Coco Cay in The Bahamas
Coco Cay, also known as Little Stirrup Cay, is a popular stop-off point on Royal Caribbean voyages, and is owned by the company for the exclusive use of its cruise customers. It's part of the Berry Islands, a small chain of cays you'll find between Nassau on New Providence and Freeport on Grand Bahama.
A typical day visit will see you dropped off after breakfast to enjoy a whole day in this island paradise. As you step off your ship, you'll be thrilled to see the sweep of bleached white sand and azure blue water that the Bahamas is known for.
First stop is always the Straw Market, traditionally a place where vendors sell all things made of straw, but these days, you can get everything from clothes and jewellery to baskets and souvenirs here. Small and compact but full of things to do, Coco Cay covers a little over half a square km, and you can easily walk the coast round in under an hour.
Maybe you'll choose to do just that, but many spend their day on the island doing nothing more than relaxing and soaking up the rays.
Beaches and water sports
The beaches are quite simply breathtaking on Coco Cay. There are four main ones to choose from (as well as many secluded coves), each with a very different vibe. Head to Snorkel Beach or Watersports Beach if water-based activities are your thing. The snorkel shack will be open to loan you the equipment you need, and you can even hire a charter to take you to the reef.
With a submerged plane wreck and a Spanish galleon to explore (a red buoy marks the spot), there's some serious sub-aqua action off Coco Cay. Jet skiing, kayaking and parasailing are all available too. Just head to Watersports Beach, book a time slot and away you go.
Coconut Willy's Beach is family fun central, with an aqua park, water slide, nature walk and lots to keep your little ones busy. The trail is a great way to see the island's wildlife, with iguanas, chickens and roosters roaming wherever you look.
Or just paddle in the shallows to see rainbow-coloured tropical fish without the need to go near a snorkel. Well away from the dock is Barefoot Beach. A good walk from the main drag, it's less busy than some of the other beaches, and perfect for couples who want to escape the crowds. Rent a cabana for shade and comfort, and enjoy the peace and quiet together.
Coco Cay, comes to life when the cruise ship comes ashore. This uninhabited island is a great place to relax and take in the views, as well as making the most of the glorious weather. Step off the ship and your senses will be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the Bahamas. Live music plays all day at the dock, with a resident DJ and lots of activities, from limbo to karaoke, plus beach games for all the family.
Or hunt down peace and quiet by hopping on the tram. South Beach is just a five-minute tram ride away, where a less busy, palm tree lined beach awaits. There's also a regular bar and a floating bar, so grab a cocktail, find a shady spot and make the most of having nothing to do but unwind.
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