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jhugge
01-07-2010, 09:34 AM
We are going on our first cruise in April and would like to know about excursions at Castaway Cay.

We are currently looking at the Fishing for myself and 9yo DS.

My wife and 7yo DD are looking at the snorkeling excursion.

Any thoughts or recommendations are appreciated.

crafty91
01-07-2010, 10:24 AM
snorkeling is an "excursion" you just swim out right off the beach but you see some really cool stuff! You can bring your own gear or rent it either before hand or when you get there. (Look for the sunken Mickey statue!) I have only done the jet ski excursion when is "ok", I'm used to riding my own jet ski at the lake so it was a bit tame. However being that close to the Magic on such a little craft is awe-inspiring!

Can't speak for the fishing but it depends on what you're looking for I think its just a head boat with lots of people fishing and not a fishing yacht looking for marlin.

There is always just relaxing on the beach which is super awesome!

smeecanada
01-07-2010, 10:42 AM
No need to plan excursions at Castaway Cay. There is snorkelling right at the family beach (snorkel gear available to rent or bring your own). Rent some bikes and bike out to the observation tower. Lazy in a hammock/beach chair or float in a tube. Just a great beach paradise. All can be done without prior reservations - just go with what you feel like doing at the time. Have fun - you'll want to go back guaranteed.

love2driveinct
01-07-2010, 10:58 AM
On our Wonder cruise last year we did a couple of excursions at CC...

DH and DD who was 10 went parasailing and they loved it.

DS who was 7 and I went on the Stingray Adventure and we loved it; I highly recommend it. Of course, it helped that my son has been really interested in sting rays for the past few years. :) But part of what you do after you learn about them and feed them is just snorkel around the area watching them swim by. This was great not only because seeing them up close like that was amazing, but also because it gave us a jump-start in snorkeling. I hadn't snorkeled in awhile and my son had never tried, but we were highly motivated to learn because that was the best way to see the rays. We left the excursions with big smiles on our faces.

When we all met up at the beach my DH rented a couple of sets of snorkel equipment and one tube, money well spent we really enjoyed those as well.

You'll have fun no matter what, though, and don't feel like you HAVE to do an excursion -- there is plenty to do there, anyway, and the day will go by very fast!

LMCmom25kids
01-07-2010, 01:32 PM
No need to plan excursions at Castaway Cay. There is snorkelling right at the family beach (snorkel gear available to rent or bring your own). Rent some bikes and bike out to the observation tower. Lazy in a hammock/beach chair or float in a tube. Just a great beach paradise. All can be done without prior reservations - just go with what you feel like doing at the time. Have fun - you'll want to go back guaranteed.

Just wondering if anyone can explain in detail what their snorkeling experience at the family beach was like. ??? What do you actually see? Many fish? Coral? Anything at all? I read about and even saw a photo someone had posted of the statue of Minnie Mouse that they put out there... but then I heard that it was carried out to sea after a big storm and has not been recovered. Any word on Minnie's where abouts anyone??? Thanks.

rhiannon
01-07-2010, 04:58 PM
We are also thinking of trying snorkeling, our last trip all we did was bike and looking for something new.
However, my questions is -- and maybe I'm a worrywart:rotfl: -- do the stingrays have their barbs? The thought makes me a bit nervous.

love2driveinct
01-07-2010, 06:43 PM
We are also thinking of trying snorkeling, our last trip all we did was bike and looking for something new.
However, my questions is -- and maybe I'm a worrywart:rotfl: -- do the stingrays have their barbs? The thought makes me a bit nervous.

They most definitely have their barbs removed and are completely safe to be around. As a matter of fact, there is more danger of us hurting them than the other way around -- that is why they teach you to "shuffle" your feet on the ocean floor rather than lift and step, so that you don't accidentally step on one of them! (They like to hide in the sand.)

Your post made me smile. We surprised my son with the Stingray adventure -- we signed up for it ahead of time and then told him about it the night before. We were SO excited to tell him and eagerly anticipated his reaction. Boy were we surprised when he just about started to cry at the dinner table! Poor guy, he knew so much about sting rays that he knew how dangerous they could be and was not at ALL interested in being that close to them, We tried to reassure him that this was DISNEY and they care too much about children to let anything happen to him, that surely they had done what was needed to assure everyone's safety. But he didn't really start to relax until the pre-swim info session when the CM told us all about their rays and how they could NOT sting us. Even then, he was cautious and almost didn't want to get into the water. Finally he warmed up when he saw how the rays swim right over your hand through a u-shaped cage to take the food from you. Before you know it, the two of us were snorkeling and watching rays swim right under us!

In the end, he was SO glad that we had signed up for it, and since we don't get to do too many things "just the two of us" nowadays, it is a memory that I will treasure always. :lovestruc

rhiannon
01-07-2010, 07:11 PM
What a great story. Your son is a boy after my own heart :goodvibes

Thanks for the info, now I can plan our excursion without having to Google "how not to get stung by a stingray." It sounds like fun, I can't wait to try it.

Gillhoolie
01-08-2010, 07:03 AM
On our Nov trip, we had also signed up for the stingray excursion. I have a 9 yr old boy who was also scared to death as others have mentioned about their children......Disney to the rescue!!

They start off with an informative little talk (10 min) that explains what you are about to do and WHY the stingrays can't hurt you. They are even kept in an enclosed area in the lagoon because they no longer have their barbs. Disney actually trims the barbs every 3 weeks we were told to ensure guest safety. They never get formed enough to be able to be used to sting! Plus the rays know they are being fed by the guests, so they are tame!

When you go into the water, CM's have a U-shaped floating tray made of PVC piping and "mickey heads" made of wood. You grab a piece of bait in one hand, place the mickey head in the water (inside the u shaped tray) then put your baited hand on top of the mickey head. The rays are trained to know what the mickey heads mean....lunch!!! They'll come up and swim right over your hand, which can be intimidating the first time, but just stay still.....It is fantastic!! If you've ever held a vacuum cleaner hose to your palm....that's what it feels like. When the ray's mouth bumps your hand, he lets go (don't worry, they have no teeth either).

After you've fed them about 5-6 times, it's off to snorkel with them for about 30 minutes..**A tip** Buy one of those kodak waterproof cameras to take some AWEsome pictures. You can swim right along with them and actually pet them!

My 9 yr old was scared bad, but eventually ventured into the water with Momma's help. The CM saw this and brought over a piece of bait for him to try to feed to a ray. Once the ray swam off with the bait, he looked over at me and went "Dad, this is so cool!!" He jumped in and started swimming with the rays. We will definitely do this every time in CC....it's just that cool!!:cool1:

ChessRCat
09-30-2010, 07:50 PM
First time cruiser in December also wondering about excursions at Castaway. Is the glass-bottom boat tour worthwhile ? Snokeling is not an option for our group, but we would like to see the reef eco-system somehow.

terimac
10-01-2010, 10:44 AM
We are going on our first cruise in April and would like to know about excursions at Castaway Cay.

We are currently looking at the Fishing for myself and 9yo DS.

My wife and 7yo DD are looking at the snorkeling excursion.

Any thoughts or recommendations are appreciated.

My husband did the fishing and it was absolutely the highlight of the cruise for him! They caught tons of fish, and when "something" kept snapping their line, my husband was able to catch a shark! That doesn't happen every time, and even without the coolness of the shark, he and his friends had an amazing time! He highly recommends the fishing excursion and is thinking of booking it again on our March trip!

nenner1
10-01-2010, 06:28 PM
Just wondering if anyone can explain in detail what their snorkeling experience at the family beach was like. ??? What do you actually see? Many fish? Coral? Anything at all? I read about and even saw a photo someone had posted of the statue of Minnie Mouse that they put out there... but then I heard that it was carried out to sea after a big storm and has not been recovered. Any word on Minnie's where abouts anyone??? Thanks.

Minnie is still there. So is Mickey and a sub from the 20,000 Leagues under the Sea ride. :) A friend of mine was just on a cruise there and snorkeled a few weeks ago and she posted a pic of Minnie on FB, so all is well. :thumbsup2

BealsRwe
10-01-2010, 09:19 PM
No need to plan excursions at Castaway Cay. There is snorkelling right at the family beach (snorkel gear available to rent or bring your own). Rent some bikes and bike out to the observation tower. Lazy in a hammock/beach chair or float in a tube. Just a great beach paradise. All can be done without prior reservations - just go with what you feel like doing at the time. Have fun - you'll want to go back guaranteed.

I couldn't agree more!

Conservative Hippie
10-01-2010, 09:33 PM
We are looking at parasailing and the glass-bottom boat tour for our first cruise in May - any thoughts?