Imagine the excitement when opening up the shades from our aft balcony room and getting the first site of Royal Caribbean’s $250 million-dollar transformation of Coco Cay. Royal Caribbean has gone all in by transforming their private island to include a new dock, thrilling waterpark, zip lines, and much more! In the midst of this transformation, Royal Caribbean also branded it the “Perfect Day at Coco Cay.”
My 16-year-old son Logan and I had the fortune to sail on Navigator of the Seas in early May and were the second sailing to experience the newly opened waterpark at Coco Cay. We had booked a waterpark cabana ahead time that included our tickets to the waterpark. The cabana price is good for 6 people. We stepped off the ship and made the short walk to the entrance of the waterpark. Entry was a breeze and we proceeded to the concierge hut to check into our cabana. We were greeted by our cabana attendant that escorted us and showed us the ins and outs of what was included. Each cabana includes water stored in a cooler that doubles as a table, usb outlets for charging, and lunch delivered from the Snack Shack.
Now that we were all checked in, I couldn’t delay the inevitable anymore….yep….Daredevil’s Peak! So, let’s summarize, I’m 41, in perfect dad shape, not so much a daredevil, but I put on a stone face to rock this slide! We took off to the tower and it’s a pretty good walk up, with each new level you could see further over the horizon. Fast forward, we are now 135’ up at the top and this easy going slide wraps around the tower all the way to the bottom. I of course let Logan go first and as I’m waiting the worker looks at me and wants to know if I’m a little scared. Who me? Not in the least, Royal Caribbean will want me for the rest of the cruise…I’m in good hands. So, I see the green light and conquer this behemoth….off I go and I must say it was an exhilarating ride down. I won’t spoil it for those that will ride, but I will say they did a great job of catching you off guard towards the end. After we conquered Daredevil’s Peak it was off to the other tower for more rides. A couple of tips for the waterpark based on our day. Sunscreen or rash guard is a must! I know this might be common knowledge, but the Bahamian sun is hot and it burns! Daredevil’s Tower is mostly shaded, but the Family Tower does have you in the sun a fair amount as you get closer to the top. Needless to say there were lots of Coco Cay human lobsters by the end of the day.
One last tip for the waterpark is you can leave and get back in if you want to explore more of the island. Lucky for you all, we did just that after our lunch. For those that aren’t big waterpark fans, there is still plenty to explore and do on Coco Cay. You can shop at the Straw Market, go hang out at the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, Oasis Lagoon, or enjoy a beach day at Chill Island. Later this year, South Beach Coco Beach Club will open giving you a few more options. We chose to spend time on Chill Island and then venture over to the Oasis Lagoon. Oasis Lagoon is definitely a party! There is a swim up bar, loungers in water, places to sit, you name it including submerged tunes! That’s right party people, you can get your jam on underwater with the DJ’s music playing. If you can’t dance on land, maybe underwater is your calling! You will not go hungry at all on Coco Cay and if you have a drink package the libations still flow or you can purchase with your Sea Pass card without a package. Basically, you are on the ship, just a ship on land. Also, towels are checked out prior to disembarking the ship and can be checked back in on embarkation.
Back to the original question at hand. Is Coco Cay really the Perfect Day? I will admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but Royal Caribbean hit a homerun with their remake. We loved the waterpark and were definitely happy that we still had time to explore the other parts of the island. Our only complaint is we weren’t ready to leave. Indeed, it was a Perfect Day at Coco Cay!!
Let's face it, at some point in time you have been at Walt Disney World and got that Chef Mickey's or Ohana's reservation that your child desperately wanted, but there was the fun issue of not staying at that resort. How much fun is it waking up before the sun comes up to make sure you were on time after you played the Disney transportation transfer game! Oh, let's not forget that if you choose the monorail from Magic Kingdom, you might hit the "We are holding for traffic" jackpot! Really what options do you have? If your child is in a car or booster seat, then using a cab or rideshare is not the option. You could have really planned ahead and rented a car, but then you have to add on parking fees, navigate Disney construction, and bring your car seats with you from home. So after all of this, maybe we all are really stuck on the transportation merry go round however, we haven't brought up this wonderful piece of transportation called the Minnie Van!
You are probably thinking to yourself, what is a Minnie Van? Is it a tricked out Chevy Astro better yet maybe a Ford Aerostar! The tricked out part is correct, as it will either be a SUV or Van that is decorated in a familiar color and pattern. You guessed it, they are modeled after the one and only Minnie Mouse! They are 6 passenger vehicles that are owned and operated by Disney and they include 2 car seats that are installed by drivers who have been trained on proper installation.
The next big question is how does this work? Does my Travel Professional have to make fastpass reservations for this in advance? Luckily for us, Disney has made this process very easy. If you have ever used Lyft or even Uber, you are going to be a pro. If you have not don't worry, I bet we can walk you through it. Disney uses the Lyft platform for Minnie Vans. For the rideshare pros, you call up your Lyft app and put your information in for pick up and drop off. You then move to the scroll to the right where you pick your vehicle and at the end you will see the option for the Minnie Van. Those that do not consider themselves pros, the picture below is what you will see in the app. Once your ride is confirmed, it will display the Minnie Van number that will be on the actual Minnie Van's back windows on each side. The driver will confirm your information and off you go!
It really is that simple to have Disney pick you up and provide door to door service. Also, don't forget, these are cast members and the conversation is always fun that may include fun tidbits along the way! One other big plus is they will pick you up from the parks and now they have dedicated pick up points at some of the bus areas. Maybe everyone has crashed and burned at Magic Kingdom and you really just want the quickest ride back to the resort. Taxi's, Lyft, and Uber will have to pick you up at the Transportation and Ticket Center so that means a trip there on a boat or monorail however, the Minnie Van can pick you up at the same Bus Loading area as the resort buses!
In closing, we have utilized the Minnie Van for various reasons throughout our stays. The cost is more than a normal rideshare, but again you get to forego renting a car, lugging carseats, and not doing the transportation hop. Let's not also forget you are in the hands of trained, knowledgeable, and fun Disney cast members! One last word of advice, make sure you ask for the special Disney Transport card! If you have taken a Minnie Van, we would love to hear your comments!
Co-Owner at Road to Relaxation Travel, LLC
Travis is co-owner of Road to Relaxation Travel, LLC along with his wife Crystal. Their family are avid travelers and spends time at all Disney Destinations, Universal, Cruises, and all-inclusive destinations. When he is not traveling with his family, he loves spending time at the beach and surfing with his son.
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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your RTR Travel Professional. We look forward to you joining us on August 16th!
Owner, Crystal Seaton sits down with ABC 11 to discuss the advantages of using a Travel Professional to help you get the best value with your vacation.
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