*This dining experience took place in May 2018.
Lunch at Serenity Bay BBQ
During our three day cruise on the Disney Dream, we spent an amazing day at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. And, our favorite spot on the island had to be Serenity Bay — an area exclusively for adults. It is truly a place of serenity. And, we loved every minute of relaxing there on the beach. Guests who visit Serenity Bay can also enjoy lunch at Serenity Bay BBQ, which includes many of the items served at the other Castaway Cay BBQ spots. Because we were having dinner at Remy that night, we decided to enjoy a light lunch at Serenity Bay BBQ.
Serenity Bay BBQ has a relaxed vibe. Just like any good beach BBQ, it includes all all the BBQ fixins’ along with outdoor seating, including covered picnic tables.
Serenity Bay BBQ opens at 11:30 a.m. for lunch. And, as we found out, it is packed during the opening rush. The upside to waiting in line is that we got to take a look at the restaurant theming and decor.
Unlike Cookies BBQ or Cookies Too BBQ, the other dining locations on the island, Serenity Bay doesn’t have a ton of seating. We found a lot of people scrambling to find a spot. And, we ended up sharing a picnic table with another couple. Of course, this may be because we got here right when they opened. But, it’s definitely something to consider.
On the Disney Cruise that I took with my mom in 2014, we had lunch at Cookie’s BBQ, which is the largest dining location on Castaway Cay. During that cruise, we had tried to eat at Serenity Bay BBQ. But I was advised to eat at Cookies BBQ instead. Typically, Cookie’s BBQ will be your best bet for special dietary needs. And, those guests who pre-order meals before arriving on Castaway Cay will pick their meals up at Cookies BBQ. But, since I wanted to eat light and had already had a hearty breakfast, I decided to just see what Serenity Bay BBQ could offer me.
Serenity Bay BBQ does offer more or less the same types of items that Cookies BBQ and Cookies Too do. This includes, burgers, ribs, chicken, and fish. The one exception is that Serenity Bay also offers ribeye steaks, which are not typically offered at any other dining location on Castaway Cay.
As I approached the buffet, I found a cast member and inquired about special dietary needs assistance. Another cast member, who appeared to be a lead cast member at the BBQ advised me that I could not have a lot to eat there. He noted that I could not have any of the items on the standard buffet (including condiments) due to potential cross-contamination.
He did not offer to bring me any fresh items, but did say that he could get me a plain burger, chicken, fish, and steak if I wanted it.
I did end up with Mahi Mahi, Chicken, and a Plain Burger. The chicken was definitely my favorite of the three proteins that I was served.
In addition to the plain grilled meats, I could also have some Fresh Fruit. That is definitely one of the things that I like most about Castaway Cay and the Disney Cruise Line buffets. They always have lots of fresh fruit available. I got some mango, papaya, and pineapple.
Serenity Bay BBQ also offered pre-packaged Lay’s Potato Chips, which are marked gluten free on their packaging.
If I was looking for a more substantial lunch on Castaway Cay, I would skip Serenity Bay BBQ and eat at Cookie’s BBQ. Unfortunately, Serenity Bay BBQ is not really able to accommodate special dietary needs guests well while Cookie’s BBQ included lots of options. On top of that, the managers at Cookie’s BBQ made sure I had gluten free & dairy free buns and even condiments for my lunch. If you’re looking for just a small snack or bite to eat, Serenity Bay BBQ has a few options, but not a lot. While I’m glad we got a chance to dine here and check it out, next time Brandon and I both agreed we’d head to Cookie’s BBQ instead.
Have you been to Castaway Cay? What was your experience with the dining options there?