Dining on the Dream

by Beth on November 4, 2011

As you may have guessed from Wednesday’s post, we just returned from a swashbuckling adventure around the tropics onboard the fantastic Disney Dream.

There were a bunch of firsts for us on this trip–our first Disney cruise, our first trip on one of the new “mega-ships” that are taking over the cruise industry, and our first trip on a line with a more traditional approach to food–and only our second cruise overall, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. You all know I love Disney World, but I don’t love all aspects of Disney food.

For every fantastic experience I’ve had at a Disney restaurant, I’ve probably had 10 equally bad experiences. At WDW, there is typically a clear demarcation in the food quality–the food at the resorts is good or great, the food at the parks, particularly Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, is terrible. Even the fancy sit down places at these parks leave something to be desired (cough.Cinderalla’s Royal Table. cough) Especially for someone with a food allergy, the pickings can be slim. There, I said it–the food you eat with a view of the castle is normally not so great.

So the big question for me was–where would DCL fit in? Cruise line food can be pretty mediocre overall, as we discovered on NCL in the non-premium restaurants. Plus DCL is a line that caters to families, so would it be all chicken tenders and fries?

The answer, is a resounding NO. Noel and I thought the food on the Dream ranged from very good to fantastic (at the amazing Remy, which I will discuss in a separate post). For a galley that’s serving 3 restaurants of 750 people each per seating the food was fresh, flavorful, and well presented. Our waitstaff was also fantastic–after learning our preferences the first night, they really worked to meet our needs, especially my soy allergy. They also didn’t say a word about us bringing our own drinks to dinner (the Dream is BYOB, so we would fix our drinks in the stateroom and then bring them into the dining room). Even Cabanas, the buffet, had a good range of options that seemed to change up with every meal.

The dining rooms themselves had lots of character. Animator’s Palate was definitely the favorite for the kids, with the huge screens full of Finding Nemo characters ready to interact with the kids. The server’s coordinating costumes were also a fun touch.

Finally, the Dream accomplished something that I find very rare–they served me an apple crisp that didn’t suck. This almost NEVER happens and is a major food win in my book!

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Disney Food Post Round-Up: November 27, 2011 | the disney food blog
November 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm
Elizabeth November 4, 2011 at 9:44 am

That is awesome!!! And that food does look really good… bravo Disney!

Beth November 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Elizabeth, is was shockingly good! And wait until you see the Remy review. One of the best meals ever!

TheBookGirl November 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

We have yet to take a cruise so I have no experience with seafaring food, but I have to say that the pictures you posted look like they amount to fine dining for sure.

I was struck by that second photo — the picture really conveys a sense of how huge that ship is!

Beth November 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

The Dream is the third longest cruise ship in the world…so it is really big!! And that island isn’t that small, the ship is really that big!

caite@a lovely shore breeze November 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

I have only been on Holland America cruises, but I will say the food on those was fantastic! I will have to try a Disney cruise someday.

Beth F November 5, 2011 at 10:08 am

I’ve never been on a cruise but your food photos have my mouth watering. I thought Disney was supposed to be famous for dealing with all kinds of food allergies, making it the ultimate family destination.

Lisa@ButteryBooks November 5, 2011 at 11:18 am

How fun! My kids are getting old enough to start doing fun vacations like this. The food would be a huge draw for me.

Nan November 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

What I think is great is you taking all these photos on the ship! Did you tell them you have a blog? :<)

Biz November 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm

So glad the food was good! That would be the worst to be stuck on a boat with shitty food!

Heather November 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Great post. I haven’t cruised, but one of these days. Glad to hear that the food was a ‘win’.

Beth(bookaholicmom) November 6, 2011 at 11:28 am

I would have thought the same thing as you. Disney just screams chicken fingers and fries! The food you have pictured here looks fantastic! is that pearl barley in the photo? It looks delicious!

Patti Smith November 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I love watching Iron Chef just so I can see how food is prepared like this…isn’t it stunning???

Beth November 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm

It was pearl barley! The food was really amazing. And if you think this looks good, you should see the next post on the food at Remy!

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