Disney Cruise Line has built a reputation for being a premium family cruise line with touches of Disney theming and magic throughout their four ships. The company has spent over two decades at sea—the first generation of kids who enjoyed the clubs now taking their own vacations.
For adults who travel without children, Disney Cruise Line is often seen as a ship full of screaming kids rushing to hug Mickey Mouse. While occasionally there is truth in that thought, the meltdown is far rarer, and it’s entirely possible to have a fantastic adult-only cruise with your partner or a group.
Disney Cruise Line has put a lot of effort into building exclusive spaces for each age group, and adults are not forgotten. The result of these spaces is that children are often busy in the kids’ clubs while their parents enjoy the ship’s amenities. For childless travelers, this means we can have a great vacation with minimal interruption.
The best areas to avoid children on a Disney cruise include:
1. Quiet Cove – This is the adult-only pool and bar area with plenty of seating to enjoy peace. On the first four ships, this area is at the front of the ship, just behind the forward lifts. This means that an occasional child will wander through the area with their parents (or searching for them). Still, the crew is generally pretty good at making sure they keep walking. This has been fixed on the soon-to-launch Disney Wish with Quiet Cove being moved to the ship's aft. The new area will include its own bar and an infinity pool overlooking the wake.
2. Satellite Falls – This area is on the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. It is on the very top deck forward of every other worry you have. This area includes seating and a wading pool to cool off when the Caribbean sun gets a bit too warm.
3. The adult-only bars – Depending on which ship you’re on, the adult-only district may have spaces open to minors during the day. But there is always at least one bar (usually two) that only welcomes adults. I love spending time in the Quiet Cove Café, enjoying a coffee and reading, or playing board games in the pub. You’ll also find adult-only trivia and drink tastings hosted in these spaces throughout the day.
4. The Spa – No cruise is complete without at least one trip to the spa. Disney offers adults the space to escape from stresses in this area with paid services, the Rainforest Room, a total gym, and spacious showers. The gym and locker rooms are open to all and include a nice dry sauna to meet up with old or new friends away from the families.
5. Adult-only dining – Palo and Remy are the two adult-only dining venues currently on the Disney ships. Palo is on all four, with Remy being on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The Disney Wish will introduce new options and a reimagined Palo Steakhouse. Personally, I love Palo and would eat there every night if they let me (my record is six nights on the East Bound Panama Canal sailing a few years ago). These areas come with an additional fee. Compared to other cruise lines, the amount is and is 100% worth spending at least once.
6. Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay – Serenity Bay is my favorite part of adult-only cruising on a Disney ship. This beach is tucked away and has some of the best waters I’ve experienced in the Bahamas. I’ve never had a problem finding a great spot on the beach. Drink options are only limited by your wallet with an adult-only bar and servers constantly roaming, asking if you need another drink. The area also has its own buffet, so it’s entirely possible to spend a day on Castaway Cay without ever interacting with someone under 18.
Going outside of the adult-only spaces doesn’t feel like you’re walking into a school playground. For the most part, I find children on a Disney Cruise better managed than on other cruise lines, thanks mainly to Disney's programming.
The only times that there are more children gathered together is in line for a character meet and dinner in the main dining rooms. Waiting in line is hard for everyone. I usually notice the kids being better behaved waiting for their hug or autograph than the parents who’d rather be up at the pool having a drink.
One last tip before you close out of this post. Once you’ve booked your Disney Cruise, find the Facebook group and sign up for the adult-only fish extender exchange. Some of my favorite souvenirs are from other cruisers, and it’s a fun way to get to know other adults before you get on the ship.
Have you taken a child-free Disney cruise? I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you loved about it most. Been thinking about taking a Disney cruise, but not sure it’s for you? Schedule a consultation, and we can chat about the type of experiences that are important for you. Even if Disney’s not for you, I’m an expert at helping travelers find the correct ship and cruise line, so they have the perfect vacation.
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