Castaway Cay: A guide to Disney Cruise Line’s private island

A visit to Castaway Cay is a highlight of any Disney cruise to the Bahamas or Caribbean. This exclusive beach-day playground is reserved for Disney Cruise Line guests, providing a fun and hassle-free day of sunbathing and water sports.

One of the best things about spending a day on Castaway Cay is that you don’t have to make many arrangements. You can simply walk off the ship and head right to the beach. Disney provides beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and even a delicious lunch for all guests. The only decisions you’ll have to make are whether you want to book a shore excursion and which beach you and your family want to check out first.

Castaway Cay is themed around a shipwreck, giving you the feeling that you are the castaways who have used the crates and driftwood that washed ashore to build the island’s structures. You’ll also find many of your favorite Disney characters on the island, dressed in their best beach attire, so the magic of the cruise ship continues on land.

While Castaway Cay is primarily focused on family fun, there are also spots for drop-off kids activities supervised by the ship’s youth staff and adults-only relaxation areas. Teens even have their own secret hangout, ensuring that everyone in the family has a great time.

What sets Castaway Cay apart is that you can choose your own adventure. Each visit to the island is unique, allowing you to plan your perfect private island day in the Bahamas. Whether you want to relax on the beach, participate in water sports, or explore the snorkeling lagoon, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Located in the Bahamas, near Great Abaco island, Castaway Cay is leased by Disney from the Bahamian government. It is 225 nautical miles from Port Canaveral, the home port of several Disney cruise ships. All Disney Cruise Line ships, except for Disney Wonder, visit Castaway Cay, making it a staple on Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries.

Getting to and around Castaway Cay is easy. The island features a pier where ships can dock, allowing passengers to walk straight off the ship and onto the island. Disney also runs a tram from the end of the pier to different stops on the island, making it convenient to explore all the beaches and activities.

Castaway Cay offers a variety of beaches for guests to enjoy. The main family beach is divided into three sections: Boat Beach, where you’ll find water sports rentals, and two family beaches. There is also an adults-only beach called Serenity Bay, which is separate from the family beach and offers a more tranquil experience.

The family beaches are divided by Pelican Point, a rocky breakwater that creates calm waters for swimming. Both beaches have loungers, beach chairs, and umbrellas available for use. The beach near the Scuttle’s Cove kids area has a swim-out floating ropes course, while the beach closer to the Pelican Point tram stop features the Pelican Plunge floating water play area with water cannons and slides.

Boat Beach is where you’ll find all the larger water sports gear available for rent, such as water bikes and kayaks. Serenity Bay, on the other hand, is exclusive to guests aged 18 and older. While it offers the same amenities as the family beaches, it is a longer trek from the tram stop and does not have a breakwater, making the water less calm and clear.

In addition to sunbathing and swimming, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained on Castaway Cay. Snorkeling is a popular option, with designated areas on both sides of the family beaches. You can rent snorkel gear and explore the underwater world, including a shipwreck and hidden Mickeys. There are also floats and tubes available for rent if you prefer to relax in the water.

Overall, a visit to Castaway Cay is a magical experience for Disney cruise guests. With its beautiful beaches, water sports, and family-friendly activities, it is the perfect destination for a fun-filled day in the Bahamas. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Castaway Cay has something for everyone to enjoy.

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