Over the weekend my husband and I were channel surfing when we stumbled upon a Travel Channel show that caught our attention. We are suckers for those “latest and greatest” specials, especially if they are about gigantic homes, colossal ships, or luxury hotels.
The show was about how Disney has transformed cruising into a new extravaganza, with all the bells and whistles that would surely impress Walt Disney himself.
Now, it is a well-known fact that Disney = children, whether you go to Disney World or stop into the Disney Store in any mall in America.
However, we were surprised to learn they have gone to great pains to create an oasis just for adults on a ship that would seem to contain only an endless stream of families.
An interesting aspect of this ship is its apparent focus on separating children from adults. They market the ship as an escape for parents while kids do their own thing, in true Disney style. There are plenty of activities for the 18 and over crowd, including luxurious spa experiences, upscale dining areas, and an adults-only pool.
But the child free dream come true doesn’t stop there.
In a cruising first, Disney purchased its own island and re-named it Castaway Cay, a private tropical retreat for their passengers to enjoy. Unlike other cruise lines, the Disney ship docks at a pier on the island, allowing passengers to disembark and board anytime they want. No need to get on a smaller shuttle boat to take you ashore.
The island boasts several beaches, including a peaceful adults-only beach on the other side of the island. Just a short tram ride away, this beach is secluded from the rest of the island and far from the noise of the family beaches. You can order a tropical drink, or get a massage in one of the many open-air cabanas along the beach. Simply blissful!
Several Disney officials who were interviewed on the show expressed a special interest in attracting adults – both singles and couples – to take a Disney cruise. Of course they focused a great deal on the family aspect of their cruise line, but it was interesting to me that they spent so much time outlining what grown-ups could do. I would expect the typical “parent escapes,” but when they explicitly said they wanted to cater to travelers without children, I was surprised.
Many passengers who were interviewed talked about how wonderful it was to be away from kids, and one couple talked about how they had stayed in the adults only areas on the entire trip and had enjoyed themselves without children underfoot.
If anyone takes a Disney cruise this year, please drop me a line and let me know how it was. Hopefully someday I will get a chance to take one myself!