Join us in welcoming Cheryl Perlmutter with a review of dining aboard the Disney Dream with special diets.
Recently, I went on the Disney Dream as part of the WDW Radio Cruise group. As you may know from prior posts by my husband, Todd, when I dine out, I request vegan meals and I am also gluten intolerant. Before the cruise, I contacted my travel agency and Disney Special Services. I noted my allergies, dietary needs and made special requests.
When I boarded the ship, I did forget to check in at D-Lounge to meet the restaurant manager, as my travel agent recommended. Instead, I headed to Enchanted Garden for my first meal. The server introduced me to the chef. I noted my dietary needs and inquired about dessert which I had specifically requested in my letter to special services. The chef said there were no desserts available. Admittedly, I was frustrated and upset (so much that I walked away from my meal) but before I left I was assured by the restaurant manager that I would have dessert.
After, I spoke with a rep from my travel agency, whom I want to thank for their excellent service. They introduced me to the restaurant manager who would follow me. They suggested I go to Cabanas to eat. I found some friends and together we had a decent meal.
That night I ate at Animator’s Palate where most of the menu items were modified to fit my needs. I was served a gluten free, vegan dessert which was a good attempt but not as tasty as those found at Babycakes NYC in Downtown Disney.
Due to my dietary needs, I special-ordered both my breakfast and lunch for the locations I would eat at for the next 2 days. I also ordered dinner for Pirate night as well. The head server notified Remy, one of the Disney Dream’s ultra-exclusive adults-only restaurant, that I would be dining there the following night.
The next day, breakfast was in Royal Palace, and I ran into a problem when they offered chocolate soy milk for my cereal. I said no thanks, and luckily they came out with a box of Pacific Rice milk instead. Lunch was corn and spinach and Tofu at Cabanas. Both meals ended up well.
Dinner at Remy was excellent — they were very accommodating. The cheese course felt awkward as I was not eating, and my suggestion would be for them to provide vegan cheeses.
The order for my breakfast the next day was lost. However, the chef came out and asked what I wanted to eat. This was not an issue since I am used to talking to the chef, then ordering and then waiting for my food. After eating, I went out to Castaway Cay for a while and came back to eat lunch on the ship. Once again my order was lost and I needed to reorder with the chef, again I did not have any problems with this. That day I ran into my friend’s mom who is also vegan, and I asked her about her experiences. She noted that she had run into issues as well.
Then there was dinner at Pirate night (a fun, themed night on the ship). Unfortunately, most of the food was spiced or sauced. I tried eating a few bites but I did not like the taste, however I managed to get some plain rice. After determining other dining choices in case I was hungry later, I then needed to order breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next day. This was difficult since I had lost my appetite from the spicy foods. The restaurant manager was upset to hear that my breakfast and lunch orders were lost.
Breakfast the next morning was great, I had asked for quinoa and it made for a great comfort food. Lunch was a gluten free pizza with tofu at Enchanted Garden. The sous chef confirmed my choices for dinner and he really did good a job for both my lunch and dinner. After dinner, I planned my last breakfast.
I did stop at guest relations during the cruise and express my concerns and dissatisfaction at some of my experiences. I was provided with a guest recovery credit which, from what I understand, is rare.
Editor’s Note: We interviewed another guest who was eating solely vegan meals on the Disney Dream, and she noted that some of her favorite meals included the bean cake dish at Animator’s Palate and the barbecue at Castaway Cay. She states, “If a food department makes an effort to have not just carbs, but also protein, that means someone has done their homework.”
She also shared that she asked room service to bring her a smoothie of her own recipe — ice, banana, strawberries, and vanilla soy milk — each morning.
She also notes that the dessert and pastry options for vegan diets are not excellent, though “It seems to me that Remy has raised the bar, so I think they will change the menus accordingly.”
See more about dining on the Disney Dream over on our Disney Dream Dine Around page.
Have you dined on the Disney Cruise Line with a special diet? Let us know your experiences and tips below!