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:
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.
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!). You 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:
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!