The last port day of our Disney cruise honeymoon was spent at Disney’s Castaway Cay. It was my favorite port of the whole cruise! Here are 13 things you need to do at Disney’s Castaway Cay!
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I received a pair of prescription sunglasses from GlassesUSA.com in exchange for my honest opinion and review.
Since is was our first Disney cruise, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we visited Disney’s Castaway Cay. We were scheduled to visit the island on the last full day of the cruise. Now I know why you visit the island on the last day, it’s like the grand finale to your trip! (Click here to get 159 Disney Cruise Tips that I wish I would’ve known before our cruise!)
I’d read that the island was supposed to feel like a deserted island but it was so much more! It felt like a small waterpark! I should’ve known that only Disney could turn an uninhabited island into a private oasis: complete with its own restaurant, bar, snorkeling lagoon, a shipwreck, and gorgeous beaches.
10 Things You NEED to Bring with You to Disney’s Castaway Cay
- Sunglasses – If you wear prescription glasses on a regular basis, I would highly recommend that you get prescription sunglasses for your vacation! I’m so happy with the prescription sunglasses that I ordered from GlassesUSA.com.
The quality of the sunglasses is fantastic and I can see perfectly. They easily customized my order with the mirrored blue lenses and I really appreciated all the measurements that they took in order to make sure the sunglasses fit my face and prescription correctly.
You can even upload your picture to the website and virtually try the sunglasses on. It’s pretty cool! It really helped me to decide which pair was right for me. I will definitely be ordering from GlassesUSA.com again in the future!
- Beach Bag – Even though I made a packing list of all the things that we would need for the cruise and I didn’t forget anything on the list, packing a beach bag completely slipped my mind!Thankfully, I had a reusable shopping bag that I used as a beach bag for the day.
- Sunscreen – Sunscreen is a biggie! Apply it before you leave your stateroom and then again every few hours. Do additional applications if you’re doing any water activities.
This sunscreen is the one that we use because it’s reef-safe and it doesn’t have any parabens, phthalates, or harsh sulfates. It’s easy to put on and it’s water resistant. Most importantly, it actually works! We only got burned in the spots that we missed.
- KTTWC + Photo ID – To get off the ship, back on the ship and to buy any drinks or souvenirs, you’ll need your Key to the World Card and photo ID.
- Snorkel Gear – We brought out own gear to go snorkeling in the snorkeling lagoon on the family side. However, 5 minutes into snorkeling, Travis lost his mask and snorkel so we had to rent them for him.If you don’t want to bring your own gear, you can rent them on the island for $32.
- Bathing Suit + Cover-up – Wear your bathing suit and a cover-up off the ship. It’s easier to be ready to swim instead of having to change once you’re on the island.
- Sandals – We wore water shoes because we were told that the beach was rocky to walk on. I didn’t think that it was rocky enough to warrant water shoes so I would have rather had my lightweight sandals. In my opinion, sandals are just easier to walk in and would have been perfectly fine.
- Floppy Hat – Packing my floppy hat was a last minute decision but I’m so glad that I packed it! It worked wonders to protect my face and neck from the extremely strong sun on the island.
- GoPro + Waterproof Cover – I’m so glad that we brought the GoPro to capture our snorkeling adventures on Disney’s Castaway Cay Island. I love looking back through the underwater videos now.
- Water Bottle – You need to drink lots of water while on the island! It’s extremely hot so you must stay hydrated! You can get water at lunch but I liked having my water bottle with me.
13 Things You Need to do at Disney’s Castaway Cay
Visiting Disney’s Castaway Cay turned out to be our favorite port of the whole trip! The island is beautiful and clean, the water is a stunning aqua blue, the provided cookout lunch at Cookie’s BBQ was delicious, and (the adult-only beach) Serenity Bay is stunning, peaceful, and kid-free!
Our verandah room was on the starboard side and we woke up to gorgeous panoramic views of the island. It sprinkled for about 5 minutes but the rain clouds quickly moved on to reveal clear skies and sunshine for the rest of the day.
Get Up Early, Eat Breakfast, and Get Off the Ship
We got up around 8 am and ate breakfast at Cabanas. Don’t skip breakfast, you need energy for all the activities on the island! The ship docked around 9 am and we were on the beach by 9:30 am. Even though we were on a full ship, the island didn’t feel over-crowded at all. It was quick to get off the ship and get to the island.
Mail a Postcard at Disney’s Castaway Cay Post Office
Castaway Cay has their very own post office! You can buy a postcard from the gift shop on the ship and a $.65 stamp from Guest Services. The post office has a special Castaway Cay stamp that makes the postcard a fun souvenir when you receive it in the mail weeks later at home.
Read the Castaway Cay Map + Take Pictures!
Once you walk through the gate, you’ll walk past a few photo-op spots (take lots of pics now, you’ll be a hot, wet mess later), the post office, and the excursion booth.
You should see a huge map of Castaway Cay on the left side of the road, check it out so you know all the spots you want to hit. You can get a paper map on the ship for a souvenir. Keep walking a little bit further and you’ll run into the Kargo Handling tram stop (#16).
You can ride the open-air tram to the next tram stop if you want to go directly to the beach or you can take the scenic route. We chose to walk because I wanted to take pictures of the beautiful water and the majestic Disney Fantasy floating in the distance.
How beautiful is the ship?! As we were walking off the ship, we noticed the crew was already cleaning and painting parts of the ship. Everything was sparkling by the time we came back to the ship. Their attention to detail and cleanliness is impeccable!
Don’t worry about rushing to get a beach chair. I heard one of the cast members say that there are two beach chairs to every person on the ship, so don’t hurry and miss the beautiful scenery just to find a spot. There’s plenty of room for everyone!
Pick a Lounge Chair Under an Umbrella
I will say, there were plenty of lounge chairs for everyone, but I don’t think there are as many umbrellas so we had to wait and switch to chairs under an umbrella later in the day. It was fine for us since we were in the water most of the day but by the end of the day, we were ready to be in the shade.
If getting a shaded spot is important to you, then you might want to get off the ship right when they dock and announce that you can get off so you can secure a shaded umbrella spot as soon a possible.
Is it Safe to Leave Your Valuables on a Beach Chair?
I brought my expensive camera to take pictures of the island but I couldn’t bring it in the water, so I wrapped it up and put it in my “beach bag” and left it on the chair. We left our stuff for hours and had no problems at all. There were tons of people around, the chairs are very close together, and it generally felt very safe and secure.
I was surprised that there were no locker’s available on the island to rent but we didn’t have any problems. So, I would say that it is safe to leave your bags alone.
I’m sure that there are a few bad apples but for the most part, everyone is there for the same reason: to have fun with their families. The island isn’t a public place so I would assume that the crime rate is extremely low.
Go Snorkeling in the Lagoon
After I finished taking pictures and we found a place to drop our bags, we got our snorkel gear on and headed to the lagoon.
We were originally supposed to go snorkeling on an excursion in Tortola, but since our itinerary was changed at the last minute, the excursion was canceled. The adult snorkeling excursion at Disney’s Castaway Cay only had one spot left and they weren’t able to add one more person to the group so we both could go. We declined because we wanted to snorkel together.
At first, we were disappointed about not being able to snorkel at a reef but once we saw the huge snorkeling lagoon at Disney’s Castaway Cay, we were so excited! The lagoon is split in two, one half is for swimming and the other half is strictly for snorkeling.
The lagoon is roped off but it goes out very far and it’s pretty deep. Because of the deep water you’ll be swimming in, life jackets are required for everyone to wear if you want to snorkel in the lagoon.
There are many cool things to see underwater but they’re pretty far from the shore. There’s a small shipwreck, a submarine, a Mickey and Minnie statue, and tons of sea life. All of the spots are marked with floating buoys, so if you see a buoy go underwater!
Go on the Slides at Pelican Plunge
Pelican Plunge is on the other side of the family beach. The slides are awesome! They’re fast and pretty high up, they’re definitely not just for kids.
You have to swim out to the slides, they’re on a big floating deck in the water. There are two slides: one open and one closed tube slide. There were 10-15 minute lines for both slides. We only went on the open air slide and it was so much fun!
After we went on the slides we caught the tram over to Serenity Bay. We were ready for lunch and to relax!
Eat Lunch at Cookie’s BBQ Buffet
A BBQ cookout lunch buffet is provided on the family beach and on the adult beach from 11 am-2 pm. The food was surprisingly delicious and plentiful.
Cookie’s BBQ Menu
- Hot dogs
- Veggie burgers (made to order)
- Corn on the cob
- Fresh fruit – mango, watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
- Couscous salad
- Potato salad
- Mango mint soup
- Cucumber feta salad
- Fresh chocolate chip cookies
- Soft serve ice cream machine
Travis got a beef burger and I ordered a veggie burger. All the sides were chilled, fresh and very tasty. Everything was covered to stay hot or cold and away from bugs in the buffet setup.
They also had a soda machine, but we got water. I brought water bottles with us but I’m glad we saved them because by the end of the day we were parched! I’m sure you could get water somewhere on the island but we didn’t take the time to find out because we had our own.
Just make sure to stay hydrated because it’s really hot out there!
Once we loaded up our plates, we headed over to the shaded area to chow down! We were so hungry! For dessert, we crumbled up the warm chocolate chip cookies and make ice cream cookie sundaes. It was so tasty on an extremely hot day!
Go to Disney’s Castaway Cay Adult Beach: Serenity Bay
Serenity Bay is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!
The beach is very shallow and perfect for just sitting in the waves or floating in the water.
Note – You can also rent a tube or a raft if from the Windsock Hut you want to relax even more.
The area roped off for swimming goes out pretty far but it’s only about two feet deep at the deepest spot. They have lifeguards on jetski’s that will come out and ask you to come back if you go out too far but you don’t have to wear a life jacket since it’s so shallow.
There was a sandbar on the left side of Serenity Bay that everyone loved walking along. Some people even brought their beach chairs out to the sandbar so they could sit and enjoy the waves. It’s where we found a huge starfish too!
Please Don’t Hurt the Starfish!
You’ll see in our video that I very gently and lightly touched a starfish we found on the sandbar. However, I saw many people picking them up, flipping them over, and running with them to bring it to show someone and then dropping it not-so-gently back into the water.
I remember from visiting the aquarium when I was little, the instructor told us that it’s okay to touch them and very carefully pick them up out of the water but to be GENTLE.
They are living things that are just in the water living their lives and probably don’t like being messed with, especially if you’re rough with them. I wouldn’t want to risk hurting the starfish just for a picture.
I know it’s exciting to see starfish in real life but please remember to not be rough with them.
Get a Drink at Castaway Air Bar
After relaxing in the water and searching for starfish, sand dollars, and beautiful pink shells; we were ready for a drink!
We got a frozen margarita and a frozen tropical slushy drink ( I can’t remember the real name) from the Castaway Air Bar that were both delicious. Weak and a little pricey, but delicious and refreshing.
Note – If you’re on the family side, there’s a bar there too: Conched Out Bar.
Shop at the Castaway Cay Gift Shops
When we were done swimming, we relaxed under an umbrella for a little bit before taking the tram back to the two gift shops on the island. You can only get Castaway Cay souvenirs at the gift shop on the island, there are none on the ship! The gift shops on board only have DCL themed merchandise for sale.
After the gift shops, we headed back to the ship to shower and get ready for dinner at Animators Palate.
Watch the Ship Leave Castaway Cay
We watched the ship leave Disney’s Castaway Cay from our verandah. The enjoyment we got from being out there + the amount of time we spent on the verandah made the price well worth it. If you have the option, I would highly recommend splurging for the verandah room.
Watch the Sunset
Watching the sunset from our verandah was one of our favorite things to do on the cruise. They were all unique, yet all so beautiful.
Before dinner, we ordered wine glasses from room service so we could have our own little happy hour on our verandah while we watched the sunset.
We decided to head up to the bow (front) of the ship to get a better view of the sunset since we’d already watched it set from a verandah a few times that week.
It was extremely windy but so beautiful and worth the frizzy hair knot my hair turned into by the time we got back to the room.
It was the perfect end to a beautiful day at Disney’s Castaway Cay.
Read this review before you book brunch or dinner at Palo!
Read my list of 35 Essentials that you need to pack for your next Disney Cruise!
Have you been to Disney’s Castaway Cay before? What was your favorite part of the day?
NEVER MISS A STACEY HOMEMAKER POST!
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