Does this enchanting Atrium look like it's meant solely for children? — Photo courtesy of Matt Stroshane
Let’s face it. Peter Pan might have been more willing to grow up if he realized he would still be able to enjoy a Disney Cruise as an adult.
Despite its childlike Disney theme – or maybe because of it – almost a quarter of Disney Cruise passengers actually travel without kids, and that number continues to grow.
Here are 10 reasons to channel your inner child and be their guest.
Mickey and Minnie are great traveling companions — Photo courtesy of Matt Stroshane
Above all, Disney is about those beloved characters, and it’s impossible to resist them no matter how old you are – as evidenced by all the adults waiting on line to get their picture taken with Mickey, Minnie and the gang during meet-and-greets. Getting a hug from them will make you feel that same sense of joy you experienced as a little kid.
The characters make lots of appearances aboard the ship, and you can check the daily schedule to see who’ll be where and when. Whether you re-enact childhood photos, or don a pair of ears or princess gown, you’ll create great new memories – and an enviable Instagram feed.
Quiet Cove pool
The Quiet Cove pool area is a sanctuary for adults — Photo courtesy of Todd Anderson
Like its name suggests, this adults-only area is located in a calm corner of the ship, and has its own pool and hot tub so you can soak your weary muscles or simply stretch out on a lounge chair.
When you’ve had enough sun, head inside to Cove Cafe, an adults-only lounge serving drinks and snacks.
Drink a toast to Dumbo, who inspired the bubbly decorations in Pink, an elegant adults-only lounge on Disney Dream — Photo courtesy of Matt Stroshane
Raise a glass to your magical vacation at one of the many bars and lounges that serve specialty cocktails, fine wines and spirits, champagne and an eclectic array of domestic and imported beers.
You can even take a mixology class or experience From Stem to Stern, a tasting led by one of the ship’s sommeliers, where you get to sample wines from around the world.
The Rainforest Room is an oasis on the ship — Photo courtesy of Diana Zalucky
This oasis in the Senses Spa & Salon is a hidden gem, and you should do yourself a favor and buy a length-of-cruise pass as soon as you board the ship because there are only a limited number available and they sell out quickly.
The Rainforest Room features heated ceramic loungers overlooking the sea, and they’re so comfortable, you could happily pass the day in one. But be sure to get up and test the saunas, steam rooms and delightful hot and cold open shower experiences that mimic everything from tropical storms to waterfalls.
Speaking of showers: those in the spa are much bigger than the ones in the staterooms, and a Rainforest Room pass gives you access to them, as well as more space to dry your hair.
Castaway Cay is a private 1000-acre island exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests — Photo courtesy of David Roark
Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas, is a huge selling point for their Caribbean cruises, and at the end of the island, there’s another private space called Serenity Bay. Exclusively for adults, this pristine stretch of beach is located almost a mile from the main family beach, and is dotted with lounge chairs and two-person hammocks for ultimate relaxation.
You can even enjoy your own adults-only buffet lunch here (it’s included with the cruise), and Bahamian specialty drinks, beer and cocktails are available at the nearby Castaway Air Bar.
Opt for the 3-in-1 Castaway Cay rental package that includes all-day snorkeling equipment and a float or tube for those gorgeous turquoise waters, as well as a one-hour bike rental to explore the island’s two trails and observation tower.
If you want to work off some of those cruise calories, enter the one-of-a-kind runDisney Castaway Cay 5K. Participation is free, and you’re rewarded at the finish line with a collectible medal that changes each year.
Belle would be enchanted by these 10 lovely libraries in hotels
Belle would be enchanted by these 10 lovely libraries in hotels
The windows of Skyline are constantly changing to showcase some of the world's most iconic skylines — Photo courtesy of Preston Mack
Although adults seem to enjoy the regular entertainment as much as the kids, there are also plenty of nightclubs meant just for them.
Depending on the ship, look for Europa, The District or After Hours, all of which offer a variety of sophisticated bars and lounges, casual pubs and trendy clubs. These are the spots for cabaret shows, dancing, competitive (but friendly!) games, live satellite sports broadcasts and live nighttime entertainment.
Goofy’s Sports Deck
Test your skill on one of the simulators on Goofy's Sports Deck — Photo courtesy of Chloe Rice
Deck 13 on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy is all about fun and games, and is home to a nine-hole miniature golf course as well as ping pong tables and a basketball court.
Tucked inside a nice shady room are two sports simulators. One is devoted solely to golf, offering you the opportunity to virtually play one of 60 different courses. The other lets you choose from half a dozen sports, including baseball, football and hockey. These are both very popular and require reservations, which you should make as soon as possible since they do book up quickly.
Disney's signature specialty restaurant, Palo, serves delicious Italian food — Photo courtesy of Disney
Named after the signature poles used by gondoliers in Venice, Palo is Disney Cruise Line’s adults-only signature specialty restaurant.
Serving delicious Italian food in an intimate and upscale setting, Palo features seaside views and beautiful decor that will make you feel like you’re in Italy, wherever you’re sailing. Don’t miss the stunning, pasta-inspired glass chandelier – and, of course, the actual pasta dishes like penne arrabbiata and pillowy potato gnocchi piennolo in tomato sauce with kale. Delizioso!
Disney's onboard production of Beauty and the Beast rivals Broadway — Photo courtesy of Steven Diaz
You can spend hundreds of dollars to see a Disney show like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin or Frozen on Broadway or, depending on which ship you’re sailing, you can enjoy one of them on a Disney cruise.
These productions are not your standard cruise ship fare. They are true theater, with all the creativity you expect from Disney. They will give you all the feels and make you nostalgic about the first time you saw them.
Embark on your choice of Port Adventures — Photo courtesy of Matt Stroshane
Although it’s tempting to stay on the ship, you should get off to discover the new places you’ve traveled so far to see.
Disney offers dozens of port adventures, including adults-only excursions where you can go whale watching in Alaska, enjoy a rum tasting in Puerto Rico or Jamaica, or explore the Hermitage Museum in Russia. As you immerse yourself in other cultures and experience the local traditions, you’ll come to understand that we’re all more alike than we are different and that it really is a small world after all.