Day Island Collection [will] deliver the most memorable vacation for adventure seekers on land and onboard our ships,” Bayley said. “Once completed Perfect Day at CocoCay will be the ultimate family destination in the Caribbean.”
Royal will further court new cruisers via a $900 million program to “reimagine” its fleet through Royal Amplified, a new modernization plan that will span 10 vessels in four years.
The program will impact “every facet of the guest experience,” said Royal Caribbean officials, with innovative new features and experiences, including specialized pool spaces, experiential dining and nightlife concepts, and unprecedented attractions including Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience.
Royal Amplified reflects the company’s passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to delivering the best vacation in the world. “We’re always focused on how to create phenomenal experiences for our customers,” Bayley said.