The 2017 Disney Cruise trip report continues with our first stop at Castaway Cay, the Disney Cruise Line’s Bahamas Island…
Thursday, June 8, 2017
We were up at 6:00 AM, or maybe just a little since I probably hit the snooze on my phone alarm once or twice. Why so early when we were on vacation? Because we were going to one of our favorite places, Castaway Cay. If you aren’t familiar with it, Castaway Cay is the private Bahamas island of the Disney Cruise Line. The only people there are people on your Disney Cruise and the various workers, and that’s it. A nearly perfect little island, and one of the many great things about a Disney Cruise.
I went out on our verandah as we were getting ready, but we could not see Castaway Cay yet, just lots and lots of wonderfully blue water. How do they get the water to be so blue out there? I still have not figured that out. I figured that by the time we were eating breakfast, we would be arriving at the island, so maybe we could watch some of the arrival.
I also saw that it was overcast and gray outside. Probably not the ideal weather for a day at Castaway Cay, but maybe the rain would hold off for at least part of the day. That has been the standard pattern for our last several visits to Castaway Cay, actually. But we were hoping for the best this time around.
We met our group to have breakfast at the Cabanas buffet, getting there around 7:30. This was the same place we had eaten lunch the day before, but the offerings were much different now, as you would expect for breakfast. This was also where we have always eaten breakfast on our past cruises, so why break with tradition? The nice thing about a buffet is that the have a little bit of everything, and it is easy to fill to fill your plate up quickly, if you are so inclined. But I am not that much of a breakfast person, so I chose a Mickey waffle with some syrup and fruit, along with some fresh fruit and a sausage link. Nothing too much, but that was plenty for me. And some orange juice to top it off, of course.
We did not have trouble finding two tables together for all nine of us, which was nice. We all enjoyed our breakfast, and we enjoyed the fact that we could all get what we wanted. Buffets are our friends.
As we were eating, we could see out the window that we were starting to approach Castaway Cay. Laura and I finished quickly and hurried outside, so that we could watch the crew members as they worked to tie up the ship. Yes, that may not be the high point of everyone’s cruise, but for whatever reason that is what we enjoy doing. The others soon joined us, too.
When we got up there, we saw that Captain Henry had already turned the ship around and we were backing toward the island, which is standard procedure for whatever reason that they have. A couple of small boats were going in ahead of us. Did they pick up some crew members from off of the ship so that they could catch the lines, perhaps? We also saw that a couple of trucks were already parked on the dock to be ready to unload supplies as soon as they could.
Laura and I always find it interesting that they shoot the lines out with some sort of air gun when the ship is not close enough to just hand the lines out, and we got to see them do that toward the front of the ship. We could even tell where the next line would be shot by how the dock workers would run around. Pretty cool, at least to us unusual folks. They always get the ship secured rather quickly, but I know that they know what they are doing.
Once we were docked, we all went back to our rooms to finish getting ready to go out. While we were there, the call was given that we were clear to go ashore. So the three of us headed down to Deck 1, not knowing where the rest of our group was.
When we reached Deck 1, we saw my parents up ahead of us in the crowd, but we could not catch up with them because there was a crowd waiting to exit the ship. As soon as we were on the land, we ran to catch up with them. Not sure if they wanted us around or were trying to leave us behind, but they were stuck with us now. Actually, they did not mind that at all.
Some of the crew people were handing out warm dry towels, and we all gladly took one because the rain was getting to be a little more steady. Still more of a heavy sprinkle than an actual rain, but enough of a sprinkle that you would definitely get wet. We stopped to have our photo taken by one of the ship’s photographers despite the rain, and then we moved along on our way.
Laura and I usually walk the short walk over to the main beach area of Castaway Cay. But because of the rain, and because a tram was there waiting for us, we decided to all ride instead of walking. That might keep us just a little more dry. The tram ride was not all that long, but it definitely got us there more quickly than if we had walked.
We went on past the main Family Beach, past Pelican Point, and found a place near the Pelican Plunge water slide, since that is one of the things that Laura and Jaylin enjoy there. I also figured it would not be all that hard to tell the Bramletts how to find us there. We had exchanged some text messages with them, and they were on the way. We also texted with the Jamersons. Daniel and Andrew were headed out to the beach at some point, while Maggie took Piper to her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment, and then they would come out later. It was starting to sound like we might have a large group there at the beach, and that would be just fine.
As the Bramletts were arriving, Laura and Jaylin headed on out to the Pelican Plunge slide. To get there, you have to swim out to the platform where the slide is located, and then of course you have to swim back after coming down the slide. When they got back, they reported that there were quite a few rocks and shells in the shallow part of the water, making it slightly difficult to walk into and out of the water. Not sure if those were shells that had washed up during a storm or something else, but it had not been like that before.
I found Daniel Jamerson (Too many Daniels and Andrews in our group. Who knew?), and we sat in chairs near the water and talked while everyone else did their things. I also texted with Maggie to let her know where we were, since Daniel did not have his phone with him. There were some rain drops at times, but not enough to drive us from our chairs.
Once the rest of the Jamersons arrived, we were starting to get hungry, as it was lunch time, or at least close to it. When you are enjoying a nice day at the beach, who is to really say when lunch time is? Except that you better eat lunch before they stop serving it, of course. Some stomachs in our group were growling, however, so we decided we should go ahead and eat.
Our lunch choices on Castaway Cay were Cookie’s BBQ and Cookie’s Too BBQ. The menu is the same at both locations, so we chose the one that was closest to where we were, which was Cookie’s Too. I got a hamburger, some potato salad, and a cookie, while some of the others in our group got BBQ ribs. We found a table for all of us to eat at, which is no small feat when you have 13 in your group, but we pulled it off. It was a nice lunch. Actually, it would take a pretty good effort not to have a nice lunch when you have just walked a few feet from a nearly perfect beach, no matter what they were offering to eat.
It did rain some while we were in the shelter, so that might have contributed to it being slightly less than a perfect lunch, but we were sitting under the cover of the shelter, so we could not complain too much.
Check back soon for more from the first day at Castaway Cay as the 2017 Disney Cruise trip report continues!