Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, is a Bahamian island located in the Abaco chain of islands approximately 225 miles from Port Canaveral and 60 miles north of Nassau and is formerly known as Gorda Cay.
The Castaway Cay team, lead by the Island Operations Director, is made up of five departments —Recreation, Maintenance, Custodial, Landscaping, and Animal Programs. This accounts for approximately 100 crew members working in the following positions:
- Recreation Staff (Lifeguard) – rotation on the ship is required approximately once a month
- Rental Host/Hostess
- Pest Control Operator
- Landscape Foreman
- Landscape Technician
- Island Storekeeper
- Maintenance Technician
- General Maintenance
- Stingray Facilitator
- Custodial Host/Hostess
- Flex crew (shared job responsibilities with Animal Programs, Landscaping and Custodial)
- Island Operations Director
- Recreation Manager
- Maintenance Manager
- Custodial Manager
Each team works together every day and helps to keep Castaway Cay a memorable part of the DCL experience for our guests.
Pace of Life
With only 65 of its more than 1,000 acres being used the island is largely underdeveloped and pristine. Living and working in a remote location can be both challenging and rewarding. The pace on the Island is much different than on one of our ships. Every day each team has an on-going list of tasks that need to be completed; from repairs, and installs, to cleaning equipment and in-service training. It’s how our island stays in excellent shape for our guests.
The pace of the work quickens before the arrival of up to 2,700 – 4,000 guests per ship, or in the anticipation of inclement weather as the team prepares the Island to endure the effects of Mother Nature. If one of our ships is unable to visit Castaway Cay due to unfavorable weather conditions, the Island team has a more relaxed work day as they tend to the tasks that need to be completed daily.
Although our Island crew lives in a tropical paradise, working on Castaway Cay is no vacation. It takes teamwork, dedication and a lot of preparation to keep Castaway Cay intact for the enjoyment of our guests.
Island crew members live in similar quarters to their colleagues onboard our ships. Living quarters are small, but functional shared spaces with TV/DVD, a lockable storage space, bathroom and small refrigerator. Shared crew spaces are available including a recreation room with board games, books and a large television, a crew gym, store, cafeteria and free Internet room and free access in crew areas.
In the afternoon, after the guests have left and all work is done, all five teams frequently relax and/or gather together for a crew activity such as water sports, friendly volleyball or basketball competition.
Like all shipboard crew, all Island crew work on contract. Most positions are on a 1 year contract with built-in vacation time. Recreation Staff work 4 ½ months with 6 weeks off (with a rotation onto the ship) while Maintenance crew (non-Bahamian) work 6 months on with 2 months off. Island Managers work 13 weeks on with 6 weeks off. The Island crew typically works a 6-day work week. With the exception of Island Recreation, a workweek is based upon 40 hours. While on contract, medical insurance is provided.
Castaway Cay has an Island HR Coordinator present on the Island to ensure Disney Cruise Line is caring for the overall well being of our Island team. The Island also has its own cook to create fresh meals and delicious treats for our Island Crew.
All Island crew members receive merchandise discounts onboard our ships (excluding Castaway Cay logo merchandise), and complimentary passes to the Disney Theme Parks.