Royal Caribbean to create new private islands and modernise ships

Royal Caribbean to create new private islands and modernise ships
Royal Caribbean's first Perfect Day island will open at CocoCay in The Bahamas in 201 (Image: Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean International is making a multi-billion dollar investment to develop a collection of exclusive private island destinations around the world, add new innovations to 10 existing ships, debut new vessels and ramp up its short Caribbean cruises.

The first of the new Perfect Day Island Collection destinations will open at Royal Caribbean’s existing private island of CocoCay in The Bahamas in 2019. To be transformed during a US$200 million project, the island will have two distinct beach areas – Chill Island with cabanas, daybeds for relaxation, and South Beach, which will offer volleyball, beachside basketball, soccer, paddle boarding, glass-bottom kayaking and zorbing. Other highlights will include the exclusive Coco Beach Club with the first overwater cabanas in The Bahamas; a 1,600-foot zip line that crosses the island at 50 feet above the ground; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, which will have a swim-up bar and in-pool loungers; and a helium balloon that will take guests up to 450 feet above the ground. Guests will also be able to head to Thrill Waterpark, which will have a large wave pool, a child-friendly obstacle course pool and two water towers with 13 slides – the most in any Caribbean waterpark.

The phased transformation project will start in September 2018 with the completion of a new pier, and most of the island experiences will be open by spring 2019. Coco Beach Club will be opened during the final phase in November 2019.

Additional Perfect Day Island Collection destinations in Asia, Australia and the Caribbean will be announced at a later date.

“It’s true that our ships are technological and engineering marvels in their own right and offer a multitude of unexpected experiences, but our destinations are an equally important part of the cruise vacation,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “We are introducing the Perfect Day Island Collection to deliver the most memorable vacation for adventure seekers on land and on board our ships. Once completed Perfect Day at CocoCay will be the ultimate family destination in the Caribbean.”

Royal Caribbean has also dedicated US$900 million to modernising its fleet as part of the new Royal Amplified initiative. Spanning 10 ships in four years, the programme will see the line introducing new digital innovations – including frictionless check-in, stateroom technology and a new mobile app – as well as specialised pool spaces, experiential dining and nightlife concepts. The ships will also be fitted with first-of-a-kind attractions like Sky Pad, a combined virtual reality and bungee trampoline experience, which will debut on Majestic Princess.

The cruise line will also launch several new ships over the next few years, including Symphony of the Seas, which will become the world’s largest cruise ship when she debuts this April. Other newbuilds in the line-up include the first Quantum Ultra Class vessel, Spectrum of the Seas, which will be introduced in 2019; a second Quantum Ultra Class ship in 2020; a fifth Oasis Class ship in 2021; and two new Icon Class vessels, which will be powered by LNG and fuels when they start service in 2021 and 2022.

In addition, Royal Caribbean is increasing the number of short Caribbean getaways to meet demand from millennials and other travellers. In summer 2018, Mariner of the Seas will begin sailing three- and four-night cruises from Miami, Florida after a US$90 million modernisation. Sister ship Navigator of the Seas will also offer similar short cruises after her 2019 revitalisation.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Thursday, March 15, 2018