We're in Florida for four weeks in December and January so we are doing the short four day cruise on the Monarch on 13 December (cruise no.3 now!!). For what we are paying at that time of the year for four days of all-inclusive on board, the two stops are a bonus!!!I think we have to accept that there are some places that we all like more than others....I guess that is part of cruising.....getting to see as many places as possible....for better or for worse!!! Anyone been to Coco Cay - what can we expect there? Also, been to Florida before in December and the weather was perfect (compared to North Wales at that time of year!!) but what sort of cruising weather can we expect?
Coco Cay is a private island. It's a great beach day. The ship's crew mans the stations and does a bar-b-que. There are water toys, snorkeling, chairs, umbrellas, bars, etc. We've done many cruises in December and have had both good and bad seas. Two years ago on the Royal we had horrible weather for the first 3 days of our 14 day cruise. We had 14-20' seas, rain and lots of wind. Last year on the Solstice, we had perfect weather. The day after we got back, it was freezing. It all depends on the fronts that are blowing through.
My husband and I have been to CocoCay three times in late December/early January, but it has only been good once. The first time, the winds were too high to run the tender, so we never even made it to the island. The cruise spent extra time in Nassau. The second time, it was gorgeous... the epitome of paradise. Good weather, good food, and Coco Locos. The third time, it rained and was pretty cold. The food was still on the island, but many people went back to the ship, so there was confusion all around. It may have been better not to stop at all.
Well, I think last winter was pretty cold all round so maybe this year it will be warm! On our cruise earlier in the year it rained in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel - some sun would have been nice but it didn't spoil the cruise. It all adds to the cruising experience!!
I second the recommendation of Blue Lagoon. We booked with RCCL for the Dolphin experience. It's a beautiful island that looks like Gilligan's Island or (shocking) like a scene from the movie Blue Lagoon. The dolphin experience is unbelievable and you can spend as much time as you want on the island. I would recommend booking prior to cruise online. It's one of the most popular excursions. We got the last 4 tickets and booked as soon as we boarded and the desk was open. We had a later time and didn't get to spend much time at the beach so do the earliest time possible. You can book it yourself but we wanted to make sure to get back to the ship. It's about a 15-20 minute boat ride but they pick you up/meet you right there off the pier. Worth EVERY cent.
I've been over to Blue Lagoon several times. It is one of my favorite shore excursions off Nassau. They have really fixed it up and improved it since it was devastated by a storm. The staff is wonderful, and you've already read my Cheeseburger comment.
If you don't want to do the Dolphin Encounter through the ship, you can book directly with them for just the beach and lagoon. Just take a taxi over the bridge to the ferry terminal. I think the taxi is $4.
The ticket office is located in the terminal and they'll give you a wristband that says what package you are on. Mine always says Blue Lagoon Beach Day. If you booked for lunch included they'll give you a ticket. I always do because the Cheeseburgers are truly wonderful. I started going back in '93 when it was called Gilligan's Island. It's real name is Salt Cay.
The return ferry runs every other hour I believe, and taxis or sometimes a bus are available to take you back to the cruise ship terminal from the Paradise Island ferry terminal.