Royal Caribbean to Open New Destination Concept in Antigua

The first Royal Beach Club will be set along a half-mile of beachfront near Fort James in Antigua. // Photo by Michael Utech / Getty Images

Royal Caribbean has announced plans to debut a new destination concept, The Royal Beach Club, in Antigua. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Antigua and Barbuda for the new property, which will be set along a half-mile of beachfront near Fort James. Plans call for the beach club to open in 2021. 

Built for Royal Caribbean International guests, The Royal Beach Club at Fort James will aim to deliver a beach experience with the cruise line’s signature amenities, as well as features drawn from the local culture. In Antigua, guests will be able to take advantage of private cabanas, a pool and a swim-up bar. 

Royal Caribbean said that the new Royal Beach Club concept aims to build on the line’s recently revamped private island destination in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, but that it will offer a distinctly different experience for guests. In a written statement Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said that each Royal Beach Club location will incorporate local food and music, family activities and custom attractions. 

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Though Royal Caribbean does not expect to release specific designs for the Antigua destination for several months, the company expects to offer regional fare, island-style BBQs and live music, along with experiences such as wave runners, paddle boarding, snorkeling, a family splash pad and a pool with a swim-up bar.

The move follows Royal Caribbean’s recent announcement of the next location for its Perfect Day private island collection: the South Pacific island of Vanuatu. The first Perfect Day destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opened this spring following a $250 million renovation and update. During our visit to the island it won high marks from guests and travel agents for its wide selection of attractions, such as the Daredevil’s Tower water slide, although some noted that the experience was overwhelming enough that guests would be advised to plan their day in advance and to take a map. 

Since its reintroduction, Perfect Day at CocoCay has proven popular enough for Royal Caribbean to cancel a shift by the Independence of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton that had been planned for 2020; the cruise line said the demand for CocoCay was enough that it needed to keep the ship in Florida in order to keep sailing itineraries that called there. The cruise line also recently began offering itineraries with two CocoCay calls on Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.

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