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Castaway Cay, Credit: Disney

OpEd: Disney Cruise Line Should Offer Overnight Stays on Castaway Cay

When a Disney Fanatic thinks about Disney Cruise Line, there is little doubt that Castaway Cay will also come to mind.

Disney’s private island off the coast of The Bahamas is a staple port of call when the Disney MagicDisney WonderDisney Dream, and Disney Fantasy embark on their exciting Caribbean adventures. It is only accessible via a Disney Cruise. But Guests are limited to a one-day visit before having to get back on the ship, and this reporter asks why?

With Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line has the opportunity to offer an experience almost unheard of in the Cruising industry: the chance for Guests to partially or fully disembark their ship and spend at least one night on the island while the ship continues on its course.

Hear me out.

Cast Members Already Stay on Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay

Credit: Disney

Disney’s Castaway Cay has already proven itself suitable for hosting multi-day stays. While normally all called aboard with the Guests, Cast Members have been assigned to the island for certain instances like maintenance and storm prep, and clean-ups. Living in special residential areas and are brought to and from the mainland via a Disney cruise ship.

Disney could expand its development to include overnight areas for Guests who wish to remain on the Disneyfied island instead of having to continue on to other destinations that they may not want to visit as well as Cast Members to assist them.

But a night’s stay on Castaway Cay isn’t just possible on the grounds of capability. Logistics also offer some allowance to the idea.

Disney Cruises Make Multiple Stops at Castaway Cay

Disney Dream, Castaway Cay

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Cruise Line Updates COVID Testing Policy for Select Guests

Select Disney Cruise Line sailings are already scheduled to make two stops at Castaway Cay, and they offer the perfect opportunity for Guests to opt-out of the normal experience such as a day at sea or a day in Nassau.

For example, a Disney has a 5-Night Bahamian Cruise from Miami scheduled to make two stops at the Private Island. According to the itinerary, Castaway Cay is scheduled for Day 2 and Day 4, with Day 3 scheduled to be a day at sea.

Personally, I’d prefer to stay the next day and two nights on the island and wait for my ship to come back to get me. The only problem is that everybody else onboard my Disney Cruise will probably want to do the same. So, the overnight experience would have to be rather exclusive. But that’s where the Castaway Club could come into play.

Real Castaway Club

Castaway Club

Credit: Disney

According to Disney Cruise Line’s website,

Castaway Club is our way of recognizing Guests who have sailed with us. If you’ve ever been on a Disney cruise, you’re already a member—plus you’re eligible to receive exclusive at-home and onboard benefits that can make your next cruise even more magical.

Depending on how many times you sail with Disney Cruise Line, the benefits include early booking opportunities, early port access, and even–for Platinum Members–complimentary dinner at Palo.

After building a limited number of suites or bungalows on Castaway Cay for Guests and the limited Cast Member staff, the Castaway Club could be the way Disney manages the demand. Due to the extra labor costs, nights on Castaway Cay would have to be a very pricey add-on, but there is little doubt in my mind that Guests will pay it, especially if it is an experience only offered to Guests who have sailed with Disney Cruise Line a certain number of times.

Disney Cruise Line is already developing a second “private island” port on the tip of Eleuthera, and as demand grows to visit “Lighthouse Point,” overnight stays would be a great way to keep Castaway Cay just as exciting. It would, no doubt, also help Disney Fanatics check something off their dream Disney bucket lists.

About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.