There are more than one cruise vacations on the Royal Caribbean International lineup in which Cocoa Cay is a port of call.
Except I wouldn’t exactly call this tiny island off the Florida coast a port.
The waters are too shallow to dock Freedom of the Seas. Any ship on the cruise line that owns this island.
And so for the first port of call on this seven-night cruise vacation on Freedom of the Seas, my dear wife Karen took one of the first boats off deck one, leaving the ship around 8:30 a.m., best to beat the lines we knew would form.
Our goals were modest, for Cocoa Kay is a not a booming metropolis. Ha! (RIP, friend and guest columnist Paul Curran.)
I have the feeling – OK, call it a sneaky suspicion – that the population of Cocoa Kay comes off the ship just a little before the passengers, setting up everything that must be done to welcome the latest round of visitors.
Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.
We spent minutes among the shops, having stopped on Cocoa Cay and bought the T-shirt during our cruise that also took us to Nassau and Jamaica.
We wanted to head to the beach, figuring the chaise lounges would go quickly. We found a pair. Within moments, two ladies settled in front of us with a major-league umbrella, blocking our sun and view of the water. I moved us sideways.
We laid out about a half-hour, knowing that we were in the strong ray part of the world. We packed up our towels and took a walk.
Some of our cruise buddies had signed up for paid excursion on Cocoa Cay, such as walking tours and supervised fun in the water. We had decided to save our money.
We took a few minutes to share a rope hammock instead, laughing as we found our balance.
Then it was back on the boat to the ship, skipping the barbecue lunch on Cocoa Kay, which he knew was cooked onboard and served by Freedom of the Seas staffers. We’d opt for more room and choices in the Windjammer buffet.
The going-back process this early was pretty and relaxing.
We chose the near-empty top deck for the return trip.
Shuttling back, I thought that the spots RCI had not touched looked mighty scrubby indeed.
Shop, beach or excursions for you? Would you eat on the island or return to the ship? Which is your favorite photo, and why?
Tomorrow: Visiting St. Thomas