Disney Cruise Recap (Part 3)

Ready for more cruise content? 😉 I know I’m sharing way too many pictures from our trip, but honestly, there are just so many little details that I want to have recorded. This trip was such a special one.

(By the way, if you missed the first two parts of this Disney cruise recap, go back and read PART 1 and PART 2.)

It was the first time I’ve traveled with just my parents and none of my siblings.

It was my first cruise.

It was our second flight as a family of four (last year we flew to Denver when Dayton was a little baby.)

It was the boys’ first Disney adventure!

Lots of exciting things! So forgive me as I recap the bejeezus out of this family vacation! We just had way too much fun. 😉

Day 3 of the cruise was my personal favorite.

It was also the most action-packed and exhausting! Ha! I slept soooo well that night.

I woke up bright and early. The ship was still moving (we hadn’t quite docked). The sun was rising over the water and I enjoyed an early cup of coffee with a view of the beautiful orange morning sky.


And then I got those boys up!

Head rubs for Dayton. 

We looked out our window and saw CASTAWAY CAY!! (Pronounced Castaway KEY, which was news to me on this trip…) This is Disney’s private island, and we got to spend all day here! Castaway Cay is a big reason why I wanted to sail out of Florida instead of taking one of the cruises out of Galveston. I’d heard amazing things about this beautiful beach, and friends…it didn’t disappoint.

So we were up bright and early to make sure we could enjoy every minute possible in that beautiful blue water! But first Dayton had some very important morning phone calls to make…

YAY! Off the ship and excited for a day in the sun!

It was a bit chilly (65 degrees or so) in the first hour, but it quickly warmed up to the 70s for the rest of the day.

We hopped on the tram and took it to the family beach area. (Lol at Milo’s face in this picture…he actually was in a very good mood that morning! Just not in the mood for a photo, I suppose…)

One thing I looooove about this island is that the ship is able to dock right by the beach. It’s a quick (5 minute) tram ride to the beach, but a lot of people just walked instead. It made it really easy in case you had to run back to the room to get something you forgot, or put a little baby down for an afternoon nap.

The water was *actually* that blue and beautiful. It’s a bit of a shock to someone like me who has mostly gone to gulf beaches her entire life.

The Kennedys do a Disney cruise!

You can see our ship in the background. See? It’s really nearby! We hung out in the main family beach area. It had a big structure with waterslides behind us and a shallow swimming area. There were two other large swimming areas on either side of us, and a bit further down (around a curve so we couldn’t see it) was the 18+ beach for the adults who wanted a quieter place to lounge.

Y’all, the following photos are the only ones I have of our entire group on this trip. *Sigh*

I just failed on that part of the trip. But at least they’re really great photos, right?

I mean, that’s a framer! I mostly love how Milo is fully cooperating on the group picture idea.

It’s also really nice how the woman who took the photo centered our family and stepped up close enough so you can see our faces. A truly wonderful shot.

Next time I’m bringing a tripod…

There ya have it. All 6 of us on vacation in the Bahamas!

At least I got a cute one of my parents! 

Here are thoes Amazon shorts I mentioned to y’all. They’re just $23 so I had low expectations, but I actually LOVE them! SHORTS | ONE-SHOULDER SWIMSUIT TOP (they don’t offer my color anymore, but here’s the one-shoulder design that I’m wearing.)

Milo and Dayton loved the sand!

I brought a few cheap sand toys along in my suit case, and I’m so glad I did!

It was D’s first time at the beach, and I wasn’t sure how he’d take to it. But I should have known he’d love it.. After all, every time we go to the park he’s gravitated toward the beach volleyball court. He LOVED playing in the sand.

See my dad and Milo bopping around out there? It was pretty shallow, even out that far, so Milo was able to walk around by himself.

Building sand castles with Ama!

My sweet mom said, “Kelsey, go relax for a bit…I’ll take care of the boys for the next hour.” So Nate and I found a shady spot to lay down, open a beer, and read a book.

The weather was lovely. I remember thinking that I didn’t want a single thing to change…not a temperature degree warmer or colder, not a bit more or less wind. Literally every part of that morning was complete heaven.

More play time! I have 10,000 photos of my boys playing in the sand on this day in Castaway Cay.

Dayton ventured into the water a bit! It was a tiny bit cold (January…), but once you were in it felt really nice.

Aww! My mom is so beautiful. By the way, here’s my mom’s swimsuit! She asked me where I’ve been getting one-piece suits lately, and I sent her to Albion Fit. I have three suits from this brand and I love them all. The quality is SO good, and they’re flattering and comfortable.

Dayton was having such a fun day with his Ama.

This is maybe my favorite photo from the entire day. I love these two so, so much. Dayton was starting to act a bit sleepy, so I wrapped him up in a warm towel and gave him his pacifier. Nate laid down on a lounge chair and I put Dayton on top of him, and they both fell asleep in the shade. 🙂

Aaaand he’s out.

Then Milo came up to me and said he was feeling sleepy, too, so I got a few towels for him and it was a Kennedy boy nap time!

(I ordered a pina colada while they napped…)

Do you see all the sand in his hair and mouth? Haha. This child.

Disney has a barbecue/grill restaurant on the island, so we ate lunch there. I don’t have any picture of it! It was pork ribs, burgers and hot dogs, chips and brownies and fruit. The type of food you crave when you’re spending a day in the sunshine.

Dayton gave Castaway Cay an A+! It was a great place for a baby. It was so nice to not have to pack towels (Disney provided those) or worry about food (the all-you-can-eat restaurant was just a few steps from the beach.) There were bars everywhere, so it was easy to get an island drink and then just bill it to your room (no need for credit cards), and they had chairs and umbrellas everywhere. Seriously the easiest beach day!

They even had a splash pad for the little ones.

Both boys loved it!

Dayton partied as long as he could, but eventually I had to take him back to the ship for a rest time. Nate, my parents, and Milo hung out on the beach for a little while a longer.

My parents rented some snorkels and went snorkeling together. They said it was really fun and they saw a few schools of colorful fish and even a big stingray! There were other adventures you could pre-boook, too, like parasailing, and then activities like biking around the island and stand up paddling.

Dayton and I headed back to the ship (there were three other moms holding sleepy babies in line with me…haha.)

And Milo got to hang out with his dad at Castaway Cay for a little bit longer. 🙂


One last photo of this happy boy, and then….

…everyone got on the tram and came back to the ship.

After Dayton’s nap, I got him dressed and we went out to explore a bit while Nate and Milo got cleaned up from their day at the beach. That night was PIRATE NIGHT!!

Minnie Mouse was in the atrium, so Dayton and I got in line so we could meet her! She was sooo nice. 😉 Dayton gave her his signature hi five and blew her a kiss.

Then we went to go play in Andy’s room from Toy Story.

Oh my goodness…the cutest thing. They had life-size Toy Story characters that the toddlers could play on. Dayton loved Remote Control Car the best.

He met a friend!

Both of the boys loved going to Deck 4 and looking out over the balcony to the character below. At almost any time of the day there would be a character greeting going on. Both Milo and Dayton were a bit hesitant about getting up-close with the Disney characters, but they loved looking at them from a distance!

Pointing at Minnie. “I KNOW HER!!”

Nate and Milo met us downstairs so we could all get in line and say hi to Goofy!

Dayton was waving…

…and ready to give Goofy a high five.

Milo watched from a distance…

Goofy’s got all the tricks.

Milo wasn’t so sure about Goofy..

…but I think Goofy took it ok. I told him we’d try again in a few years.

Awww! One family photo!

Dinner that night was in the Royal Palace. Since it was pirate night, they had pirate hats at both of the boys’ places at the table.

Ha, I love Milo in this picture. He’s like “Ama, that’s my hat!”

I’ll just keep sharing the realities of traveling with an 18-month-old! He would sit still for about 10-15 minutes at the dinner table, but after that it was pure madness. So we’d take shifts running around the ship with him so the rest of the group could enjoy the meal. He saw a few other kids running and rolling around on the carpet, so he did it, too.

Little pirate baby.

Always up to something. Always the tongue sticking out. Such a silly little boy.

Phew! My shift was over, Nate came over and took a turn with Dayton, and I got a few minutes to sit down and eat my dinner.

Haha. Nate brought Dayton back to the table when our dessert arrived, and Dayton discovered that he LOVES throwing a sock back and forth across the table with Grandpa. He thought it was the funniest thing.

And Milo discovered that they have MICKEY ICE CREAM BARS on the menu!

He didn’t realize it was Mickey Mouse at first. I told him, “Milo, look at your ice cream bar…it’s MICKEY!” and ^ this was his expression. So cute.

Banana hazelnut cake for me.

Ok, I lied…I ordered three desserts that night. #cruiselife.

Phew! Pirate night and fireworks happened later that night, but our family was WIPED! We couldn’t rally to the 10:15 shoot off. Turns out that Disney Cruise Line is the only one in the world that’s allowed to shoot fireworks off the ship, and I think it would have been fun to watch!

But if I’m being honest…we were all fast asleep by 9 pm.

My mom and dad popped up to the pirate party while Nate and I were getting the boys ready for bed, and they sent this pic. Looks like a fun time! It was one of those “good for them, not for me” moments on the ship. There were just so many activities to do, and we couldn’t realistically commit to every single one of them while we’re traveling with the boys at such a young age. I have no doubt that we’ll have plenty of pirate parties in our future.

I love sharing these recaps with you! If you want to go waaaay back down memory lane, go ready some of my older travel recaps like my honeymoon in Spain, my first anniversary trip to NYC with Nate, and my sister’s 30th bday trip to Costa Rica.

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Emily Abernathy
Emily Abernathy
1 year ago

Ahhh Castaway Cay… I cannot wait to go back!! Looks like your fam had such a fabulous time!

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