Disney Dream Nassau and Castaway Cay Shore Excursions

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Note: Disney now allows shore excursions to be booked up to 120 days in advance on-line, depending on your Castaway Club level (or concierge). Use the information on these pages as a guide to help you narrow down your choices.

If you are still undecided by the time you sail, attend the shore excursion talk. You will get more details and will also be able to ask questions.

Click here for Disney Dream shore excursions (Nassau and Castaway Cay)

Click here for Nassau Shopping in Paradise guide

Photos of Castaway Cay Shore Excursions
Castaway Rays
Seahorse Catamaran Snorkel Adventure
Personal Watercraft Tour



PARADISE ISLAND PUBLIC BEACH: For an average $4 to $5 per head taxi fare each way (be sure to agree on the price in advance), you can spend the day on this public beach on Paradise Island. It's free to lounge and swim, and there are extra cost activities such as jet skis and banana boat rides, as well as merchandise and beverage vendors. Be sure to negotiate the price! Don't pay more than $40 for jet skiis or $10 for the banana boat, and you can usually get by with much less. But beware--hubby's jet ski ran out of gas and stranded him in the ocean. It washed to shore far away, leaving him with a LONG walk back. He made the mistake of telling the vendor where he'd left the ski before demanding his money back, so they took off and we were out our money.

There are some limited shady areas that you can stake out, or else you can set up camp on the sunny area. You can use the bathrooms at the adjacent Sheraton hotel, and when you're ready to leave, there are plenty of taxis waiting at the end of the short walking path that leads from the street to the beach. Atlantis is within walking distance down the beach.

CARRIAGE RIDES: These cost between $10 and $15 a head (if they quote you $15, negotiate down to $10 or less). If you are used to big cities like Chicago, where the drivers wait in an orderly line and you have to take the next carriage in line, this is totally different--it's every driver for himself! Even though the carriages are lined up, you can choose any one, and the drivers will actively solicit you to take theirs. They take you on an approximately 20 minute ride around the city, narrating about the historic sites, buildings, shops, etc., and they gladly answer any questions you might have. Just be aware that as you climb in, kids or an adult will approach asking if you have a camera and want your picture taken (they're looking for a tip). As you get off, kids might come to help you down and offer to sing a song for a tip. I used to be a softer touch when we first went to Nassau because there is so much poverty, but after more than half a dozen trips, I generally refuse because if you don't, you'll be handing out dollars all day.

PARADISE ISLAND CASINO: Although you can no longer "officially" explore the Atlantis hotel for free, everyone is welcome to spend money at the casino with no admission charge. We go first thing after breakfast, when the crowds are small and we have our pick of slot machines. I am allergic to cigarette smoke, so this is also the least smoky time for me. The machines are much less generous than the ones stateside, although I've seen a couple people hit jackpots and I managed to pull 100 quarters out of one machine after spending only 50 cents (of course, I gave most of it back). It's a fun time, but just don't bring more than you would regret losing. Taxi fare from port is $4 to $5 per person each way. Be sure to agree on the price before you leave, and make sure it includes the bridge toll. There are plenty of taxis waiting at the hotel to take you back when you're ready. If you want to use the facilities (water slides, etc.), you may want to rent a room at the nearby Comfort Inn. Guests there get the same privileges as people staying at Atlantis for a much lower price.

THE STRAW MARKET: The straw market burned down in late 2001, but it quickly sprang up again in a new location. It is within easy walking distance of the port. You can find bags, mats, and just about anything else made from straw, as well as t-shirts, tote bags, beach towels, wood carvings, and all sorts of other trinkets. Many of the vendors have identical merchandise, and the quality is often poor (even though the sweatshirt I bought in January had a Fruit of the Loom tag, it started getting fuzz balls right after the first washing). The salespeople are very pushy, so if you don't like this, stay away. Don't pay the first price you are quoted without negotiating. Also, compare prices--a few stalls down, you might find the same item you just bought for a dollar or two cheaper. The kids can have fun here if you give them a few dollars, and I managed to get t-shirts for all eight of my nephews and nieces for $20. The quality wasn't the best, but kids don't care--they just like a souvenir.

HAIR BRAIDING: This occurs near the port and also at the Straw Market, although it is supposed to be banned there. I have heard reports of unsanitary conditions and even lice! If you are nervous, wait until Castaway Cay. Otherwise, if you want to take a chance, you should be able to negotiate. I would recommend having this done in the hair braiding plaza rather than the Straw Market. They have running water there, so it is more clean. Be sure to agree on a price BEFORE the braider begins. As with exerything else in Nassau, it is negotiable! Also, don't forget to put sunscreen on your braided head or you could end up with a sunburned scalp.
The exclusive ground transportation service of the Platinum Castaway Club.