So I made it through the 500+ Disney cruise vacation pictures on my camera, in large part to David’s help. My goodness, y’all, it was only a three day cruise, but over 500 pictures?! Anyway, I had so many I wanted to share, I thought I’d break it into three parts: the food, the fun, and my best tips for going with a toddler. Today is all about the Disney Dream food!
For reference, we went on a 3 night cruise on Disney’s Dream ship. It left from Port Canaveral, stopped in Nassau for a day, Disney’s private Bahamian island “Castaway Cay” the next, then back to port. There are three main dining restaurants on the ship: The Enchanted Garden, Animator’s Palate and The Royal Palace. You rotate through each of them over the course of the cruise. We were assigned to the early dining option (5:45 pm), though there is a late dining at 8:30 pm as well.
The first night, we dined at the Animator’s Palate.
The ambiance here is pretty awesome. They have screens set up on all the walls that show the ocean scene and characters from Finding Nemo. It gives the feel of being in a large aquarium, as a fish will swim by one screen and onto the other. Occasionally the sea turtle will pop up to chat and interact with a table. Highly entertaining for the kids!
You have an assigned table number each night, so you are seated each night immediately. The had a highchair already set up for Kaitlyn, crayons and coloring pages, as well as a water with a lid, labeled with each child’s name. The waiters are super friendly and know the kids by name. A fun fact is that every staff member calls all the girls princess no matter where they are on the ship. A small, but adorable, detail.
I appreciated that they are quick to bring out the kids’ food. The children’s menus feature a lot of typical “kid food” including mac ‘n cheese and corn dogs.
I appreciated that vegetables were an option, as were steak and salad on some of the kids’ menus. You are also welcome to order off the adult menu for the kids if you prefer.
As for the adults, each restaurant offers bread service, an appetizer, a main course and dessert.
The tomato tart at Animator’s Palate – I would not recommend it
It may sound like a lot, but the portion sizes are appropriate enough that ordering all three isn’t out of the question.
David’s seared tuna steak at Animator’s Palate – if you’ve had high end tuna, you may be disappointed, but overall it was OK.
As for drinks, Disney cruises are the only cruise line that allows you to bring alcohol on board (!!!). You can bring the equivalent of 2 bottles of wine or 6 beers each. However, you can not bring beer to the dining rooms. You can bring your own wine, but it will cost you a $20 corking fee. Alternatively there are wine packages you can purchase. David and I chose the Premier Wine Package which was 3 bottles of premium wine that you could drink over the course of your trip. It cost $150.
My filet at Animator’s Palate – perfectly cooked and very good.
We didn’t order dessert the first night, but the girls couldn’t pass up the option for a Mickey bar on night #1.
What’s not to love about a Mickey bar?!
The second night our diner reservations were at The Enchanted Garden, a Versailles-inspired garden dining room.
Just David, Hailey and I ate dinner together this night, as there is an option for the young children to eat in the nursery (and the older children to eat in the kids club). I’ll share more details on that in the other recap.
Cucumber roll at The Enchanted Garden- fresh but lacked flavor
We both ordered appetizers this night and I even ended up ordering two entrees because I was so hungry. I love that all food is included and ordering as much as you want is an option!
Tuna and avocado tower at The Enchanted Garden – tasty and fresh.
Again, I love the small details, like the server making the ketchup in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears on the kids’ plates.
Also, I should note that there is no need to dress up for dinner in these dining rooms. Though bathing suits and bare feet are not allowed, the code is “cruise casual” which includes pirate hats on Pirate Night.
Like I said, I ordered two entrees this night:
Seared scallops at The Enchanted Garden- the scallops were well cooked and quite good. The couscous was flavorless.
The sea bass and pea risotto at The Enchanted Garden – this dish was excellent! Very flavorful and again, well cooked.
After the sub-par tuna the night before, David went with the meat instead.
Prime rib at The Enchanted Garden – perfectly cooked to order and very flavorful. David really liked it.
Dessert is available every night, but they also always have vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Like daddy, like daughter; Hailey went with vanilla.
The final night we were assigned the The Royal Palace. This was certainly the most fancy feeling of all the restaurants with its French-inspired decor, large columns and full-length paintings of Disney princesses.
We decided to go all out this evening. The girls had Shirley Temples and we ordered three appetizers to split.
Shrimp and lobster appetizer at The Royal Palace – shrimp were good, the lobster had zero flavor.
Duck pate at The Royal Palace – never having duck pate before, we didn’t know what to compare it to, but it was good over all.
Escargot at The Royal Palace – I’m not sure I could even taste the snail through the butter and herb sauce, but who cares because butter and herb sauce! I loved this dish and dipping my bread in the leftover sauce.
I liked the menu options best at The Royal Palace and it was fun to venture into some different proteins like duck, snail and lamb.
Lamb chops at The Royal Palace – fair to good, but I really liked the Brussels sprouts.
Filet steak at The Royal Palace- excellent. David and I both thought this was the best dish of the trip. I wanted to order two more, but refrained.
All in all, I loved that there were three different formal dining rooms. It was such a treat to be in a new location for dinner every night. The servers are incredible and ours, Mario, even would do little magic tricks for the girls throughout dinner. It’s a little nerve-wracking going into fancy feeling restaurants with a toddler, but every family there has little kids, so it is already loud and takes the worry away.
Though breakfast and lunch are available at main dining restaurants (though not all of them everyday, so check your Navigator) we preferred the super buffet at Cabanas on deck 11.
We took advantage of both the indoor and outdoor dining options where the view is just unbeatable. The breakfast buffet offers so many wonderful options from fruit and yogurt, to Mickey waffles, smoked salmon, pastries and everything in between.
I loved that vegetables were available and couldn’t get enough of the eggs Benedict with assorted topping options, like capers and red onions. So tasty!
Though there are quick grab-n-go options for lunch by the pool, we opted for Cabanas. Like breakfast, there are endless options ranging from pizza to pasta, Chinese food to salads and even sushi.
The dress code here is super casual, so we could head right there from the pool.
The last day we ate lunch on Castaway Cay, where they did a great job of having quick and easy options like hot dogs, burgers, ribs, grilled chicken and fruit.
It was so nice not having to get back on the boat for lunch.
Overall I should additionally note that there is soft served ice cream almost everywhere. The girls enjoyed the chocolate and vanilla swirl, but I really liked the blueberry/mango blend option. The cones are small and they make for a great afternoon treat in the hot sun.
The cocktails, while not included unfortunately, are at least quite good. I hate ordering expensive drinks that end up being 95% corn syrup with a splash of cheap alcohol. We had both mojitos and Bloody Marys and found them both to be well-made, tasty and strong, which eased the pain of paying $10-$12 for each.
Overall I think Disney does a good job of providing good food for a mass amount of people. I would not call it fine dining, but I think that is to be expected. There are two fine dining restaurants on the Disney Dream, Remy and Palo, that are available for reservations at an additional charge ($85 a person for Remy and $30 a person for Palo). The food is supposed to be substantially better, but for a 3 night cruise, we decided against it for this trip.
Whew, and that’s the food of the Disney Dream!
Do you have any questions I can answer?
If you’ve been on a Disney cruise, what were your thoughts on the food?
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