Disney Magic Trip Report Day 8, Part 2: Exploring Castaway Cay!

Trip Report

Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference

Day 8, Part 2: Exploring Castaway Cay!

After some relaxing on the beach, it was time to explore the beautiful island! Again, we aren’t the type of people who can just sit and relax, we need to be active and go go go…. however, I feel like I probably could have laid in the hammock all day! It was so quiet and there was such a beautiful view. It was also so warm (but not sweltering) which was a nice change of pace from the eternal winter we were experiencing up north! Since we didn’t know when we’d have another opportunity to cruise though, we decided to take advantage of the day.

Dave had wanted to check things out a bit since he hadn’t had the chance I did that morning with the 5k. When we started walking though, we realized we were actually already pretty hungry and lunch was about to be served (11:30). For breakfast that morning we had only had some continental room service because we wanted to make sure we got a jump on the day. We were used to having a good sized breakfast with protein so our bodies went through the simple breakfast pretty quickly that day. We also ordered breakfast early, “just in case” it came late. Let me tell you, it was actually a bit earlier than the time we marked. We ended up eating and going back to sleep for a bit before venturing out!

Anyway, we decided to eat our lunch at the Serenity Bay BBQ. Lunch here is served buffet style with seating similar to the set up at Cabanas with silverware readily on the table for you. The tables were picnic style and had umbrellas for sun shielding. I must say I found there was a great variety and there were selections for every palate. At least at Serenity Bay there were healthy options and more sophisticated options along with the normal BBQ cook out type foods. For lunch I had the steak, a rib, some Greek salad, fruit, a slice of banana bread, and cole slaw. Dave had the grilled mahi mahi, cajun chicken, Greek salad, and pineapple upside down cake. Almost everything we had was delicious, Dave did mention the chicken was a bit dry but cooking for the masses that’s expected!

After lunch we went for a hike down the bike trail. Again, this was more lengthy of a walk than we were initially expecting and it started to get pretty warm out since it was mid day. If I were to do it again, I’d probably rent a bike. Everyone that did seemed to enjoy the ride. It would have been nice to get around quicker but also have a bit of a breeze.

Here are some pictures from our walk:

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After this walk, it was time for a drink. We grabbed a Konk’s cooler at the bar at Serenity Bay and asked the bartender if he knew when the happy hour 2 for one special was. He had no idea there was such a thing and told us it was probably something they discontinued (later we found out that wasn’t exactly true). The other workers, however, agreed with him. We think maybe those bartenders always work Serenity Bay and therefore don’t know what goes on at the other bar.

Anyway. from there we went on the walk that we had intended to go on that morning to the family beaches so that Dave could check out the rest of the island. Even though there were a lot more people here than when I came through that morning, it still didn’t seem “crowded” like the beaches we saw on the other islands. Despite the whole ship being on only a few beaches it still feels secluded and tranquil and stress-free.

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From there we walked down to the observation tower, which again took longer than we expected. Definitely going to invest in a bike next time! Here are some pictures we took from the tower:2015-01-10 14.08.11 2015-01-10 14.12.02

When we got back to Serenity Bay after our walk it was relatively empty. We were able to grab our hammock again and relax a bit. Then took a few pictures on the panoramic mode again (we really got into those this trip, didn’t we!).2015-01-10 15.10.43 2015-01-10 15.09.14 2015-01-10 15.04.30 2015-01-10 15.14.25You can see how empty the beach was in these pictures and it was only just about 3pm (with a 4:45 all aboard time). You can also see in this last one that cast members were already stacking chairs and things to prepare for departure. We, however, weren’t giving up much time on the island before we HAD to be back on the ship.

On our way back toward the family beaches and the boat, the bartenders at one of the bars were advertising the 2 for 1 drink of the day special and basically trying to convince people to get them. I started to think that maybe the bars in that area make the drink of the day in dispensers (which they dispensed the drinks from) and they needed to try to get rid of them so they don’t go to waste. Either way, we were glad to partake!

On our way back, we took some pictures at the family beaches:

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Honestly, before going to Castaway Cay I wasn’t sure I would ever be interested in going on the 3 or 4 night cruises with only Castaway Cay (and Bahamas on 4 night) for a port of call, but now I see how those cruises would be worth it. Even though they are short, a day at Castaway would be rejuvenating enough to deal with the travel to and from Florida for me (though I can’t say I wouldn’t try to add at least a park day in to the trip!). Though everyone talks about how great it is, I kinda wondered whether it could live up to the expectations I had built up in my mind after seeing everyone’s pictures and reading trip reports. It definitely met and surpassed the bar I set!

Next up: Final night at Sea!

Enjoying this trip report? Looking to plan your own trip on the Disney Cruise Line or to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Aulani? Contact me at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com to let me help you plan your next magical and memorable vacation. I can help take the hassle out of reservations, give you information and recommendations, and book everything including dining so that you don’t have to wake up early or spend time on hold! All at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Contact me today for a FREE no obligation quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com!

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Disney Magic Trip Report Day 8, Part 1: A 5k and Serenity Bay!

Trip Report

Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference

Day 8, Part 1: A 5k and Serenity Bay!

Finally, the day had come we had been waiting for (though not necessarily hoping it would come sooner since it was the last full day of our trip!) Castaway Cay Day! Out of all the islands we were visiting we were most excited about Castaway Cay because we were both comfortable that we didn’t have to plan anything and we could still have an amazing day. We were also comfortable that what we were seeing in pictures beforehand was what we were really going to get. It’s basically that sense of Disney quality we have come to know and love. While the other islands left us a bit disappointed in our expectations, we knew Disney wouldn’t let us down… and we were completely right!

Our plan for the morning was that Dave wanted to run the Castaway Cay 5k and I wanted to get off the boat as soon as possible to take some pictures and meander my way down to Serenity Bay where we were going to meet up after Dave’s run. Dave didn’t actually sign up for the run, which he found out that morning he was supposed to, but they let him join in anyway. If you’re interested in running, probably a good thing to ask about at guest services, but know that they will probably let you join in even if you forget!

While Dave got ready for the 5k below deck with the other runners, I waited up top for the crew to clear people to go ashore and took a few pictures.

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This is one port where it was actually beautiful to take pictures right off the side of the ship. I also couldn’t help but take advantage of the empty pool deck!2015-01-10 09.17.00 2015-01-10 09.19.14

Once we were cleared, I headed down to the gangway to start venturing around the island. Besides the 5k runners, there weren’t as many people getting off the boat that early as I thought. I wanted to be sure I was taking full advantage though and took pictures as I made my way walking down to Serenity Bay.

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It’s kind of amazing how beautifully the boat blends into Castaway Cay, just another nod to that Disney detail!

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Not too many people on the family beach yet as you can see.2015-01-10 09.54.02

I also took a few moments to look in the shops knowing that the Castaway Cay merchandise could sell out. I didn’t see anything I “had to have” and decided to save for splurges on the ship (as I had already seen a few things I liked onboard!).

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Here are the 5k runners at the starting point. Now it was January so it wasn’t the terribly hot weather you find in Florida and the Caribbean in the summer. However, it was definitely hot enough to call them all “brave souls.” I definitely commend people who take fitness seriously and run on vacation and in the heat, I am just not one of those people!2015-01-10 09.55.48 2015-01-10 10.06.56-1

Here’s Dave on his run! (Above)

And now a few photos of Serenity Bay that morning. People had started to trickle in a bit by the time I walked all the way down,  but still pretty empty.

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So much so, that I was still able to snag the last hammock to relax on while I waited for Dave (and to take an obligatory feet on the hammock in front of a beautiful ocean picture).2015-01-10 10.47.41

After Dave returned, he jumped in the water for a quick dip. When I say quick, I mean probably less than 30 seconds because the water was pretty chilly. There was definitely a big difference between the water we tromped through in Grand Cayman and here. If going in January on an adults only trip, I wouldn’t count on things like snorkeling unless you really don’t mind water temperature. We did see a few kids in the water when we passed the family beach, but not too many adults swimming on their own accord!

2015-01-10 11.15.57After his quick dip, we took a few minutes to relax on the hammock before giving it up and venturing off to explore the island!

Next Up: Exploring Castaway Cay!

Enjoying this trip report? Looking to plan your own trip on the Disney Cruise Line or to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Aulani? Contact me at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com to let me help you plan your next magical and memorable vacation. I can help take the hassle out of reservations, give you information and recommendations, and book everything including dining so that you don’t have to wake up early or spend time on hold! All at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Contact me today for a FREE no obligation quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com!