If you take a Caribbean cruise with Disney Cruise Line, you'll most likely spend a day at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas. The island getaway was named a 2018 Cruise Critic Destination Award winner for cruise lines' private islands.
Located near Great Abaco Island, the 1,000-acre island is roughly 3 miles long and 2.2 miles wide.
Before Disney purchased the island in the 1990s, it was known as Gorda Cay. Gorda Cay was once used by drug runners and there remains a small airstrip. Gorda Cay was used as a film location in the 1984 film "Splash," starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. The beach where the two characters meet is on the island.
Fun on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay offers tons of fun things to do for families, and all the facilities are within walking distance of the ship. There is also a tram to bring guests from the beach areas back to the ship.
Highlights include a crescent-shaped family beach, gorgeous adults-only beach, character meet-and-greets, and separate supervised club areas for little ones, big kids, tweens, and teens. There's also a big floating platform with waterslides, and you can rent bikes, snorkeling gear, paddle boards, and inner tubes.
You can go fishing whether it be fly fishing, bottom fishing or trolling for barracuda, groupers, and snappers. You'll catch (and release) colorful tropical fish on your journey.
For thrills, you can tour on a jet boat excursion, go parasailing or snorkel in the lagoon. Disney rents all the equipment to you and you can get instruction before heading out.
For those who want to relax, you can take a glass bottom boat out of the protected lagoon to the north side of the island, home to the barrier reefs. You'll see sea creatures and colorful tropical fish darting about in the coral.
Castaway Cay 5K
The Castaway Cay 5K is typically offered first thing in the morning once the ship docks on the island. It's a great, no-pressure race that follows a flat, very pretty course on the island. You can run, jog, walk as you like, and kids are welcome.
Check on Disney's Navigator App or on the Personal Navigator for meeting times and locations. You can also stop by the Guest Services desk on the ship to check any registration details. Try to arrive early for registration and bib pickup. All of the 5K runners walk off the ship all at the same time to the start line.
Castaway Cay is known for its natural beauty. The Disney Cruise Line values and works to preserve this natural island with its stunning turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and natural trees.
Work is being done to restore damaged coral reefs. Sea urchins are being transplanted and grown on the reef. Sea turtle nests are monitored and protected.
Green construction techniques are used whenever possible. Solar energy is used for water heaters for dishwashing and laundry. Cooking oil, 7,000 pounds a week, is used to fuel a fleet of Bahamas Waste Management vehicles in Nassau.