No one doubts that a Disney Cruise is great fun for kids. But what about the grownups? Will you be bored out of your mind for the entire week, or are Disney Cruises fun for adults?
We believe there’s plenty to keep adults entertained onboard a Disney Cruise. However, if you are traveling with children, you’ll be happy to know that not only is there plenty to do together, there’s plenty to do separately, as well!
Adult-Exclusive Areas and Activities on Disney Cruise Ships
A common misconception is that Disney Cruises are completely overrun with kids. But thanks to areas dedicated exclusively to kids, tweens, teens, and adults, you might be surprised how few kids you run into on a day-to-day basis.
The tiniest tots are taken care of in “it’s a small world” nursery!”, younger kids spend lots of time in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab, tweens hang out in Edge, and the teens are in Vibe. Some parents joke that the only time they see their kids is at breakfast, dinner, and bedtime!
So where does that leave the adults who are cruising with Disney? They can take advantage of plenty of Adult-Exclusive areas onboard all four Disney cruise ships.
Every evening, the grownups get their own adults-only area onboard the ship.
Each ship has a nightclub district that features several distinctly-themed areas with lovely adult beverages, unlimited snacks, live entertainment (in some adult spaces), and no kids allowed.
You’ll find everything from sports bars/pubs, and champagne lounges, to dance clubs. Snacks are typically included at no charge, but you’ll need to pay for your drinks.
Some of these venues might open earlier in the day for events that allow kids to attend, but by nightfall, it’s adults-only.
Adults Only Pools and Bars
Each ship also includes a pool, sundeck, and bar dedicated solely to those aged 18 and up. It’s a great place to go and enjoy a quiet afternoon away from the bigger family pool.
These areas vary by ship, but they all offer a much-more laid-back and quiet experience. Look for names such as Quiet Cove pool on ship signage to guide you in the right direction. One of our favorites is Satellite Falls, a sort of submerged seating area on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, featuring a gentle falling water effect around you.
Each ship offers at least one, usually two, restaurants that are open only for adults.
You’ll find some version of Palo offering brunch and dinner on all five ships. Each Palo has Italian-inspired cuisine, though the Disney Wish version adds a premier steakhouse experience. A perennial Guest favorite is the chocolate soufflé.
On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, you’ll also find fine dining at Remy, while Disney Wish features Enchanté.
All of the adult only dining restaurants feature a somewhat classier experience than the primary rotational dining rooms, so dress codes apply; Palo’s code is a bit more lax than the others.
These experiences — especially Palo brunch — are quite popular, so be sure to book as far in advance as possible. If you’re not able to secure a reservation in advance, check as soon as you board the ship to see if any spots have opened up.
Note that the adult-exclusive restaurants require a separate fee in addition to your cruise lines fare.
Adults-Only Beach on Castaway Cay
If your cruise takes you to the Bahamas with a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, you’ll find an adults-only retreat there, too. At the far end of Castaway Cay, well away from the family beach, is Serenity Bay — a beach area exclusively for adults. In addition to relaxing in plenty of lounge chairs, a hammock or two, and sparkling waters, you’ll also be able to grab a drink or enjoy some live music at the open-air bar located there. At the entrance to Serenity Bay is a dining area serving up great barbecue, so there’s no worry about going hungry while you’re at the beach.
Grownups can also enjoy several adult-only activities while onboard — wine tastings and beverage seminars are quite popular. Still, there are great activities for tea-totalers, too. Check your daily Navigator to see what’s on offer each day. Some adult activities may require an additional cost.
Senses Spa & Salon
Take relaxation on your Disney Cruise to a completely different level by enjoying a treatment at Senses Spa & Salon. This 18+ experience offers hot stone treatments, deep tissue massage, facials, manicure/pedicure services, salon treatments, or just a relaxing afternoon in the sensory showers of the Rainforest Room or in the hot tubs. Fees and gratuity apply.
More Fun for Adults on Disney Cruise Line
By now, you’ve probably gathered that there are plenty of places to go on a Disney Cruise if you want some time away from children. But let’s not kid ourselves (sorry) into thinking that those are the only places adults can have fun on a Disney Cruise. Decades before the first Disney Cruise ever set sail, Walt Disney envisioned Disneyland as a place where kids and adults could have fun together. A Disney Cruise ship is no exception.
Live Entertainment and Games
Each day of your cruise features plenty of live entertainment and games.
Enjoy a trivia contest or belt out a favorite song at Karaoke. Or maybe you’d rather play a few games of bingo (all ages may play, but only adults can buy the bingo cards). And, of course, there are the famous deck parties, including Pirate Night on select sailings, which includes the first-ever Fireworks at Sea!
Live music is usually offered nightly in the main atrium.
And every night, you’ll be treated to either a live Broadway-style show (admittedly with a Disney theme) or other live entertainment, such as a family-friendly comedian, magician, hypnotist, etc. These shows are always a good time, regardless of whether you have kids in tow.
If you’ve been slacking on your movie-going lately, a Disney Cruise is a great place to catch up on the latest Disney movies and releases from its related studios (think Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm).
Cinemas onboard each ship play these first-run movies all day long, completely free of charge. You don’t even need a ticket — just pop in at showtime! There’s a snack bar located just outside. If you can’t imagine seeing a film without popcorn, Raisinettes, and a Coke – just be aware that there is a charge for refreshments.
Most ships have at least one Buena Vista Theater showing these films; onboard the Disney Wish, you’ll find two, Wonderland Cinema and Never Land Cinema. So a relaxing afternoon at the movies is never more than just an hour or so away.
If your sailing happens to fall during the premiere of a highly-anticipated film, you’ll get to enjoy a PremEAR at Sea — the entire Walt Disney Theatre, normally reserved for live shows, turns into a giant movie house for the first showing of the latest Disney blockbuster.
Disney’s pool areas are, of course, fun for all ages. And it wouldn’t be a cruise without some extra special water fun. Most Disney cruise line ships offer an enhanced waterslide-type attraction that goes beyond just sliding in circles and splashing down in a pool.
On the Disney Magic, take the plunge in the AquaDunk, a drop-style waterslide that sends you on a thrilling dip below.
On Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, hop onboard your raft to enjoy the AquaDuck. In this water-coaster style attraction, you’re propelled up and down through clear tubes that give you a great seagull’s-eye view of the ocean and the pool deck below.
And on the Disney Wish, it’s the AquaMouse – which Disney calls its first-ever “attraction at sea.” You’ll take an inflatable raft for this adventure, which starts with an up-hill tug highlighted with scenes inspired by the new Mickey Mouse shorts, followed by an AquaDuck-style ride through clear tubes.
Open House at the Kids Clubs
If you’re not one to completely put away childish things, you might be secretly giddy to know that there are a few dedicated time periods on each cruise where adults can visit the kids’ clubs onboard. We have seen many grown ups enjoy playing in the Star Wars-themed area of the youth clubs during open-house hours. (It’s perhaps no surprise that onboard the Disney Wish, they created a Star Wars themed bar just for grownups!) The first day of your cruise is usually the best time to experience the open house at the kids’ clubs, as grownups and adults alike are getting to know the ship and all its spaces during that time.
We hope our brief overview of adult-exclusive and adult-friendly activities has helped you see just some of the fun grownups can have onboard a Disney Cruise. If you’re wondering where to book a Disney Cruise, may we suggest our official travel agency partner, The Vacationeer — they’re true Disney Cruise experts!
They answer all of your questions, from the basic (“where does the Disney Cruise go?“) to the complex (“what’s the best night to schedule dinner at Remy if we don’t want to miss Pirate night on the ship?“).
Plus, they’ll give you a free onboard credit — that’s money you can use toward adult-exclusive activities or any other shipboard purchases. And their planning services are completely free of charge.
So don’t let a Disney cruise sail right past you!