I’ve often heard the same criticism time and again from people who have preconceived notions of Disney Cruise Line: it’s full of kids. I’ve sailed with Disney Cruise Line five times, each Disney cruise without kids.
The first three were for pure pleasure and the fourth I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. Each trip has been better than the last and leaves me wanting to sail with DCL again. If you’re searching for one of the best cruises for adults be sure to include DCL if you’re a Disney fan because there is proof Disney Cruise Line is for adults too.
Children…Are Not Everywhere
The best thing about Disney Cruise Line (DCL) in terms of children – for the sake of the adults and kids on the ship – is they are designed to accommodate children. This means they have specific areas for different age groups of kids where they can spend all day and night. For instance, there’s a group for toddlers, one for pre-teens and another for teens. Thus, unless you’re dropping your child off at one of these areas or at a meal you never really encounter children.
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Aesthetics and Ship Plan
Though there aren’t specifically “adult Disney cruises” there are many, many elements of the ships designs, especially, only adults would appreciate.
Adults are the main audience for who the splendor was designed for. They’re the ones who can truly appreciate the ships’ aesthetics and architectural plans. When was the last time you heard a child say, “This chandelier is so stunning! I love its Art Deco design!” Never. That’s when.
The ships are pristine and the crew is continuously concerned with their upkeep. I’ve stayed on a DCL ship when it’s in port and most guests are ashore for day excursions; it’s during this time I’ve seen workers repainting signs and doing extra hallway cleaning. It’s really impressive.
The cabins are also very smartly designed and bigger than your average ship cabin on competing cruise lines. (If you need to use your space even more smartly though, here are great suggestions on what to pack for extra clever cabin hacks!) The interior design of each stateroom is elegant and chic; Disney touches are subtle and tasteful.
The Cast Members on the ship are 100 times better than those at the parks. I’ve noticed the quality of Disney Cast Members at the parks, as a whole, has declined over the years. I suppose it’s a sign of American culture overall and changing of generations. But smiles, friendliness and politeness are at an all time high on the ships. No request is too great, no matter too small. They’re really phenomenal.
Adult Only Activities
There are plenty of adult only activities to enjoy. There’s trivia nights, nightclubs and specialty tastings (yes, with alcohol) to name a few. DCL also offers adult only excursions at some ports.
Food and Drink Areas
The majority of dining areas aboard DCL ships are for every guest aboard, regardless of age. But there are plenty of dining options for adults only. They include:
- Cocktail and Champagne Bars
- Restaurants like Palo and Remy, where reservations are needed
- Cove Cafe near the adult-only pool area
Spa and Pools
There’s a spa onboard every ship that’s certainly just for adults, including a gym. There’s also a pool area on every ship strictly for 18 and older guests to enjoy. I’ve seen Cast Members, first-hand, kindly ask guests in the hot tub their age after realizing they looked younger than 18. As an adult myself, wishing to be kid-free in adult-only areas, I really appreciated that.
Your Disney cruise kids free continues on Castaway Cay. This is Disney’s private island that many of their itineraries stop at. There’s an adult only beach area that’s so private and quiet you’ll forget there were any kids at all on your sailing let alone the island. For a real indulgence book a massage at the beach with their spa staff.
You Can Be a Kid…If You Want
There ARE opportunities to see characters – the most obvious is the “Sail Away” party. There’s another opportunity to see characters when you get to Castaway Cay, if it’s on your itinerary. But otherwise you have to look at the daily Navigator schedule to really find characters.
There have been cruises I hardly see any characters at all. You don’t see them unless you’re specifically on the prowl and in the exact designated location at the exact time the Cruise Navigator says they’ll be appearing. Which, if you think about it, is kind of the same way it is at the Disney theme parks.
It’s true there are Disney touches around the ship. However most of them are subtle. Let’s face it though – if you weren’t a Disney fan it’s unlikely you’d be interested in a Disney cruise!
For argument’s sake, however, let’s say you’re just going along with a trip your family designated for you, like a bigger family reunion or wedding sailing. Fret not. Great art is great art. If you appreciate Disney animation prints on the walls, or handpainted murals (that may not have to do with Disney at all) or incredible mosaics you’ll simply fall in love with the ship.
At the end of the day every touch of Disney is done in good taste including the musical instrumental versions of popular songs that helps creates the ambience when you walk through the cabin area halls.
You’ll be wowed by Disney Cruise Line’s every aspect from the moment you first interact with Cast Members in the cruise terminal, to the shows you see onboard, to customized meals you enjoy. Everything will impress you until the moment you disembark. And you’ll surely be sad to leave!
Heading to Orlando? Also check out:
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Where to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Disney Springs
- Things to Do at Walt Disney World Besides the Parks
Getting married on DCL? Check out Mikkel Paige Photography!
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Have you considered sailing with Disney Cruise Line?