REVIEW: DISNEY DREAM CRUISE – CASTAWAY CAY

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CASTAWAY CAY

One of the main highlights of journeying on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas is their own private island called Castaway Cay. There are so many activities here that I am sure I will miss some.We docked in the middle of the night so when we woke up we were already there, although the doors don’t open until about 9am. However if you sign up to run their free 5k, you deboard around 830am. (lots of people do this and don’t run just to be the first off the ship)

I am a runner and was looking forward to getting a nice workout in the morning. The run was great, but don’t expect a professionally put on run. You have to put your name on the list ahead of time by going to guest services. I went the night before and they informed me they were full, but that didn’t really matter and to just show up at the Theater on deck 3 and 8am. Well I got there a few minutes early along with several hundred other people and the doors didn’t open until 8am. You get your number and go through some information, then start to get off the ship around 830. Its a little bit of a walk to the starting line, so the race didn’t start till 9. It was a nice 5k to see the island and where some of the activities are before everyone else is on shore. The start of the race is a little chaotic as its on a narrow bike path and there are lots of walkers and kids sprinting the first 1/4 mile. There are no characters along the course, and the entertainment crew put it on. They have a min age of 10 and my 8 year old son was disappointed he didn’t get to do it. However he probably could have still run with me unofficially… It was fun enough and you get a medal at the end.

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The island is pretty large. When you first get off the ship, you can grab as many towels as you wish. This is the primary location for towels so grab plenty. I only saw one other bin of clean towels on the island. There are plenty of towel returns though. Up next on the path is the dock for boat excursions. It was too windy for just about everything our day so that was closed. Still waking down the path you have several great photo ops with your ship in the background.

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Then you can continue walking to the main part of the Cay or take a tram. If the tram is already there, I definitely recommend taking it. You will end up walking quite a bit around the island by the end of the day. The tram make 2 stops. (sometimes 3 but the 3rd stop for Serenity Bay was closed)

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The first stop is the Scuttles Scove tram stop. At this stop you can get to Scuttle Cove which is a daycare for your kids. We just did a brief walk though to see what it was like and din’t take any pictures cause there were other peoples kids in there. (I always feel weird taking pictures of kids clubs). It was basically an extension of their on board kids club.

Also at this stop there were several paid water activities. You can swim with stingrays for $42-$52 as well as rent snorkeling gear for the day for $32-$42. You can also rent inner tubes here. I was disappointed in the pricing here. I read ahead that non motorized activities were included, but now for my family to swim with the stingrays, it was going to cost $200. It was pretty cold so we passed on these items. You should signup on board a head of time, but because it was cold there was plenty of open space. I would estimate the temp was mid 50s in the morning, and maybe got up to 70 by 3pm.

There are also a lot of paddle boats, canoe,s floating bicycles, mini sailboats, etc in this area. However because of the wind they were all closed.

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Up next is just a nice relaxing swimming area with a beautiful beach and lots of chairs. There was plenty of open chairs in this area. I don’t know if it was because it was January, but the beaches were empty. There was also several hammocks for use.

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Walking down this area of the beach you will eventually hit the rock shoreline. This is where the next tram stop for Pelican Point is. Then the beach continues on after that.

Pelican plunge is the place my kids want to hang out the most. It was cold so there were no lines! There have a few water slides, spray guns and other water toys here for both adults and kids. They had fun racing each other on the 2 slides. The closed in one is a lot faster and they would give each other head starts and see who won. They do have a 48 inch height requirement or you have to wear a life jacket. Now at Sea World a few days beforehand, my daughter was about 49 inches. I guess she shrunk as she wasn’t close to their ruler in the sand. Not a big deal as it was a little but of a swim to the slides back and forth so a life jacket was just fine. My son is a decent swimmer and had no problems.

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You know is cold when the lifeguard puts on a sticking hat.

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Next along the beach is more beach chairs and a nice calm swimming area. This area was pretty empty as it was a little chilly. After that is the private beach cabanas. I did not get a very good look at those because you had to pay for them a head of time. On a January day, there was so many open chairs along the beach that a private cabana isn’t really needed. Now in July I could see it being crowded.

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Throughout all this beach area, there are numerous activities inland a little bit. There are several bars and buffet restaurants. Now the bars and drinks are normal cruise prices. (around $7 a beer) but most of the food is free. I thought the food was pretty darn good. It was all grilled/BBQ themed at the 2 different restaurants. I will let the pictures below talk for the food.

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The Grouper Buffet with lots of picnic style seating

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Several Ice Cream stations
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Cookies BBQ buffet had the same options above.

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Castaway Cay also have some sand sports activities. This includes tether-ball, soccer, and volleyball. There are also bicycles to rent for a fee.  This area was pretty empty the whole day. They have bicycles for all sizes from baby bikes to large bikes. As well as buggy’s for little ones.

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Then they have a game area with checkers, ping pong, basketball, pool, and some other games. There is also a splash park around where we were the only ones for about 20 minutes there.

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There are several souvenir shops on the Cay with shirts and other items we didn’t see on-board the cruise. There are also some kid friendly frozen drink and specialty ice cream for purchase everywhere.

Serenity Bay was closed this day so we did not get a chance to check it out.

There are lots of great photo ops in different places. These are some of our favorites.

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In January, the Cay was pretty darn empty. Plenty of beach chairs everywhere. It was cold in the morning but by 2 pm the sun came out and it was bearable for adults. I would definitely bring a jacket or sweatshirt when you are not swimming. Our kids could have cared less what the temperature was though I got off the ship at 8:30 for the run, and didn’t come back on until about 4:15. I missed writing on some activities just because I didn’t have time to do everything. There are plenty of free items, but I was disappointed in the costs for activities for snorkeling, biking, and stingrays.

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