Castaway Cay, is my personal favorite part of a Disney cruise. This little slice of heaven in the Bahamas is Disney’s private island where Bahamian cruises and most Caribbean cruises stop at on their itinerary. Remember to start early. It is so tranquil and a great time to get out, get some chairs on the beach and explore a bit. A few things to remember; don’t bring cash unless you want to buy something at the post office, there are no lockers, and take the tram. If you go back to the ship about two hours before the required time, you will stand in less of line to get back on and you many even get a few rides on the water attractions if your ship has this feature, with little lines
1. Pelican plunge – This is a floating water slide and play platform located in the ocean near the family Beach. This area has two water slides, a giant bucket dump of water, and water cannons that you can use to shoot targets. Minimum height for this water slide is 38″. Anyone under 38″ must wear one of the provided life vests. This floating platform is located out in the ocean and requires being able to swim out to it. The water is too deep to touch the bottom.This area gets long lines so go early.
2. Scuttle Cove – The children’s play area which runs supervised activities with counselors from the ship throughout the day. Parents can drop the kids here to play and go enjoy some adult time at Serenity Bay Beach or do an excursion.
3.Spring a Leak – This is a water play area for kids. There are water sprayers everywhere from a broken pipe and there are features on a splash pad the little ones can enjoy.
4.Hide Out – This is the beach area for teens with loungers and umbrellas. There is usually some type of athletic game going on in this area to play as well.
5.Serenity Bay Beach – This is the adult only beach section and also the furthest away. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax, read and just enjoy the sound of waves meeting the shoreline, this is the place for you. This tends to be very quiet and has calmer water. There are also cabanas for private massages. The massages must be booked ahead of time.
6.Bike rentals – A great way to see the island is rent bikes. There are assorted sizes of bikes available to rent, including those with training wheels and kids’ seats for the littlest riders. At the time of this blog post, a bike rental is $6.
7.Excursions – There are a variety of tours and excursions available to be reserved on the island offering a little of something for everyone: parasailing ($79), deep sea fishing, fishing charters ($117) banana boat rides, aqua trikes ($15), sea kayaks ($8-$10) inner tube rental ($6), and feeding the sting rays.
*Life vests are available free of charge and prices are subject to change. Popular tours like the fishing charters and sting ray feeding sell out quickly, so you may want to book your excursions online or a few days prior to your Castaway Cay visit. If the weather ends up not cooperating and your excursion ends up being cancelled Disney will typically issue you a refund. Pricing is based off the time of this blog post. This is subject to change.
8.Snorkel – The snorkeling lagoon is large, has good visibility, and there is some hidden Disney “stuff” to find under the water. Snorkel early before the water gets cloudy from all the water activity from fellow guests. Snorkeling gear at the time of this blog post was $25 to rent. This can be reserved ahead of time or once on the island. You will pick it up on the island though so no need to haul it from the ship if you reserve it ahead of time.
9.Beach Cabanas – There are twenty cabanas that can be reserved through the cruise line for use during your day on Castaway Cay. They are 325sq ft each and include lounge chairs, a dining table, a sitting area, a fridge, a locker, towels and sunscreen. They typically cost $499 for up to six people. These go fast so they must be reserved right as the availability opens when you can pre-book activities at your final payment date.
10.Lunch! There’s no need to worry about getting back on the ship to eat lunch because there will be three BBQ buffet locations on the island (all included just as if you were on the ship). Please Note: The BBQ buffet style lunch will stop being served by 2:00pm. After 2pm there will be the option of grab & go options that include pre-made and wrapped sandwiches, cookies etc.
1) Cookie’s BBQ – located on the near side of the family beach
2) Cookie’s Too – located on the far side of the family beach
3) Serenity Bay BBQ – is the adult beach option
Each option above serves mostly the same items, including ribs, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, salads, corn on the cob, fresh fruit and self-serve soft serve ice cream. There are refreshment stations located all around the island to keep you hydrated serving soft drinks, water, juice and iced tea. Never turn down the ice cream. For some reason, the ice cream on Castaway tastes better. It is a must do while on the island. Adults can check out the Serenity Bay (Adult only) BBQ because sometimes they have a slightly better menu if the ship has a surplus of certain items. Serenity Bay BBQ also has steak, and possibly more seafood, whereas the other locations do not.
11. Cocktails anyone? There are four bars located around the island (Conched Out Bar, Heads Up Bar, Sand Bar, and Castaway Air Bar) each of which have drinks available for purchase. There are signature mixed drinks available, the most popular of which is the “Konk Kooler” (a blend of rums and tropical fruit juices). You can purchase special “beach bottles” of beer, and the prices are around $5.50 per drink (not in a souvenir mug).
12. Send a postcard from the Castaway Cay Post Office – Just a few steps from the dock, you’ll find the Castaway Cay Post Office. A dancing Olaf is there to greet you. You can mail yourself (or others) a postcard here and get the special Castaway Cay post mark on it! Bahamian stamps are required and can be purchased here. Bring cash as your “Key to the World” card will not work here.
You can also purchase the stamps onboard and they will be charged to the room. This is important as the post office isn’t always open when the ship is docked there. You can opt to either drop the postcards off at post office themselves or cast members can do that for them.
13.DON’T WAIT TO GET YOUR CASTAWAY CAY SOUVENIRS ON THE SHIP! Castaway Cay souvenirs are ONLY sold on Castaway Cay! You will NOT be able to purchase any memorabilia on the ship. If you forget this tip you will just need to book another trip to go back again! :0)
14.Character Meet and Greets – There will be characters to meet on Castaway Cay found all around the island, so don’t forget your camera! You may find that wait times to meet some of the characters here to be shorter than on the ship.
Tip: Capt. Jack Sparrow has been known to make an appearance or two on the beach, including Serenity Bay, so get your spyglass ready to watch out for him!
15.Castaway Cay 5K -Sign up to do the Castaway Cay 5K or morning yoga class on the beach. Don’t want to run, you can walk it. This is a great way to get off the ship earlier than most and take in the sights of the island before it gets more crowded during the day. Each participant receives a special Disney medal for completing the 5K event. This race takes a while so you tend to not finish before the general debarkation.
Above all else, enjoy the beautiful blue water and soft sand, make memories, and have fun!Tweet