Sunbeams on placid turquoise water, soft white sand under the feet, and a day stretched out ahead with nothing much in particular to do. It’s a dream come true in March for a family that hails from the snowy state of Minnesota. This island paradise, known as Castaway Cay, is an exclusive retreat for guests sailing aboard Disney Cruise Line. We spent a wonderful, relaxing day on Castaway’s family beaches recently, much needed after months of cold weather. The kids were happy paddling around on inner tubes (rental on the island), collecting shells (for pictures only!), and playing in the sand. During a relatively uncrowded cruise, we had no problem snagging lounge chairs to kick back in – not that our little ones allowed us to do much dozing in the sun.
We felt completely comfortable allowing our nearly-9-year-old son the freedom to move between the beach and the nearby “In Da Shade” game pavilion. I’m still scratching my head as to why he was so taken with unlimited free games of pool and shuffleboard when the lagoon was beckoning, but that’s Andy for you. When the sun grew stronger he finally meandered his way to the water. The lagoon is clear and relatively shallow; lifeguards stationed at several points out in the water add an extra measure of safety for kids swimming and snorkeling. Not far out from the shore is a wooden play structure with bridges and ropes to swing from.
When it comes time to refuel, Cookie’s BBQ is just a short stroll from the sand (and the meal is conveniently covered by the cruise fare). In a cool, covered pavilion we devoured all we could eat of ribs, hot dogs, salads and soft serve for dessert. So the toddler dripped half her cone down her chin? The outdoor showers came in handy for more than just rinsing off the sand!
Location: A stop at Castaway Cay’s family beach in the Bahamas is included on select Disney Cruise Line itineraries.