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Perfect Day at CocoCay

Updated: Apr 21

Day 4: Royal Caribbean | Harmony of the Seas with CocoCay

My son is absolutely loving ship life, but by the end of the night he is overly tired from the amount of stimulation. The good news is he sleeps really well, but the bad news is we haven’t made it through a show. One way I thought to ease the stimulation is to eat breakfast in our cabin. Continental breakfast is included via room service so last night I filled out the card and hung it on our door. My son was super excited for the glazed donut! We received a phone call notifying us when they were on their way and soon enough there was a knock at the door. We sat on our interior balcony which overlooks Central Park and enjoyed our breakfast. Everything except the donut was on our tray. We received a chocolate croissant instead so I’m guessing they ran out of donuts. My son was initially upset, but our tray had a colorful fruit plate, an apple, a banana, cereal, chocolate milk, and pastries. There was plenty on the tray for both of us to enjoy. It was a very peaceful start to the day and I think I will continue to do breakfast this way with my son. His breakfast back home is always chocolate milk and fruit so this is very close to his normal routine.

CocoCay, Bahamas
CocoCay, Bahamas

Today we were docked at CocoCay which is Royal Caribbean’s private island. This was the stop I was most looking forward to because I knew my son would love it. We walked to Chill Island and while my parents grabbed loungers, I walked over to the towel stand to checkout towels for our group. I chuckled a little when I saw the loungers my English dad chose. The four chairs had two umbrellas and four palm trees and were by far the most shaded loungers on CocoCay. This was good news for my red-headed and fair skinned child as well. The bonus with the area was that it also had several seashells near it which had probably been left there by the child to occupy this space on an earlier day. My son was in heaven. He spent the next two hours playing in the sand near the shore. We took turns playing with him and we relaxed in the loungers when it was our break.

My dad and I had booked a Kayak Adventure at 11am and at around 10am I explored to find out more information about it. The app said to check back later for the meeting location which was less than helpful. I found several kayaks lined up on the beach and then saw a desk for shore excursions. As I walked to the desk, I noticed another desk across from the shore excursions desk that was specifically for kayaking. I asked about kayaking and the lady told me that it was only open for advanced kayakers. My dad has owned a kayak for years and kayaks often down the rivers in Ohio. I have also kayaked quite a bit and it’s usually my desired activity on vacation. I’ve kayaked down the white-water Youghiogheney River, the Pacific Ocean off the shore of Mendocino, California, the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, and several other locations. I asked more questions about what she meant by advanced. In the end, she asked how old my dad was and then she said she highly recommended passing on kayaking today. We were refunded and my dad was happy sipping a Pina Colada instead.

CocoCay, Bahamas
CocoCay, Bahamas

Soon enough it was lunchtime and the buffet was directly behind our loungers. My dad and I went to grab lunch for everyone while my mom stayed with my son. I was really impressed by the options for lunch. There was a BBQ area with burgers, chicken and corn-on-the-cob; a taco station; a sandwich station; a fruit station; and a dessert station. We opted for tacos and for my son I got him a giant plate of mango, papaya, cantalope, and watermelon. The tacos were very tasty.

After lunch, I took my son on a walk over to Splashaway Bay. Here they had a giant splash pad with several small slides that ended in two-feet of water. My son began with the wide slide that is similar to the wide yellow slide at the Brecksville Pool. He went up and down several times on his own while I sat on a wall at the base of the slide. He also walked over to the middle slides several times, but then looked scared and went back to the wide slide. I asked him about it and he said he was scared and asked if he could have a lifejacket. We went over to the lifejacket stand and grabbed one. He went back to the middle slides and chickened out again. I think one of the reasons he was scared was because other children were also avoiding this set of three slides. Eventually, he went down the pink slide and loved it. He returned quickly and rode each one. As kids watched this four-year old brave the slides, more kids rode these middle slides and soon enough there was a short wait to ride these three slides.

The splashpad had stairs that led up to a drawbridge and my son wanted to check it out. I took him up the stairs, but there was so much spraying that I had a hard time keeping my contact lenses in place. I eventually had to retreat because I didn’t have an extra pair with me on the island and I’m pretty blind without them. I told my son that maybe Abuelita would take him on the bridge.

Kid Fun on CocoCay
Kid Fun on CocoCay

We went back to the beach and gathered our stuffed to head back to the ship. On the way back, we stopped at the pirate ship which is another playground for children. The ship contains two slides and areas to climb and explore. It reminds me a lot of the pirate ship that used to be at Sea World when I was a child. My son loved it and went down the enclosed blue slide a few times. I pointed out the taller pink slide. He attempted to ride it, but was scared because it was too dark.

We returned to the ship and got ready for dinner. Dinner was at the main dining room. I had the French onion soup, beef short ribs, and the chocolate custard. The soup and entree were delicious as always, but the dessert was not that great. My son had the chicken parmesan and he ate his pasta slowly, one noodle at a time. We brought his iPad today for dinner because he was very tired from the day and needed help with calming his brain.

Dinner on Harmony of the Seas
Dinner on Harmony of the Seas

The broadway show Grease was the entertainment for the evening. As we entered the theatre, I asked the crew member where the best seats were for being quiet. She advised that we sit all the way in the back. I also mentioned my son was on the spectrum and asked if it would be okay for him to watch his iPad if needed. She said yes. Before the show began, an announcement was made about no electronic use so the crew member was making an exception for my son which was nice. We were seated in a little booth at the very back of the theatre with our backs to the wall. It was the quietest place and perfect for the iPad to not be seen. My son made it through the first couple songs, but then asked to leave so we did. We headed back to the room to call it a night.

About the Author

Amaris is the owner of the Ohio-based travel agency, Adventures by Amaris. Her love for travel began at a young age when she traveled to her parents' home countries of England and Mexico. She continued traveling in High School by participating in a People to People program to Italy, France and Monaco. In college, she spent six weeks in Europe studying abroad and traveling. She visited Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Ireland, Vatican City, and Italy in a whirlwind summer. Through her adult life she continues to make traveling a priority with her family. Her young son is autistic so navigating the world of traveling with an autistic child brings on new adventures. Her travel resume includes Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, and Cayman Islands. She is an expert in planning family vacations across the world from Disney World to Europe to worldwide cruises.

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