As a grown-up, you might be wondering:
As an adult, will I have fun on a Disney Cruise?
However, to help you decide whether a Disney Cruise will be fun for you as an adult (not just a parent or grandparent), it’s helpful to know what to expect.
Here are 10 things you need to know about what makes a Disney Cruise fun for adults:
1) Kids aren’t running around everywhere
I think many adults envision a Disney Cruise to feel a lot like Disneyland. Crowds and tons of kids everywhere. (Meltdowns galore!)
It is surprising to many first-time cruisers how it feels just the opposite.
Disney Cruise Line has done a great job of creating devoted spaces (kids clubs, pools, etc) that are appropriate to their age. The DCL counselors lead activities that keep the kids engaged literally all day long.
Many kids love the clubs so much they never leave. They often make friends and enjoy hanging out with their new pals. On some cruises, the only time we saw our kids were at dinner.
This miraculous method of segregating young people from us old fogies allows adults to enjoy space.
2) There are many adults-only spaces
Just as kids have pools and clubs, so do adults.
On every Disney Cruise ship, there are pools, sundecks, and hot tubs that are only allowed for 18 and up. And these aren’t small spaces either. DCL gives adults room to spread out and the design of the ship keeps these areas completely isolated from the rest of the ship. Truly, you will not see nor hear kids in these areas.
On Castaway Cay, an expansive section of the island called Serenity Bay has been designated as adults-only and it includes a private beach, restaurant, and bar (try the Konk Kooler drink.)
Eating at Serenity Bay BBQ on Castaway Cay has its perks too, such as the absence of kids and thus shorter lines. It also usually provides entrees like grilled steak that aren’t available at the family restaurants on the island.
3) There are plenty of bars on the ship
Like other cruise lines, cocktails and alcoholic drinks are available to purchase all over a Disney Cruise ship.
Every ship has its fair share of piano lounges, sports bars, and nightclubs with dancing or live music for adults to “escape” and enjoy a drink.
These are truly fun, modern places to hang out and Disney has invested heavily in making these spaces to be top of the line.
4) The ship is gorgeous
So, are pictures of Mickey Mouse and pals splashed all over the ship?
No, the ships themselves have been designed to evoke the “golden age of sailing” with their Art Deco or Art Nouveau stylings.
And the 18+ areas of the ship have been carefully planned. Avoiding anything cheesy, campy, or overtly “Disney”, Disney’s Imagineers have thoughtfully brought forward themes to their adult spaces that are elegant, classy, and inviting.
Example: take a look at the adults-only spaces created on the Disney Wish
5) There are a lot of fun activities for grown-ups
During the day, adults can enjoy a wide variety of classes during the day and fun activities at night that are exclusively for ages 18+.
On recent cruises, we have seen:
- Beverage tastings (wine, martini, champagne, beer, whisky, cognac, tequila, rum, etc)
- Fitness classes
- Tours of the ship and galley (I highly recommend the Art of the Theme Show if they offer it)
- Live piano performances
- Magician / juggling / hypnotist / comedian shows - adults only
- Adult costume contest
- Trivia contests & pub quizzes
- Shopping seminars
- Video game challenges
- Fantasy football
- Self-improvement seminars
- Ice breakers & get to know you socials
6) The level of entertainment is top-notch
Disney knows entertainment, and while the content is family-friendly, the quality of entertainment is superb.
We have traveled on other cruise lines and it is my opinion that the nightlife, special guest performers, and stage production of Disney musicals are far superior to anything else I’ve seen at sea.
Both adults and children enjoy the marquee entertainment in the evening. You won’t be bored.
7) Premium dining is available at Palo and Remy
Every Disney ship offers a premium dining experience at Palo. The restaurant provides outstanding cuisine during an elegant brunch or luxurious dinner, featuring Italian cooking.
The Wish features Enchante, a Beauty and the Beast inspired restaurant with a menu from a Michelin chef.
Both restaurants have dress codes and are exclusively open to adults who book reservations in advance.
Brunch or sundown dining at either restaurant is an exceptional experience.
8) The fitness center is modern and large
The fitness center on each ship is sizable but off limits to children under 18. The workout equipment is state of the art and the views are spectacular.
9) Adults can dress up and act like kids. Or not.
For me, it makes the environment even more fun and lively. The cool get-ups add to the spectacle of it all.
However, if you want to skip all that and just enjoy the cruise your way, that’s totally fine. It’s your vacation and there are no set requirements.
10) What adults WON’T find on a Disney Cruise
Compared to other cruise lines, there are a few differences in what Disney offers for adults.
It’s good to know what you’ll be missing out on:
- No Disney Cruise Casino. Is there a casino on Disney Cruises? There are no casinos on any of the Disney cruise ships. This is often surprising to those who have traveled on other cruise lines, as it is such a huge money maker for Disney’s competitors.
- No Raunchy Humor / Profanity. Even during the adult-only entertainment sessions (such as comedians), performers honor Disney’s family-friendly brand by avoiding profanity, innuendo, or other lewd and crude behavior. I even noticed that when dancing in the nightclub, they only play clean, radio versions of popular songs.
Disney Cruise without Kids
For singles, couples without kids, and empty-nesters that are wondering if it makes sense to sail on a Disney Cruise without children, I’d advise you to read the above carefully.
The fact that you’re even considering a Disney Cruise tells me you have some degree of passion for the Disney magic.
However, I’m also aware that you have a wide range of other cruise choices that provide a premium experience, for a little less money, since you don’t have to pay for the Disney brand and all that comes with it.
In short, here’s my opinion:
If you’re a Disney fan, love getting lost in the magic of it all, and enjoy watching others do the same, then yes, I’d say a Disney Cruise is for you.