One of multigenerational travel’s biggest challenges is finding a way to please everyone in a group that includes families with kids as well as childless adults. Some without kids might initially balk at the thought of a Disney cruise – it’s their vacation too, after all.
From elegant dining and pristine accommodations to Broadway-caliber entertainment and Disney magic from bow to stern, it’s easy to see why Disney Cruise Line consistently outpaces competitor lines in delivering a high-quality, memorable experience for guests of all ages.
Multigenerational travel is one of the biggest areas where DCL really shines – the fleet’s spaces and programming cater to every type of traveler in a way that makes it a breeze to vacation with a group that ranges in age and interest. Here are 10 reasons a Disney cruise just might be the perfect multigenerational vacation:
1. The Kids Clubs Really Are That Good
What if there was a place your kids begged to visit at all vacation long – a safe space manned by crew members so good at keeping kiddos happy and engaged you’d swear they’d been trained by Mary Poppins herself? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. DCL’s youth clubs are the childcare holy grail. Kids love them and parents can rest assured their kids will be having the time of their lives while they’re having the time of theirs. Truly, the hardest part is getting little ones to leave.
2. Tweens and Teens Get Their Own Spaces Too
Your kids might be old enough to be trusted on their own, but if there aren’t dedicated places and activities to engage them, they’ll find other ways – which doesn’t always end well. On DCL there are age-appropriate spaces for tweens (Edge) and teens (Vibe), cool and casual enough that they’ll want to hang there without feeling like they’re being babysat.
Here, they can watch movies, listen to music and dance, do activities, or just chill with kids their own age. Encourage your tweens and teens to visit these spaces early in your cruise – many end up making fast friends they’ll keep even after they return home.
3. Entertainment That Works for Everyone
Depending on the length of your cruise, you’ll have the option to see any number of Broadway-caliber musical performances in the beautiful Walt Disney Theatre on your ship. From live musical takes on favorites like “Aladdin,” “Frozen” and “Tangled,” to original musicals like “Disney’s Believe” and “Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic” that incorporate a range of classic characters and Disney music, we’re talking top-quality musical theater here.
But while Grandma might find nothing more enjoyable than sitting through a three-hour full-length musical, your 3-year-old probably won’t. This is why we love that the shows onboard are the perfect length – typically one hour or less – to satisfy grown-ups and keep kids from running through the aisles with ants in their pants.
4. Flexible Dining Options
It’s easy to please at mealtime thanks to a broad range of choices across the ship. Early-rising toddlers can tuck into Mickey waffles from the buffet at Cabanas as soon as they wake, grandparents can enjoy a peaceful breakfast in the dining room, and childless millennials can roll into the adults-only café for coffee or just skip right to lunch on the pool deck.
5. Dinner Delivers
From hardcore, kid-free foodies who love to linger over their meals to particular grandparents and even pickier kids, dinner in the main dining rooms somehow manages to check all the boxes. Your servers will rapidly pick up on the nuances of your group’s needs, and you’ll find them quick to adapt and adjust by night two. Your 2-year-old is in an “only eats green apples phase”? Does Grandpa always want extra butter for his bread? Rest assured, your servers are on it. They will even cut up your kids’ food for them!
6. Kids Can ‘Dine and Play’
Sure, the kids’ clubs are awesome and you’re loving that unprecedented grown-up time. But it is a family vacation, after all, so you’ll probably want to have dinner together most nights. Enter “Dine and Play.” Order your kids’ meals with your appetizers and they’ll be done eating just as you’re settling into your main course.
Kids’ club personnel will come to the dining room to collect any children who are done eating and ready to play. They’ll safely escort your kiddos up to the kids’ club, leaving you and the other adults in your party to enjoy dinner and dessert at your leisure.
6. Adults-Only Spaces
Dedicated spaces on Disney Cruise Line aren’t just for kids, nor are the cruises themselves. Adults get plenty of their own territory too – so much that childless adults could go the whole cruise without much interaction with little ones, if that’s their preference.
Head to Cove Cafe for morning coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up. Kick back at the adults-only pools and grab a cocktail from the poolside bars. Get your evening started with a martini or Champagne at one of the adults-only cocktail bars or lounges before indulging in fine dining at Palo and Remy (more on that next).
After dinner, lounge or dance the night away at one of the many spots in the adults-only nighttime entertainment district. Whether you’ve got kids in the kids’ clubs or don’t have children of your own, there are countless spots and ways for grown-ups to feel like this cruise is just for them.
7. High-End Dining
Just think about what it would take back home to coordinate a three-hour tasting menu experience for multiple families with kids of different ages. You’d have to line up a babysitter for the kids, get transportation for yourself (if you’re going for the wine pairing), and probably spend a fortune.
On DCL, adults can enjoy grown-ups–only brunch and dinner at elegant Northern Italian spot Palo, and out-of-this-world, Michelin-caliber fine French restaurant Remy. Upcharges start at $40 for Palo and $75 for Remy, and are totally worth it.
8. Spaaaaaaah Time
What do engaging kids’ clubs plus a luxurious spa equal? The ultimate ME TIME for grown-ups. From a girls’ afternoon of manicures, pedicures and facials to a romantic couples massage to cutting-edge anti-aging treatments, Senses Spa offers a broad menu of services that relaxation-seeking adults shouldn’t miss.
9. Luxurious Staterooms
We just cruised with four families of varying ages and breakdowns of adults and children, and every single adult’s number-one highlight was their stateroom. The rooms are spacious, spotless, have fantastic storage, and are serviced multiples times a day by impossibly attentive stateroom hosts and hostesses.
From couples to families of five, there’s a room configuration that will work for your party, and your stateroom host will make up and store sofa, bunk and Murphy beds during the day and night so that you always have maximum space to move and enjoy your room when you need it.
10. Varied Programming to Give Everyone Space
Multi-family and extended-family vacations are awesome, but sometimes the togetherness gets to be a bit much. Luckily, DCL’s daily programming gives everyone ample opportunities to scatter and do their own thing.
Grandpa can do whiskey tasting while Grandma plays bingo; grown-ups can take a jog around the track or take a yoga class at the fitness center while the kids learn to draw Mickey at Animation Academy or harness their inner Jedi at Force Training; golf enthusiasts can work on their swing at the golf simulator or play a round of mini-golf. Or, the whole family can join in a game of family trivia or a karaoke session. Just check your daily Cruise Line Navigator or app to see what kind of fun is on tap each day.
Have you ever taken a Disney cruise? What was your favorite part? Let us know down in the comments!