Find the Ideal Mix of Thrill and Chill at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Lifestyle influencer and mother of four, Cara Loren shares what makes Royal Caribbean’s private island destination great for families.
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Perfect Day at CocoCay is Royal Caribbean's private island in The Bahamas, and home to a waterpark with 13 slides—the most of any waterpark in The Bahamas or Caribbean—as well as the region’s largest wave and freshwater pools.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Having a memorable family vacation comes down to finding just the right balance, according to Cara Loren Van Brocklin, mother of four and founder of a popular lifestyle blog.

For Cara, her husband, Brody, and their two young boys and a baby, the beauty of taking a Royal Caribbean cruise was being able to enjoy every minute. Things like figuring out where to eat or finding activities to do were the least of their worries, thanks to the variety of restaurants, dedicated kids programs, entertainment and adventures, like waterslides and simulated surfing, they could choose from day or night. They also found the exact balance they were looking for on private island destination Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The slice of paradise in The Bahamas is the perfect mix of thrill and chill. Highlights include Daredevil’s Peak, North America’s tallest waterslide; Up, Up & Away, a helium balloon ride that offers panoramic views from up to 450 feet in the air; Splashaway Bay, a kids aqua park; white-sand beaches on Chill Island, where you can kick back with a cocktail or snorkel; and more.

How did Cara find the ideal combination of adventure and relaxation with her family of all ages on a cruise and on Perfect Day at CocoCay? Read on for this mother’s tips in an exclusive Q&A.

Soar up to 450 feet in the air on Up, Up & Away, the highest vantage point in The Bahamas.

Credit: iStock

Q: There’s  so much to see and do on the island—how did you decide what to do first? 

Cara:  As soon as our kids caught a glimpse of the waterslides—who could miss 13 waterslides?—their excitement went through the roof. It was absolutely infectious, so we just had to get to Thrill Waterpark immediately. We couldn’t tear the kids away from the obstacle course (Adventure Pool); it was the first thing they ran to. We then went to try out the waterslides. My favorite by far was The Slingshot at Splash Summit, the one where we were all on a huge tube together! After that, we wanted some downtime. That’s what was so great about Perfect Day at CocoCay: You could have an action-packed morning followed by a relaxing afternoon all in the same place.

Pro tip: Look out for the overwater cabanas—the first in The Bahamas—at Coco Beach Club. You’ll enjoy luxe amenities, including a dedicated attendant, your very own waterslide and an overwater hammock.


Splashaway Bay has everything to keep kids entertained for hours, from water cannons and fountains to a giant drench bucket.

Credit: Cara Loren

Q: Was there a particular activity in Thrill Waterpark that your family loved most? 

Cara:  There are so many things to do that it’s tough to choose one. My kids loved the Wave Pool and stayed in that forever, and they went head-to-head down the Splash Speedway racer slides at least 12 times. Brody, my husband, went down Daredevil’s Peak and said it was definitely his favorite. As for me, I was excited for a little “me time” on a lounger. It was nice because the island never felt crowded anywhere, and we never had to wait to do something.

Pro tip: You can go straight from Thrill Waterpark’s waterslides to The Perfect Storm, a series of high-speed waterslides; and even the tallest at sea, The Ultimate Abyss; on board Royal Caribbean ships like Wonder of the Seas.


With plenty of space, overwater cabanas and complimentary loungers and umbrellas, the beaches at Perfect Day at CocoCay are made for relaxation.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Q: What was one thing that surprised you? 

Cara:  We hadn’t realized just how amazing the beach on Chill Island would be. I was in awe because it’s such an idyllic place; it felt as if we had it all to ourselves. It made me smile to see the boys playing in the ocean, and the whole family had the best time: We built sandcastles and raced each other down the beach, and it was so helpful that there were a ton of umbrellas and loungers to sneak away for some shade after playing in the sun.


Perfect Day at CocoCay has adventures for all ages, from Thrill Waterpark and the 1,600-foot-long zip line to Splashaway Bay kids aqua park and Captain Jill’s Galleon for the younger kids.

Credit: Cara Loren

Q: Which family-travel essential items were you glad you packed for the island? 

Cara:  Sunscreen, of course, and a camera. You’ll want to document as much as you can. We were having so much fun together, I’m grateful we captured those memories. It’s also smart to pack a portable charger.

Pro tip: Your SeaPass, your ID for the cruise and the key to your stateroom, allows you to make purchases on the island. It’s also a good idea to bring cash to shop for local handmade crafts at the market.


Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, with swim-up islands, a bar, coves and in-pool loungers.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Q: It seemed like everybody found something they loved. Was there another favorite experience you got to share as a family? 
Cara:  The Up, Up & Away helium balloon was so cool and special. Together, we got to see everything from high above—I thought the kids would’ve been nervous, but they weren’t at all. It was an incredible thrill, and we also felt really safe and relaxed the whole time. Up in the balloon, we were able to walk around, point out the different slides below and say, “Oh we rode down that one and that one!” Truly, it was the best seat in the house.

Oasis Lagoon was really nice, too, because we could bring the baby in. It’s rare to feel comfortable bringing your 6-month-old to a pool, but there were plenty of spots where I felt she was totally fine. She came into the water and was sitting, splashing and just loving it. It was a great opportunity for us all to be together.

Pro tip: The Oasis Lagoon is the perfect spot to unwind with a Coco Loco—one of Royal Caribbean’s signature drinks.


Ready for the ultimate family vacation in The Bahamas? Head  here to discover the cruises that will take you to Perfect Day at CocoCay and other tropical destinations.


The Van Brocklin family sailed with Royal Caribbean in 2019 as part of a paid partnership.