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Adult Oases on the Disney Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line Review

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 12-29-2011

Whenever people hear that we’re heading off on a Disney cruise, they always look at us as if we’re crazy, not because they don’t get the magic of Disney, although that could be part of it, but because we don’t have children.

Surely we must be mad, wanting to get on a boat that’s filled with children? Not a bit of it.

If anything, we have more opportunity to enjoy some alone adult time on board a Disney cruise than we do at the parks. We’ve long thought that perhaps some of the innovations seen on the cruise ships, such as adult-only dining, should be incorporated into the theme parks, but we’ve yet to see any appetite for that.

As I’ve already alluded to, the first, and perhaps most obvious, way to get away from it all on a Disney cruise is adult dining. Each ship boasts Palo, where you can enjoy dinner nightly for a small additional fee. If you’re on cruises with at-sea days, then brunch, and afternoon tea is added into the offerings. Every time we cruise, we always try and get a dinner, and brunch at Palo, as both are superb. The afternoon tea didn’t do much for us, although we know it’s got a lot of fans as well. If you go on the Dream, or the Fantasy when that sets sail, then Remy is added into the mix. It’s much more pricey than Palo, at $75/adult, plus tips, and any drinks you order, but my goodness, it’s an amazing treat.

At the other end of each of the ships, there’s another adult haven, which starts as you approach the Quiet Cove adult pool. From here on in, on deck 11 of the Dream and Fantasy, and deck 9 of the Magic and Wonder, it’s a peaceful adult playground. We’ve been very pleasantly surprised by how well this is maintained by Disney, who will discretely shoo anyone away who’s under the age of 18, who enters this haven.

As well as the pool, there are hot tubs to enjoy and your own bar, and cafe. If you want some quiet time, it’s well worth exploring the Cove Cafe. We hadn’t really done so until our most recent cruise on the Disney Wonder around Alaska, and we loved the time we spent in there, enjoying a hot drink, which was particularly welcome on some of the cold days we endured, while watching the world go by.

The spa areas are another place where you can escape, although you may still find some teenagers heading in for their own treatments. On the Magic and the Wonder, there’s no specific teenage spa, although treatments are offered to this age group from time to time, while on the Dream and Fantasy, they even have their own spa area. That means that you can still indulge in your treatments in an adult-only environment, and if you want to purchase a pass to the spa's Rainforest Room, you’ll find that a child free zone as well, perfect for relaxation.

The biggest adult-only area is the entertainment district on deck 3 of the Magic and Wonder, and deck 4 of the Dream and Fantasy. Although they’re open to families earlier in the day, they all become strictly only 18s and over venues after 9:00pm. The districts all vary hugely with the theming, but they all share in common the fact that they’ve got at least one adult lounge, a pub, a dance club, and if you’re on the Magic and Wonder, you’ll also find a duty-free liquor store as well.

The Dream has the wonderfully-themed Skyline Lounge, which will transfer into the Fantasy as well, along with the beautiful Pink, although with its feminine champagne feel didn’t do much for my husband! Our favourite by far on the Wonder was Diversions, which as well as being relaxing, seemed to be empty for much of our cruise, allowing us the chance to be ourselves there and not worry about our group disturbing anyone else!

With everything else that takes place on board, we always struggle to make it to the clubs, although we’re definitely at least going to check out the theme of the new Tube club on the Fantasy, themed around our very own beloved London Underground.

It’s not just adult-only areas you’ll find on board, it’s also activities. On our most recent trip, we enjoyed the Art of Entertaining seminars, that looked at how to create some amazing food dishes, together with a sample of drink to go with them. Open to only the over-18s, the alcohol on offer was one obvious reason, although it did allow the Crew Members to be a little more risqué with their jokes as well. If this sort of thing appeals to you, then keep an eye for the line listing adult activities on your daily Navigator.

If this has whetted your appetite for a bit of adult alone time, then it’s worth knowing that, even if you’re cruising as a family, you can still enjoy some time on your own. Children of all ages from babies to teenagers all have their own places to go on the ship, and now with the addition of the portable Wave Phones that come with each stateroom, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with everyone. So, even if you’re cruising with younger members of the family, you can still get away from it all with some fun adult time on board any of the Disney Cruise ships. And people wonder why we keep going back for more?!

About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai'i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

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Updated 12-29-2011

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