Sailing with Disney Cruise Line is a truly magical experience. One of the best parts of the Caribbean and Bahamian cruises is the visit to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Disney’s Castaway Cay has no shortage of options for you to explore the island while you spend your day in paradise. You can do everything from snorkeling or swimming with sting rays to having a massage beach side or practicing yoga on the shore. But my favorite activities had us heading off the island for watercraft adventures on Castaway Cay!
Sailing Around and Over Disney’s Castaway Cay
On our last Disney Cruise, my husband and I decided we wanted to see as much of the Castaway Cay as possible. We started out by running the Castaway Cay 5k (which is a story all on its own) and rented bicycles to get around as well, but the best ways to see the island were actually getting off the land!
DIStracted Tip: Many of the shore excursions have limited availability and are booked far in advance. Pay attention to your booking window on the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) website, and get those excursions reserved ASAP! If you miss one you’re interested in keep checking for cancellations leading up to your cruise. You can also check with the Port Adventures Desk on the ship as soon as your board.
Parasailing Castaway Cay
First, we took to the skies and went parasailing. I had wanted to try this for years, and I was so excited! After a quick sprint out in a speed boat (with awesome views of the Disney Dream on the way) we were ready to start. It doesn’t take long to harness up, then the captain lets you go off the back of the boat and you’re floating through the air like Mary Poppins herself! Everyone on our boat flew tandem (two fliers per run), but depending on weight the captain may require either single or tandem sailing. Personally, I was glad to have my hubby to chat and take photos with during our flight…although our selfie skills while dangling in the air clearly need a little work.
We truly had the most perfect day for parasailing. Beautiful weather and the most gorgeous sky! Parasailing is surprisingly calm and smooth; the sensation was really most similar to sitting on a swing or hammock, but the view was a million times better! If you’re prone to fear of heights this activity might not be for you, but I doubt motion sickness would be an issue for most people (as long as you’re ok on a small speed boat). Our flight was so controlled that our captain just barely dipped our toes in the water before bringing us back on board. This was such a fun activity, I can’t wait to do it again with our kids someday!
The companies running the Port Adventures won’t take responsibility for anything you bring with you—including fancy cameras, cell phones, or sunglasses—so prepare accordingly. We brought a waterproof camera (with a wrist strap) to take in the air, while we left our phones either stowed in waterproof containers on the boat or in the hands of our sweet fellow passengers who took some photos while we were in flight. Our sunglasses stayed on without issue, and we were glad to have them.
Watercraft Ski Adventures
Our second activity for the afternoon was the Watercraft Ski Adventure. This was a group of about eight WaveRunners© along with three guides—one front, one mid pack, and one bringing up the rear. You don’t get to leave the group, which initially disappointed my husband a little because he thought we’d be taking it pretty easy. Then the leader of our group took off at top speed and we knew that we were in for a fun ride!
Our first stop was a sandbar just off the island. Our guides had us pull up on the bar and we had the chance to explore for a few minutes. There were a couple amazing conch shells washed up on the sand. One of our guides waded out into the water to find us a conch that still had a resident inside! Again I was glad that we had a waterproof camera so that we could snap some photos.
DIStracted Tip: Make sure you take sunglasses that fit you really well. If you’re sensitive to salt water, or you wear contacts you might want to wear goggles. The ride between the sand bar and Serenity Bay was rough in spots and we got sprayed a lot!
Ending the Day at Serenity Bay
When we reached Serenity Bay we took another break to hear a little about the island and its surroundings. The water on that side of the island was much calmer. It was a beautiful ride as the sun started to lower. One more sprint on and we were back to our starting point on the beach.
By the time we came back to shore most everyone was heading to board our ship to leave. I couldn’t resist an empty beach. We took a few minutes to enjoy a hammock before saying “See ya real soon!” to Castaway Cay.
One day is hardly enough to scratch the surface of the island. Between parasailing and the WaveRunners© (and the 5K, and bicycles…) I did feel like we at least laid eyes on all of it! These two adventures are very different from each other, but both turned out to be a good fit for us. What are your favorite activities on Castaway Cay?