We’ve been to Castaway Cay twice now. Once on the Disney Wonder, and once on the Disney Fantasy. During our first visit on the Disney Wonder we did everything wrong. One of those things we did wrong? We booked the Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage. Talk about awful.
► Ranking: #stinkydiaper
Disney Cruise Wonder
Port Stop: Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Excursion: Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage
Disney Cruise Line Independent Operator
Prices: Children 0-10 $34 | Adults 10+ $49
To be blunt – this excursion was the equivalent of shoving two $100 bills down the garbage disposal and turning it on to shred for an hour. We were so excited about coming to Castaway Cay and we wanted to make the most of our time here and experience everything we could. But, we were limited in which excursions we could participate in as a family with a three year old. A glass bottom boat in the middle of the Caribbean seemed like a surefire win for our little aquatic lovers.
Instead, we spent an hour on a cramped boat with very little seating. That’s all. But I suppose Disney gets away with it, because the disclaimer at the bottom of the page when booking this excursion says the following: “Port Adventures are operated by independent contractors that are neither agents of, nor supervised or controlled by, Disney Cruise Line. Disney Cruise Line does not maintain their facilities or modes of transportation and is not responsible for any injury or property damage/loss that Guests may incur in connection with a Port Adventure.”
No, they just let them operate out of Disney’s private island. When it comes to excursions on Castaway Cay, they are all operated by independent contractors. The ironic part is that if you want to book an excursion on Castaway Cay, your only options are Disney options, even though they won’t be operated by Disney.
We made our way to Marge’s Barges a little before the appointed time for our Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage. This is where all excursions from Castaway Cay depart. Marge’s Barges is all the way at the tail end of the island back by the docking port, so this wastes a good 15 minutes on either end of your excursion plus the 10 minutes to ensure you are there by the appointed time. Could be more, if you are extremely punctual.
We showed our tickets at the desk and waited by the boat for the rest of the idiots who decided to book this excursion along with us. We saw more wildlife at the dock than we did once we got on the boat.
Once we left the dock and made our way out to sea, we were able to view the Disney Cruise Ship and Castaway Cay from a wide berth. This was a really phenomenal view, and probably the most interesting part of the excursion. That and learning how most tour operators, and many of the employees that work on Castaway Cay don’t live there on the island, but actually commute to Castaway Cay by boat from the surrounding islands every day. It’s a wonder that we even learned this because the boat was so loud and the tour guide was so monotone, it was nearly impossible to understand anything that he was saying.
About 15 minutes into the tour we stopped in the middle of the ocean and were each given a dixie cup of oatmeal to sprinkle over the side of the boat. The fish clamored over it to get their fair share. Our kids were enthralled for a good 5 minutes or so. When our oatmeal cups were empty we scraped up any oatmeal bits we could find on the railings to make the fun last a little longer.
The rest of the time was as boring as watching paint dry. We saw nothing, did nothing, and experienced nothing. We wasted a good two hours of our day at Castaway Cay, and $200. That about sums it up.
► For Kids: Don’t waste your time or your money on the Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage. Your kids will be bored and whining the whole time, and you’ll beg the captain to turn the boat around. That, or you’ll be doing the calculations to determine if you are strong enough to carry three children on your back as you jump overboard and swim to shore. It’s only an hour long, but it’s an insufferable hour.
On our second trip to Castaway Cay we did everything right! Check out all the activities Castaway Cay has to offer from bike riding to water slides to a bbq on the beach!
► Nap-Time Version: The Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage is painstakingly awful and a colossal waste of money. We could have instead spent that two hours in paradise instead of on a dinky dingy.
Comparing this to our shallow water excursion swimming with Dolphins at Atlantis in Nassau – well read on, because that experience was awesome (coming tomorrow)!