Did you know Disney has four ocean cruise ships, sailing to destinations in the USA, Canada, Caribbean, Europe and Mexico? Taking a vacation aboard Disney Cruise Line is a whole new world of travel, for families and adults travelling kid-free alike where you can experience all the Disney magic, at sea.
If you’re a bit cruise curious and considering a sea voyage, these 11 incredible experiences might tip you over to booking a family ocean cruise, stat.
1. Brunch at Palo
While most meals are included on Disney Cruise Line ships, foodies swear by brunch (or dinner) at Palo, an adults-only restaurant serving up classic Northern Italian cuisine with a modern twist. For the extra fee charged to eat here, diners can enjoy Italian-inspired decor with Venetian glass furnishings, live piano and stunning seaside views. Take a peek at your food being prepared in the onstage kitchen or sit back and enjoy the romantic atmosphere. Available on all Disney cruise ships.
2. Dinner at Remy
Another add-on dining experience just for adults, Remy is the most luxurious onboard dining available aboard Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The French-inspired menu features seasonal ingredients, in a menu crafted by chef Arnaud Lallement of L'Assiette Champenoise (a Michelin Three-Starred restaurant outside of Reims, France), and chef Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert's, the award-winning restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy the soft lighting, Art Nouveau styling and first-rate cuisine. If you’re a sweet tooth, enquire about Remy Featuring Pompidou's Patisseries Dessert Experience, a five-course dessert extravaganza.
3. Senses Spa & Salon
The rainforest-themed aromatherapy steam rooms are a favourite with Disney cruisers on all ships, as are the deluxe treatments offered by the spa. Try spa treatments such as massages, pedicures, facials, teeth whitening, hairstyling, manicures, pedicures and more.
4. Beverage tastings
Guests aged 21 and older can discover a whole new world of wine, beer and spirits from Amari to whiskey during these informative and delicious seminars that include mixology classes and chocolate and liqueur pairing.
5. Royal Court Royal Tea
Give your little princesses and knights the royal treatment with an exclusive dining celebration filled with stories and singing. A special meet-and-greet with Disney princesses and luxe take-home gifts makes this an enchanting experience one that both kids and adults alike will treasure. And it's not just about the princesses. More character experiences include Marvel Day At Sea on select 2019 cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean and Star Wars Day At Sea, on select Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises in 2019.
No, this slide isn’t just for kids. An innovative 'water coaster' available on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the AquaDuck is the first slide of its kind at sea. The waterslide takes riders on a wet and wild journey, whizzing through 233m of snaking tubes, with plenty of transparent sections for you to see the decks and oceans from far above as you zip around the edges of the ship at high speed. Take the slide at night to experience it illuminated with multicoloured lights.
7. Broadway-quality entertainment
Each night the Walt Disney Theatre is home to Broadway-calibre shows, ranging from original musicals to fun-filled variety acts. State-of-the-art productions with incredible special effects will wow adults and kids alike. The theatre also hosts Disney movie premieres, allowing guests to experience a film’s premiere at the same time as it debuts on land. Live shows on the Disney Cruise Line ships include productions of Beauty & The Beast (Disney Dream), Tangled: The Musical (Disney Magic), and the high-tech Frozen, A Musical Spectacular (Disney Wonder).
8. Experience mardi gras at Tiana’s Place
This Disney Wonder restaurant, inspired by the movie, The Princess and the Frog, serves up Southern-style cooking with a side of live jazz music. Mardi gras night at Tiana's Place is a highlight event, a joyous celebration straight out of New Orleans. Ask for the beignets; they are served fresh and fluffy, with espresso dipping chocolate.
9. After-hours fun for grown-ups
Adult-only venues are the place to head for evening relaxation and entertainment. Especially designed spaces, such as Pink: Wine and Champagne Bar aboard Disney Dream, which is designed to look like the inside of a Champagne bottle, are an elegant and sophisticated way to spend evenings aboard the ship.
10. Unlimited soft serve
For the kids as well as the kids at heart, Eye Scream Treats eatery, named after the character Mike Wazowski from the Disney-Pixar animated feature Monsters, Inc., is a popular place to grab a soft-serve treat regardless of the weather outside. Available on all Disney ships.
11. Adults-only pools
Head to the Quiet Cove Pool, a refuge for guests aged 18 and over, for some serious relaxation complete with poolside cocktails. Sit in a whirlpool spa and chill out, recharge, and soak up the rays while watching the world float by.
All images: Christine Knight