When Disney launched its own cruise line around 2000, many assumed that — like Disneyland — it was simply an extension of the parks and therefore fit primarily for families with children under the age of 13. After nearly 20 years of sailing to many exotic corners of the globe, it’s become evidently clear that the Disney Cruise Line — like the parks — cater to far more than young parents toting strollers.

This is because not all people who make their way up the gangway have young children. It may seem unfathomable to some, but to those who view the colorful ships as a sort of Mecca, it’s pure paradise. So what’s with this seeming obsession with fully-grown adults embarking on kid cruises? Have they all lost their minds after spending too much time on the sun-soaked deck? Or is there a not-so-obvious answer looming somewhere out of sight?

All Ages Can Share the Magic

While all four of Disney’s premiere cruise ships contain exclusive clubs for kids, tweens, and teens, they make sure that adults feel more than accommodated during their time spent onboard. Many restaurants on the ships follow the family-together mindset that Walt Disney himself adopted decades ago, but there are also numerous choices for adults who want to get away from the noisy kids and enjoy some quiet time.

Romantic restaurants, exclusive pool areas and spas, nightclubs, and after-hours lounges offer a plethora of opportunities for adults to stretch out without having to worry about a 5-year-old running past them at breakneck speeds. There’s even a private section on Castaway Cay — Disney’s private island — that bars anyone under 18 from entering.

Adult-Only Means Adult-Only

When Disney says adult-only area, they don’t mean “unless you have children.” There are plenty of kids clubs with cast members whose job is to make sure your kids completely forget that they have parents and have the most fun they possible can. Dropping off the kids at one of these places can give you more relief than dropping them off at daycare, because instead of heading to work you’ll be headed to the stress-releasing, energy-infusing spa!

Disney has never had an issue with keeping these two areas separate. Because they understand that while the cruise is tailored for families to be together, sometimes a few hours away from the kids is exactly what’s needed to recharge those worn-out batteries. Once the kids are done playing to their heart’s content, parents can go pick them up and head to dinner together.

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