July 9, 2019

Martin Aquatic Team Experiences Perfect Day at CocoCay Firsthand

After Royal Caribbean opened its private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, our team at Martin Aquatic Design & Engineering (Martin Aquatic) had the opportunity to experience two amazing projects during one weekend getaway: we set sail on Navigator of the Seas and disembarked on the island to thrill and chill. Accompanied by significant others, the full Martin Aquatic team comprised of Josh Martin, JT Toavs, Matt Johnston, Luke Johnston, Sam Milson, Maya Mendelewicz, and Kerry Martin, who share their impressions from their perfect day.

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Getting on board from Royal Caribbean’s own cruise terminal in Miami, the team went to check out the new Martin Aquatic-designed amenities added during the ship’s modernization that have helped put cruises on Navigator of the Seas in high demand: the Caribbean-style pool deck, the longest aquacoaster at sea, and the industry’s only headfirst mat racer waterslide. “When Martin Aquatic joined the team for the modernization of Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean was looking for a ‘wow’ factor,” said JT Toavs, who served as project manager. “Our design put a 200-foot section of the aquacoaster’s tubing hanging off the side of the ship…13 decks up.” Not only does it make the ship stand out in a crowd, but it offers passengers a one-of-a-kind thrill at sea.

When we docked at Perfect Day at CocoCay, there was also no mistaking the iconic tower that dominated the skyline: Daredevil’s Tower, with the tallest waterslide in North America, designed by Martin Aquatic.

“Never have I stepped onto a finished project site where it looked exactly like the render,” said Josh Martin. “We spent the better part of four years working on this island, and to see it in real life was awe-inspiring.”

Our group went straight to Daredevil’s Peak, to claim bragging rights for riding the tallest waterslide. After climbing 135 feet to the top, its twists, turns, and drops did not disappoint as the biggest thrill of our day. The rest of the Martin Aquatic-designed slides—from the twin drop slides and a fully vertical slide to the family raft rides on Splash Summit tower—helped Thrill Waterpark live up to its name and kept everyone in agreement that this was the best waterpark we’ve ever visited. We spent time riding the tide in the Caribbean’s largest Wave Pool, challenged ourselves crossing the floating lily pads in the Adventure Pool, and then awaited the deluge from the dumping buckets at Splashaway Bay.

“As a design team, Splashaway Bay was one of the areas of the island that we poured the most of our creative ideas into—from the vibrant floor design and the matching colors across all the play equipment to the printed sea life designs on the acrylic panels,” said Sam Milson. “We loved watching the kids splashing around all the play features, but honestly, our team of adults loved playing in all the spraying water just as much. It brought out the kid in all of us.”

The next stop was the massive 33,000 square foot freshwater pool, Oasis Lagoon. “This pool is on a scale unlike anything we’ve ever designed,” said Matt Johnston, who served as project manager for all the island-based aquatic amenities. “And being in the pool sitting at the swim-up bar or lounging on a sun-shelf, you still can’t grasp how big it is.”

For our contingent from Martin Aquatic, this trip represented the culmination of three different project studios working on three different areas for our client, Royal Caribbean. The island team had been working in a silo separately from the studio doing the onboard ship-based amenities, and the creative studio who had handled all the preliminary concept design could truly appreciate the incredible engineering that went into bringing this project to reality. “Maybe the most rewarding part was seeing our coworkers experience it in person,” said Maya Mendelewicz. “I felt immensely proud for them to see what we had worked so hard on designing.”

“I don’t know if anyone else was as emotional as I was walking down the pier and looking at Perfect Day at CocoCay,” said Matt Johnston.

“It was unreal,” said Luke Johnston. “There’s just no other word for it.”

To learn more about the planning and design of Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, check out our Project Spotlight.