Think Disney cruises are just for kids or families with kids? I want to tell you about my experience on the Disney Cruise Line cruising without kids –and how it was the most relaxing vacation ever! Whether you are traveling with kids, with just your spouse or companion, or a group of friends, I think you will see it is the perfect vacation and well worth your money and precious vacation time.
I’ve heard it time and again “I don’t want to spend my vacation around a bunch of kids” or “Isn’t this just for families?” or “I know my kids will love it but I want to enjoy it too”. Guess what? No matter who you are or who you travel with, you will LOVE a Disney Cruise Line vacation. In fact, I think the adults probably love it and appreciate it much more than the kids. That’s not to say the kids don’t have fun. But the adults REALLY have fun!
I think there is always a tendency for some people to think of any Disney vacation as something that has to involve kids. I wrote about it in a blog all about Walt Disney World for grown-ups; check it out here. My husband and I honeymooned at Walt Disney World 7 and a half years ago and have been to Disneyland two times and back to Walt Disney World 4 times since then-plus a Disney Cruise. So, my experience as an adult without kids on a Disney vacation is pretty comprehensive. We are expecting our first baby any day now-and I can’t wait to update this blog in the future with info about cruising with young children. But, for now, I have a lot to share with you about cruising without kids…it truly was my very favorite vacation ever. Here’s why:
Adult Only Areas
There are adult only areas all over the ship. Pools, spa /fitness center, clubs with dancing and entertainment, restaurants, and more. Some of the free activities on the ship are just for adults as well. We never felt like there were too many kids running around because we hung out in adult areas AND because Disney Cruises have plenty of kid-only spaces too.
We enjoyed the club areas at night for adults. One night there was a game show type show, like the newlywed game that was entertaining and so funny. Afterwards we had line dancing classes and danced the night away. There is a sports bar and a great piano bar as well. Any kind of vibe you are in the mood for, you can find it. The clubs were not so busy that you felt too crowded and not so empty that it wasn’t fun. It made each evening on the ship feel different and there was always something to do/see.
Senses Spa was also a great oasis. Look into the rainforest package for an affordable and relaxing way to spend some time each day. The fitness center is much bigger and well equipped than I expected as well. The teens and tweens have their own spa areas in a totally different part of the ship, so this one is just for the adults and I was very impressed with the services offered and the friendliness of the staff. In fact, one night as I was getting ready for dinner I noticed my manicure had chipped from all the swimming (it looked terrible!). I walked over to the spa and they took my nail polish off for me so I wouldn’t have to deal with a chipped, worn out manicure! Great service!
Disney Cruise Line does dining SO well. The food is fantastic, service is amazing, and you get to experience different restaurants each night.
Your serving team stays with you each night even though you are rotating to different restaurants. Plus, there are 2 seating times and in our experience, the families with kids mostly ate at the earlier dining time. So, an adult only party might opt for second seating for a bit of a quieter dining atmosphere.
Like most cruise lines, you will probably dine with others but Disney will seat you with like parties. So, if you are 2 adults, you will most likely be seated with 2 more adults. You can always have your travel agent request a table for just your party size, and they will accommodate when possible.
The adult only restaurants are SUCH a treat. Not only is the atmosphere wonderful, the servers amazing, but the food is indescribably good. It’s worth the upcharge and you can try ANYTHING. Do not go to Palo without trying the Cholocate Souffle, it would be a travesty! Your ship will have at least one adult only restaurant, some have 2. Your travel agent can help you plan the best nights to dine at the adult only restaurants, and the days at sea will have an adult only brunch you can try as well.
To me, the highlight of any Bahamian or Caribbean Disney Cruise is Disney’s Private Island- Castaway Cay. The island has so much to offer and is usually everyone’s favorite excursion. The adult only beach, Serenity Bay is heavenly. It’s quiet, secluded, and one of the most beautiful beaches I have been to. Castaway has a ton of excursions as well as free activities. We did the Castaway Cay 5k first thing in the morning (which helped justify all the food I ate that day) and it was a fun way to see the island and get your bearings. The food at Serenity Bay is also more diverse than the offerings at the family beach. I was expecting just OK food but it was one of my favorite meals of the trip. Being able to relax at the adult only beach made the whole trip for us. It really was the highlight.
The Disney Difference Just like Disney parks are for kids of all ages, Disney Cruises bring out the kid in all of us too. Disney characters appear everywhere, I even stumbled into Captain Jack Sparrow alone on the adult beach at Castaway (we took selfies so I have proof). Disney touches are everywhere but perhaps the best Disney touch of all is the first-class service you will receive. Everyone is a first-class guest on a Disney Cruise. The crew will go out of their way to make your vacation memorable. I’ve never experienced anything like it at any other resort or vacation. Here are a few other things that make the Disney Difference to me:
· Disney Cruises are more inclusive than other cruise lines. Room service? Included! Soft drinks and snacks throughout the day? Included! First run movies in the theatre? Included! Entertainment? Included! (and it’s FANTASTIC) Castaway Cay? Included! (This is like a free excursion-you can pay for special excursions but you can also enjoy the whole day, including lots of great food, entertainment, and beaches and not spend a dime). There are a lot of daily ship activities that are also included. One of my favorites was a cooking class/demonstration.
· The staterooms are designed for families so they are much roomier than other cruise lines. Plenty of room to unpack and settle in. If you have 3-4 adults in a room, there is room for everyone.
· Fellow guests- there is something about a Disney cruise that attracts great fellow cruisers. Family friendly, considerate, and friendly guests. Not a lot of “spring breakers” and partiers- if that is your scene, you probably won’t fit in. But, I think that is the appeal for many people on a Disney cruise; a vacation where you truly can relax and enjoy the whole experience.
When I tell people about my Disney cruise experience, it is easy to describe the fun we had by talking about the ship, the food, the activities etc. But, the absolute best thing to me was that I was relaxed the whole time. That doesn’t happen even at the Disney parks! Disney thinks of everything so you don’t have to. Whether we were relaxing on the beach, at the pool, reading a book on the deck, watching the sunset, or eating the amazing meals, it was relaxing, beautiful, and full of pixie dust.
Are you considering a Disney Cruise and need help? Check out my blog about Choosing Your Cruise! I would love to help you plan the perfect vacation for your family or friends (with or without kids!). Contact me at Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com or give me a call (toll free) at 1-800-670-4312 ext 139.
Aleshia Sokoloski, Travel Planner affiliated with Travel with the Magic
Specializing in Universal Resorts and Disney Vacations including Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Adventures by Disney, and Disney Cruise Line.