Castaway Cay, is Disney’s private port-of-call in the Bahamas. On the island guests can enjoy tropical leisure activities, such as snorkeling, boating, swimming and sunbathing. There are plenty of organized activities and while most of these activities are relatively inexpensive compared to other ports of call it is important to know what you can do and what the prize tag will be. So without further due here are some of my favorite things to do on Castaway Cay:
Pelican Plunge is a 2,400-square-foot floating platform with slides and a giant water bucket which dumps hundreds of gallons of water on bathers. It is located offshore but in safe swimming distance from the main family beach. Make sure to arrive early at the beach. There are plenty of beach chairs but early birds will be able to get spots that provide some shade.
Young guests can cool off at the brand-new Spring-a-Leak water play area. Imagine dripping pipes, broken plumbing and hissing misters and you get the point.
At Scuttle’s Cove kids can enjoy youth activities under the supervision of Disney cast members. The most fun at Scuttle’s Cove is a giant whalebone excavation site and a splish splash zone. The program is open till 3:30 PM and parents can relax at the beach knowing their kids are safe. At no time do the counselors take the children near or into the ocean.
Barbeque at the beach Not one but several stations make sure guests do not get hungry while exploring Castaway Cay. The barbeque is included in the price of your cruise and offers traditional fare such as burgers, hotdogs, Corn on the Cobb and some real fabulous ribs. There are healthier options too such as salads and fruits. Of course there is a selection of deserts, soda stations and my all-time favorite, an ice cream station with traditional flavors and flavors such as mango that are not available on board. If you prefer eating on board you can take the tram that runs back and forth between the different beaches and the ship throughout the day.
Serenity Bay This Disney’s grownup only beach comes complete with a separate barbeque station, a bar and secluded cabanas with a great view. Special treat here is that the barbeque includes grilled steaks. The food is free of charge but the drinks from the bar are not.
There are plenty of chairs to enjoy the beach but if you are looking for a special treat consider the 325-square foot cabanas. They are furnished with tables, cushioned chaise lounges, a stocked refrigerator, fresh water shower and a hammock. Rental fee is $499 for a party of up to six.
Here Comes the Bride Destination weddings are very popular and relatively inexpensive. Back in April I sailed on the Disney Dream and witnessed the wedding of my cousins Sergio and Nancy on Castaway Cay. I was very impressed with the entire experience. From the last minute preparations to the ceremony on the beach and the reception on deck 14 of the ship, everything was well planned and perfectly executed. So if you are looking to tie the knot while sailing with “The Mouse” go for it. Wedding packages on Castaway Cay start at $4,000 for a party of 8 guests plus the couple. The charge for additional guests is $20 per person 3 years and older.
The package includes the ceremony on the island, a wedding coordinator, concierge service and the services of a minister. Also included in this package is live music performed by a pianist at the beach and during the reception, a fresh flower bouquet for the bride and a boutonniere for the groom as well as a reception on board the ship with a two-tier wedding cake, a bottle of champagne and special treats for the bride and groom. The couple is also treated to a diner at Palo, a $100 onboard stateroom credit and the steaming of the couples ceremony attire is taken care free of charge. An event photographer, a surprise visit of Disney characters and floral add-ons can be arranged for an additional cost.
Floating the day away Rent an inner tube and enjoy a relaxing float. The tubes are also neat for lying on the beach. The all day rental fee is $10 for all ages.
Running a 5K Completely free of charge and lots of fun for all runDisney fans is the Castaway Cay 5K run. It is a great way to discover the island. Sign up is onboard the ship just as if you would do for any shore excursion. You will get a shore excursion ticket, your running bib and race instructions. You will meet the other runners in a designated area of the ship and you will be among the first passengers to go on the island.
If running is not your thing how about Biking the Island? The bike path on Castaway Cay is well marked and there are plenty of water stations along the way. It is a lovely way to explore the island away from the crowds. I definitively recommend making a stop at the observation tower for a sweeping view of Castaway Cay. The price for the one-hour rental is $10 for all ages and includes a helmet, which must be worn at all times.
Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure gives you the chance to feed, touch and snorkel with stingrays in a private lagoon. This up-close encounter also includes a fun info session led by a marine specialist who shares interesting facts about stingrays. The one-hour excursion is priced at $45 for adults and $36 for ages 5 to 9.
Pristine beaches, lots of fun activities and the occasional visit of a Disney character roundup your visit to Castaway Cay. Remember to stay hydrated, slap on the sunscreen and most of all have a relaxing day.
Liliane Opsomer is the coauthor of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids and a photographer to The Color Companion: The Unofficial Guide.
She is passionate about travel, Disney, fairies, hobbits and all things magical. Some of her favorite destinations are Orlando, Anaheim, Middle Earth, Belgium, Sydney, Dresden, Patagonia and Hawaii. Liliane lives in Birmingham, Alabama and visits the parks several times a year.