Castaway Cay is a private island resort in the Bahamas that has been owned by the Walt Disney Company since 1997. The resort was originally designed for family vacations, but it now caters to adults who are seeking a more adult-oriented vacation experience.
The castaway cay map is a detailed map of Castaway Cay. It includes information on the island, such as restaurants and activities.
The sound of the Disney Fantasy’s stern thrusters pulling into Castaway Cay awoke me this morning. When I say I awakened, I mean that I was jolted awake from a deep slumber. One advantage of getting an aft balcony accommodation is that you can feel the thrusters as the ship reverse.
Disembarkation into Castaway Cay was done a bit differently than in the past, with Disney trying hard to promote social distance and discourage passengers from assembling in big groups wherever feasible. Disney, like other brands, has come up with innovative methods to deal with circumstances like these by using technology in general and their app in particular.
To depart, you used the Disney app to join a virtual line and were then given a zone. Around 7:30 a.m., the virtual queue began to develop, and real disembarkation began an hour later. Disembarkation was a breeze, given that the ship was just little over 25% full.
We had breakfast at the Royal Court once again, and I had Mickey waffles with smoked salmon on the side. I was shocked that breakfast in the main dining room was simply acceptable, with the waffles being ice cold, given the quality of the cuisine we’ve enjoyed thus far. To be fair, we arrived just before the venue was set to shut, so we most likely got the bottom of the barrel.
On the bright side, the fish tasted delicious. And it’s probably a good thing I left room since I was already fantasizing about the steak at Serenity Bay, Castaway Cay’s adults-only section.
I went ashore after returning upstairs and putting on a ton of sunblock. On the island, masks were not needed unless you were engaging with cast members or waiting in line for meals.
A interesting tidbit about Castaway: In the 1970s and early 1980s, the airport, previously Gorda airstrip, was used for bootlegging and smuggling. In the late 1990s, Disney bought a 99-year lease on Gorda Cay and has spent millions of dollars developing it and constructing an entrance to park its ships there.
Castaway Cay, like Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, has a pier, so you can walk off the ship without of having to go through the tendering procedure. The whole layout of the island could be seen from the ship’s deck. Despite its not insurmountable size, the Bahamian heat makes the tram system that crisscrosses the island very useful.
Serenity Bay, an adults-only area featuring restaurants, a small lagoon-style location along the beach, and bike paths, was our first visit. The journey to Serenity Bay was amusing in that we first rode a tram to the Family Beach station, which was packed with children and their parents. We changed to a second, child-free tram from there. The rides were all under five minutes long.
READ MORE: How Much Does a Cruise Cost for Children?
One thing to keep in mind: since the trams convey huge groups of people, Disney mandates passengers to wear masks when riding. The handrails are also cleaned after each ride by employees, which is a lovely touch.
We waited in line for steaks, fish, ribs, and chicken at the grill for lunch. The steak was well cooked and added a wonderful touch. Let’s face it, most cruise private islands don’t serve steak. As I previously said, a Disney cruise comes at a premium price, but it also comes with a slew of benefits that help justify the cost.
Castaway follows the same health and safety standards as the rest of the ship when it comes to food service. Cast members will serve you while you wait in line and then give you your dish at the end. You were also served at the ice cream and beverage stands.
We hired bikes and rode around the island, checking out some of the nature paths, to burn off the calories from our meal. You could bike to some very beautiful places, and best of all, it was all paved.
We also climbed this very amazing observation tower to get a great perspective of both the ship and the part of the island that is a nature park. It was a long distance from the beaches, so it seemed like you had the whole island to yourself. It’s really relaxing.
The bike rentals were $13 apiece, and we could have had them all day even though we only rode them for about an hour. One feature I really enjoyed was the ability to hire bikes at one place and return them to another. For example, we got ours at Serenity Bay but returned them to the family beach. Additionally, if you visit the island on consecutive days and hire a bike on both days, you will get a little discount on the second day.
Summertime Freeze, a smoothie-type establishment that sells non-alcoholic beverages inspired by the film Frozen, is where I went to cool off after a couple of kilometers of riding.
Let It Go, Olaf’s Flurry Freeze, Frozen Heat, and Sven’s Carrot Delight were among the inventive cocktail titles on the menu. You could have the drink served in a Frozen character mug (for an additional fee) or a normal plastic cup, which is what I did.
We only saw the irony after the fact: a bunch of adults went to Serenity Bay in order to avoid the kids who would be on the family beach. On our cruise, though, there were only 200 passengers under the age of 18, thus the family beach was actually less congested.
But, hey, Serenity Bay served steaks, so it was sure to be a hit there no matter what.
We stopped at the Heads Up Bar for a drink before heading back to the ship. There’s a fantastic photo opportunity nearby, with excellent views of the ship and the lovely blue seas.
Today we didn’t spend much time at the beach. Knowing we’d have a second day on Castaway Cay, we spent it mainly exploring instead of going to the beach and renting snorkel gear to check out the lagoon’s underwater sculptures.
It was a double-header aboard the ship, as the Halloween on the High Seas celebrations coincided with the always-popular Pirate Night. On the main deck, Mickey’s Mascarade Ball was being hosted, with guests dressed up in costumes.
I’d brought my Chewbacca costume with me… What I wasn’t anticipating was how hot I’d be in that ensemble. I believe I only lasted an hour. But I tried to stay as long as I could since there were so many kids waving at me in their adorable Star Wars costumes.
But I’ll tell you what: putting on 10 pounds of fur and a mask gave me a new respect for what the cast members who do this every day — whether on the beach or in one of the Disney parks — go through on a daily basis.
During the occasion, all of the characters appeared on stage and danced. Even outside, Disney ensured that everyone remained socially isolated by requiring each party to stand on a blue dot, a practice that would be repeated for the firework display a few hours later.
There was no performance at the Walt Disney Theater tonight due to the deck parties, which ended with a fireworks display. I’ll confess (and this will surprise folks who know how much I hate shows) that I was a little underwhelmed! This is how wonderful they have been.
Dinner was served in the Royal Court once again (as it had been the night before), but this time it was a pirate-themed meal. This time, I went for the crab cake and beef (surprising, right?).
Unlike yesterday night, when princesses strolled into the Royal Court dining room, we were attacked by a group of around two dozen pirates. It was a great way to cap off a night of themed entertainment, and I’m told it’s much better when you get to interact with them without the usual restrictions.
I’d never seen fireworks on a cruise ship before, so tonight was a novelty for me. The lights went out around 10:30 p.m., and the fireworks began off the ship’s stern.
Being on a ship in the middle of the ocean, with fireworks exploding and music playing, is really amazing… It’s another one of those magical Disney moments, with all of the pieces falling into place to bring out your inner kid.
The Nightmare on Elm Street’s Jack and Sally Before the movie was shown, he came out to conduct a meet-and-greet with the crowd. The characters engaged with each visitor, and it was incredible how genuine they sounded and seemed.
We discussed how Disney has been inventive in order to allow visitors to snap photos with characters while not being able to go too near.
In this instance, Jack and Sally stayed on stage, and visitors could pose in front of them on the floor. Sure, it’s not quite the same, but it gets the job done. Because there was no official photographer on present for this occasion, you had to hire someone to snap your picture. Because there was no official photographer present, masks had to be worn during the character experience.
We’ll be back at Castaway Cay tomorrow, and this time we’ll be hitting the beach.
In the meanwhile…
See my previous Disney Fantasy vacation reports here:
Castaway Cay is a private island in the Bahamas. It was founded by Ted Arison and his family in 1967. The island is known for its white sand beaches, turquoise water, and lush forests. Reference: castaway cay activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the food free on Castaway Cay?
The food on Castaway Cay is not free.
What is free on Castaway Cay?
You can explore the island and interact with other players.
Do they give you towels when you get off the ship at Castaway Cay?
I do not know what you are talking about.
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