What’s on Disney Cruise Line for Teens – One First-Hand Perspective

Parents know it’s challenging to find family vacation destinations that appeal to teenagers; and I’m talking from experience as a father of two teenage daughters.  So we wondered, what’s available on Disney Cruise Line for teens?  Would our girls think a cruise vacation on the Disney Dream was aimed too much toward little kids, with nothing available for them?  Turns out there’s lots to do on Disney Cruise Line for teens including ultra-cool lounges with teen-only spaces and activities.  The Disney Dream even has its own teen-only Chill Spa with treatments like fruity facials and hot chocolate wraps.  But don’t just take my word for it, continue reading for my daughter’s first-hand account of Disney Cruise Line for teens.

Disney Cruise Line - Disney Dream

Article written by Maggie Parfitt (age 17)

Us teens are usually characterized as being unenthusiastic and unwilling to participate in family activities.  While this is sometimes true, it’s not for Disney!  I have always been a huge Disney fan, probably because the animated Disney princess movies were the first movies I ever saw as a kid.  (I was born in 1998 so most of the “classics” were already made, such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin etc.)  I actually watched The Little Mermaid every day when I was younger.  So I was really excited to have a chance to go on a Disney Cruise with my family.

Disney Cruise Line - Disney Dream

Now I know that Disney has made attempts to make the cruises more teen friendly, with the introduction of Vibe and Edge teen and tween clubs on the Disney Dream.  Now, I can’t comment on how these clubs are, because I never went in.  We only went on a three day cruise, so there wasn’t much downtime because of all of the activities that were going on.  (For those who don’t know, the shorter the cruise the more tightly packed in the scheduled activities are).  I do think however that if the cruise was longer I would have gone into the clubs.

Interior of deluxe oceanview stateroom with balcony on Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream, photo by Matt Stroshane courtesy Disney Cruise Line

Interior of deluxe oceanview stateroom with balcony on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream, photo by Matt Stroshane courtesy Disney Cruise Line

 

One of the things that teens are concerned about is small rooms and being close to your family all the time.  The rooms are small, cruises in general are not known for huge rooms.  That being said, I didn’t spend that much time in the room.  There are always other places to go, whether it’s reading on the deck, or going on the AquaDuck (which is really fun by the way), or watching the fireworks at the Pirates in the Caribbean Party.

Disney Cruise Line - Disney Dream AquaduckDisney Cruise Line - Disney Dream Aquaduck

Even though I didn’t make it to the teen clubs, I had an amazing time with my family.  It was amazing and relaxing and one of my favorite things was reading on the various decks.  Dinner was always fantastic and I always looked forward to it.  And as a huge musical theater fan, the nightly shows were great.

On the Disney Dream there are three restaurants that families rotate through, Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and the Royal Palace.  Cabanas is also open for buffet breakfast and lunch, and there are restaurants on the pool deck that are open all the time for snacks or meals by the pool (also free ice cream all the time).  My personal favorite was the Enchanted Garden, because the decoration was so gorgeous.  That being said the menu at the Royal Palace was my favorite, but there was no bad menu, dinner was outstanding every night.  Also, take the recommendations of your servers, they know what’s good!

Disney Cruise Line - Disney DreamDisney Cruise Line - Disney Dream

We saw three shows on the Disney Dream, The Golden Mickey’s, Villain’s Tonight, and Disney’s Believe.  The production value for all of the shows is spectacular.  I will say however that there isn’t too much story in these shows but there is a lot of great music. (Assuming you consider Disney songs sung by really talented people great music.)

Disney Cruise Line - Disney Dream

Castaway Cay is amazing (I feel like I’m running out of adjectives to describe how fun everything was).  My sister and I spent the whole day swimming and snorkeling.  I highly suggest the snorkeling on Castaway Cay, there are so many beautiful fish!  Also on a previous cruise we rented bikes and rode along the bike trail to the lookout tower and there were some great views at the top of the tower.

Disney Cruise Line - Disney Dream Castaway CayDisney Cruise Line - Disney Dream Castaway Cay

I would really recommend taking your teen on a Disney Cruise, I promise they’ll have a good time even if they complain at first!  🙂

Disney Cruise Line - Disney Dream

DISCLOSURE: Dave Parfitt and family were hosted by Disney Cruise Line to experience their Halloween on the High Seas cruise.  However, all opinions expressed are those of the author, and no additional compensation was received.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.