Royal Caribbean's Hideaway Beach: Not exactly a quiet nook, but kid-free

A view of Hideaway Beach from one of the cabanas.
A view of Hideaway Beach from one of the cabanas. Photo Credit: Andrea Zelinski

PERFECT DAY AT COCOCAY, Bahamas -- I listened to the leaves of palm trees flap in the wind as I swayed in an orange hammock.

What I didn't hear was the hollers from kids playing, the panicked flapping of birds as kids ran them off, or parents calling out to their children. 

During a three-day shakedown cruise of the Icon of the Seas, I was lounging on the outer ring of Hideaway Beach, a new adults-only area on Royal Caribbean International's Perfect Day at CocoCay private island. Adults-only is the key phrase here. 

Hideaway Beach will officially debut when the Icon sails its first paid cruise, which departs Miami on Jan. 27. Beginning in April, sister line Celebrity Cruises will call at the island, too.

The swim-up bar at the adults-only Hideaway Beach.
The swim-up bar at the adults-only Hideaway Beach. Photo Credit: Andrea Zelinski

It would be inaccurate to describe Hideaway Beach as a serene escape. Just inland from the beach where I gazed at a calm, milky-blue lagoon, came the energetic party beats from a DJ stationed above a large infinity pool, setting the vibe for most of the beach. 

The infinity pool afforded views of the lagoon and the ocean beyond it. Earlier, I socialized in that pool and wandered up to the colorful swim-up bar specializing in rum punch, Bahama Mamas and other tropical drinks. On the other side was a covered, traditional walk-up bar surrounded by plush outdoor chairs covered in shade. 

This isn't the only place on the island where adults can find a freshwater pool with a DJ dishing up party vibes. Perfect Day has Oasis Lagoon, which features a larger pool with a swim-up bar and a similarly energetic DJ. But kids are allowed in that area, and it was crowded during my last visit here during an August sailing on Freedom of the Seas. 

Hideaway Beach is limited to guests 18 and up and comes with a price tag, which may control crowds. A full-day pass ranges from $39 to $89, depending on how many ships are docked at the island and the time of year. 

Hideout Cabanas on Hideaway Beach.
Hideout Cabanas on Hideaway Beach. Photo Credit: Andrea Zelinski

Unlike Oasis Lagoon, Hideaway Beach also has two categories of cabanas that guests can reserve. The 10 Hideaway Cabanas with a full-day pass range from $1,199 to $1,699 per package. 

Further from the pool and closer to the beach are the Hideout Cabanas with access to a long and narrow infinity pool, enabling guests to swim up to their cabanas. Those range from $1,699 to $2,699.

Each cabana comes with a mini-fridge stocked with canned alcoholic drinks and soft drinks, a cooler full of water and an attendant to deliver drinks and food to order.

I walked away from the beach thinking the name "Hideaway Beach" is a misnomer. This isn't a place where adults to go hide, it's where they can go to party and be seen -- by everyone but the kids.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI