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Old 07-27-2009, 08:27 PM   #1
CrzyBoutDisney
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Castaway Cay - Sharks?

Hi all. Brand new to posting, but long-time lurker. I have a question about Castaway Cay.... is the island protected by a shark net or anything of that nature? Sorry, I know it's a goofy question, but I have a cripping phobia of sharks I'm contemplating booking a cruise and want to know how safely I may frolic in the water there. Thanks for any input and thank you in advance for not mocking me too much.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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Yes there are shark nets for the family beach and snorkling area. There are none at Serenity Bay. DCL will not let anyone in the water at the family beach if the nets are not in 100% condition, which did happen after a storm went through and damaged them.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the info. That's a real relief to know that they have those nets. Podcast Cruise 2.0, here we come!!!
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:09 AM   #4
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We've never seen anything but small groupers on the family beach.

However, at the adult beach you never know what you'll see. We've incountered stingrays, octopous, various fish in all sizes and shapes and starfish. My avatar is a picture of a starfish DH found in the water off the adult beach.

We've never seen a shark, but you never know. My biggest complaint about the adult beach, no lifeguards. If you don't feel safe in the open water enjoy the family beach with piece of mind.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:56 AM   #5
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We've never seen a shark, but you never know.
We saw quite a few good-size nurse sharks up close when we did the hiking/kayaking excursion on CC. We didn't bother them, they didn't bother us. I personally like being able to tell that it is a real island in a real ocean.

But having shark nets at the family beach is good.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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We actually had a barracuda swim through everyone on the family beach a couple of years ago. Some staff were in the water having fun with the passengers at the time. They started yelling for everyone to just stand still and let it go by. It was eerie to see everyone freeze until it passed by.

The staff didn't seem too surprised to see it. I guess things get in there. It is the carribean. At least it's natural--unlike a lot of the things that wash up on our beach in jersey!
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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We actually had a barracuda swim through everyone on the family beach a couple of years ago. Some staff were in the water having fun with the passengers at the time. They started yelling for everyone to just stand still and let it go by. It was eerie to see everyone freeze until it passed by.

The staff didn't seem too surprised to see it. I guess things get in there. It is the carribean. At least it's natural--unlike a lot of the things that wash up on our beach in jersey!
I've been told that Barracuda is a long time resident at Castaway Cay. They even have a name for him "Barry"? I think? He's never been a problem though as far as the reports go.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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Seen plenty of barracuda at Serenity Bay...and a thing to remember about the nets at the family beach-nothing big can swim in, but small things can swim in and grow once they get inside and then can't get back out. There's an ENORMOUS grouper that likes to hang out under one of the lifeguard's stations on the snorkeling train. He (or she-hard to tell with groupers) definitely wouldn't have fit through the net!
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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I've been told that Barracuda is a long time resident at Castaway Cay. They even have a name for him "Barry"? I think? He's never been a problem though as far as the reports go.
There are barracuda and nurse sharks at Castaway Cay, and some of the sharks slip through and around the shark net at the family beach. We encountered one in the snorkel cove just last Fall. No biggie, it was actually pretty neat to see. Nurse sharks are not aggressive towards humans.

On another cruise, we had to make an unscheduled stop after CC because a 13-year old boy decided to tease a nearby barracuda (probably not Barry!) who took a sizeable chunk out of his hand and he needed some stitches and a tetanus shot/antibiotics.

The lesson to be learned is that the ocean is full of all sorts of creatures. Common sense and respect for this habitat is the law of the day. No matter what protections are put out there, as a previous poster noted, it is the ocean, it is not a Disneyfied artificial environment.

Having said that, there is no reason not to go in the water or to have a good time. I feel much safer in that ocean environment than in many others.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:22 AM   #10
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I'm not a lover of swimming in the ocean, but did enjoy "paddling" a bit off the family beach at CC.

I was quite happy for DD to be in the water, safe in the knowledge that there were precautions taken to keep out the bigger, scarier creatures. I didn't find out until after we were back onboard the Magic that a barrecuda was also enjoying the family beach side whilst we had been there!
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:08 PM   #11
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Seen plenty of barracuda at Serenity Bay...and a thing to remember about the nets at the family beach-nothing big can swim in, but small things can swim in and grow once they get inside and then can't get back out. There's an ENORMOUS grouper that likes to hang out under one of the lifeguard's stations on the snorkeling train. He (or she-hard to tell with groupers) definitely wouldn't have fit through the net!
I saw him last week -- he is HUGE and scared the mickey out of me because he skimmed me.

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There are barracuda and nurse sharks at Castaway Cay, and some of the sharks slip through and around the shark net at the family beach. We encountered one in the snorkel cove just last Fall. No biggie, it was actually pretty neat to see. Nurse sharks are not aggressive towards humans.

I did not see any nurse sharks on CC this time around, but have seen them before. And Empress Room is right -- they will not hurt you. I came across a family of them in Tortola and while I had a jolt because of their size, they had no interest in me. I'm much more afraid of the stingrays!
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
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I have also seen barracuda and small stingrays while snorkeling off the adult beach on CC. As a matter of fact, DH loves to tell the story of when I saw the barracuda. Anyway, the water off the adult beach stays pretty much waist-deep for quite a ways out into the water...you would have to go pretty far to get into deep water.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:14 PM   #13
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He (or she-hard to tell with groupers)


We've seen barracuda every time we snorkel on the family beach. One note about them -- they like shiny objects. You should not snorkel or swim with rings and other shiny jewelry on.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:53 PM   #14
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A big thanks for your responses. That makes me feel much better about things. I can't wait to get to CC! Hello: swimming in the ocean. Goodbye: wimpy-ness!
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:33 PM   #15
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We were at the family beach at CC and saw a ginormous sting ray..well maybe not ginormous, but we were only waist deep when he went by...he was beautiful though (as I froze in probably unnecessary fear.)
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