Is a cabana “worth it?” To me, this is a very subjective question. Considering that snagging a cabana on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is one of the most difficult “port adventures” to book, it appears many people do think it’s worth it. My husband, son, and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to book one in April 2014 on our Disney Cruise Line Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy.
Reserving our cabana
How did we manage to get one? We were sailing concierge-level. It was the first time we had ever sailed concierge (this was our fourth Disney cruise) and I hope that it won’t be our last. But that’s an article for another day. Being a concierge guest, our booking window for port adventures opens 120 days prior to sailing. We were able to get Cabana #6 (on the Family Beach) for our day at Castaway Cay! What made this even more special is that our day at Castaway Cay also happened to be our anniversary. What a way to celebrate!
The night before we docked at Castaway Cay, we had a special item sitting on our bed when we returned from dinner. Yes, there was a towel animal, just like every other night! We love coming in to our stateroom to see what our stateroom host has left for us. Along with the towel animal was another special presentation. It was a cardboard mockup of our cabana! It made us even more excited about the next day. Along with the tiny cabana was a map of Castaway Cay, wristbands for each of us to show we had a reserved cabana, and instructions about what to do in the morning.
We docked at Castaway Cay on our anniversary, and couldn’t wait to get off the ship. When you dock at the private island, there are crew members on the dock with large supplies of towels. Since we had a cabana, we didn’t have to pick any up. They would be waiting for us in our cabana. We chose to hop on the tram to get to our cabana check-in. We took the tram to the second stop on the family beach (the same stop to transfer to the adult-only beach tram). Once we got off the tram, the check-in for cabanas is just a few steps away. In a matter of just minutes we were boarding a golf cart to take us to our cabana – our “home” for the day.
Inside the cabana is ample comfortable seating, soft drinks in our own little fridge, snack bars and chips, sunscreen, towels, and a menu of frosty beverages if we wanted to partake. There is also a button, like a doorbell. Press that button and a concierge host/hostess will be there in minutes to help you. To be honest, we never had to use the button. There was a hostess there to check on us and make sure we had everything we needed. She popped in a few times during the day to ensure we were having a stellar day.
As you walk into the cabana and look out the front, the view is amazing: the private beach, the Disney Fantasy off in the distance, more lounges and chairs, a hammock, outdoor shower, and beach toys for our use.
We had just arrived and I felt completely spoiled already. We walked out onto the sand walkway and headed to the beach where here were beach lounges and chairs waiting just for us. There are floats and inner tubes to use, a beach volleyball court, and lots and lots of space.
My husband, Phil, and I headed to the beach lounges while our son, Jeremy, checked out the inner tubes and the volleyball court.
In just a few minutes, a bar host came up and asked if we wanted anything from the bar. Okay, it was ALMOST noon and it was our anniversary … As they say “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” We decided to splurge and get a bottle of champagne. Champagne, private cabana, private beach – was I in paradise? Pretty darn close, I think.
The only thing the cabana does not have is a bathroom. But from Cabana #6, the restrooms are a very short walk. At lunchtime (yes, you have to get your own lunch), we ventured to Cookies Too, an open-air BBQ area, which is included in the price of your cruise. We opted to get our lunch and bring it back to the cabana to enjoy. We wanted to get the most use out of our cabana as we could!
DIStracted Tip: If you are not able to reserve a cabana in advance because they are so popular, you can go to Guest Services on the ship and ask to be put on a waiting list. It doesn’t happy very often, but there may be last minute cancellations.
Pricing (subject to change)
On the family beach, the current price is $549 for the day for up to 6 people. You may have up to 10 total in a family cabana. It is an additional $50 per person. On Serenity Bay (adult beach), cabanas are $399 for up to 4 people. You may have up to 6 total for an additional $50 per person. You can split the cost with another family (or two as long as you are within the total occupancy limit) and Disney Cruise Line will split the cost between staterooms. As always, pricing is subject to change.