Disney Cruise Tips – Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Tips - Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is Disney’s own private island, pronounced Castaway Key. Why wouldn’t they own their own island?! It is a must do when cruising in the Bahama’s or Caribbean. In fact I would go as far as to say if you are taking a cruise in one of these locations you should NEVER not stop at Castaway Cay.

Imagine, a picture perfect island that is only for you and your fellow passengers. No peddlers pushing their wares as you get off the boat. No taxi hopping to get to the nearest beach. No searching for food. All of it is taken care of for you and the setting is magical.

Beaches

  • Family Beach – This beach is a huge white sand beach with tons of beach chairs, umbrellas and activities.
    • Pelican Plunge is right off shore and has water slides, floating platforms with buckets that dump gallons of water on you and water cannons!
    • Spring-a-Leak is a water playground that is partially shaded and is a great place for toddlers to play in the squirting water!
    • The Snorkeling Lagoon is also in the Family Beach area and is a perfect area to see fish and “hidden treasure”
Pelican Bay on Castaway Cay

Pelican Bay on Castaway Cay

  • Serenity Bay – The adult only beach is just a short walk or tram ride away. A truly serene beach that features amazing hammocks, plenty of beach chairs and relaxation.
  • Teen Beach – I actually remember going here as a teen (now those were the days). It’s a great spot to hang out with the friends you have made on the ship, play beach volleyball or other games and swim in the crystal clear water.
Hammocks on Serenity Bay

Hammocks on Serenity Bay

Activities

There are plenty of things to keep you busy on the island.

  • Swimming – which includes snorkeling!
  • Stingray adventure
  • Boat Rentals
  • Bike paths
  • 5K run
  • Sports Courts

My recommendation is explore the island.  Take the time to look around, take a walk or rent a bike. Disney treats their island like one of their parks and they pay attention to each and every details.

Dining

Great news! Dining on the island is included in your cruise fare. There are 3 dining spots on the island. Cookie’s and Cookies Too are located at the Family Beach and Serenity Bay BBQ, is you guessed it, located at the adult only beach. The food is great, featuring fresh fruit, picnic favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and potato salad. There are also soda fountains and ice cream located at each.

Child Care

The kids club moves from on the ship to Scuttles Cove. At first I was not sold on the idea. The plan was to spend the day as a family on the beach. Our last trip was in January, and the water was COLD! This may not always be the case, but it was very chilly in the water. By lunch time she was begging to go hang out with the other children.

Now don’t worry, this area is far away from the water and completely secure. But still bring them in their swim suits. There is a sandy play area and water elements to keep them cool.

Our little one had lunch in Scuttles Cove and we headed to Serenity Bay to have lunch and enjoy ourselves with a long nap in one of the hammock.

I of course should not have doubted that Scuttles Cove was going to be anything less then stellar. She had a blast and it was great to have a little downtime to ourselves.

Beach Cabanas

I am going to be transparent about this subject. I have never rented one and I have never even been inside a beach cabana. I am torn on the GREAT BEACH CABANA DEBATE.

These luxury private cabanas offer seclusion, views, shaded lounging space and a stocked beverage cooler (non-alcoholic). But at a VERY expensive price tag. At over $500 for the day on the family beach, the debate is real.

Is the luxury worth the cost? I can tell you we haven’t made the plunge. It’s being debated for the next trip, only because it can be split between 3 families. But even then, I probably would rather a hot stone message, but that’s just me.

Tips

  • When should you get off the boat? You will read everywhere that you need to get right off the boat so that you get the first pick of chairs. We found that the boat is very slow moving in the morning. We did not rush, but had breakfast and we disembarked about an hour after the all ashore announcement. We had no trouble finding perfect chairs. We were on the Magic, which carries less passengers then the Fantasy. If you have a big party and you need 10 beach chairs together in the perfect spot, I would get off early. If not, don’t feel rushed getting up and out.
  • If you would like to snorkel, consider bringing your own equipment. This will save on rental fees. Or opt for the package that includes an inner tube.
  • If you are up for it, take a bike ride. The island is very flat and it’s beautiful to explore.

Disney as always works to create the perfect experience for their guests. And Castaway Cay is a picture perfect piece of paradise.

Click here for more Disney Cruise Line information.

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