Comments for Castaway Cay Is Disney’s Picture-perfect Private Caribbean Island

castaway cay

Credit: Disney


  1. Steven A.

    Hey Ricky,

    Enjoyed your review of Castaway Cay and I think you make some excellent points. We visited there as part of a week-long cruise on the Disney Wonder in 2002. My mother is a cruise agent, so I’ve been on quite few cruises over the years and, as such, a lot of cruiseline-owned beaches. I have to say that we were very impressed with Castaway Cay in general, and Serenity Bay in particular. I think some of your negative impressions may have been colored by the shortness and hectic nature of your trip. If I had been in your situation, I probably would have rather been exploring the ship in the precious little time I had as well. But after five or six days on the ship and touring other locales, we found Castaway Cay a very well laid out and relaxing conclusion to the trip.

    Moreover, as an adult couple traveling without kids, Serenity Bay was a revelation. It was infinitely better than any out island beach run by the so-called “grown up” cruiselines. Just getting there is a hassle, as you pack yourself into a hot, cramped tender, ride in and discover an overcrowded beach full of screaming kids and exasperated adults where chaos reigns. At Castaway Cay, you just step off the boat and there’s a tram to take you to the beach that best fits your desired experience. Is it authentic? No way. Is it relaxing? YES. We could have stayed there for days. And I’m not sure if you experienced this, but a buffet of fresh grilled fish (I know you don’t like seafood), fruit, and other items was set up right on the beach when we were there so we did not have to resort to Cookie’s BBQ or the other admittedly lackluster food service options.

    Your authenticity argument holds some sway with me, but we need to keep context in mind. This is Disney. Moreover, it’s a cruise on a huge, ridiculously luxurious ship. Expecting to step off of it into an unedited Caribbean experience is somewhat unrealistic.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      You also make some excellent points! What you say about the hectic nature of my cruise is very true. I wish I had more time to spend on the ship as well as on Castaway Cay, and I think that if I had visited other ports prior to this one, I would have enjoyed it more as a change of pace. Instead, it replaced the “real” places I’ve grown used to visiting on cruises, making it seem all the more fake.

      I didn’t see a buffet at Serenity Bay, but I did smell some food. Perhaps it just wasn’t ready yet. Sounds like I missed out there.

      And yes, it is Disney. I didn’t really expect it to feel authentic, but a few items really just made it seem phony, rather than an idealized “fantasy” version of the Caribbean. I love Adventureland, Tomorrowland, and even New Orleans Square. I know they’re not real life, but they have their own flair and charm. Castaway Cay just seemed like somewhere that was trying hard to be a real Caribbean island with real island destinations and history, but ultimately falling short of getting there. But again, had I experienced the real world on a stop or two prior to hitting Castaway Cay, I may have appreciated the Disney-fied version of the Caribbean more.

      With all that said, I greatly enjoyed my time at Magens Bay on St. Thomas during a Royal Caribbean cruise far more than my time at Serenity Bay. I took a truck to get to Magens Bay (the equivalent of Disney’s trams, though over rougher terrain). Once I stepped foot there, it was like heaven unfolded in front of me. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, dead quiet, and real. Given Disney’s ability to create amazing environments, I thought that they would have been able to craft a man-made beach to look as beautiful, if not more so, than Magens Bay. Castaway Cay itself is not beautiful. The ocean views are, but the Disney-created areas are not quite up to what I thought they would be.

      1. Atomicmickey

        Thanks for this–but a curious article. I kept waiting for the “bad stuff”, and while you do have some interesting observations, nothing sounds too bad a Castaway Cay! Well, I’ll find out myself as I’ll be there next Tuesday for the first time! So this was a helpful article.

        I am looking forward to getting a bike and riding around and exploring a bit. I know that Castaway Cay is not a “real” island, but it looks beautiful and sounds like a great place to kick back and relax.

        1. Ricky Brigante

          None of it was “bad,” it’s just not Disney-perfect. The atmosphere is a bit off, many of the activities cost extra, and the food is not good. It is beautiful and is definitely a great place to relax. Just don’t get your expectations too high.

  2. Ehiguy101

    Paradise Lost?

  3. Buckly

    Fantastic article/photos/video. I’ve been to Castaway Cay but this makes me feel like I am seeing it for the first time. I agree that the fact that many of the extras cost more money is annoying, but overall I hold a bit higher opinion of the place than you do. I will definitely need to check out the snorkeling on my next trip in December, if I can brave the cold water.

    1. there is a saying if the food does taste good then don’t eat it and ask the chief what is wrong with the food.

  4. Cliff Z

    Excellent review as always Ricky. Though I did want to make one observation about the lack of authenticity on Castaway Cay. A few years back I was on a cruise and we went to the nearby beach in St Lucia. I fell asleep on the beach next to my wife (fiancee at the time) because it was soooo relaxing. We woke up and realized, someone stole my camera and my shoes (yes, my shoes)! Curiously (and thankfully), my wallet was unmoved, which I can only assume meant they didn’t see it. Anyway, sometimes a little phoniness is just the thing on a vacation because reality can leave you barefoot and lacking in vacation photos.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Yikes! While it’s terrible that happened to you, it makes a great point about real versus Disney. Castaway Cay is certainly a safe place where guests can leave their belongings lying around without any worries. Clearly the same is not true about other ports of call.

      I described my amazing experience at Magens Bay in a comment above. But I also had a horrible experience stepping foot off the same cruise in Curacao, a place I will NEVER visit again. It was brutally hot and Michelle and I were inexplicably stranded on a shadeless bridge that moved laterally while we were on it to allow boats to pass through the channel. No one spoke English on the bridge and we had no idea it was going to do that, so we were stuck without explanation or refuge from the blistering sun for 10-15 minutes while we waited for the ability to step foot back onto land. All that happened within minutes of leaving the cruise ship and we were ready to immediately turn around and go back on board. But we didn’t, instead opting to recover for a few minutes and push on to see the city. Well it turned out that Curacao offered us nothing more than duty-free shopping and $1 T-shirts, so we gave up and left.

      I would gladly visit Castaway Cay every day for the rest of my life than ever come anywhere near Curacao again.

  5. Dale

    Loved reading the tour of Castaway Cay, but I have to respectfully disagree with some of your negatives . . . the main reason we LOVE Castaway Cay is the fact that it is soooooo clean, and no one is trying to sell you something, or braid your hair or whatever. The food at Serenity Bay is yummy, sorry to hear your food experience was not what we had. The bike trails are great fun, and long enough that everyone spreads out that you feel like you have them all to yourself. Also, the fact that you don’t even have to leave your lounge chair and someone will bring you another frozen concoction, priceless. Oh yeah, and the clean bathrooms ­čÖé

    Thanks for reminding us of why we love DCL and Castaway Cay so much!!

  6. Nicole

    I would like to offer a perspective of an 18 year old.
    Me and my family have cruised with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney ships for as long as I can remember. Having been on many islands I have to agree with some fellow posters that Castaway Cay is by far my favorite. Now I do agree with you on some points of the excursions being a bit more pricy then some of Disney’s competitors. I have grown up on Disney Cruises and as a child I loved the “kid club” activities that are specifically set aside, these activities always gave my parents an excuse to sneak away to Serenity bay!
    The authenticity of the Island is not a big factor for me. Royal Caribbean Cruises prefer to dock at an island and leave the guests to explore, the problem is I always seem to feel rushed. Between getting a taxi driver to take us to a beach (the haggling begins here), Islanders pushing items on you, and getting lost on the island itself(which has happened many times!), I much rather prefer Castaway Cay even if it is manufactured peace!

    Next disney cruise I will be able to try Serenity Bay, I hope its as peaceful as I hear it it! ­čÖé

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Great points. As I wrote above, it may have been that since Castaway Cay was the only stop on our short cruise, it seemed extra fake to me. Had we made a few other stops first, it likely would have been a nice, clean change from all the real islands.

  7. Lizz

    Hey there, I LOVE these pictures and videos! Looks absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait for my turn to experience it! My question is about your camera and your equipment. I’m looking to expand my collection, and by ‘expand’ I mean get a good camera. So if you could tell me what kind of camera and what type of lense your using? I know some but not much about cameras. I was looking for something like this, where you get what you actually see and not the persons head. I was wanting something like that, but I started looking at cameras when I thought about the fireworks at MK. I wanted to be able to enjoy it again and again. What got me thinking was this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6pTRcVuoRA&feature=mh_lolz&list=FL4TmrbdUM3eY
    I saw it and at first you think it’s a toy model and very well done animation, and then you realize that it’s real. If you could give me an idea of what kind of equipment this was shot with, I would really appreciate it! Thanks. Find me on twitter: _Think_Tink_

    1. Ricky Brigante

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and video above. I used a GoPro HD Hero to shoot on the island (and underwater). You can find it here: http://t.co/TKqOzRW

      The video you linked to above was shot by Disney. I’m not sure what specific equipment they used but I know that it was individual still photos edited together to form the video. The technique to make real life look miniature is called “tilt shift” photography and can either be achieved with special lenses or after by editing the photos to blur certain areas.

      1. Lizz

        Interesting! Thanks! So that camera you used is naturally wide angle and water proof?

        1. Ricky Brigante

          Yes and yes. ­čÖé

          1. Lizz

            awesome! Very helpful! Thanks so much!! =]

          2. Lizz

            One more question, are the still shots taken with that as well? or is that just video?

          3. Ricky Brigante

            The still shots on the island were also taken with the GoPro camera. The still shots on the ship were taken using a different camera.

          4. Lizz

            Sweet! Thanks.

  8. Katie J

    On a scale of 1-10, 1 being a hot tub and 10 being the waters in titanic. How cold is the water honesty? My family is going in January and I was just wondering.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      The ocean is probably about a 7 in January. It’s extremely cold when first entering it, but you can get used to it. Just don’t stay in too long or you’ll come out shivering.

  9. Deb

    Fourth, to conduct a wide range of reading, learning the necessary knowledge of the operating
    system. It not just detects these dangerous applications but has the capacity to remove
    them fairly simply. Apple only makes it possible for one particular-way
    synchronization of new music files from laptop or computer to i – Pod and it
    is practically extremely hard to transfer new music back onto
    the challenging generate or one more i – Pod gadget by basically utilizing the i – Tunes Software program.

  10. I want to to thank you for this excellent read!!

    I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look
    at new stuff you postÔÇŽ. If you need to buy twitter followers be sure to keep your facebook account updated.

  11. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to look it
    over. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be
    tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and outstanding design and style.

  12. If some one needs expert view concerning blogging afterward i advise him/her
    to go to see this web site, Keep up the pleasant work.

  13. Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved it for later!

  14. Tanya

    Hello! Information you posted was greatly appreciated. Pictures were amazing as I WON’T be snorkeling! We are excited about our cruise on Disney Fantasy this Nov and was wondering about the island, this really helped put my mind at ease. You mentioned about the cabanas…I am just wondering when and where do your reserve the cabana on Serenity Bay. I have two people who can’t be in the sun for too long.

    Thanks again!

  15. It has seen that most of the people fail to identify whether the diamond is
    actual or replica, hence the certification is fairly important.
    We simply love HardX. They opt for a wedding far away from their hometown for varied number of
    reasons. Hard X now, The first weekend in May is the 2012 Nitro Champs,
    which promises to be spectacular.

  16. It’s very effortless to find out any matter on net
    as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at this web site.

  17. Marvelous, what a web site it is! This webpage gives useful data to us, keep it up.


  18. I’ll immediately grasp your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please allow me realize in order that I may just subscribe.

  19. Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which slows down or
    stops hair growth and produces weaker, shorter hair.
    Also sign up for my pet blog and let me know if you have questions or concerns
    regarding your pets. * Ginkgo Biloba is an herb which has properties to help improve
    blood circulation to the scalp.

  20. The therapists are usually from Thai and use more parts of their body like feet,
    elbows, and palms to massage. It can also be used
    to tone other parts of the body, such as the thighs or
    the arms. If it sets out with one or the both of you feeling
    nervous, traumatic or angry, this will deter
    you from experiencing and enjoying the full benefits on the massage.

  21. Right here is the perfect blog for anybody who wishes to understand this topic.
    You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will
    need toÔÇŽHaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about for a long time.

    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  22. The B5 Regimen is a treatment plan that utilizes Vitamin B5 to cure acne.
    Loss of muscle tone is often more significant in the lower extremities, leading to a decreased
    ability to walk and balance yourself, which then leads to
    a greater risk of falls and other injuries. HCG diet
    materials stress the importance of sticking to this diet.

  23. Quality articles is the crucial to invite the viewers to visit
    the web site, that’s what this website is providing. youtube

  24. I’ve read several just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much attempt you set to make this sort of magnificent informative
    web site. instagram

  25. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished
    to mention that I have truly loved surfing around your
    blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I am
    hoping you write once more very soon! ´╗┐facebook

  26. Busy professionals may not always have the
    time to focus on building and marketing a website, but a Boston Internet
    Marketing company has the necessary skills to promote your business.

    This gives you full control over the projects you take on and how
    you accomplish them. The Google Keyword Tool is just one of them and it is available free.

  27. For most recent information you have to pay a visit internet and on the web I
    found this website as a finest website for most recent updates.

  28. After a quick lunch and a brief nap back at the mobile home, we resumed fishing about three o’clock
    and fished all the way until dark. With the high temperature sensitivity of some perishable goods, it’s
    easy to understand why so many companies rely on vacuum insulated panels such a Thermo – Cor to ensure
    the quality of their products. Bait casting are multiplying reels,
    with the spool mounted above the rod.

  29. It is only through the Internet that you can market your goods and services while you
    are in America to a far of country in the Middle
    East in seconds. And it’ll not occur with out blood,
    sweat and hefty time commitment. When you have unique content and make it have some value to your customers, it is
    sure to be appreciated.

  30. These figures advocate the growing importance of internet marketing as also
    reaffirmed by David Silverman, Partner, Entertainment and Media Practice,
    Pricewaterhouse – Coopers, who said that:. An auto-responder can be set up in order to automate this task for you.
    By becoming a network marketer and distributor of
    Organo Gold your profit potential automatically increases,
    all the more with the attractive deals they have for their merchandisers.

  31. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  32. Good post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep it up! instagram

  33. If you know your hair loss is likely to
    be permanent then there are some very stylish and
    flattering wigs available today, which look so realistic no one would be able to tell the difference.
    The platinum blonde is a much sought after persona, and the look,
    an elegant and beautiful one if carried off properly, is a much desired
    and much employed part of dressing up. Using natural treatment
    for hair loss just makes good sense.

  34. Make sure to buy your h – CG injections, drops, or sublingual pills from a certified doctor.
    Emphasis of this program is getting rid of unsafe carbohydrates out of oneÔÇÖs every day diet
    plan. So, the question is, what has changed and how do we address the problem.

  35. That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate informationÔÇŽ Many thanks for sharing this one.

    A must read article! ´╗┐twitter

  36. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade
    blog posts from you in the future as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to
    get my very own blog now ;). instagram

  37. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy
    reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any other
    blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
    Many thanks! ´╗┐twitter

  38. During the peak tourist season, from October to March this
    town is flocked with tourists from far and near. Being only a
    few seconds away from the actual ruins, it has
    a one-of-a-kind position at the gate to the sanctuary. In most
    cases the earlier you book your room the less expensive it will be, and the better your chances of getting the room and
    location that you want.

  39. That is a great tip especially to those new to the
    blogosphere. Short but very precise infoÔÇŽ Thanks
    for sharing this one. A must read article! ´╗┐facebook

  40. Writing a blog– advertise your business.

    Many firms now use blogging web pages as a casual means of associating with their consumers.
    For the smaller sized, or new business owners,
    it’s an outstanding means to advertise their items without pricey marketing prices.

    Just by publishing a routine blog writing pillar, small firms could frequently attract more business
    than by the a lot more conventional approaches.

    Those who are working full time may not think that they have the time to have
    one of these procedures, but in many cases people can be
    back to work in just a few days. Also, the more times a particular
    surgery has been performed in a facility, the more likely the facility staff is to be prepared for any emergencies during or following the surgery.
    Between the two incisions, the tissue of the lower back is then mobilized as flaps for enhancement of the upper buttock region.

  41. Alistair Brownlee – who captured the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games with an overall time of 1:46:25 and a swim split
    of 17:04 – schedules five swim sessions a week
    in his training program.

  42. I don’t think that would solve his problem because when you purchase these products they are rarely targeted towards the clients niche.

  43. Good Blog. I Love To Travel And This Blog Is Just A Perfect One For Me..!!

    Thanks For Sharing Your Thoughts And Pictures ­čÖé

Add Your Voice

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.