DCL without kids?

Smooch

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I apologize if this has been covered before but I was curious if anyone had any insight into doing a cruise without kids as an adult? Specifically as a couple without kids? I'm fairly young (21) but have never been on a cruise and in a few years when (hopefully) coronavirus is well behind us (or at least managed) I have been thinking of going on a cruise and as a Disney park fan I've entertained the idea of potentially doing a Disney cruise with my girlfriend. We would definitely be interested in the adult side of offerings but I would like to explore the offerings meant for families / not just children like the shows and the different dining experiences. This wouldn't happen for a few years so I know things could change a lot based on repercussions from coronavirus but I was looking for some firsthand accounts from anyone (hopefully couples) who have gone on the DCL without kids and what they did and if they felt it was worth it. From what I've gathered meals aside from alcohol / nicer restaurants are included in the price, is that pretty accurate? Sorry for such a vague post, I don't really know much else and don't know what to expect but wanted to gather some info about a potential DCL adventure with my GF in the future without any children.
 
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EOD K9

Well-Known Member
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I apologize if this has been covered before but I was curious if anyone had any insight into doing a cruise without kids as an adult? Specifically as a couple without kids? I'm fairly young (21) but have never been on a cruise and in a few years when (hopefully) coronavirus is well behind us (or at least managed) I have been thinking of going on a cruise and as a Disney park fan I've entertained the idea of potentially doing a Disney cruise with my girlfriend. We would definitely be interested in the adult side of offerings but I would like to explore the offerings meant for families / not just children like the shows and the different dining experiences. This wouldn't happen for a few years so I know things could change a lot based on repercussions from coronavirus but I was looking for some firsthand accounts from anyone (hopefully couples) who have gone on the DCL without kids and what they did and if they felt it was worth it. From what I've gathered meals aside from alcohol / nicer restaurants are included in the price, is that pretty accurate? Sorry for such a vague post, I don't really know much else and don't know what to expect but wanted to gather some info about a potential DCL adventure with my GF in the future without any children.
My first cruise ever was in 2013 on the Dream with my wife before we had children. We had grown slightly tired of the parks and wanted to do something different. A cruise seemed like a good idea and coupled with the quality, we thought we would give it a shot. Even though there are children and character meet and greets, you can very easily avoid the M and Gs. The shows were great and we were seated with two other couples traveling without children.
We really enjoyed ourselves so much that we went again five months later. You can very easily do mixology classes, character drawing, trivia etc on your own. I'd suggest starting with a four night cruise as it is a decent length for a first outing. Any questions, feel free to ask.
 

ChuckElias

Well-Known Member
Yes, by all means, a Disney Cruise is a magical experience for a couples-only getaway. My wife and I have done a 4-night on the Dream without any kids and it was amazing. We did Palo brunch and a mixology class. But I think those were the only two things that we did that were "adults-only" activities. We just loved being in Quiet Cove and around Satellite Falls. Now that I'm thinking about it, we probably did go to some of the adult evening shows. But mostly, we just loved hanging out together in the adults-only areas.

You might even get some special treatment from your stateroom steward:

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DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
I believe approximately 1/3 of those sailing on a Disney Cruise are without children in their party.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Our first Disney Cruise was straight out of college, so about the same age as what you’re considering. I’d say absolutely go for it if you enjoy all the Disney theming. (Assuming this is the case since we’re on a Disney forum. ;)) That’s what we loved most about the cruise... the little Disney touches everywhere on the ship.

We participated in a lot of activities... both family and adult offerings, and never felt awkward or bored. We loved roaming the ship at night... felt like we had the place to ourselves!
 

ChuckElias

Well-Known Member
I believe approximately 1/3 of those sailing on a Disney Cruise are without children in their party.
That seems high to me, but I have NO data to back it up. Just "feels" like about 90% families with kids. I'd be really interested to see Disney's numbers on the topic, tho!
 

Maelstrom Troll

Well-Known Member
My wife and I usually sail with our 10 yo daughter but for my wife’s 40th, we did a no kiddo cruise on the Magic and it was amazing! We were seated with another youngish couple and we really enjoyed ourselves because it felt so stress free. Highly recommend it!
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
I apologize if this has been covered before but I was curious if anyone had any insight into doing a cruise without kids as an adult? Specifically as a couple without kids? I'm fairly young (21) but have never been on a cruise and in a few years when (hopefully) coronavirus is well behind us (or at least managed) I have been thinking of going on a cruise and as a Disney park fan I've entertained the idea of potentially doing a Disney cruise with my girlfriend. We would definitely be interested in the adult side of offerings but I would like to explore the offerings meant for families / not just children like the shows and the different dining experiences. This wouldn't happen for a few years so I know things could change a lot based on repercussions from coronavirus but I was looking for some firsthand accounts from anyone (hopefully couples) who have gone on the DCL without kids and what they did and if they felt it was worth it. From what I've gathered meals aside from alcohol / nicer restaurants are included in the price, is that pretty accurate? Sorry for such a vague post, I don't really know much else and don't know what to expect but wanted to gather some info about a potential DCL adventure with my GF in the future without any children.

Will you have a great time on a DCL cruise without kids - probably. There are lots of adult activities, and if you are a Disney fan there is Disney everywhere. The ships are also top notch. There is always the chance you won't have a good time on a cruise - period.

Now, the other question to ask is: Is it worth it to go on a DCL cruise with no kids. My answer is no.

DCL is very expensive, more so than many other cruise lines. In my opinion, that price difference is worth it if you are taking kids. DCL does a wonderful job with children. Hand down. Other cruise lines do kids stuff, and some do a pretty good job, but DCL just blows them out of the water.

However, when it comes to adult activities, spaces, and accommodations., DCL is not worth the extra cost. Other cruise lines do these things 90-100% as well, for half the price.

Also, if you are any kind of drinker, DCL adds up quickly. I'm not talking about getting hammered. I'm talking about having a drink by the pool, wine with dinner, and a cocktail at the show. DCL does not have a drink package which means you are paying for every drink. My wife and I also don't drink soda, so the free soda on DCL is a non-issue for us. If we are drinking a non-alcoholic beverage on a cruise we drink a lot of club soda or seltzer with lime/lemon from the bar.
 

CJR

Well-Known Member
It's excellent! The private adult areas are exceptional and you can still partake in all the regular activities that you love.

There's no awkwardness or anything, you will be surprised just how many people go without kids. It's a fantastic experience.
 

PolynesianPrincess

Well-Known Member
Myself (37) my sister (35) and my mother have sailed 3 times without children and we had a great time! There were plenty of things for adults to do!!
 

jme

Well-Known Member
Hey @Smooch - As you probably gathered by now, the overwhelming response is that sailing on DCL with or without kids is great, and I'm going to agree! You also asked about meals being included with a note that you aren't familiar with the offerings. So I'll address that.

Yes, all meals are included with the exception of dining at Palo and Remy. Both are adult exclusive restaurants that require reservations. Palo is available on all 4 ships and is a formal dining experience serving Italian cuisine. On itineraries that include a "day at sea" (not stopping in a port) Palo also offers brunch. Remy is available on the Dream and Fantasy ships, and is even more formal serving French cuisine. If you are familiar with the parks, think Victoria and Alberts. Likewise, Remy also offers Brunch (and Dessert-only) offerings on itineraries with a Day at Sea. While they are an upcharge, its not that bad. Palo is $30/pp and Remy is $85/pp (Brunch and Dessert offerings are less)

As you noted Alcoholic beverages are also not included. You can bring your own (limited to beer/wine no liquors, and limited quantities) but if taking to a restaurant will incur a corking fee.

Otherwise all meals are included. This includes all other restaurants (lineup varies by ship), which you will experience each of during your cruise through DCL's "Rotational Dining". When you are booked you are assigned a rotation, so your meal on Night 1 is at Animator's Palette, and on Night 2 it is at Enchanted Garden, Night 3 is at Royal Court, and then Night 4 is also at Royal Court but with a different menu. (Just an example, your rotation is random). This ensures you get to try each restaurant. You will also be seated at an assigned table. Your table number rotates with you so if you sit at table 112 at Animator's, you'll sit at 112 at Royal Court as well. Also rotating with you is the wait staff. Your servers will come to know your drink order, and dining preferences as your cruise carries on.
All of this only applies to dinner btw.
Each morning breakfast is available in one table restaurant (but you will be seated and paired with a server at random). There is also room service, and a buffet option as well. Speaking of the buffet - it is also available for lunch and dinner, along with a number of food stations around the pool deck (Pizza, Sandwiches, Salads, Burgers, Fruits, etc.)
There are also buffets on Castaway Cay (Disney's private island, included in most Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries).
There are also tea/water/coffee/soda fountains available throughout the day.
All of which are included in the price of your cruise.

Hope this explanation was helpful :)
 

ChuckElias

Well-Known Member
Hey @Smooch - On itineraries that include a "day at sea" (not stopping in a port) Palo also offers brunch.
JME gave a lot of great information. I just want to add one thing to the info about brunch at Palo. During our 3-night cruise in 2018, which had no Days at Sea, Palo offered brunch on Nassau day. So you might be able to squeeze in a brunch, even if you're only doing a 3-night.

Now, I would like you all to please feel pity for me because that April 2018 sailing was the last time I was on a Disney ship! :( :( :arghh: :bawling: :hungover::arghh:
 

Smooch

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hey @Smooch - As you probably gathered by now, the overwhelming response is that sailing on DCL with or without kids is great, and I'm going to agree! You also asked about meals being included with a note that you aren't familiar with the offerings. So I'll address that.

Yes, all meals are included with the exception of dining at Palo and Remy. Both are adult exclusive restaurants that require reservations. Palo is available on all 4 ships and is a formal dining experience serving Italian cuisine. On itineraries that include a "day at sea" (not stopping in a port) Palo also offers brunch. Remy is available on the Dream and Fantasy ships, and is even more formal serving French cuisine. If you are familiar with the parks, think Victoria and Alberts. Likewise, Remy also offers Brunch (and Dessert-only) offerings on itineraries with a Day at Sea. While they are an upcharge, its not that bad. Palo is $30/pp and Remy is $85/pp (Brunch and Dessert offerings are less)

As you noted Alcoholic beverages are also not included. You can bring your own (limited to beer/wine no liquors, and limited quantities) but if taking to a restaurant will incur a corking fee.

Otherwise all meals are included. This includes all other restaurants (lineup varies by ship), which you will experience each of during your cruise through DCL's "Rotational Dining". When you are booked you are assigned a rotation, so your meal on Night 1 is at Animator's Palette, and on Night 2 it is at Enchanted Garden, Night 3 is at Royal Court, and then Night 4 is also at Royal Court but with a different menu. (Just an example, your rotation is random). This ensures you get to try each restaurant. You will also be seated at an assigned table. Your table number rotates with you so if you sit at table 112 at Animator's, you'll sit at 112 at Royal Court as well. Also rotating with you is the wait staff. Your servers will come to know your drink order, and dining preferences as your cruise carries on.
All of this only applies to dinner btw.
Each morning breakfast is available in one table restaurant (but you will be seated and paired with a server at random). There is also room service, and a buffet option as well. Speaking of the buffet - it is also available for lunch and dinner, along with a number of food stations around the pool deck (Pizza, Sandwiches, Salads, Burgers, Fruits, etc.)
There are also buffets on Castaway Cay (Disney's private island, included in most Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries).
There are also tea/water/coffee/soda fountains available throughout the day.
All of which are included in the price of your cruise.

Hope this explanation was helpful :)

Thank you so much for all the information. One question, since Palo and Remy are exclusive restaurants and you need a reservation does that mean you would need to skip one of the dinners in your rotation to eat at one of those restaurants whenever your reservation would be? Both Palo and Remy sound interesting, I absolutely love Italian food and have been trying a lot more French food and really enjoy it as well. The whole rotation part is interesting especially with the staff staying with you, I watched a video one time of a DCL from Provost Park Pass and they mentioned briefly they had the same server on their second night and I thought it was just luck or something, that's a pretty cool concept. Another question: would room service be included as well? Would you be able to order room service whenever and it is included in the price of the cruise? Because it seems like everything aside from those adult only fine dining options and alcohol is included in the price.

Thank you again for the really insightful write up, if I do end up going on a cruise eventually it wouldn't be for a while because of both work / school and obviously the pandemic.
 

jme

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for all the information. One question, since Palo and Remy are exclusive restaurants and you need a reservation does that mean you would need to skip one of the dinners in your rotation to eat at one of those restaurants whenever your reservation would be? Both Palo and Remy sound interesting, I absolutely love Italian food and have been trying a lot more French food and really enjoy it as well. The whole rotation part is interesting especially with the staff staying with you, I watched a video one time of a DCL from Provost Park Pass and they mentioned briefly they had the same server on their second night and I thought it was just luck or something, that's a pretty cool concept. Another question: would room service be included as well? Would you be able to order room service whenever and it is included in the price of the cruise? Because it seems like everything aside from those adult only fine dining options and alcohol is included in the price.

Thank you again for the really insightful write up, if I do end up going on a cruise eventually it wouldn't be for a while because of both work / school and obviously the pandemic.

Yes, if you are dining in Remy or Palo for dinner, it means you are missing your rotational dining that evening. On longer cruises this is less of an issue. As there are only 3 "main" restaurants included in the rotational dining, cruises longer than 3 nights begin to overlap your rotation. However, they do not serve the same menu on your repeat visit. For example on a 7 night cruise it will look something like this:
1: Royal Court, 2: Animators Palate, 3: Enchanted Garden, 4: Pirate Menu, 5: Captain's Gala Menu, 6: Prince & Princess Menu, 7: See Ya Real Soon Menu

Nights 4-7 you continue to rotate restaurants but all 3 are serving the same thing. The same thing is true for anything 4+ nights. So you can plan ahead and determine which menu you are OK with missing when you book your Palo/Remy night.

Room service is included, free of charge (however most people cash tip the servers) for MOST items. There are a few options in the in-room dining menu that have an associated cost but they are clearly identified. But for example, a cheeseburger, some hot wings, and 2 mickey premium bars will be brought to your room free of charge. And yes, room service is available 24 hours a day.

Other things not included in the price besides fine dining and booze:
Food related: Specialty drinks (smoothies and such), specialty coffees prepared by baristas (several locations), popcorn (served outside of the movie and stage show theaters), sodas when served at a bar or from room service (fountains are provided to serve yourself for free though)
Other: Spa treatments, excursions, professional photography services (much like the parks you basically get a PhotoPass and you can select prints or digital media), nursery (won't apply to you, but for children under 3), and tips

Gratuities: Since we're on the subject... some will be charged to your room automatically unless you opt not to do so - these are for your stateroom host, and 3 dining servers at a total rate of $12 per person in your party, per night... so a 4 night cruise for 2 people would be $96. Most recommend you bring cash to tip the following: Driver (who got you to port if you didn't drive yourself), luggage porter, room service staff. Others can be tipped by billing to your room such as bar staff, spa technicians, baristas, etc.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
DCL is very expensive, more so than many other cruise lines. In my opinion, that price difference is worth it if you are taking kids. DCL does a wonderful job with children. Hand down. Other cruise lines do kids stuff, and some do a pretty good job, but DCL just blows them out of the water.

However, when it comes to adult activities, spaces, and accommodations., DCL is not worth the extra cost. Other cruise lines do these things 90-100% as well, for half the price.

This is a good point. I've done Disney cruises without children and had a great time, but part of the price you pay is for those fantastic kid's areas. Disney is premium priced in general, and on the DCL there is that extra "kid's tax".

In recent years, I feel the price difference between DCL and other lines has really grown, to the point where I'm not sure that the premium experience is enough to justify the premium price.

One other thing to note, as I recall the entertainment on DCL shuts down promptly at midnight. It is geared towards families after all, but if you enjoy late night drinks or whatever this could be a factor to consider.
 

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