A visit to Castaway Cay is a highlight of your Disney Cruise. Everything is set out for you to have the perfect day on this amazing private island in The Bahamas.
One of the great things about it is that you are just steps away from the beaches as soon as you arrive. Disney really makes everything very easy for you.
Even though you are very close to the ship and it is easy to get back to your Disney Cruise Stateroom, you really need to know what essentials to pack for your beach bag for the day.
Having visited Disney’s Castaway Cay many times I have perfected the art of packing for the beach.
THE ESSENTIAL CASTAWAY CAY BEACH BAG – WHAT TO PACK YOUR STUFF IN
The first step is to get a great bag to carry all of your family beach essentials in for the day. This bag needs to be tough to deal with the water and the sand.
Whether you choose to go to the Family Beach or Castaway Cay Serenity Bay you will need something to carry your things in.
This bag is just the right size for carrying all the things you have on your family beach packing list. I particularly like the pockets on the outside as well as the inside so you can keep things organized.
There is also a separate bag to keep your wet items in.
This family beach tote comes in a variety of colors and is waterproof and sand resistant.
This is a Disney Cruise so this Little Mermaid Beach Bag is a great idea for the kids.
If you just need to pack a few items this is a really cute Disney Little Mermaid Bag. It is water proof and very easy to clean
PROTECTION FROM THE SUN – KEEPING YOUR FAMILY SUN SAFE ON CASTAWAY CAY
We all know the dangers of spending time in the sun. It is so important to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of the sun.
The weather on Castaway Cay is pretty much ideal for most of the year.
Sunscreen and sun protection is essential. However, I confess that for years I found it so confusing as to how to actually find the right sunscreen.
I research things to the very greatest degree and years ago became concerned that there were chemicals in sunscreen that were potentially very damaging.
And then it became clear that a lot of the chemical sunscreens that we are using actually damage the ecosystem as well.
This leads me to be very selective about the sunscreens that I use. Not all are created equal.
I like this Reef Friendly Sunscreen which is lightweight, water-resistant, and not too greasy. It is light enough to use on your face as well.
This Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is also a favourite as it is chemical free and reef friendly.
For kids, this is a really good mineral spray sunscreen that is a green and purple foam with a 100% natural apple scent. It actually makes getting sunscreen onto your child a fun activity rather than a huge hassle!
You can see that you have applied it correctly but it then rubs on clear so you don’t have other people wondering why your child has a green tint!
This Banana Boat kids sunscreen is also a good option and reasonably priced
As well as sunscreen you should have some way to cover up on the beach. Hats are essential.
I have more than one of these SPF 50 Women’s Beach Sun Straw Hats so I can keep one in my beach bag and another in my car.
This is a great hat for travel – you can easily pack it in a carry-on and it still looks great when it has been squashed! It is actually designed to be foldable.
Actually getting a child to keep a hat on can be a challenge, but these smile face sun hats are so cute and are SPF 50 for maximum sun protection.
This is a very cute Disney Hat and Swim Bootie Set for Toddlers
It is so useful to have a rash guard for yourself and for kids. This rash guard is available in lots of different colors and sizes for women.
If you are looking for a long-sleeved rash guard this is available as a two-piece swimsuit with SPF50.
This halter neck maxi dress is a really good cover-up. I have 3 of these in different colors as they are so versatile.
It is a great beach cover-up, but you can also wear it as day or evening wear so it’s a really useful outfit to bring on vacation with you.
Very reasonably priced and packs without creasing. Doing laundry on a Disney ship is easy, but this doesn’t mean that you actually want to spend any time doing ironing!
Flip flops are another beach essential. It took me so long to find the perfect flip flop – after years of thinking I had to “break them in”.
Or translated, meaning years of getting blisters between my toes.
These fabulous flip flops are amazingly comfortable, are available in lots of colors and sizes (even kids sizes) and look good.
They are vegan and made of recycled materials. And they feel like you are walking on a yoga mat! You can even put them in the washing machine!
You get it. I really like these.
Do you need Water Shoes at Castaway Cay?
On Castaway Cay I highly recommend Water Shoes for all the family for your day at Castaway Cay.
The sand is sharp and can also get very hot. Even when you are in the ocean you will wish that you had bought some water shoes with you.
These adorable Minnie Mouse shoes are perfect for little ones for Castaway Cay.
Image Courtesy Amazon
BEACH PACKING LIST FAMILY SUPPLIES
It is really important to stay hydrated when you are on the beach. There is nothing worse than realizing that you simply didn’t hydrate enough and that is why you now have an appalling headache.
Instead of using plastic bottles, it is alway a good idea to pack a resuable water bottle.
These Disney Stainless Steel Water Bottles are ideal for Castaway Cay and to use on the ship.
You can find free soda on Castaway Cay and it is really useful to have these to take to the beach with you.
There are three barbecue locations on Castaway Cay. Two are close to the Family Beach and the third one is close to Serenity Bay the adult beach. The food is basic barbecue fare but you certainly won’t go hungry.
One of the most common questions guest have is does Castaway Cay provide towels?
You do not need to worry about bringing your own beach towels to Castaway Cay. As soon as you get off the ship you will see huge stacks of beach towels waiting for you.
Disney thinks of everything.
However, you may want to think about bringing a different kind of towel.
If you are like me and start to overheat almost before I have even started to pack my beach bag, you will appreciate one of the greatest discoveries ever.
I have no idea why they work but they are simple, light weight and easy to pack. All you need to do is just wet them with water.
They are inexpensive, chemical free, and very easy to carry in your bag. Remember to get one for every family member or they will be wanting to borrow yours!
You can often rent snorkel gear at your beach location but do you really want to do that? Not only are we rather freaked out about the hygiene aspect of this but often you get substandar equipment.
Can you bring your own snorkel gear to Castaway Cay?
You can rent snorkel gear at Castaway Cay but it is perfectly fine to bring your own.
It is easy and inexpensive just to take your own snorkel gear. This full-face mask is available in two sizes and multiple different colors.
If you have young children there is likely nothing that is going to keep them more entertained that the traditional activity of building a sand castle.
This beach toys set is relatively compact and easy to carry, with a bucket that folds down.
One nice thing to have to keep all members of the family cool on the beach is a portable cooler fan. You can easily keep this in your beach bag. It is battery-operated and clips onto a stroller.
I always pack these Sting Kill Swabs. We can all think of times we have been outsie and are stung or bitten by something!
These provide instant pain relief – even for jellyfish stings.
It is a good idea always to pack a small medical kit in your beach bag as well. This one has all the basics and is small enough to always carry with you.
THINGS THAT ARE NICE TO HAVE FOR CASTAWAY CAY PACKING LISTS FOR YOUR FAMILY
The one thing that I take everywhere with me these days because it is so ligthweight and just fits in my bag is my Kindle.
This one is made to withstand accidental immersion in water so it’s good for the beach!
Another essential item these days is a phone charger. I have several of these portable chargers. They are small, lightweight, and charge really quickly.
You won’t get free Wi-Fi on Castaway Cay but you can use one of the new Disney Cruise Internet Packages if you need to.
I really never want to take my expensive camera to the beach as I am always concerned its going toeither get damaged or stolen!
But family photos on the beach are a good thing.
So I tend to take a relatively inexpensive underwater camera with me in my family beach bag. This is an underwater digital camera that can take photos and videos at up to 10FT underwater.
LOOKING GOOD ON THE BEACH – WHAT BEAUTY MUST-HAVES TO PACK
Looking your best on the beach, particularly when you have little ones with you, can be a challenge that most of us just aren’t willing to take on!
However, there are some very easy steps you can take so that you look just that bit better for all those beach photos you are going to have to see for years into the future.
If the thought of being exposed make up free is giving you palpitations there are some easy fixes.
Here are some things you can use to make sure that you look your best in the face of challenging conditions of sun and sand.
A good foundation is the key to everything in life. Well in this case, maybe a tinted moisturizer is more appropriate.
This Honest Company Tinted Moisturizer is a great choice. Not only does it have great coverage, but it doubles as a sun screen as it is SPF30. It is also vegan, cruelty-free, and without parabens.
Don’t forget the lip balm. This one offers SPF 30 protection and is vegan and cruelty-free.
Just a touch of mascara can go a long way. This inexpensive waterproof mascara is great for the beach.
Do you have any favorite items for your Castaway Cay beach packing list for a family?
Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.