How to Disney Cruise without Children
Some people just don’t understand an adult Disney-fanatic. Even in our pre-parenthood days, my husband and I have always been big Disney fans. Frankly, we probably enjoyed it more before we became parents (but there are new joys in bringing a little one of course). My husband invited me to dinner (our first date) as a “thank you” for getting him into Disneyland with me when we both happened to be in California. Said first date took place at Bistro de Paris in Epcot (may it rest in peace). Three months later we went on our first Disney cruise.
He had been on two Disney cruises already, but it wasn’t something that I had ever really thought of. We would total four Disney cruises during the three years we were dating, and go on two more cruises for our honeymoon. Our son was born nine months later, so DCL runs deep in this family.
For those who think you’d have to be crazy to get on a ship full of children to enjoy an adult vacation, please let me enlighten you. Here is how you Disney cruise without children.
The adult pool is your happy place. Free of anyone under 18, the adult pool (pools on the bigger ships) is the perfect place to relax during a beautiful day at sea. We always quickly made friends with the bar staff as we enjoyed as many mimosas and Bloody Marys as possible before noon. Until the ship’s whistle blows at noon, breakfast cocktails (including screwdrivers I believe) are half off. Particularly wonderful bar staff (basically all of them) would do a great job of reminding us to order more right before noon.
The food offerings are down the deck around the family pools, but there is something almost more satisfying of going through the much louder pool deck, grabbing some food, and taking it back to the peace and quiet.
You can keep to a schedule that will have less children around. We always did second seating for dinner which was at 8:15pm. There are children in the dining room for that seating, but not nearly as many. This meant that we went to the earlier show at 6:45pm (the shows are fabulous) and then enjoyed the adult bars during the gap before dinner. Yes, you generally sit with some strangers at dinner, (a beautiful opportunity to make new friends) but we never got sat with anyone who had children with them. Adult only parties stay together, and families are paired. I’d expect that it’s quite rare for them to have to mix the two.
Palo. Just… Palo. Palo is the adult exclusive restaurant on all four DCL ships. It is Italian and completely amazing. They serve dinner nightly and brunch on sea days. Both are musts, but if you only have time to go once, go to dinner! The surcharge to dine there is the best money you’ll ever spend. This is your romantic date night away from any table mates you may have. Like in the dining rooms, you can order as much as your heart desires, but leave room for dessert!!! The chocolate soufflé is to die for! I personally recommend going for double vanilla sauce, as it doesn’t need more chocolate in my opinion. I also drown it in the vanilla sauce because I have no shame when that soufflé comes into my life. There is another soufflé now too. It is also delicious, but I’m telling you, I’m not the biggest chocolate person, but the chocolate is the way to go. Be prepared to roll yourself back to your stateroom.
I should also mention Remy. It is an additional adult restaurant on board the Disney Dream and Fantasy. It is an incredible dining experience. It’s more expensive, and for good reason, it is exquisite. On sea days, they do brunch as well and a dessert experience.
Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay is paradise. Castaway Cay (pronounced “key”) is perhaps the actual happiest place on earth (sorry Magic Kingdom). You can take a tram right on down to the adult exclusive beach, Serenity Bay, and enjoy a beautiful quiet day on the beach. Oh, you didn’t go on vacation to get pelted by sand as toddlers run around kicking it up? Your escape was provided. There is bar service and a BBQ just for grownups, still complete with soft-serve ice cream.
I hope you do go enjoy a fun adult vacation on a Disney cruise. I will be quite jealous of you, as my cruises will be chock full of family pool and insisting on potty breaks, for the foreseeable future.