Castaway Cay – Friday
Today would be a bit unique in terms of my Disney Cruising experience. The ship would be docked at Castaway Cay, and I had no plans to get off the ship.
Now, keep in mind, I’m not a beach person. Much like Anakin Skywalker, I hate sand. But Castaway Cay is a lot of really nice sand! It is a great destination, and one that even non beach people (like me) can usually find something that we want to do on the island. (For me, usually it’s biking around the island and climbing the lookout tower.)
But, we decided that we didn’t really want to get off the ship. It’s a long way from the pier to the beach, and even with a stroller for the kids, it’s a lot of schlepping. There’s food on the island, true, but there’s also food on the ship. And, as we discovered, there’s a lot less people on the ship.
We were a bit late docking at Castaway, so breakfast was still fairly crowded. No issues finding a table, but it wasn’t completely dead either.
After breakfast, we tried to watch the new Pixar movie, Elemental. Sadly, even with his hearing protection, it was a little too loud and too intense for Tommy, so he and I left the theater and walked around the ship some. We happened to be outside on Deck 4 as the ship was docking, so we were able to watch as the lines were secured, and the gangways attached.
We wandered back inside, and found that there were a lot of characters either in, or about to be in the atrium. Because the ship had just docked and most everyone else was racing to go grab chairs on the beach, there was almost no line. And, because this set was supposed to be on CC, all the characters were in their “swimwear” costumes, so we got some pictures that you don’t normally see.
After a while of meeting, Lily and Tracy came out of the movie, and we went to get some lunch.
After lunch, we got in our swimwear and went up to Deck 11. Tommy and Lily had the splash pad completely to themselves for almost an hour before another little kid joined. We were finally able to get Tommy to go down the slide (we may have sat him at the top and pushed him down the first time, but as soon as he was done, he raced to go again … and again). Tracy and I also each got to go up and ride the Aquaduck 1 or 2 times.
Splash time done, we went back to the room to shower off, and try for naps. And, amazingly enough, Tommy actually fell asleep! (Granted only about 45 minutes, but I’ll take it as a win).
Dinner was at Enchanted Garden, and I don’t remember much about the meal.
Debarkation Day – Saturday
We woke up, and went to breakfast. As is typical for debarkation day, all the food was pre-prepared and just sitting under warming lights, waiting for people to order it. Which means that pancakes would be extremely rubbery, and eggs are not a good option either. I ordered french toast with a hash brown, and a croissant. (At least the pastries are still good!).
Once we got off the ship, we found our luggage pretty quickly, and joined the line for Customs, which seemed to be moving at a slow-but-not-too-slow pace. When we got to the front of the line, a new window opened up, and the customs officer didn’t even look at our documents before waving us through.
Loaded up the car, and traffic was unusually light, we were back home about an hour after leaving the port.
The ship was very full, and felt like it. Especially at lunch on the first day, and most times in the atrium, there were a lot of people. Elevator waits weren’t awful. The place I really noticed needing to wait (other than the characters) was for restrooms near The Tube. I don’t recall ever having to wait before, but this time there were times I had to 2 or 3 different restrooms to find an open one.
Service was good, but I wasn’t impressed by our dining team. Our server was good, and held the whole team together, but there were times we had to ask him for drinks (should be the assistant server’s job) or bread refills (same). The head server? Didn’t even come talk to us until the 3rd night. I debated going to Guest Services and reducing their tip, but in the end just let it go.
Weather was pretty good, I think we encountered a little bit of rain, but not much.
All in all, I’d do it again. Although maybe not until the kids are a little older.
Here’s a gallery with lots of photos from the trip. Some of these have already appeared on Facebook, some have not. Photos are not in any particular order.