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16 May 2018

BY Abigail Healy & Tom Parry

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Royal plans fams to new CocoCay resort

UK agents will be offered a chance to see Royal Caribbean International’s upcoming private island resort Perfect Day at CocoCay for themselves on fam trips early next year.

SkyPad onboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas
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Ben Bouldin: "I don’t just want to sell my ex-UK product, I want to sell the Caribbean, I want to send people to Europe and further afield and I want some of my agents to work harder to help us realise those opportunities."

Michael Bayley, president and chief executive, told TTG that the line planned to run agent educationals in the first quarter in 2019, ahead of its opening next May.


During a trade presentation onboard the inaugural sailing of the newly revamped Independence of the Seas, Bayley revealed more details of the island’s offering. He said that while guests will be able to enjoy many of the island’s facilities as part of the cruise package, charges would apply for some of the premium attractions such as Thrill Waterpark and Coco Beach Club.


Bayley said that the next step for Perfect Day at CocoCay would be to have longer stays until 11pm and then to introduce overnights and potentially weekends. He said: “The natural extension of that is, should we build some type of accommodation?”


Yet Bayley maintained: “We would never move from our core focus so there would never be an intention for us to go into the hotel business.


“We may have some overnight accommodation but it would be a relatively small number of suites that we would offer for sale,” he added.


Speaking to TTG later, Ben Bouldin, managing director UK and Ireland, said Perfect Day would be part of a “significant programme that we will launch at the end of the summer around our focus on the Caribbean”.


He added: “I don’t want to be limited by ex-UK deployment, there is such a good opportunity in the Caribbean and an opportunity to package land-based stays with a cruise. The challenge is I don’t just want to sell my ex-UK product, I want to sell the Caribbean, I want to send people to Europe and further afield and I want some of my agents to work harder to help us realise those opportunities.”


The line’s sales director, Amanda Darrington, expanded on the plans, adding: “I plan to host a series of events throughout the UK that will bring the Caribbean alive for our trade partners.”


Independence is the first of 10 Royal Caribbean ships to undergo the “Royal Amplified” refit programme. New features for the ship include the Sky Pad virtual-reality bungee trampolines, a pair of waterslides dubbed The Perfect Storm, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, the Puzzle Break escape room and the Izumi Hibachi & Sushi restaurant.

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