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Cruise Port of Call Wheelchair Accessibility Review: Castaway Cay, Bahamas

Disney Cruise Line ships stop on every Bahamas itinerary at Castaway Cay (pronounced “key”), Disney’s private island. It’s one of the very rare cruise ship private island ports of call where the ship actually docks, which means wheelchair users can just roll off the ship without having to worry about tendering. Castaway Cay is basically one very long beach with lots of water activities and a water slide area for kids. There are no organized tours per se, but you can book dozens of activities as shore excursions, like kayaking, zip lining, snorkeling, etc.

When you get off the ship, you can either walk/roll to the beach area or take the tram (similar to the parking lot trams at Walt Disney World). The trams are technically accessible, but as of May 2018, they will only take manual wheelchair users due to some past mishaps with power chairs and associated damage. Please be aware that the walk/roll to the beach areas on Castaway Cay is VERY long. If you are not in a power chair, think about having someone with you to help push. If you use a cane or crutches or have otherwise any trouble walking long distances, you will definitely have to take the tram. Even if you are in a power chair, make sure you have sunblock on and a hat or umbrella, as in the warmer months you will get hot very quickly.

The boardwalk leading to the main part of the Cay is paved and mostly pretty wide, with just a few narrower spots. The boardwalk is also lined with open-air shops, bars, dining options, and covered pavilions for eating or relaxing. The Cay also has Scuttle’s Cove, which is where the Oceaneer Club and other youth clubs move their kids’ activities while in port.The ships crew prepares a big lunch for passengers in one of the large open air dining areas in case you don’t want to pay for lunch. However, you are always welcome to purchase food or drinks at any of the vending pavilions. There are also at least a dozen different places where you can buy Disney themed souvenirs.

While there are no beach access mats on Castaway Cay, there are roughly a dozen beach wheelchairs available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. I would recommend arriving at the beach early if you need one, as it gets very crowded and there are always a decent number of wheelchair users on Disney cruises. There is flat access to the sand from the paved boardwalk and tons of shaded areas and lounge seating for everyone else. There are accessible restrooms throughout the Cay, although I didn’t make note if they had changing beds.

Are you interested in booking a wheelchair accessible Disney cruise that stops in Castaway Cay? Contact me at Spin the Globe/Travel and we’ll get started!

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