My husband and I took a big trip with our boys to celebrate our 15th year of marriage, plus we wanted to celebrate our fortieth birthdays. Instead of throwing a big party for ourselves for turning forty, we decided a big family trip was in order instead. We planned our trip to Florida to include Gatorland, Disneyworld, Universal Studios, NASA, and a Disney Cruise on the Magic. It was epic! Definitely the most fun trip our family of five has taken, and the most unforgettable. One of our favorite parts was when the cruist ship stopped at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private exclusive island.
As a mama, here are the 7 Things I Loved About Castaway Cay plus my tips. Keep reading to find out why I recommend this gorgeous island for a family vacation destination.
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1. Castaway Cay offered enjoyable activities for every aged individual in my family.
We loved the gorgeous beaches on Castaway Cay with the white sand and amazing bright blue water. All five of us enjoyed spending time on the Castaway Family Beach swimming and lounging (okay, only this mama enjoyed the lounging, the kids were much too active to be content with simple lounging).
Even though Castaway Cay is an island on the ocean, it did not have big giant waves because it is nestled in a bay. While my boys love the big waves of the open beachfront, my youngest does best with the calmer waters of the bay. There were also tubes, floats, and boats for rent as well.
My boys all loved the Pelican Plunge water slides and the water dump bucket feature. This water slide play area is set out in the water so people have to swim over to it to go on the water slides. My older two had no problem swimming over to enjoy the slides, however our youngest was reluctant. My husband went with him as he swam across. When he reached the top of the slide, he cried and didn’t want to go down. My husband convinced him to try it just once. After he went down, he realized he loved it and his tears disappeared and a smile appeared. It was a win-win! He conquered his fears and found out he loved water slides.
There was also the Spring-A-Leak water play area for young kids.
2. The character meet and greet lines were short on the island.
My family went early, right away after we landed at the port. We walked along the pathway to the beaches and arrived at the office post office right when Donald Duck appeared. There was no line and we got pictures and an autograph from Donald without any wait at all. We strolled further along the path and came upon Pluto walking down the path. Next we procedded to the spot where Mickey and Goofy were to appear within minutes. We waited in a line of about 3 people and got pictures and autographs from both Mickey and Goofy.
This was a dream come true with kids because waiting in long character meet and greet lines with kids can be rather painful on the cruise and at Disneyworld. We scored great pics and meet and greet moments with Disney characters on Castaway Cay with extreme ease. Now I can’t testify for later in the day, but early in the morning, this was a series of golden moments for us to meet the characters and I’m so glad we seized each moment.
3. Castaway Cay offers amenities adults enjoy as well.
My husband and I enjoyed an adult alcoholic beverage on the beach as well while lounging on the many available chairs on the beach. We did not visit Serenity Bay for adults because we always had at least one child with us, but I’ve heard it is awesome. Even though my husband and I didn’t partake in Serenity Bay, I love that Disney offers it. This will be something we can hopefully do in the future. Other amentities adults would enjoy on the island include boat rental, sailing, snorkeling, swimming, walking trails, bike rental, kayaks, sounvenir shopping, restaurants, and lounging on the beach.
4. Snorkling in the lagoon with sea life was so much fun!
My husband and older two boys loved the snorkling lagoon on the island. They enjoyed snorkling to see the sea life and many fish. They found the Mickey, Minnie, and a couple of small sunken ships while snorkeling underwater. Our youngest wasn’t able to snorkel, but he sure loved trying and wearing the life jacket like his brothers and dad. I stayed on shore to watch him so I didn’t see the fish, sea life, or statues underwater, but my husband and kids definitely enjoyed seeing all of it!
5. Castaway Cay offers optional kid area hangouts for both young kids and teens.
Our younger two kids were unsure at first if they wanted to visit Scuttle’s Cove kids’ club to be checked in for awhile. However, they decided to try it out in the early afternoon and found they absolutely loved it. They admitted they wished they had gone in sooner because they had so much fun. The Disney camp counselors made the experience so much fun for the kids with games and organized activities. My boys would have stayed longer but we had to head back to the ship. The kids’ club is for kids ages 3 to 12.
None of our kids were teens at the time, so we did not have any kids who visited the teen area. The ages for the teen area are 13-17.
Castaway Cay also offers fun games to guests such as tetherball, volleyball, soccer, supervised games plus music and dancing.
6. Castaway Cay offers a tram for tired kiddos to ride on.
The kids played hard on Castaway Cay and they got worn out. I was so relieved to have the tram for transportation so the kids could get a rest while riding the tram around the island. After a long day of swimming at the beach, even my husband and I were grateful for the ride back to the ship.
Disney really has it figured out how to provide a pleasant experience to people!
7. The food was included so we didn’t need to buy food while on the island.
The nice bonus of taking a cruise is all the food is included, so I was pleased to find out the food was free on the island as well. The food was delicious at Cookie’s BBQ. We simply walked from the Family Beach to the food area so it was very convenient. My boys were ecstatic to find soft serve ice cream machines on the island just as they are on the cruise ship. This was one of their favorite things about the ship because they could get ice cream on the pool deck anytime they wanted.
My personal tips:
- Stay hydrated and drink lots of water throughout the day. The sun is hot and it’s easy to get dehydrated when swimming or being active.
- Again the sun is hot. Make sure to apply sunscreen several times throughout the day because the sun rays are strong in the Bahamas. Two of my kids got sunburned at Castaway Cay despite reapplications of sunscreen and they were not happy because their skin was hurting. Being in water all day makes the sunscreen come off easily so be sure to bring sunscreen.
- Bring your room key card for disembarking and reboarding the ship. Be sure to check current cruise ship requirements for reboarding.
- Bring as little as possible so you don’t have to watch it.
- Get a towel after disembarking the ship.
- Bring extra water bottles if sold on the ship. We purchased a circular Disney Cruise cooler with water bottles in it prior to getting off the ship. We love using the cooler to this day. It doesn’t keep drinks cold for many days (so it’s not good for camping), but it works for a day trip or afternoon, plus I love the circle shape of it. I love the fun souvenir because it reminds me of all our fun we had on our Disney Cruise and Castaway Cay.
- Mail yourself a postcard from the island. We forgot to do this and we regret not having made time to do this.
I hope you enjoy your day at Castaway Cay! It is definitely a special place worth the visit! It’s a great family destination for making lifelong memories. My family looks forward to returning back some day.
To view my other related family travel reviews, visit my post about Gatorland: https://www.juliehoagwriter.com/2017/06/02/family-fun-gatorland-orlando-florida/
To view my post on our other Disney cruise day excursion to Atlantis, visit this link: https://www.juliehoagwriter.com/2017/05/16/expense-one-day-excursion-atlantis-worth-money/
For your convenience, here is the link to Disney’s cruise line link to Castaway Cay: https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/ports/castaway-cay/
Free Packing List
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