Guest Review: Ten Tips for Disney Cruise Dining with a Toddler

Welcome to guest author Julia Mascardo with an informative review and GREAT TIPS for dining with a toddler aboard the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship!

In any given week, toddlers may decide that they want to eat everything offered to them — or they may want to dine on goldfish crackers and string cheese for every meal.

When you are on land, it isn’t a major problem to make sure your toddler’s whims are met even if you are on vacation. But the idea of spending a week at the mercy of a cruise ship’s galley might make a parent reconsider the idea of cruising.

After spending a week aboard the Disney Fantasy, I found that with a little advance planning, toddler dining on a Disney cruise can be an enjoyable experience—for parents and children alike.

Even if your child doesn’t get desserts at home, you probably will want to allow a little indulgence when on board — like this decorate-your-own-cupcake dessert!

Here are my top 10 tips for making the most of Disney cruise dining with a toddler:

Tips for Disney Cruise Dining with a Toddler

1. Pick your battles

When adults are on vacation, they eat in ways that they wouldn’t eat at home. The same can be said for toddlers.

If you have certain rules that you want to enforce on ship, let your servers know. For instance, if your child must have three bites of vegetables before any macaroni and cheese, they can bring out a plate of vegetables for those required three bites and then bring out a “next course” of pasta.

Flexibility with rules can make life easier, however. If you are okay with treats like doughnuts for breakfast and French fries with every meal, that flexibility may make the experience more pleasant for everyone.

Buffets offer opportunities for your child to pick what he or she wants to eat— and for you to decide what you put on the plate.

2. If you don’t see it, ask

Our daughter drinks milk with every meal. But milk was not listed on the room service menu as a drink option for lunch or dinner, and was not visible at the buffet restaurant Cabanas for lunch.

Milk is available, but sometimes you need to ask where to find it.

One quick question to a cast member and I found that room service will not only will deliver milk, but you can set up for a daily scheduled delivery at a specific time if desired.

For lunch at Cabanas, milk is stored behind the manned salad bar station. All you have to do is ask a cast member, and he or she will [Read more…]

Top Ten Disney Cruise Line Dining Tips

Kim L. is our Disney cruise guru around here! (Seriously. She knows EVERYTHING about cruising and was even the Disney World Moms Panel Cruise Specialist her second term on the panel.) She’s put together her top 10 tips to get the most out of your Disney Cruise dining experience, but we want to hear your tips as well, pretty please. Will you add yours in the comments section below?

1. Order The Cake of the Day: Order the Cake of the Day from Room Service! Room service is complimentary (although a gratuity is appreciated) and it’s fun to sample (um, okay, devour ;-)) different cake slices.

Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake at Animator's Palate

2. Skip Shore Excursion Eats: Use Room Service for a quick sandwich while getting ready for your shore excursion. Then time your return to the ship to coincide with your next meal.

3. Find Hidden Treats: Ask your server to start each meal with a cheese (similar to All Hands On Deck) or seafood platter (I saw shrimp served in the Mediterranean) for the entire table to enjoy. It’s not on the menu. Parents can request cheese, grapes, and crackers for the kids. Just ask if it’s available during your voyage!

Likewise, chocolate covered strawberries are not on the dessert menu but are sometimes available by special request. Ask for a [Read more…]

Disney Dream Dining: Flo’s V8 Cafe

How excited was I to find a Flo’s V8 Cafe on the Disney Dream?! VERY! I thought — is this gonna be anything like the Flo’s V8 Cafe slated to open in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land in 2012?

Atmosphere
After getting a look at the counter-service location on the ship, my guess is no — it won’t approximate the full-sized location in Cars Land, but it’s a fun preview on what the themeing might be like! (Click on the menus below for larger images.) You can also find the full menu here: Flo’s V8 Cafe Menu.

I also really liked that the counter-service location was broken into different sections — supposedly “owned” by Cars characters — and situated on a “street!” Check out the [Read more…]