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Cruises to Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay (Photo:Disney Cruise Line)
Castaway Cay (Photo:Disney Cruise Line)

About Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay, formerly Gorda Cay, is an ultra-tidy 1,000-acre splash of sun and sand located near Great Abaco Island. Owned by the Walt Disney Company, the island is used exclusively for passengers of its cruise line -- though alert cinephiles might also remember it as the spot where Tom Hanks finds his mermaid (Daryl Hannah) in "Splash."

Before becoming one of the cruise line's most popular ports of call, it was a haven for pirates and, subsequently, smugglers. (An airplane runway that runs down the spine of the island is no longer used, though it remains a busy thoroughfare for bicyclists, pedestrians and trams.)

Ships dock at the pier, and it's about a 10-minute walk to the island's main beaches, or take a free tram ride to hop around to the main sites.

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3 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Tortola, St. Thomas ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Galveston

6 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Key West, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Cozumel, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Key West, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Castaway Cay, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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3 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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3 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Key West, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Castaway Cay, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Key West, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
New Orleans
Visiting:
Key West, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Key West, Nassau ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Key West, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
San Juan
Visiting:
Antigua, St. Thomas ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Castaway Cay ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
St. Maarten, San Juan ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

6 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Cozumel, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Castaway Cay, Cozumel ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cozumel, Castaway Cay ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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4 Night
Cruise to Castaway Cay

Leaving:
Port Canaveral
Visiting:
Nassau, Castaway Cay ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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Why go to Castaway Cay?

Pros:

A variety of beaches and activities cater to passengers; expect shuttle service and character visits

Cons:

Some areas can be crowded, despite the island's size, and there will be lines to meet characters

Bottom Line:

Disney's attention to detail makes this private island one of the most impressive we've seen

Good to Know?

You can use your Key to the World (room key) to purchase items at gift shops on Castaway Cay -- no need to bring cash or credit cards off the ship.

Runners (and walkers) might be interested in participating in the Castaway Cay 5K, offered on every cruise that stops on the island.

Check out the post office to mail a letter or postcard with a one-of-a-kind Disney Castaway Cay postmark. There are limited operating hours, but you can use the drop box for outgoing mail. (This is the only venue on the island that does not accept the Key to the World Card for payment.)

What Sets It Apart?

Unlike other islands, Castaway Cay has Disney embedded in its offerings, complemented with character visits, ample children's programming and free attractions by land or sea, making it a truly easy family day at the beach. Adults can get away from the crowds at Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach.

Most of the water-based attractions that are not designated shore excursions are free, such as Pelican Plunge mini-waterpark and splash pad, as well as the complimentary childcare at Scuttle's Cove. Disney Cruise Line Wave Phones (glorified two-way radios that are provided free of charge onboard) also work on the island, so you can separate and still stay connected.

Amenities?

Rentals:

Grab enough towels to last you throughout the day as you head off the ship. Once you're finished, no need to bring them back to the ship; just deposit your used towels in containers throughout the island.

Beach lounge chairs, umbrellas and hammocks are located throughout the beach areas -- they are free to use, but it's recommended that you arrive early to snag your preferred location as they are first come, first served.

Transportation:

Disney-style tram service runs approximately every six minutes from Arrival Plaza, with stops at Scuttle's Cove and Castaway Beach, the main family beach areas. An additional tram takes you to Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach.

Kids Club:

The kid-centered programming that young cruisers enjoy aboard Disney cruises continues on Castaway Cay with a complimentary supervised kids' club at Scuttle's Cove. The club features programming throughout the day (families check their kids in the same way as they do on board, scanning their bracelets).

Aside from that, younger kids love the thrill of spraying water at Spring-A-Leak splash pad and digging in the sand at Monstro Point, where they can find whale bones and shark teeth. Older kids might enjoy basketball, Ping-Pong and other games at In-Da-Shade, playing tether ball, volleyball or soccer, or going down the thrilling waterslide known as Pelican Plunge. There's a swim-up raft with ropes, bridges and ladders, too, and there are plenty of complimentary life jackets available throughout the family beach areas.

Wedding Packages:

If you'd like to get married on Castaway Cay, you can arrange your ceremony through the cruise line. Ceremonies are typically performed at Wedding Pointe, a semi-secluded area near Serenity Bay and can accommodate up to 100 guests. Packages can include:

  • Officiant
  • Fresh flower bouquets and boutonnieres
  • Pianist performance during the ceremony
  • Wedding cake and Champagne celebration on the ship
  • Dinner for two onboard at Palo restaurant
  • Commemorative Disney Cruise Line certificate
  • Steaming service for ceremony attire
Wi-Fi:

You can use the Wi-Fi package you have purchased onboard your Disney cruise on Castaway Cay, as well as access the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. Depending on your carrier, you might access cellular service while on the island (roaming and data rates may apply, so contact your cell phone company prior to your cruise if you want to know more).

Accessibility:

Castaway Cay features accessible paved pathways from the ship to the main dining and shopping areas, and trams are accessible to people in manual and electric wheelchairs. Several beach wheelchairs are stationed near the main beaches, available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are accessible restrooms located throughout the island, and designated accessible cabanas available to rent for a fee.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Cruise Line Private Island Destinations
  • 2017 Top-Rated Cruise Line Private Island Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated Cruise Line Private Island Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated Cruise Line Private Island Destinations

Castaway Cay Cruise Reviews

Disney Dream
ferunc
Sail Date: Jan 2020
The ship did not dock in Castaway Cay due to weather issues.... Read More
Disney Fantasy
Retired Texas Cruiser
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Most excursions cancelled by Disney, presumably due to looming Hurricane Dorian. Day in Castaway Cay was okay. Beach was very crowded.... Read More
Disney Fantasy
Ach06
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Castaway is nice.... Read More
Disney Fantasy
DisneyAlumnus71
Sail Date: Jun 2019
Castaway Cay was great. Just know that for the family beach, if you want a chair with an umbrella, get out early. They fill up. There isn't enough chairs for everyone. Read the earlier part of my review about... Read More
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