South by Southeast late 2018 - early 2019 travel blog

lemon shark?

floating bar

the Mariner

building the dock




fresh pineapple juice





Most cruise companies who sail regularly in the Caribbean have a special spot where their ships can stop to provide a perfect fantasy beach day. Some stop in Labadee, Haiti, and Royal Caribbean has developed a private island in the Bahamas called Coco Cay for this purpose. Surprisingly, even boats the size of the Mariner cannot dock here. RCL is madly building a dock and a huge waterpark facility on the island, but neither are finished yet. Having to use lifeboats to go ashore can be a tedious experience and a dock would be nice, but it seems like a water park will detract from the pristine, more natural experience we had today. We've read that they will charge $40 to go to the water park. Where there's money to be made....

Because we apparently still have not totally adjusted to the Eastern Time Zone, we woke up much too early and were among the first to go ashore. We rented a cabana with beach chairs and enjoyed an idyllic day on the powdery sand looking out at the bright turquoise water. We were surprised to see fish in the water since the island is visited by a big cruise ship almost every day. As we chatted and bobbed in the waves, we both screamed in unison as we confronted two sharks almost as big as we are, staring back at us. Someone told us they were lemon sharks and since we know no better, that's our story and we're sticking to it. As we heard screams from other people along the beach, we realized that this was a popular lemon shark hangout and they were not bothered by us at all. We reciprocated. More ambitious folks rented jet skis, kayaked, snorkeled and scubaed. I always love a day at the beach!

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