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Written by Corinne Leon
Our family loves sailing on Disney Cruise Line! We are Gold Castaway Club Members, which means we’ve sailed Disney Cruise Line more than 5 times (6 to be exact). So far, we have only experienced Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries, which is fine with us because this means that we were lucky enough to have visited Disney’s Castaway Cay each time! Once, we even did a “double dip” itinerary, which means we made TWO stops at Castaway Cay. I think that was my favourite of them all.
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private Bahamian Island and is reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line Guests. It’s basically an extension of the ship, as the ship is docked there all day and Guests can come and go as they please. Guests don’t even have to go back on the ship to eat, as there are 3 locations on the island to enjoy lunch. Scuttle’s Cove provides childcare on the island for the little ones, and Hideout is a cool place for teens to hang out. There are even character meet and greets and a Dance Party on Castaway Cay. The beaches are gorgeous and are furnished with plenty of chairs, loungers and umbrellas. Lifeguard towers provide life vests of all sizes. The first beach is the Castaway Family Beach, which is a short walk from the ship, or you can also get there by tram. Further down the island is Serenity Bay Beach, which is reserved for adults only.
As you may imagine, Disney Cruise Line offers dozens of activities and port adventures on Castaway Cay. As much as I’d love to describe every single one of them here, I’m only going to mention the activities and adventures that we have actually experienced.
Pretty much the very first thing we like to reserve is the Castaway Cay Getaway Package. This includes the rental of snorkel gear, an inflatable tube or raft and a bicycle. It’s a great deal and gives everyone the option of either relaxing on the beach or jumping into the lagoon to cool down a bit throughout the day.
We really enjoy the scenic bike trail that follows along an old airstrip out to a tower where you can climb to the top and see for miles! As we know, Disney is all about the details, so they have strategically placed cold water stations all along the trail. We especially enjoy the quiet road that goes behind some of the colourful cabanas all the way to the very end of the bike trail. The best time to snorkel is earlier in the day before the other swimmers and snorkelers have stirred up the sandy bottom. The water is amazingly clear then and there are plenty of colourful fish to see, as well as a few surprises and (not so) hidden Mickeys!
There is also a very cool waterslide called Pelican Plunge, which sits on a 2,400 square foot floating platform just a short swim from the shore. There are 2 separate, twisty slides, one is covered, the other is not, and both plunge you right into the lagoon! We prefer the open air one but they’re both a lot of fun!
Of course, I can’t talk about Castaway Cay without mentioning the food. Families can enjoy lunch at either Cookie’s BBQ or Cookie’s Too BBQ a little further down the beach. There is also a separate BBQ near Serenity Bay Beach. The food is very tasty with a nice selection of hamburgers, ribs, mahi mahi, fresh fruit and baked goods. Here is my husband digging right in!
Earlier that same day, my husband and I took part in the runDisney Castaway Cay 5K Race or the first time. He did very well but I think I held him back, as I had not trained very much beforehand. And, of course, the slower you are, the later (and hotter!) it gets. Nonetheless, we received our medals, purchased the requisite T-shirts, and checked that one off our Disney Bucket List!
On the more adventurous side, my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed Parasailing! There is nothing like the feeling of “flying” high above the deep blue ocean waters with a view of our magnificent Disney Cruise ship off in the distance!
Not one for heights, my husband decided to embark on a fishing excursion, where he actually caught a small lemon shark! Catch and release is the Disney way, of course.
So, there you have a tiny glimpse into some of the wonderful experiences we have had on Disney’s Castaway Cay. Visiting this little piece of island paradise is, by far, one of the many highlights of our Disney Cruises. If all goes as planned, we are hoping to enjoy our 7th DCL cruise, a 7-night “Star Wars” themed itinerary on the Fantasy in 2016! And you just know we can’t wait to feel that nice white sand between our toes and swim in that calm clear lagoon once again! See ya later, mon!
Corinne is a busy commuter mom who works full-time in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Together with her husband and teenage daughter, they love planning their future Disney trips and cruises, always trying to add new experiences to each vacation! You can follow Corinne on Twitter @Jump4Joy8390.