Continuing with our cruising theme, let’s explore another island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay (pronounced “key”). The island, formerly known as Gorda Cay was purchased by the Walt Disney Company in 1996. Gorda Cay was once used as a stop for drug runners; there is an airstrip on the island, but it is no longer in use nor maintained. The island was featured in the Tom Hanks movie, Splash where Tom first encountered Daryl Hannah on the beach.
It is said that Disney invested $25 million and 18 months to develop the island. More than 50,000 truckloads of sand from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean was dredged during the project. The island is designed in the theme of a castaway community with buildings made to look as if they had been constructed with materials obtained from a shipwreck. Today, Castaway Cay is reserved exclusively for the guests of the Disney Cruise Line Bahamian and Caribbean excursions. The is a fully operational post office on the island with special Bahamian postage specific to the Disney Cruise Line.
The island boasts three separate beaches, each designed with a specific group in mind. Castaway Family Beach is designated for families, Serenity Bay Beach is an adult only beach for guests 18 and over and the Hide Out is a teens only activity area.
Among the clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches and swaying palm trees you can enjoy everything from snorkeling, swimming, cycling, kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours, parasailing, fishing, stingray interactions and even a nice beachside massage in one of the ocean-view cabanas. A convenient tram transports guests along various paths on the island.
Depending on your itinerary, the Disney cruise ships typically stop off at the island prior to returning to Florida. It is a nice way to unwind and recharge in an environment only Disney can provide.
Disney World Resort: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/