Last summer, we took our fondness of Disney to the seas for a five-day voyage to the Caribbean, but we’re not gonna lie – we had many questions and reservations before we embarked. Will it be full of screaming kids? Will there be enough to do for just adults? Will the quality be as good as a Disney park? How will it differ from the not-so-great Carnival Cruise we sailed on years ago?
If you also love Disney and want to try cruising with them but are unsure what it will be like to go on a Disney Cruise ship as an Adult, we’ve got you covered! Whether you don’t have children, want to leave the kids at home, or are going with the whole family yet are itching to know what’s in it for you, here’s everything you need to know about sailing with Disney Cruise Line as an adult.
Honestly, we thought there would be so many more kids than there were. We were delightfully surprised that we weren’t the only childless millennials onboard. We also quickly discovered that one or two kids in the family made a “great excuse” for an entire large extended family to enjoy a Disney Cruise, much like what you find in the adult-to-kid ratio in a Disney park. It was not uncommon to see families of 5-6 adults across 2-3 generations with only one child in the travel party. We never felt out of place for being solo adults on board!
Each ship boasts an incredible cast and crew. Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. You’ll have the same hosts, attendants, and servers throughout your stay, so you’ll get to know them, and they’ll get to know you. It’s fun to see them around the ship; they make the journey extra special.
And we can’t forget about the iconic Disney characters. We joked that it felt like we were in a Disney commercial; so many characters were roaming around! We almost literally bumped into Chip & Dale while trying to get onto an elevator, casually bumped into Goofy on the shuffleboard deck, and waved at Max while ordering iced coffee. You rarely get this close to face characters in the parks, and they are everywhere – even at Disney’s ports!
Embarkation day is just cruise talk when you get onboard. As soon as you step onto the ship, you’re greeted by friendly faces of Disney cast members with a custom “welcome aboard ___ family!” by an announcer and a greeting from Captain Mickey. Cast members are there to answer any questions and guide you to your next stop, which is often lunch. Staterooms will typically be ready for you right before the Sail Away party. To avoid the frantic chaos of the top-deck food choices, head to the dining rooms and enjoy your first sit-down meal in peace. A cast member will direct you to which one is available for lunch.
Can we talk about the staterooms for a second? They’re incredible! Our room was spacious and had a large window with an ocean view. Each stateroom is thoughtfully designed with comfortable beds, modern amenities, plenty of plugs, and a surprising amount of space for relaxation and storage. Rooms range from inside rooms without real windows, which are the more budget-friendly option, oceanview staterooms, which have a beautiful, large window, verandah which boasts a large balcony, and concierge for those that are looking for the ultimate premium service onboard. Frankly, the oceanview room was larger and better than expected. We’d book either that one or the verandah on our next cruise!
While there certainly are families aboard, there are also plenty of adults-only areas where you can escape the crowds and relax. The ship is spotless and well-maintained, and you can tell that the staff takes great pride in their work. The entire adults-only areas of the ship are peaceful and quiet, and they offer the perfect place to relax and unwind. The Quiet Cove Pool is an oasis for adults, with plenty of lounge chairs and cabanas. Get there early if you want the best chairs. It’s all Hakuna Matata here – no worries about finding drinks or going to a bar – the pool attendants will bring you morning mimosas or evening champagne sips while you’re poolside. And if you’re looking for extra relaxation, you can visit the Senses Spa & Salon for a massage or other treatment.
The bars and lounges onboard offer delicious drinks and snacks, and many feature live music or other performances. The District is an adults-only area of the ship with various themed bars, including The Tube, a London-inspired pub, and Skyline Lounge, which offers panoramic views of some of the world’s most iconic cities. And for those who want to dance the night away, there’s also the Azure nightclub. We’re grandparents at heart, so we never stayed up long enough to enjoy the lounges as the club scene. However, we did visit them earlier during the day to learn interesting trivia.
Speaking of trivia, the entertainment aboard Disney cruises is next level. If you’ve ever traveled on other cruise lines, you know the shows, characters, and entertainment is based on random stories, and it typically features entertainers that are okay at best. But entertainment is where Disney truly shines. All the fun is based on your favorite Disney IP, including movies, soundtracks, and characters you know and love.
There are so many shows and performances to enjoy; they’re all top-notch. We loved watching Broadway-style shows like “The Little Mermaid” and live performances by musicians. Don’t forget all the fun you can have throughout the day like swimming, playing basketball, mini-golf, shuffleboard, or riding the only roller-coaster-at-sea, the Aquamouse. Evening entertainment options don’t just end with drinking and dancing. Special events take place throughout the cruise, such as a Pirate Night party and a Formal Night dinner. And if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, you can catch a movie under the stars on the pool deck or attend a game show or trivia night. There are also plenty of classes and workshops to attend, such as cooking classes and wine tastings.
Food and Drink
There are so many dining options, and the food quality is outstanding. From fine dining to quick-service possibilities, there’s something for everyone. We loved the convenience of the quick-service grab-and-go options, the buffet in the mornings, and the incredible sit-down dinners in the evenings. If you want an extra-adult fancy-child-free dining experience, try Palo. As we’re not the biggest foodies, we didn’t want to pay extra for the special dining add-on since the regular dining was delicious enough. And don’t forget about the drinks! The mixologists onboard are incredibly talented and can whip up just about any cocktail you can imagine. If you really love wine, you can even buy packages on board of various wines to enjoy throughout the cruise.
Of course, no cruise would be complete without shore excursions. We visited Nassau and Castaway Cay, but Castaway Cay takes the cake. In Nassau, we recommend booking a snorkeling excursion or a day at Atlantis; otherwise, it’d be an excellent opportunity to stay on the ship and enjoy more time in a much quieter environment as everyone else disembarks in Nassau. We thoroughly enjoyed Castaway Cay. It’s Disney’s private island and is an absolute paradise. We spent the day biking around the island, lounging on the beach, snorkeling, and enjoying the crystal-clear water. There’s even an adults-only section called Serenity Bay, but it was almost too serene if you ask us. But if you’re looking for a good piña colada and a nap in a hammock? That’s the best place to do it.
Is it Worth it?
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room – is a Disney cruise worth it for adults? Absolutely! You’re transported to a world of luxury and fun when you step onto the ship. There are so many activities and experiences to enjoy, and the level of service is top-notch. And with the incredible staff and cast members on board, you’re guaranteed to have a magical experience that you’ll never forget. Rest assured, Disney cruises are just as magical for adults as they are for kids.