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Old 05-12-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
lulucornbread
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Castaway Cay without cabanas

ok if we are not getting a cabana.. what is the best place to camp out for the day? We have 2 boys - 6 & 7 at time of cruise. they will love to play a bit in the water & sand. I know it gets crowded but plan to leave the ship as early as possible. (And I know there are the rare days when the ship can't port bc of weather.)

So what time are you (usually) able to disembark on CC?

Do you need to bring a copy of your passport off the boat with you?

Where to head with kids if you won't be using a cabana? Can you find chairs & leave your stuff there safely? And is this place walkable or better by tram?

Do they provide a schedule of character meet & greets on CC or is it just random?

Thanks for all the info!
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:55 AM   #2
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we just did this having not been able to get a cabana when we had one previously. our kids are 5/9.

Will they want to snorkle? if so you want to be by the family beach snorkle area..less walking.

If they plan on being at Pelican Plunge..the in the water water play area..then set up the end of family beach and walk over there or set up there if not planning to snorkel.

food, bathrooms..all that are pretty even whichever beach you are on. All a matter of what you are going to do.

we snorkeled and were on the beach...and did the long walk 1x time to Pelican Plunge...then kids said forget it!
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:24 AM   #3
lulucornbread
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I would say no for snorkeling.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:35 AM   #4
jdb in AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulucornbread View Post
ok if we are not getting a cabana.. what is the best place to camp out for the day? We have 2 boys - 6 & 7 at time of cruise. they will love to play a bit in the water & sand. I know it gets crowded but plan to leave the ship as early as possible. (And I know there are the rare days when the ship can't port bc of weather.)

So what time are you (usually) able to disembark on CC?

Do you need to bring a copy of your passport off the boat with you?
Where to head with kids if you won't be using a cabana? Can you find chairs & leave your stuff there safely? And is this place walkable or better by tram?

Do they provide a schedule of character meet & greets on CC or is it just random?

Thanks for all the info!
No. You just need your KTTW (Key to the World) room card key which will be scanned as you leave the ship and when you return, so the crew can keep track of who's onboard and who's still playing on the beach.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
kapoof
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I think the cabanas are adorable but I wouldn't spend the money on one. 550 bucks for 6 maybe 8 hours is a lot. That a night at the poly! But they are cute yet one can certainly have a good time without one. We were off the ship about 8:30 and got an umbrella close to pelican plunge with no problem. We were there til lunch then got back on the ship by the near empty pool and did the aqua duck over and over.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulucornbread View Post
ok if we are not getting a cabana.. what is the best place to camp out for the day? We have 2 boys - 6 & 7 at time of cruise. they will love to play a bit in the water & sand. I know it gets crowded but plan to leave the ship as early as possible. (And I know there are the rare days when the ship can't port bc of weather.)
On both our trips to CC we didn't get a Cabana and don't plan on getting one in the future - too much money.

There's plenty of space. Most get off at the first tram stop so that area gets a little crowded, but still you should be able to find shade without issues.

Quote:
So what time are you (usually) able to disembark on CC?
Typically around 8:30am.

Quote:
Do you need to bring a copy of your passport off the boat with you?
Adults (18+) are required to present a photo ID. Kids no. But everyone needs their KTTW to disembark.

Quote:
Where to head with kids if you won't be using a cabana? Can you find chairs & leave your stuff there safely? And is this place walkable or better by tram?
It's little hike if you walk, specially to the second family beach. There's not much you would need to bring with you - maybe your camera and IDs. I felt pretty safe, but there are those who prefer to bring something like a KISS bag or other methods to lock stuff. There are no lockers available.

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Do they provide a schedule of character meet & greets on CC or is it just random?
Yes. These are listed in the navigator. You may want to look at prior ones to get an idea.

Quote:
Thanks for all the info!
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #7
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We felt comfortable leaving our things anywhere on the island... it was unintentional but at one point my parents' shoes were on the family beach while they were at serenity bay, and when my 3 y/o practically ran and jumped onto the very full tram at the pelican stop (it was like a fun ride to him) my husband had to just leave our stroller and diaper bag at the tram stop in order to keep up with us. It was still there untouched when the tram circled back around and my son got to ride again
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lulucornbread View Post
ok if we are not getting a cabana.. what is the best place to camp out for the day? We have 2 boys - 6 & 7 at time of cruise. they will love to play a bit in the water & sand. I know it gets crowded but plan to leave the ship as early as possible. (And I know there are the rare days when the ship can't port bc of weather.)

So what time are you (usually) able to disembark on CC?

Do you need to bring a copy of your passport off the boat with you?

Where to head with kids if you won't be using a cabana? Can you find chairs & leave your stuff there safely? And is this place walkable or better by tram?

Do they provide a schedule of character meet & greets on CC or is it just random?

Thanks for all the info!
You should be able to view your itinerary online on DCL's website when you log into your reservation. Times will vary. On our cruise last month we were able to start getting off the ship at 9:45am. It was mayhem and crowds and lines started around 8:30 to get off the ship. We were not able to get off until well after 10am, but, this was an Easter cruise on the Fantasy and it was a very full ship. By the time we got to the second beach it was 10:30.

KTTW for everyone & ID for adults to get back on the ship.

We were able to secure lounge chairs and an umbrella at the second beach, but really didn't end up using it much. We brought chairs closer to the water to watch our kids swim and moved our stuff with us so others could have the loungers. We have a Kyss bag that we chained to the chairs. The only thing of value we took off the ship was our waterproof digital camera and took that with us wherever we went for photos of the island. We didn't find it hot because of the breeze off the water, kids had rash guards and we reapplied sunscreen often and no one in my family burned.

The character meet and greet locations and times will be listed in the navigator. If you want a family picture with the ship in the background do it early. They were not there when we went back to the ship around 3pm.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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No. You just need your KTTW (Key to the World) room card key which will be scanned as you leave the ship and when you return, so the crew can keep track of who's onboard and who's still playing on the beach.
As mentioned by someone else above, you need photo ID for adults. Not that anyone asked to look at it. We specifically asked before departing.

We started on the Pelican Plunge beach, then moved to the beach closer to the ship. Then our son ditched us for the kids club on the island and my wife and I wandered around for a bit. There was never not a place to park ourselves.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
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As mentioned by someone else below, you need photo ID for adults. Not that anyone asked to look at it.
CC is part of the Bahamas. The government has the right to verify ID. DCL once you enter the ship only uses your KTTW card which has a picture of you.

Also, the other reason could very well be in the event that the computer system is down. They would have no way to verify identity of anyone entering the ship.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
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We just got back from our first trip to CC (loved it!!) and were off the ship right around 8:30am. We asked a friendly CM in the She Sells Sea Shells shop where a good spot would be and she said the end of the first beach and right before the snorkel area.

As far as if you should ride the tram: We road the tram to the first drop off and walked down. The walk from the first stop wasn't bad but the second stop at Pelican Point was the closest to where we ended up at. It is too far to walk from the ship though.

We got chairs in the front with an umbrella. I took a waterproof wallet to carry our ID but ended up just leaving them in my bag at the chairs. We stayed in the water right in front of our chairs and just kept an eye on things. No one ever messed with any thing. Some pulled thier chairs to the waters edge but this still didn't block things so that we couldn't see our stuff. The beach seemed to be a little less crowded at that end. I didn't go to the beach with the slide but assume it had more little kids at it.

You are asked to take your key to the world card AND your ID. Then you scan each member of your family off and back onto the ship. We were back on the ship at 4:45 and by 5 we were already pulling out of port! They don't waste any time.

Have fun on your trip!!
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:00 AM   #12
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EVERYONE Survived Castaway Cay for DCL's first 12 years WITHOUT the cabanas! So don't worry. There's LOTS of chairs and umbrellas on the beach!! There are some hammocks too.






Characters are usually near the Ship & Post Office in the morning when you get off. They are scheduled in the gazebo area on the "first" family beach.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:44 AM   #13
Kittylover513
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I don't t all see the appeal of the cabanas.


We had no problem getting chairs but didn't really spend any time in them either.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:51 AM   #14
cedricandsophie
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Been there many times. Never even considered a cabana. I usually get off first thing to get chairs near first lifeguard station just so everybody else can find me. It's close to snorkeling, bathrooms and food. We are doing member cruise in August and go there twice. Will probably only get off once so we can enjoy pool and slides onboard.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:26 AM   #15
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We have been on CC last month with the dream. We went off the ship at 10.00 am, take the train to the secont stop at the family beach and geht chairs and an umbrella in the front row, so not a problem to find a nice place - relax.
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