I have never been to Labadee, but I absolutely LOVED Coco Cay. This past May was my first time going on a cruise, we were on the Majesty of the Seas and it went to Nassau, Coco Cay, and Key West. And to me Coco Cay was amazing in every way. Yes it is a bit crowded, but only by the areas closest to the ship.
There is a hiking trail that me and my girlfriend took and it takes you further down the beach, where very few people go. To reach the end takes a good 1 1/2 to 2hrs. And I tell you it was amazing, when it started to become low tide you could walk out a 1/4 of a mile into the ocean sit on a tiny patch of sand and watch sting rays glide by. And the snorkeling was phenomenal we saw so many fish and a HUGE sting ray. Coco Cay is the best place I have ever seen.
So is Labadee really that much better? We are planning another cruise right now and are debating between one that goes to Labadee or one that goes back to Coco Cay but hits St. Marten and St. Thomas as well.
My girlfriend wants to try Norweigen but i loved Royal caribbean too much, any thoughts on that as well?
I've been to both Coco Cay and Labadee. Both were great, but I think I may prefer Labadee, as there is more to do it seems. You can also just lounge on the beach at Labadee, as well as Coco Cay. Also, at Labadee, there's the zip line, as well as parasailing and the roller coaster, among other activities.
Regarding a pier / dock at Coco Cay, I also don't think that's possible given the layout. If memory serves me correctly, the tenders have to go through a small inlet or channel to access Coco Cay, so that would have to be a pretty long pier, as ships would still probably have to dock far from the island, as they would be too big to fit through that channel.
Or, in the case of Labadee, build the pier in another location more accessible to the ships. On my most recent cruise, I went to Labadee for the first time. From what I've been told, the ships now dock at a different area than where the tenders used to dock.
2007 - Majesty of the Seas
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas
2010 - Freedom of the Seas
While at coco cay ships are anchored and people are tendered to and from the ship. If the water is to rough the tenders are unable to transport the passengers safely. In Labadee there is a new pier that can dock two ships. We were there yesterday and both the Navigator and the Enchantment were docked side by side. Tomorrow we will be back in Ft. Lauderdale and sail again for another 6 nights with Coco Cay as one of our schedules stops. If the seas are too high I'm sure we won't be getting off in Coco Cay. It's really no big deal to me because I've had a fantastic cruise on the Navigator so far and wouldn't mind another day at see. I'll let you all know if we tender in to Coca Cay or not.
I just got off the Liberty of the Seas today. We made Cocoa Cay, but it was delayed an hour or two because of high winds. By the time they started tending they announced they wouldn't have food on the island that day because of the delay they couldn't get the food over.
The winds really were whipping up the sea at Coco Cay on the day Cruise Fanatic is talking about. The Captain really did a good job at assessing things and waiting before making the final decision to cancel. After those two or so hours the wind died down and people were able to go ashore.
We stayed aboard and had a great time on the ship!