I have taken 3 Disney cruises up to now and 2 of them went to their private island Castaway Cay that included a 5k race. This vacation is the something I never thought would be possible but am so grateful to be able to work hard to enjoy. :) The second time I visited Castaway Cay was on a Disney cruise out of Port Canaveral. See my review below!
The first Disney cruise where I visited Castaway Cay left from Galveston, TX and was on the Disney Wonder, one of the smaller ships. The second time that my Disney cruise visited Castaway Cay it was on the Dream, one of the larger ships. There were some differences from being on the larger Dream compared to the smaller Wonder.
Disney Dream cruise ship at Castaway Cay
Aqua Duck waterslide
Hot tubs in the spa
Crowded all over the ship
Kids used the adults only pools
Foot traffic through the adults only area (no longer feels adults only...at all)
More crowded 5k race
Crowded at Castaway Cay island
Disney Wonder cruise ship at Ft. Lauderdale
More exciting & elaborate Pirate Night deck party
More adults areas
Less crowded 5k race
Not crowded at Castaway Cay island
No adult waterslide
Castaway Cay dining area at Serenity Bay (adults area)
All of the Disney cruise ships are amazing at handling food allergies. When you first board the ship find the dining staff table and let them know of any food allergies or special diets. They take great care to ensure every guest has a magical dining experience regardless of food allergies or special diets! It is so nice to have a positive experience when you have to eat a special diet away from home!
The night before your cruise sails to Castaway Cay let your server know what you would like for lunch if you have a special diet. Your special food will be delivered to the island and they will let you know where to pick it up (most likely the main dining area called Cookies BBQ at Castaway Cay).
The Disney cruises that stop at Castaway Cay offer a 5k race. It is unofficially timed by a giant clock at the start/finish line. This is a low key race and very hot! If you are interested in the race make sure to sign up when you board the ship at the Guest Services desk. The race tends to fill up quickly so sign up right after boarding the ship. You will receive a ticket that will allow your entry. There is no fee for the race. Kids ages 12 years old and up are allowed to participate. Kids younger than 12 years old will need to be dropped off at Scuttle's Cove (at Castaway Cay) or the nursery on the ship.
The night before sailing to Castaway Cay the Disney cruise Personal Navigator newsletter will be delivered to your room and let you know where to meet the next morning on the ship for the race. Unless you plan to go back to the ship after the race bring a bag with everything that you will need for the day at Castaway Cay. At the race start/finish line there is a giant crate box where everyone participating in the race may leave their bag. There are restrooms near the start/finish line where you may easily change out of your workout close and into your swimsuit. There are not showers at that restroom but other restrooms have outdoor shower spots where you may rinse off sand and sweat.
Castaway Cay5k race course
The Castaway Cay 5k race is very low key and without a lot of fanfare. There are runners and walkers so don't feel pressured to be a top notch runner to participate. By the time you leave the ship and walk a sizable distance from the ship to the start/finish line it will be quite warm and humid. I have done this race in December and it is still very warm and humid.
Castaway Cay 5k race course turn around point
Castaway Cay 5k race course on the runway
I recommend bringing a hat, and sunscreen. The course is a paved path set within dense topical-like brush. There are several places to grab water along the course. Part of the course will have you on a old, long runway in the direct sun. When you cross the finish line note your time on the giant clock at the finish line. It isn't recorded anywhere so make a mental note of it if you care. :)
Disney Dream cruise ship at Castaway Cay
I was not asked to write this review, this is not a sponsored post and I personally paid for each of my Disney cruise trips. I received no compensation for writing this post.