Just like a wedding it’s never in the plans to have rain during your vacation, however our day at Castaway Cay had both. Unlike most destinations the professional Disney staff not only made our rainy day a blast, but also pulled off a complete wedding with no hiccups. Below are some tips we learned in case you run into the same scenario.
- Lighten Up the Day bag; everything you really need is on the island and since it’s overcast you can ditch the sunscreen and sunglasses. DON’T forget waterproof covers for your phone or camera because you are still going to want to capture the memories and trust me you’ll need room for the next two items!
- As you exit the ship they will have tables of FREE rain ponchos and towels, grab as many as you need!! No seriously, stop and take the time to wrap at least a couple sets of 3-4 towels in ponchos because throughout the day you will want dry towels and they are not easy to come by on the island. There are plenty of places to discard the wet ones as the day progresses however. Since it was raining and we knew we were going swimming we never used the ponchos to cover up in, but instead we brought extra ones and double wrapped my bag so it would keep everything inside dry while we did activities. Keep in mind there are umbrellas, but it’s an island so typically there is some kind of breeze so you can’t rely on these to keep your belongings dry.
- Our first stop was Pelican’s Plunge. This floating platform offers water guns with targets, 2 water slides and a huge bucket that dumps water every few minutes to those waiting below. Please know you have to swim out to the platform and the water gets very deep, but Disney does offer lifejackets for both kids and adults so please use them if you are not a strong swimmer.
- With many of the excursions cancelled due to the weather we had the following options available; snorkeling, bike & float rentals as well as the Stingrays. We decided to try snorkeling first. Disney offers you to rent the needed equipment or you can bring your own from home as well, however they will make you wear their bright yellow vest so they can keep up with you on the course. From the shore to the farthest buoy is approximately 200 yards and is an easy swim with flippers because there are no waves or current due to reef that surrounds the beach. My five and eight year old had no issues keeping up for first timers. Along the path you will see white buoys and these indicate some of your favorite characters are below so be sure to keep an eye out for those as well as many boats and other items because typically that’s where the fish hide out. We were also lucky enough to spot a turtle as well!!
- After the snorkeling we were chilly and hungry so we headed over to Cookies BBQ. This all you can eat buffet is included in your cruise fare and has something for everyone! It’s a nice place to take a break in the open-air pavilion and make a plan for the remaining part of your day.
- After lunch we decided to try the Stingray Adventure. As you first enter the water you get to hand feed the rays in these horseshoe shaped floating rafts where they swim through. This is your chance to touch and rub them up close. After the feeding you are set free into the lagoon to snorkel and see them from above the water while they swim around below. Typically this port adventure would have at least 40 people per session, but due to the weather we literally had the place to ourselves, just my family of 4!! It was such a neat experience and well worth braving the weather.
- After a little shopping we headed back to the ship around 2 pm and were able to get the kids showered, dressed for dinner and to their club so we could make a 3:30 pm couples massage to end the day. So in just over 4 hours we were able to do almost everything the island offered plus more!
- Although our sailing was sold out with around 4,000 guests there were no more than 300 people that left the ship that day so it seemed like we had the island to ourselves at times. My advice is simple and just like Disney World if you are willing endure the elements the benefits far out weigh the negatives.
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As always I hope to hear from you real soon, chEARS!