Disney Cruise Hacks for Castaway Cay
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to share with my kids that they would get to go on their first Disney Cruise as part of our Disney Social Media Moms Celebration experience! They had never been on a cruise before, but the first thing that came to their minds was how they’d seen their favorite Disney Channel stars enjoying time on Castaway Cay. From that moment on, all they could talk about was the cruise and Castaway Cay and all of the fun that was in store for them.
Unfamiliar with Castaway Cay? Well, don’t worry, I was too and if you’ve never been on a Disney Cruise, it’s not likely something you’d know about. Castaway Cay (pronounced “key”) is literally a PRIVATE island that caters solely to Disney and the cruisers aboard the ship. It’s complete with restaurants, water activities, land excursions, and more. So, as Day 1 of our Disney Dream Cruise was a visit to Nassau, Bahamas, Day 2 was spent on Castaway Cay. I can tell you, spending the day in the sun on a private island is definitely one of the coolest parts of embarking on a Disney Caribbean cruise!
But, like everything else, keep in mind that cruising with little ones takes a bit of planning, even when it is a Disney cruise. Rest assured that there are a few tips and tricks out there to help you and your family enjoy your cruise to Castaway Cay. Here are a few to help get you be better prepared for your next Disney Cruise and visit to Castaway Cay!
Disney Cruise Hacks for Castaway Cay
- Make certain that you pack a dry-bag for your items when you are basking in the sun at Castaway Cay. Not only will you need a way to store your items, but keeping them dry is a priority as well. Thinking about getting your phone and wallet wet on vacation sounds like a bust to me!
- Leave the bulky stroller at home. Strollers are available for FREE for first come, first serve cruisers who need them for their little ones. Save room in your stateroom and don’t feel the burden of lugging a stroller off and on the strip. There may also be a possibility that they have wagons to borrow as well. Give your older ones a bit of rest too as you explore all that the island has to offer.
- Pack your refillable water bottles when you get off the ship as there are places throughout the island to fill up as needed. No need to spend money when you can get that water for free. Save your money for some awesome souvenirs or other fun items that you want to purchase along the way!
- Buying any type of item on Castaway Cay will be expensive. Plan ahead and think about what you can bring on your own to alleviate some of those costs. Have your little ones take a few of their toys with them off the ship to play with on the beach rather than buy all new ones on the island. It’s not hard to spend a ton of money quickly in those “must-have” tourist items.
- Plan ahead and take some snacks with you off the cruise ship. While there are food options to enjoy on Castaway Cay, it’s still expensive to grab a bite to eat each and every time you are hungry. If there is any fruit from the cruise ship or prepackaged snacks like chips or crackers, pack them in your dry bag that you are taking with you off the ship. You’ll be super happy to have them when your tummy starts rumbling and you’ll have plenty of snacks on hand when your kids decide that they are ready for a quick snack as well!
- There are actually several different beaches on Castaway Cay, all based upon age appropriateness. For your family fun time, you’ll want to stay on the Family Beach where most of the activities seem to happen. If you have teens, they’ll more than likely wander over to the Teen Beach and if you are adults just enjoying the life of all things Disney kid-free, then there is an adult-only beach as well.
- Don’t leave your water shoes at home! If the bottom of your feet isn’t used to ocean floors and hot sand, you are going to need those shoes to keep your feet happy for the duration of your time at Castaway Cay! No one wants to spend their time on the beach running from place to place to try to keep those toes cooled off as best as possible!
- The bike riding excursion is one of the best activities to take part in while on Castaway Cay. Not only is it a fun family activity, but it gives you a chance to see all that the island has to offer. I’d recommend doing that earlier in the day before it gets too hot. Doing it earlier also gives you time to explore and plan the rest of your time at Castaway Cay.
- “Island time” is a thing on Castaway Cay too. The staff is super friendly and there aren’t any enforced rules and time limits on equipment for excursions. The only real time restriction you need to pay some attention to is re-boarding, but even that’s a huge deal since there’s no way you’ll get left on the island anyway…though that wouldn’t be a terrible thing either. lol
Taking a Disney Cruise is an experience of a lifetime all in itself, but hopefully these cruise hacks for Castaway Cay will make your next trip just a little better! Remember the tips and hacks above to help you better prepare for Castaway Cay, and the moment that your cruise ship docks, it’s time to start your fun in the sun! Have fun, relax, and enjoy a truly unique time being able to explore a private Disney island with your family!
By the way, if you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World or a Disney Cruise, here are some more posts in this series to check out: