Castaway Cay is Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas and is used exclusively for Disney cruise passengers.
Many families look forward to their day in Castaway Cay because it’s a chance to enjoy the beautiful Bahamian weather without worrying about being pestered by beach vendors.
It’s often touted as the most relaxing cruise port by previous DCL guests.
In This Castaway Cay Port Guide:
- Castaway Cay Port Overview
- Where Do Cruise Ships Dock in Castaway Cay?
- Getting Around Castaway Cay
- Beaches at Castaway Cay
- Activities & Attractions for Families
- Connecting to WiFi on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay Port Overview
All four Disney cruise ships stop at Castaway Cay throughout the year.
Almost all Bahamian and Caribbean cruises include a stop at this tiny islet measuring 3.1 miles long and 2.2 miles wide. Castaway Cay is usually the last stop on most cruise itineraries.
Although there are souvenir shops and stalls for other services like hair braiding and sports equipment rentals, there are no roaming vendors or sales people on Castaway Cay.
All-ashore time is typically 8:30 to 9:30 AM and cruise passengers can spend up to 8 hours on the island. A visit to Castaway Cay includes complimentary lunch on the island and a long list of activities for all types of cruisers from adventure seekers to beach bums.
Primary Language Spoken: English
Currency: US Dollar (for the Post Office – they only accept cash), DCL Room Key (Key to the World Card) at all souvenir shops and for beverages.
Where Do Ships Dock at Castaway Cay
Disney Cruise Line ships dock right at Castaway Cay.
When seas are rough – typically in January and February – ships may be unable to dock and a Castaway Cay visit will be cancelled.
Getting Around Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is one of the easiest ports to get around due to the location of the dock and the non-stop tram service from the dock.
Tram – Just past the Castaway Cay post office (a few steps away from the dock to the island) is a tram stop. The open-air tram makes several stops on the island – the two family beaches and Serenity Bay (the adults only section of Castaway Cay). Trams come every 5 to 10 minutes so the wait isn’t too long.
Walking – Due to the size of the island, it is fairly easy to walk and explore the island on foot. Whether you want to do that or not is a different story. The walk from the dock to the first family beach is about 10 minutes. Attractions, shops, washrooms and dining locations are clearly marked on maps and signs posted around the island.
Strollers and Wheelchairs – Strollers, wagons and wheelchairs are free to use on a first-come, first-served basis. The wheelchairs and strollers have all-terrain wheels making it easier to get around in the sand.
Bike – Bikes are available for rent ($10.75/hr) for cruisers who want to explore other parts of the island the tram can’t get to. Adult and kids bikes have one handle brake. There are several bikes with rear child seats for parents with younger children. Helmets are available as well. The well-marked trail is approximately 1.5 miles long and there are several water stations for those needing a drink break.
Beaches at Castaway Cay
There are three beach sections on Castaway Cay. Teen Beach and Serenity Beach are further from the dock and doesn’t get crowded as fast as the area closest to the cruise dock.
Family Beach – This is the main beach on the island and closest to the ship dock. As such, it is recommended you get there as early as possible to get a prime beachfront spot (chairs with umbrellas go fast!). The crowds dissipate about an hour before all-aboard time so if you want to have an almost private beach experience, late afternoon would be a good time to find a spot there.
Teen Beach – Although this is technically part of the Family Beach and open to all guests, the activities are geared towards older kids. This area includes Goofy’s Sand Lot with several sports focused activities like sand volleyball and tetherball. Wild Side is an excursion for 14 to 17 year olds where counselors lead teens on a snorkel, cycle and speedboat adventure.
Serenity Bay – Serenity Bay is the secluded beach area for adults 18 and older. You can get there by taking the tram from the dock or walking there from the Family Beach. Adults can enjoy a massage on the beach, live performances near the bar and a buffet lunch with several extra items not available at the Family Beach buffet locations (Cookies BBQ and Cookies Too).
Attractions & Activities for Families
There are so many excursions and activities to choose from when spending the day at Castaway Cay. Here are free kid-friendly activities and points of interest to check out during your visit:
Castaway Cay Post Office – A few steps from the dock is the post office. Send a postcard from Castaway Cay to friends, family or even yourself. Remember to bring cash for stamps and postcards as your Key to the World card will not work here.
Pelican Plunge – This castle-looking water slide structure is located in the middle of the water in the Family Beach section. Guests under 48″ must wear a life vest to play in this area.
Spring-a-Leak – Spring-a-Leak is similar to the Finding Nemo splash zone on Disney cruise ships and is a splash pad water playground with fountains and sprinklers for toddlers and young children to play with.
In-Da-Shade – Play basketball, pool and ping pong in this covered area Disney tween club counselors are here so tweens (ages 11 to 13) can hang out here without parents.
Observation Tower – Get a birds eye view of Castaway Cay and cruise ship by climbing up 47 steps (40 feet) to the top of the lookout tower – just a few steps off of the biking trail.
Explore the Island – There are numerous trails for families to explore Castaway Cay’s lush landscape. Rent a bike, walk or join the Castaway Cay 5K run. Kids must 10 or older to participate in the run – it’s free and you get a medal afterwards.
Connecting to WiFi on Castaway Cay
Cruisers looking to connect to WiFi on Castaway Cay can do so through your ship’s WiFi. You will have to purchase an internet/data plan though as there is no free WiFi on the island.
Alternatively, if you want to stay connected to another cruise passenger, make sure to bring your Wave phone from your room onto the beach. They work on Castaway Cay!
Looking for more info on Caribbean Ports of Call? Visit our Port Guides page to check them out.