The day we had been waiting for…Castaway Cay! We had heard and read so much about how amazing DCL’s private island is that we just couldn’t wait to check it out. When we woke up in the morning we looked out on our balcony and the weather looked amazing! We were so excited to get our beach-y day on this December cruise.
On a whim, we had decided to do the Castaway Cay 5k. Rebekah is not a runner AT ALL, but it seemed like a fun experience to try out so we went for it. We took Rosie to the nursery again (for an upcharge) and headed to the designated meeting point for the race. The 5k is included in the cost of the cruise. That’s right…included. You don’t hear of that kind of thing often. It does not include a shirt (as many races do) but it does include a medal…so that’s super fun. One can sign up for the Castaway Cay 5k run at guest services starting on the first day of the cruise. At the time we signed up it sounded like a good idea. However, when it came to the day of the run it did not see like as great of an idea as we headed down to the starting line. Prior to the race, you will meet in one of the clubs in the back of the ship to receive your race number and go over the layout of the course. From there you disembark as a group and walk approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to the starting line. We had a large group take part in the run on our ship, I don’t remember how many exactly but I believe they said it was around 300.
The race starts in a cluster of buildings/stores. From there you follow a road that zigs and zags until you take a left on the airplane runway. You will continue down the runway until you take a right at the water station as you enter the “loop of doom.” As you circle around this loop you will pass different things such as anchors and buoys that have been placed on the island. As you exit the loop you again pass the water station and continue down the runway until you reach the beach. At this point you turn around and follow the same route back to the start/finish line.
As you cross the finish line there is a member of the cruise staff to hand out medals to finishers. There is also a store to purchase Castaway Cay 5k T-shirts. After we finished we walked back to the ship to shower and get our daughter who was in the nursery.
As we headed back to the ship we were a little jealous of the people heading in the opposite direction toward the beach. If I ever did this cruise again I would probably skip the race and just head to the beach but we did think it is a fun thing to do one time. It does not matter if you are runner, jogger, walker, etc… there were all types of people who took part in the race. It is more about having fun than posting the fastest time. We got back to the ship to pickup Roseanne and it seemed like she had a great time!
After getting cleaned up we headed to find a seat on the beach. I was worried that it was going to be impossible to find a good chair on the beach because we were so late getting out there due to the race. We were wrong, there were a TON of empty chairs all up and down the beach. We rode a shuttle that took you from the dock to the beach, it was nice to have a break from walking after the morning run. We got settled in our spot and went down to the water to play. Rosie was not having it in the sand today, she wanted to stay up on the chair for some reason…haha.
After an hour or so of playing we headed over to eat lunch at the BBQ. There was a large covered eating area and there were multiple buffet lines you could go in. There was a HUGE selection of food including: hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, different salads, cookies, chips, corn, etc… Everything we had was great. It was also nice because there were soft drink fountains right by the buffet. And bonus…soda is included on DCL! Soda is an upcharge on a lot of other cruise lines, so if you are a soda drinker this is nice!
We then headed over to Pelican Point to look at the water slide. I rode the slide with one of our friends and his son, it was fast and fun! The water was a little cold, but it was comfortable after a few minutes. After a few rides down the slide, Rebekah and I took Rosie over to the splash park to play, where she had a great time. After the splash park, I went snorkeling with one of my friends, while my wife stayed back with our daughter and everyone else.
The visibility was not great close to the shore, but once we got further out it really cleared up. There are a lot of interesting “ship wrecks” and statues to look at, including a Mickey and Minnie statue. We lost track of time. The ladies were standing on shore wondering how to get our attention. Upon exiting, we noticed and were the only ones out in the bay. Our wives were yelling for us to hurry up and get back to shore because we head to head back to the ship. We were some of the last people to get on the ship. Ooops! Haha
Everyone in our group had a great time at Castaway Cay. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a perfect 10. The beaches are very long, there is plenty of seating, great lunch buffet, tons of activities, bathroom facilities are clean, the shuttles make it easy to get around, and the 5K was a lot of fun. Overall it was a great day! There is a lot to see and do, even for people who don’t love sitting around on the beach.
We were running a little late, due to my snorkeling adventure. We hurried back to the ship and had to get dressed up for pirate night. Rebekah and our group of 11 all brought costumes, I went full on Jack Sparrow and Rose dressed up as a pirate parrot. Soon after we got dressed we headed down to the pirate themed dinner. We weren’t sure how many people would participate in pirate night, but to our pleasant surprise it seemed like the vast majority of cruisers became pirates that night.
All 3 of the rotational restaurants serve the same pirate themed menu on Pirate Night. All of the wait staff were dressed like pirates and I would say 70-80 percent of the people had on a pirate shirt, costume, or pirate bandanna that was left for each person in their state room. It was fun seeing some of the elaborate costumes.
There are two pirate themed shows on deck after dinner. The first is a Mickey and Minnie themed children’s pirate show. The show lasted 10-15 minutes and starred Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and the rest of the gang. It was fun and our daughter really liked the music. It was hard get the catchy “aye-aye captain” song lyric out of your head. After this pirate show we went to the Magic show in the main auditorium. I am typically a big fan of magic shows, however, this one was just meh… In hindsight, many of the magic tricks our waiter performed were more impressive.
After the magic show it was back to the main deck for the Pirates of the Caribbean show. This show also features singing and dancing as well as an appearance by Jack Sparrow. It was after Rosie’s bedtime, but we really wanted to see it so we put her in the Ergo carrier and headed up. The show was amazing and concluded with a fireworks show. All in all in was very impressive.
After the show there is a late night pirate themed buffet, which features large turkey legs, similar to what you will find at Walt Disney World. Like the other buffets, the food was failry underwhelming and it was uber crowded due to its timing after the pirate show.
We had a great day at Castaway Cay and pirate, we were all exhausted and went right to sleep.