*DIS Contributors review cruises that they have paid for on their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and special offers if they are available to the general public. They receive no additional compensation for rooms, dining experiences, events, or entertainment so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
How many times have you heard the phrase “Disney is for kids?” If you are on this site, then I am going to assume that you are a Disney fan, and chances are that you have probably heard this phrase many many times.
I know we did when we began telling our family and friends that we were going to be taking a trip on Disney Cruise Line. We got all kinds of reactions to this news; we were told that we should go somewhere not Disney related, that we wouldn’t have a good time without kids, that the ship would be teeming with unattended children and that we would be the only couple without kids.
I cannot tell you how glad I am that we did not listen to those people.
I am a huge Disney lover and knew that I would love cruising with DCL but my husband, on the other hand, had never been on a cruise, so he had no point of reference. He wasn’t sure what to expect. But in the end, there were so many things that drew both of us in, even without children.
Read below for our list of reasons to cruise on Disney Cruise Line without children:
1. You can keep yourself (mostly) separated from the children.
One of the things that Disney does best is the separation of adult and family spaces. Such as an adults-only pool, upscale spas, nightclubs, romantic restaurants, and after-hours lounges. Not to mention, Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay, which I akin to heaven on earth. There are also 21 and over activities onboard and select “Port Adventures” that are reserved for adults only.
2. You will not be overrun by Disney everywhere.
Yes, there are characters on board, but you will not encounter them at every corner. I compare this to staying at a moderate or deluxe resort at Walt Disney World. Are you on Disney property? Yes, but the Disney touches are subtle and cleverly placed among the beautiful, elegant décor. The ships were designed to resemble 1930s ocean liners, and the overall decor is rich and chic with just the right amount of glamor and glitz. Things like the background music, framed concept art on the walls, and restaurant themes brought us that Disney magic without going overboard (pun intended).
The characters appear at specific times in set areas of the ship. If characters aren’t your thing then you don’t have to have interactions with them.
3. Nearly everything is included
A Disney theme parks vacation is not typically an all-inclusive one. Inside the parks, there are places to spend money around every corner; snacks, merchandise, and extra perks like Memory Maker or Disney Genie+. Take a cruise on any other cruise line and nearly every restaurant onboard is an extra cost. On a Disney cruise, this is not the case. Every ship has a plethora of food options already included in the cost of your cruise; buffet, main dining rooms, room service, and counter-service eateries abound. The only two added-fee restaurants, Palo and Remy, are for adults only and from what I hear are worth every penny. Things like specialty coffee, certain ice creams, alcohol, and spa and salon treatments are available for an extra cost. But if you are not interested in these things then it is possible to board the ship and not spend another penny other than what you already paid.
4. The Disney Difference
This is a term that you will hear frequently among Disney cruisers. Disney Cruise Line just takes the extra step in every way that they can. Embarkation? You will have an entire cast of crew members welcome you aboard, by name. Want last night’s AMAZING Date Pudding dessert? Just ask your server. Need to use the bathroom while your travel companion is in the shower? Your cabin has two bathrooms. Love Christmas? On our Very Merrytime sailing, a two-deck-tall Christmas tree stood in the ship’s atrium; along with a giant gingerbread house and Santa Claus. Are you a Marvel or Pixar fan? There are special sailings for that. There are little surprises around every turn. They have literally thought of everything.
5. The entertainment is amazing.
There are so many types of entertainment that it is impossible to be bored on a Disney sailing. One night on each sailing, pirates take over the ship and there is an impressive fireworks display. If you’re looking for a bit of interactive fun, each vessel’s Midship Detective Agency sends you around the ship to gather clues via animated wall art. The restaurants are unparalleled not only in the quality of the food but in how interactive they are. On our sailing in Animator’s Palate, Crush from Finding Nemo interacted directly with passengers via LED screens throughout the venue. The nightly shows are full-on productions with costumes, sets, props, and complete casts. Like movies? You’re in luck. You can catch first-run films onboard and pull up most of Disney’s movie catalog right from the comfort of your stateroom.
6. It’s ok to let your inner child out.
Disney Cruise Line is a judgment-free zone. Feel free to dress up like a pirate or princess, to take a picture with characters, and ask for autographs. Eat dessert for dinner. Let your inner child out, have fun. Trust me you will not be the only adult doing so. However, you choose to have fun, the line embraces all types of cruisers without judgment.
7. You may just end up a Disney convert.
As I said, my husband had never been on a cruise before and wasn’t a huge fan of the parks to begin with so he went into our Disney cruise extremely skeptical and really only doing it because he knew how badly I wanted to (what a good husband). He went in expecting to have running, screaming, and misbehaving children everywhere. Instead, he found himself smiling at all the children having the time of their lives. It’s hard not to when these children are all so very happy and experiencing such magic. By the end of our three days on board, he was the one asking when we were going to be going down to book our placeholder.
Disney currently has four cruise ships, with the fifth, the Disney Wish beginning sailings in July of 2022. Each of these ships carries between 2,700 and 4,000 passengers and industry insiders estimate about a fifth of adult passengers come on board the ships without children. You WILL NOT be the only couple without children. Will you be in the majority? No, but you won’t be the only ones either.