Why The Disney Cruise Line Is Made For Grown-ups

People often give me a puzzled stare when they hear that I'm headed off to sea for a Disney Cruise, without my kids. In their heads the ships are only suited a family vacation, they assume that Disney's ships are crowded, loud, and over-run with kids - they couldn't be more wrong. In creating the ultimate family cruise line, Disney's planning also gave way to the perfect grown-up retreat.

There's nothing shabby about stepping into the Grand Atrium Lobbies of a Disney Cruise line ship. From stem to stern these thoroughly modern vessels were designed to embody the elegance of the golden age of ocean voyagers. The interiors are resplendent in their art deco or art nouveau styles, with massive, illuminated stained-glass chandeliers. These breathtaking spaces set the tone for the entire ship.

Service onboard the Disney ships is second to none, and while some other lines are notorious for rude and ambivalent crews, things here are done the Disney way. That means that even though more than 86 countries are represented, cast members all speak fluent English, go through extensive guest services training, and go out of their way to offer service with a smile. On the Disney ships there is approximately one crew member for every three guests.

There's plenty of room to stretch on the Disney ships. Measuring 964 feet in length, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder (Disney's smaller ships) are each longer than Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom, and standard staterooms are 25% larger than many other cruise lines. Even inside cabins on Disney offer queen size beds fitted with deluxe Egyptian cotton linens and plush bath towels by Frette.

The Disney Dream's Grand AtriumThe Disney Dream's Grand Atrium

When people think of cruising, the first thing that often comes to mind is the food, and Disney is an industry leader in cruise Dining. The first at sea to implement an innovative rotational dining concept - ship has three themed main restaurants, and guests dine in a different venue each evening. To ensure personalized service the wait staff accompanies them through the rotation.

For those looking to take it up a notch, the cruise line's signature adults only restaurant, Palo, offers fine dining in the Northern Italian style. Exceptional food is accompanied by an extensive wine list with selections from some of the most mature vineyards in the world. With sweeping ocean views and soft lighting, Palo is my favorite for a romantic meal.

On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy Guests looking for a dining experience not easily forgotten, can make reservations at the adult exclusive Remy for exquisite French-inspired cuisine and service that rivals that of Walt Disney World's Victoria and Albert's. After all, the gourmet menu was a collaboration between Michelin star Chef Arnaud Lallement from l'Assiette Champenoise, and Chef Scott Hunnel from award-winning Victoria & Albert's.

French-inspired Elegance At RemyFrench-inspired Elegance At Remy

Disney Cruise Line's adult enrichment series is a hidden gem of the cruise line as well. Guests can tour the ship's galley, find "hidden Mickeys" and learn about the Imagineering magic behind the Disney Cruise Line experience. There are also beer, wine, and cocktail tastings that an enjoyable way to indulge your inner bartender.

In the evening Broadway Quality Entertainment is on stage at the Walt Disney Theatre with original shows that feature old favorites right along side sparkling new musical performances. Disney also has the only cruise line movie theater to first-run feature films, including films in 3-D, with movies premiering at sea on the same day that they are released on land.

Then grown-ups can head to a whole district of bars and clubs created just for the 18 and over set. A wide variety of styles and atmospheres means everyone can find a place to enjoy. The trendy dance club Evolution is the premier venue for grown-up fun.

Broadway Style EntertainmentBroadway Style Entertainment

Well organized and supervised kids clubs with age appropriate activities keep little ones busy while grown-ups take some time to relax. One might argue that this isn't really a reason the Disney Cruise Line is for Grown-ups, but as a mother of three I can tell you it really is. For all but the littlest cruisers the clubs are included in your cruise fare and offer the chance for what can be a much needed break from being on "mom duty."

Guests can spend some of that down time being pampered with a wide array of salon and spa services at the Senses Spa. The Spa Villas are a pleasure in a private setting where you can indulge in hours of soothing spa treatments, lavish therapies and relaxation rituals. Couples Villas are the perfect romantic add-on. Or perhaps after the delicious meals you would prefer a good work-out in Senses the state of the art Fitness Center.

The entire Quiet Cove Pool Area is for the exclusive use of Guests over the age of 18. There you'll find cozy couches and teak lounge chairs where you can take a relaxing respite while gazing out to the sea. The quiet cove pool is blissfully reserved for adults, and the pool-side bar serves up tropical coolers. There are also some very fun glass bottomed hot tubs with a view of the ocean below. The Cove Cafe is an elegantly appointed retreat with WiFi coverage, serving specialty coffees and teas, snacks and mixed drinks throughout the day.

Quiet Cove Pool On The DIsney DreamQuiet Cove Pool On The DIsney Dream

And while it's not technically on the ship - the Disney Cruise Line's private island Castaway Cay blows all other cruise line owned islands right out of the water. All the charms and amenities Guests know and love Disney have made a home in the Bahamas. Tucked at the far end of the island is a private beach, bar, cabanas and lunch spot set aside just for the grown-ups.

Whew! Can you believe that I kept that short? I didn't even mention the concierge level with its private lounge, gift packages that can be in room upon arrival, fabulous shore excursions in exotic ports of call, or the detailed shopping talks to help Guests navigate the markets on shore! It's pretty clear, the Disney Cruise Line is a fantastic choice to set sail for fun and adventure - with or without kids.

I know I'm ready to book my next voyage, how about you!?

Phyllis Knapp wrote on Wed, 01/07/2015 - 02:44:

Phyllis Knapp 's picture

I am a DVC member - my husband died 2 & a half years ago. I am trying to decide if I should take the Disney cruise alone? This article helped me - but I'm still uncertain as to whether or not I should go on this cruise.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 01/07/2015 - 13:27:

Kristen K.'s picture

Hi Phyllis!

What are your concerns about traveling on DCL alone? Maybe I can address some of your questions.

If I had the opportunity to take a Disney Cruise on my own I believe that I would. The cast members are so friendly and they all speak very good English, I don't think I would feel lonely on my own at all. There are many opportunities to meet people and have conversation and companionship, such as ship tours, enrichment seminars, and during dining. They even have singles mixers on the ships so that single travelers can share their experience.


Elizabeth M. wrote on Thu, 06/25/2015 - 13:00:

Elizabeth M.'s picture

Thank you for this article, I have been on two Disney cruises before, however I was an adolescent. My fiancé and I are attempting to plan a trip for his birthday in Febuary. He has never been anywhere other than Atlanta and Boston, so we are loin forward and hoping we can work this out! Of course we are attempting to save as much money as possible. This article was very well put together!

~Thank you!

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