During the recent national conference of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. cruise sellers, I had the opportunity to sail on Disney Dream for three nights. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I knew I’d be able to have my photo taken with Mickey and his pals, as well as the Disney princesses if I wanted – which, by the way, I didn’t. But more importantly, I knew there would be no casino – and my husband and I usually spend our cruise evenings at the casino.
In fact, when I first told my husband the conference would be on a Disney ship, his first question was, “Do they have a casino?” When I said no, I could see his expectations plummet. But I kept my mind open – I am a cruise journalist, after all. And I wondered: “Would a Disney cruise be fun for two adults who have no children?”
Of course, I know there are adults for whom Disney is the alpha and omega, but we’re not those adults. I grew up on Disney but haven’t seen too many Disney movies since The Lion King and Aladdin (OK, yes, I did see – and enjoy – Tangled). My husband, on the other hand, grew up in Eastern Europe with very little exposure to Disney. So how would we like it?
From the moment we stepped on the cruise, we knew it was going to be different. First of all, Goofy was in the terminal to welcome kids. Second, as we boarded the ship, a crew member asked our name, then announced us while six or eight other crew members clapped for us. My immediate reaction was, “This is so cheesy,” but I couldn’t help but smile.
That smile remained in place for most of the rest of the cruise. Even though the lack of casino in the evening was a little hard to take and the constant Disney music piped in throughout the ship eventually became nails-on-chalkboardesque, we did actually have some fun.
Sure the onboard entertainment was sometimes too family-oriented for a couple with no kids, but I enjoyed the shows at night. They often brought back childhood memories, and I found I could sing along to songs I thought I’d long forgotten. My husband, on the other hand, was not overly thrilled with the shows. But then neither was an American man we sat with, whose child was with him. His wife, on the other hand, had fun singing along. Maybe it’s a girl/boy thing?
Here’s what we both loved, though: The food was fantastic, both in the main dining rooms we visited (Animator’s Palette and Royal Palace), as well as in Palo, the one specialty restaurant visited. Palo, in fact, was a highlight of the cruise. We loved that for just $20 a person, you could sample multiple appetizers, entrees and desserts.
We also both loved the AqauDuck water slide, though having to wait on line was often a bummer. They sometimes close the AquaDuck to adults so that kids can take over, and I wished they’d do the reverse a couple of times too. Close it to kids and let the adults go crazy.
Surprisingly, we never actually tried out the adults-only nighttime area. The District features three bars – a sports bar, champagne bar and “regular” bar. I’m not a drinker so hanging out in a bar while my husband drinks beer has never been my idea of fun.
On the last night, though, we did go to one of the other adults-only venues for 80’s music trivia and then a 70’s music disco. Trivia was fun, but much too short. But the best part of the night, was when the entertainment staff grabbed my husband and a friend of ours, took them backstage and then brought them both out bare-chested and dancing to YMCA. How can you dislike a cruise that offers that kind of memory?
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