JodieW is leaving from Miami for a cruise through the Caribbean over Thanksgiving. She indicated she has some trouble walking and she posted the following question:

Do you have any suggestions for a grandma traveling on a Disney cruise with children/grandkids, especially on the island, Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island)?

Oh my Jodie! I think you’re going to have an amazing time! Some dear friends of ours have taken a Disney cruise several times and they just rave about them (including Disney’s Castaway Cay)! So get ready for a great time with your family! I know you indicated you’ll be fine on the ship; however, it may be worth taking a quick peek at my recommendations to a fellow reader who’s taking a cruise with his 85-year old father. You may find a few hidden gems on getting around the ship.

Meanwhile, I spoke with a lovely agent at Disney who gave me the lowdown on Castaway Cay. When you get off the ship, it’s about a three minute walk to the end of the pier where you can board a tram that takes you to the three main areas on the island:

1st stop – Scuttle’s Cove

This area is basically where you drop the kiddies so you can run around on your own. It’s geared toward the youngsters with organized activities while under the watchful eye of the ship’s counselors.

2nd stop – Pelican Point

This seems to be where the most action is with the big draw a 2,400 sq. ft. floating platform in the lagoon (you have to swim to reach it). It houses multiple water slides and a giant “bucket” that dumps hundreds of gallons of water on the folks standing underneath it (hmmmm….I’m not sure that sounds so fun….).

3rd stop – Serenity Bay

Just at the name implies, this adults-only area is laid out to relax and chill (and not much else). You can rent cabanas and water floaties, get a massage or hang at the bar (but that is about it). It’s

Each area has sand wheelchairs for rent although the agent indicated the majority are stationed at Pelican Point. They are on a first-come/first-served basis so I suggest a family member go early to ensure you get one of the all-terrain wheelchairs (as Disney calls them!). Perhaps you can rent two and then race your various family members around the beach!

Each area above has various water equipment available – I recommend getting a kayak with one of your family members (then let them do all the paddling! That’s how mom and I do it!). Same with a two-person jet ski – get on and let them do all the steering! Getting on/off the equipment will be easy as you can drive your wheelchair right up to the water so you’re on the hard sand. Then just walk into the water and climb onto the jet ski or kayak (or just chill out and swim/float around in the water!).

They also have a glass-bottom boat for excursions around the lagoon. Spa services are available in the adults-area (Serenity Bay). They also offer a stingray adventure where you can swim, pet and feed them! Mom and I did this in the ocean where she almost drowned me climbing on my back! She eventually calmed down when this big burly guy came over:

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I would highly recommend doing that Jodie as it’s certainly not something you can do every day!

Restaurant and bar options abound and there looks like an interesting Bahamian arts and crafts store in the Pelican Bay area. There are more stores of course on the island although from what I read, they seem to specialize in Disney/Castaway Cay logo merchandise. You can also rent cabanas in Serenity Bay (adults-only) and Castaway Family Beach (closest to the Pelican Plunge stop) that appear pretty darn swanky:

Disney's Castaway Cay

Hopefully they come with a cute cabana boy and you’re all set! 🙂

There are also ample places for you to just park yourself on a beach chair and read! If you were thinking of staying on the boat Jodie, I highly recommend getting off and doing a bit of exploring, particularly if you get a beach wheelchair. I think you’ll be unstoppable!

Click here to be taken to Disney’s Castaway Cay website. In addition, here is a map I found that shows the lay-out of the island:

castaway map

Bon voyage Jodie and let me know how the trip goes! I would LOVE to see a picture in your all-terrain wheelchair! I definitely need one of those for Mom!