My family previously visited CC in 2005 on a shorter Disney Wonder cruise, and while we enjoyed it then, it was noticeably crowded and not quite the paradise we were expecting. Based on our July 2012 Disney Dream cruise I'm happy to report that Disney has addressed those shortcomings in a myriad of ways: They've opened more beachfront, provided many more chairs and shade, built new eating venues, added some water attractions and excursions, etc. They've also preserved the best of what it offered in the first place, a truly beautiful location in pristine Bahamian waters, with a top-rate Disney cast & crew that are attentive, efficient, and friendly.
We pre-booked an AM parasailing adventure on our 1st day at CC. Kudos to "Marge's Barges" for their overall operation, and a special shout-out to Terrence and Carlos who were manning our boat. We were running a little late but they were perfectly patient, and we were relieved that we could participate as planned. We all enjoyed soaring above the island immensely. What an incredible view! The experience is actually relaxing - you simply go along for the ride and enjoy. The boat was small but sufficient in size for the number of passengers (about 8), and they were very organized and efficient with getting everyone in and out of the harnesses, and aloft for each of our turns. The typical ride lasts about 7 glorious minutes, and you'll reach heights far above the top of the ship (which is saying something!). One cool thing to note: We booked 3 tickets for this activity (2 adults and 1 child), and they ended up giving our daughter 2 rides - one with mom and one with dad. We weren't expecting that, but what a nice treat for her (and us)!
Meanwhile, our son spent the morning at the teen "Hideout" on the beach along with other teenagers from the ship's "Vibe" club. Later we grabbed our BBQ lunch (which was pretty good) and then enjoyed family time on the family beach, and relished making use of our float and tube rentals to chill out in the refreshing clear-blue ocean. The family beach is bustling with kids of all ages busy having fun, but we didn't have an issue with finding chairs and shade despite the crowds.
Our 2nd day at CC was even better! We pre-booked the "Teen Wild Side" activity for our kids, which took them on a 4-hour excursion where they kayaked, biked, and snorkeled around the island (and then were welcome to have lunch and hang out at the teen Hideout for the afternoon). This gave my husband and me the perfect chance to finally check out the adult-only beach "Serenity Bay". We LOVED it there, just wish we'd ventured there sooner! The place lives up to its name - very quiet, peaceful, and absolutely beautiful. They have their own BBQ area (serving grilled lobster tails that day!), a full-service bar, restrooms, etc. and they offer bar service on the beach if you are so inclined. Serenity Bay in a word: "BLISS"...
TIPS: Do not expect to simply "walk off" the ship to get to your scheduled island activities, there is often a line waiting to go through security so you need to allow extra time for that (10-15 minutes during peak times). Bring your "Key to the World" cards with you, or you won't be able to get off the ship. Towels can be claimed/returned on the island (between where you exit the ship and enter the island). The ship-provided Wave phones work fine on the island (just keep them out of the water). There are a few shops scattered throughout the island, and you can use your Key to the World card to make purchases. No need to bring cash except for things like tipping the excursion guides. You can take the tram(s) to navigate the island, but it's a relatively easy walk to the family beach (less than 10 minutes from the ship, with a paved and level walkway). If you're an adult and have a chance to go to Serenity Bay, by all means GO!!!!
Enjoy your day(s) in paradise, we certainly did!!!
Loved the Dolphin Swim at Blue Lagoon (lunch, not so much...)
Blue Lagoon Dolphin Swim Rating:
My 13-year old daughter and I recently went to Blue Lagoon as part of a Disney Cruise excursion while we were in port at Nassau, Bahamas. Although I have been to Nassau many times, this was our 1st visit to Blue Lagoon. We booked the "Dolphin Swim" which includes a brief classroom orientation followed by a generous amount of in-water and hands-on interaction with trained dolphins, capped off by a thrilling "dolphin push" at the end (where a dolphin or two propels you across the lagoon -- really cool!).
Disney did a great job with the logistics. Participants met on the ship to get the needed IDs and info, and then proceeded out to get a "water taxi" to Blue Lagoon. This taxi was in the form of a large double-decker catamaran. We made a brief stop at Atlantis to pick up a few passengers, and then proceeded on to Blue Lagoon from there. Total taxi time was about 30 minutes. The ride was very pleasant, while we caught glimpses of numerous eye-popping yachts, beachfront mansions, etc. not to mention simply enjoying the azure blue waters of the Bahamas. It certainly beats most "taxi" rides I would say...
Once we arrived at Blue Lagoon, we were directed to various areas depending on the type of activity selected (in addition to the Dolphin Swim, they offer other types of dolphin and sea lion experiences). For the dolphin swim, we were divided up into 4 groups of 10 people each; each group was assigned 2 dolphins and 2 dolphin trainers (while a 3rd staff member videos the session). Each participant is given a life vest, and hops in the lagoon where the water is about 25' deep. Thanks to the vests, it is very easy to stay afloat.
Our dolphins were named Princess and Nina, and they were delightful. We each got to stroke the dolphins, and then in pairs interact with them as they performed "behaviors" such as kissing us (on the lips!), hugs, dancing, feeding, etc. After we all had our turns, the trainers had the dolphins do flips, play basketball, catch footballs, and more. Finally, we each took our individual turns getting the dolphin foot push, which is something you just have to experience for yourself to believe. Great fun!! (TIP: Search YouTube for "Blue Lagoon Dolphin Push" to get a glimpse of what's in store with this). Our group ranged in age from about 5 to 70 I would say, and we each had a blast.
After the Dolphin Swim you exit to the changing area where you can preview the videos that were shot, and then proceed to the gift shop where you can buy the video / photos as well as a nice assortment of souvenirs.
Return water taxis were scheduled for 1:00, 2:00, and 4:00 p.m. We opted to stay until 2:00 p.m., so we headed over the foot-bridge to the Blue Lagoon beach area. We didn't have a whole lot of time to explore, but my overall impressions were good. The beach/swim area is lovely, and they have numerous picnic tables scattered along the beach where you can relax in the shade of the palm trees. There was a beach volleyball court, a water inflatables area (for an extra charge), beach bar, restaurant, and more. In addition, there were a few "straw market" type stalls, hair braiders, etc.
My only complaint about Blue Lagoon regards the beach bar and restaurant. To get lunch at the restaurant you either need to present a voucher (which was not part of our package), or go to the beach bar to pre-pay for the lunch and then bring the receipt back over to the restaurant to pick up the buffet-style food. This would be fine except that the "service" at the beach bar was dreadfully lacking. They were moderately busy, but clearly had no idea who came in when, and it took more than 10 minutes for them to even acknowledge me. By that point I'd decided I'd just order lunch for my daughter (thinking I'd just grab something when I returned to our ship), and I'm so glad that I did because the bill for 1 hot dog, 1 soda, and 1 beer came to over $23! Nothing like spending that kind of $$ for warmed-over cafeteria quality food... If we had it to do over again, I would have just bought some cold drinks in the gift shop, enjoy their beach for the next hour, and then plan for a late lunch on the ship where the food is so much better (and already paid for).
Bottom line is that I would give the Blue Lagoon Dolphin Swim 5 stars, their food service 3 stars (at most), with an "overall" rating of 4 stars for the attraction. I do heartily recommend Blue Lagoon for the Dolphin Swim (or other animal experiences) and for the quality of their beach area. It's well worth the visit for those!