One of the many things I love about Disney Cruise Line would have to be its private island, Castaway Cay, which is situated in the Bahamas. Fun fact: Cay is pronounced as key! If I could spend the night on this island, I’d be one of the first people to sign up! Caribbean and Bahamas cruises aboard the Disney Fantasy, Dream, Wonder and Magic ships typically make one or two stops to Castaway Cay. There are so many reasons as to why I single it out in being one of my favorite destinations to travel too. Let me tell you why!
5K Castaway Run: Now… when you think of vacation… I don’t think many of us think about doing exercise on vacation… let alone running a 5k… so, what makes this 5k worth running? You are awarded a medal at the end of the race is one of the reasons! This beautiful run takes you along a good part of the island providing you plenty of green scenery which diverts your attention to how hot and humid it may be depending which time of the year you visit! (I prefer to run in December as opposed to June or July! Lol!) Throughout the run, there are two water stations that make all the difference. As this is not considered part of the runDisney, Castaway 5k is more of a fun run. You can also walk the 5k if you choose to do so. This 5k is available to those that are 10 and older.
Once on the ship you can obtain your tickets at Guest Services for the run. The morning of the run, you will have a meeting place where you will be the first group off the ship.
Have kids? No worries! While on your walk to the starting point… and boy is it a bit of a walk… think of it as a warmup…you will drop your kids off at the kid’s club, Scuttle’s Cove, on the island. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! Our mouseketeers look forward to being dropped off as they have so many fun activities and water and sand everywhere!
How about if you have a bag with your belongings and your towels? Again.. no problem! As my husband walks faster than I do, he simply finds beach chairs on the beach close to the starting point for the run and then heads back to the starting line.
Once the run is over and you are awarded with your awesome plastic medal (each years is slightly different), it is time for a drink… well, at least for me! Lol! I love to enjoy a Konk Kooler as my personal reward in finishing the race.
Usually by this time, my husband goes to our beach chairs while I walk back to Scuttle’s Cove to pick up our little mouseketeers. I usually time this perfectly as the characters are out in this area, and so I love to take victory pictures with them while proudly wearing my medal. You can’t ask for a better background, right?!
In terms of changing out of your running gear, I know that there are people that go back to the ship to shower and change. However, as we take our bathing suits in our bags, my husband and I usually change in the bathroom so we are able to spend more time on the island. I figure we will be getting into the ocean anyways…so, why bathe?! Lol!
Characters: What other island around the world are you able to find Disney characters randomly walking around an island with you? Well, Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii… okay.. there are only two places in the world that you are able to roam around an island with Disney characters! Be sure to consult your Personal Navigator, either in paper form or on your Disney app on your phone for times and locations for character meet and greets.
Activities: When it comes to activities on Castaway Cay, you will find that there are an abundant of activities for everyone and for every age. The Disney Cruise Line page provides information and a description of all activities available on the island. From our personal trips to Castaway, we have always purchased the Castaway Cay Getaway Package which includes snorkel equipment for the day, a a float or inner-tube rental for the day, and a bicycle rental for one hour. Riding a bike around the island is truly a must do! Have a little one going on a bike ride with you? No problemo! Bike rentals include bikes for children, adults, bikes with training wheels, and bikes with a childs carrier.
Tram: It’s a long walk from the ship to the beach and that is why I always recommend taking the shuttle to get around the island. There are two stops for the tram service. One for Serenity Beach, which is the adults only beach, which I will soon tell you about! No need to pay for the tram as it is included!
Strollers and Wheelchairs: There are free strollers, wagons and joggers available on the island. DCL also provides special wheelchairs made specifically to be used on the sand for physically challenged cruisers. Again, there is no additional cost for using them. We first discovered the wagons on our first trip to Castaway and we still use them even to this day, not only to pull our mouseketeers along, but to also give our arms a rest from carrying towels and our belongings!
Family Beach: Castaway Cay Family Beach is one of the two beaches on the island. Everyone is welcome to this beach! It is a very far stretch of ocean so there is plenty of space so you never feel cramped! The Family Beach is also the beach that is closest to the ship itself and it is where most of the beach activities are located. My favorite part of the beach area is pulling myself a lounge chair and taking in the sun (all while wearing sunscreen of course and being so thankful of being able to take in all of nature’s beauty, being on vacation, and being away from all reality and the outside world!)
Pelican Plunge: Pelican Plunge is a floating water slide and play platform which includes two water slides, a giant “bucket dump” of water, and water cannons that you can use to shoot targets. There is a minimum height requirement and a requirement for life vests. Minimum height for the Pelican Plunge water slides is 38″ and anyone under 48″ must wear one of the provided life vests. You must be willing to swim out to the platform as the water is deep! My daughter and husband ventured to Pelican Plunge last summer and my daughter was surprised how fast your shoot out of the water slide!
Serenity Beach: Serenity Bay is just has heavenly as its name implies! You could reach this beach by foot, but boy would it be quite the long and hot walk! My husband and I enjoy taking the tram to this stop! You won’t regret it! So, what makes Serenity beach so serene? Picture enjoying a beach with no children around for miles upon miles… just adults and mommy juice as I like to call it… sounds pretty serene, doesn’t it? I like to call Serenity Beach our “little getaway,” as we take our mouseketeers to Scuttle’s Cove, as we are able to getaway for a bit and enjoy one another’s company as we are floating on tubes in the ocean. (This is usually where we always talk about booking our next cruise and how we can’t wait to retire to be able to slow down to relax and enjoy life in a different way….mind you, we still ways to go for retirement… “a dream is a wish your heart makes,” right?) This private adult beach is accessible for only 18+. One of the awesomeness about this area is that there is also a barbeque food location, therefore, you do not have to make a trip back to the family beach for lunch! As an extra perk, the food location at Serenity Bay is slightly a different menu than the other food venue, which is nice!
Food on Castaway Cay: Speaking of food…. the other awesome perk about Castaway Cay is that you do not have to make the journey back to the ship to have lunch, drinks or snacks! Don’t forget your Key to the World card (serves as your identification card, information about your food rotation, serves as your room key, and also as your “credit card” to charge purchases) if you plan on purchasing adult beverages and/or speciality alcohol or non alcoholic drinks.
There are three placing to eat on Castaway Cay, and again, there is no additional service fee. Lunch begins at 11:30 and closes at 2 pm. You can also find the famous self served ice-cream near the food locations!
Cookie’s Too BBQ
BBQ near Serenity Bay (the adult only beach). As mentioned before, the restaurant at Serenity Bay is solely for adults and offers bonus entrees not available at the other two, such as yummy grilled steak.
Shopping on Castaway Cay: Note, that you can only purchase Castaway Cay gear and memorabilia on the island, therefore, make sure to go into the various shops on Castaway and again do not forget to take your Key to the World card so you are able to purchase your new souvenirs!
Tip: Consult your Personal Navigator for the many different activities that are offered on Castaway Cay such as character dance parties, character meet and greets, yoga and power walk activities, sporting competitions such as basketball, and the many other various activities offered for children in Scuttle’s Cove as well as activities geared specifically for teenage cruisers.
Post Office: There is also a post office on Castaway Island where you can mail out postcards to your family and friends back home. The post office is open different hours, depending on the day and time of your visit, therefore, make sure to check the sign at the post office as you walk off the ship to the island to see hours of operation. Your postcards will even include a stamp from Castaway Cay! Postage will be .65 cents Bahamian currency.
If you miss the post office when they are open the day you visit, no need to panic, as you can still send a postcard to the United States by making a trip to Guest Services when onboard! And do not worry if it has been two months after you have sailed and your majestical postcard has not arrived… it roughly takes about two months of travels… quite the traveler that nifty postcard is, isn’t it?!
Sand Toys: We also like to take our own beach toys for our mouseketeers to play with while basking away playing in the water and sand, as they can be a bit pricey on the island itself.
Double Dips to Castaway: What’s better than going to Castaway once during your sailing… but visiting Castaway twice during your sailing! I highly recommend booking a sailing with two visits to the island so that way you are able to take your time and do as little or as much as you would like to do for the time you are visiting this island full of Wonder, Magic, Dream and Fantasy. (see what I did there…)
We will be venturing on our second sailing with a double dip to Castaway this summer, and can not wait, because as you have read, Disney’s Castaway Cay is pretty darn awesome!
Have you sailed to Castaway? What awesome activities have you partaken in? Click “Comment” at the top to leave a comment!