From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Ben Creighton
Your day on Disney’s private island may very well be the most magical experience of your cruise vacation. Castaway Cay is a beautiful tropical island with so many activities to enjoy. We have visited more than a dozen times, and I still greatly anticipate that moment when I first set foot on this island paradise. The first thing to realize when planning your day requires a bit of a reality check. A full day on Castaway Cay is actually about 7 hours, give or take.That’s getting off the ship as early as allowed, and staying on the island until the last minute before the required “all aboard”. (It’s usually about 4:00 PM but varies from cruise to cruise). But don’t worry! You can, and will, have an incredible day if you plan it well.
Think for a moment of how you plan a day at a Disney park. Fast passes need to be in place, as well as a plan for when and where to eat, grabbing a spot to watch the parade, saving time to shop for souvenirs, etc. Simply put, proper time management maximizes your enjoyment of the day.
Planning your day on the island should be no different. If you want to start with a fun activity, you can choose from parasailing, kayaking, snorkeling, jet skis, and more. Participate in the 5K run. Take a bike ride around the island. Then relax on the beach. Enjoy a nice lunch. And don’t go home without a Castaway Cay t-shirt, fridge magnet or coffee mug. All of the above? Well, maybe, with the right plan.
My first caveat would be to buy any souvenirs in the morning. Do your shopping as soon as you can, because supplies can be limited and, in our experience, many things sell out before the day is over. You might have to carry stuff around with you, but you won’t end up disappointed because that shirt is no longer available in your size, or the coffee mugs are sold out. Also be aware that the food venues close around 1:30 or 2:00PM, so be sure to allocate time to enjoy lunch on the island. One good example might look like this: an early parasailing excursion, then perusing the stores for goodies, followed by relaxing at a bar or on the beach, then a tasty lunch at Cookies. Now go for a bike ride to take in more of the beauty of this place. To and from the ship, you can utilize the tram service or enjoy the walk if you’re up for it.
Choosing the activities that are important to you, then doing them in the most efficient order will have you leaving Castaway Cay with a smile on your face for a day well spent and long remembered.