Royal Caribbean's private islands to get upgrades


Just about every cruise line has a private island these days; it's a no-hassle port call with easy beach access, and anything the passengers spend ashore is in company-owned operations. 

But apparently, not enough of a draw, because Royal Caribbean is spending $200 million to turn its Coco Cay in the Bahamas into a sort of combination waterpark/theme park/adventure park, complete with 10 waterslides, zip lines, balloon rides, wave pools and more. Phase I opens this summer.

With all that stuff on the island, RC is planning to keep its passengers there longer, not setting sail again at 11 pm—and it's not ruling out the idea of overnights or even longer stays.

CEO Michael Bayley says, though, that "...we would never move from our core focus. So there would never be any intention for us to go into the hotel business or add hotels." But maybe: "We may have some overnight accommodation, but it would be a relatively small number of suites for example, perhaps 10 cabanas. It would not be a volume proposition."

Bayley also promised that its other Caribbean island, Labadee, will also "undergo investments" after Coco Cay's "Perfect Day" is finished. And, he said, Royal Caribbean is shopping for an island in the Pacific now that it's doing much more business there.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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