My family loves cruise vacations, because they give us so much time together as a family. We dine together, see shows, hang by the pool, experience exotic and exciting new locations and excursions as a family. There is no end to the fun we can have together. But sometimes our kids just want to “hang out” with friends their own ages. Ok, I’ll admit it; they ditched us! On our recent Disney Fantasy cruise, that left us parents looking for some fun of our own until we discovered Europa, a Fantasyland for adults inspired by European travel. The main entrance to the Europa entertainment district is located on deck 4 aft through La Piazza, a lounge reflecting the culture of Italy. This large, airy space was home to a real Vespa and sidecar, making it a popular picture spot for couples. Although La Piazza did have live music on some evenings, we mainly popped in to talk soccer/futbol with Lindsay from England, one of our favorite cast members.
Europa is also home to O’Gills Pub, a comfortable Irish themed pub with a laidback vibe. We loved the casual feel and managed to play a few games of trivia while enjoying a pint or two. Several of the lounges are open to kids during the day, but at night it is all for adults. A favorite O’Gills treat was the Chilled Leprechaun, a combination of Baileys, Kahlua, vodka and vanilla ice cream. With a decent sized bar on one side and comfortable chairs and wooden booths on the other, O’Gills was usually home to a lively crowd. On the last night of our cruise, we finally wandered into Ooh La La, the lounge designed to resemble a French boudoir (ooh la la!!). It is really a stunning space, small and intimate. While specialty cocktails were fairly pricy, the drinks were amazing and the atmosphere romantic, elegant and rich. The Pomegranate Passion was hands down my favorite drink all week. It was a bonus that it was virtually empty when we went, so we felt like we were sitting in our own little private wing in Versailles or better yet, the Beast’s Castle!
One of the most popular spots in Europa is Skyline Lounge. The entire wall behind the bar features “views” of various European cities via 7 huge LCD screens. The view changes as you enjoy your drink, (really–it is not just the alcohol!) about every 15 minutes. By day, Skyline is host to Mixology classes as well. You can sign up for these when you board, and it is a great way to meet fellow cruisers and learn a few bartending skills at the same time. Not only do you learn how to make and drink 5 different cocktails, the bartenders are not the ones mixing the drinks. This is a hands-on lesson, so we all took turns behind the bar and returned home with the recipes for our favorite cocktails. Believe me, the boat won’t be the only thing swaying after this class! Skyline Lounge is home to the “Passport,” enabling guests to enjoy 7 drinks for the price of 6 throughout the week (no, you don’t have to drink them all in one night!).
The main attraction in Europa is the London-inspired The Tube. Named for and decorated to resemble a British subway, The Tube’s vibe is created by funky chairs and booths, a lighted dance floor and classic red phone booths. Each night The Tube is the location for adult trivia, games, dancing, adult comedy and the highly anticipated Match Your Mate game show. This spin on The Newlywed Game pits three lucky couples against each other to see who knows their mate the best. While it is simply hilarious, as you can imagine the topics are definitely for adults only.
The Tube is also the hot spot for music and dancing. The great thing about Europa is that there is a bar, lounge, or club to fit everyone’s tastes. And while the Disney Fantasy is never short of delicious food, the late-night snack station right in the Europa Entertainment District is a welcome cure for those midnight munchies, featuring different snacks nightly like eggrolls, hot wings, veggies and desserts.
We spent a lot of time with our kids on the Fantasy and made memories to last forever. But it was also really exciting for my husband, sister and brother-in-law to have our adult time in Europa while giving our children some “kids only” time as well.