Day 12 was the day we had been waiting for the entire trip- Disney’s private island, CASTAWAY CAY!
The kids, Mom, and I decided to start the day early and head down to Royal Court for breakfast today. It was going to be a long day out in the sun and we wanted to be well fed. 😉 Royal Court is great for breakfast- it is a plated/order off the menu meal which is different from the buffet at Cabanas and the continental breakfast you can order in from room service. I ordered the “Express” which includes scrambled eggs, grilled ham, bacon, sausage, and hash browns. It really is majestic inside…
Mike met us at breakfast for coffee and the 6 of us headed off the ship as soon as we were permitted. We all took pictures with Mickey Mouse together once off the ship.
Tip One: If you want pictures with the characters on Castaway Cay, try to be off the ship by 10am. The lines form quickly and can be long and the characters will not be out later in the day. There are also picture stops nearby the ship as well.
Then the girls headed off with my Mom for more pictures and a stop at the post office to mail some post cards.
Mike and I dropped Mikey at the kids’ club on the beach and then we headed to Serenity Bay for a couple’s massage in a private cabana.
Tip Two: The Serenity Bay Cabana Massages are offered in single or couple and also fill up fast. I suggest reserving this before your arrival.
We arrived at the cabanas at Serenity Bay (adults only beach) to check in and we only waited a minute or two until we were called in.
The cabana is sparsely decorated and is NOT air conditioned. However, there is a ceiling fan and a few windows to let in the beach breeze. The cabanas are also located far enough from the ocean so you will not really hear the ocean. This was something I was hoping for, and did not realize I would not be able to experience. The massage was completely different from the one I had earlier in the trip- this one seemed more therapeutic than relaxing. This isn’t a bad thing, just different. Mike and I changed into our robes and before we knew it, the hour had passed and we were headed back to the family beach.
We had scheduled our massage to end in time for us to experience Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure. In our 5 trips prior to Castaway Cay, we had never done this and everyone raves about it so we really wanted to try it.
Tip Three: Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure is another popular excursion on Castaway Cay. To avoid disappointment, please try to reserve this before your departure.
We headed over to the kids’ club, picked up Mikey and met my mom and the girls and headed over to Castaway Rays. Mom decided it was too hot for her much longer and headed back to the ship for lunch and much-needed air conditioning. Mike’s parents did the same. Remember, it is August 30th.
Once checked in, you get your snorkel gear and have a talk with one of the cast members about different kinds of stingrays, stingray conservation, and a bit about their program here on Castaway Cay. After the presentation we were directed over to the shoreline where they had at least 4 feeding stations set up for the stingrays. Everyone separated between the stations where we learned how to feed the stingrays here and the stingrays were more than cooperative!
As we stood in the shallow water all sorts of Castaway Cay fish swam around our legs as well!
Next we were permitted to swim out with the stingrays and snorkel for the remainder of our time (the entire experience last about an hour). After a bit of trepidation on Mikey’s part- it was an amazing time. We all loved swimming up to the peaceful stingrays (who never came very close to us). There were so many and it was neat just to watch them float in the water. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this excursion and was well worth the $35 the girls/Mike/and I and $29 for Mikey.
Once our time was up, we handed back our snorkel gear and were given a pin for Stingray conservation which was really neat.
Then we all headed over to lunch at Cookies BBQ on the island. Lunch included chips, burgers, chicken, an assortment of salads (potato salad, coleslaw, couscous salad, tomato salad), chicken sandwiches and cheeseburgers, hot dogs and buns, boiled corn, and sauerkraut, vegetarian chili, and grilled salmon for lunch. Chocolate chip cookies, pineapple upside down cake, banana bread and fruit salad are also available for dessert.
There are also self-serve soft drinks as well as soft serve ice cream for dessert. Plenty of alcoholic drinks can be found at the bars located throughout the island. Be sure to try a Konk Cooler before you leave!
Tip Four: after 3:30pm, drinks are buy one get one free! So linger a bit on the island and start your happy hour a bit earlier than usual. 😉
After lunch we set up camp under an umbrella and the kids, Mike and Brad took the girls over to Pelican Plunge. This is structure with 2 water slides right there in the water. The kids LOVED! It! Tricia, Arnie, and I floated in the water with Mikey and Olivia- who were not at all interested in Pelican Plunge. In the water we met up with Sandy whose daughter and husband were also at Pelican Plunge.
We spent the rest of the day in the water right there. Going back and forth from our chair under the umbrella then back to the water. On our way back to the ship, we stopped for smoothies for the kids and Konk Coolers for the adults, which were now, buy 1 get 1 free.
Once onboard we all headed to our rooms to shower and get ready for dinner. Earlier in the week I had taken time to start packing up as I was doing laundry. Our room was a few doors away from the laundry room ($2 to wash, $2 to dry) so it was easy to do and I would just pack the clean clothes if we didn’t need them again. We finished up packing so we could enjoy dinner and not have to race back to put our bags out for luggage pick up. This would be our last dinner on board, and we were going to be late. But, most other people were too because they were trying to pack up as well.
Tip Five: On your last night- if you would like Bell Services to take your bags off the ship for you, you need to have them outside of your door, usually, by 10pm. If they are not- you will need to bring your bags with you when you leave your room the next morning to breakfast.
We were headed back to Enchanted Garden tonight which is such a beautiful setting. The colors and fountain are just so relaxing and the flower chandeliers would be a gorgeous souvenir if they would sell them (You can buy plates and knives from Animator’s Palate in the gift shop- and yes, I did buy them!)!
After dinner we headed for the last show of the cruise. The parents and kids in our group watched from the balcony while all of the grandparents stayed in our usual spot. We would meet after the show for some last-minute shopping in the shops (which are steps away from the theater).
After shopping we headed to our rooms to be sure we were set for the next morning. Mikey and my mom stayed back to go to sleep while the girls headed out one last time to meet their cousins by the pool for some more ice cream. Mike and I headed to Ooh La La (in Eurpoa- the adults only section) for a glass of champagne to toast the end of an amazing cruise.