While a Disney cruise is a truly magical experience for children, there are times when you may want a little breathing space away from the kids. Fortunately, Disney Cruise Line has set aside many spaces onboard their ships just for adults. Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is no different – while there is a family beach as well as places for kids and teens, there is also a beach on the other side of the island called Serenity Bay that is for those over the age of 18.
On our recent cruise on the Dream a couple of months ago, after a brief foray onto the family beach, my teenagers decided to go back to the ship. So, my husband and I decided to check out Serenity Bay.
Serenity Bay is located on the opposite side of the island from the family beach. You can walk there, but it would involve traversing the long runway that is part of the Castaway Cay 5k route. There’s very little shade and the asphalt makes it seem even hotter, so you’re better off taking one of the frequent trams that drop you right at the entrance to the beach.
The beach is quite a bit narrower than the family beach, and on the day we went, it was also very crowded with almost all of the shady spots taken. We had to walk the full length of the beach to find some unoccupied chairs to sit in.
There are four cabanas available to rent on this side. There are also cabanas where you can schedule a relaxing massage.
At the entrance to the beach, the Castaway Air Bar looks like it was salvaged out of part of an old airplane hangar. If you’re laying out in the sun and don’t feel like trekking back to get a drink, though, you can simply flag down one of the servers who roam the beach and they will bring your cool beverage right to you (Note: alcohol and specialty drinks are an extra fee).
One of the reasons I wanted to go to this side of the island was to check out the lunch at the Serenity Bay BBQ. I wanted to see if there was any difference between the food here and elsewhere on the island. There are two BBQ spots on the family side, Cookies BBQ and Cookies Too.
Lunch here is buffet style, there are various salads, fruits, chips, and meats. And there is also soft serve ice cream and cake. Seating is at shady tables next door. But there is no large covered pavilion area like there is at Cookies.
I have to say I didn’t notice a huge difference in the food offerings at Serenity Bay. It’s a much smaller venue, and perhaps that’s why some people say the food here tastes better. On the day we were here, there was the usual BBQ proteins: hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and grilled chicken. They also featured steaks, and I have heard that they do not offer these at the other BBQ venues.
All in all, I’m glad I got the opportunity to experience Serenity Bay and Serenity Bay BBQ at least once, but I’m not sure I’d trek all the way over here again. On our particular sailing, which was slightly off-season while school was still in session, it really seemed that this beach was more crowded than the family beach and had less shade.
I would definitely suggest checking out both beaches, however, as they are both top notch and Castaway Cay has been voted top cruise line private island on Cruise Critic numerous times.
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