When finding out I was going on a Disney Cruise, I knew I would be in good hands and was looking forward to trying delicious gluten-free foods. At first there was some hesitancy, thinking it would be harder to eat on the ship than it really was. In all honesty, it was a breeze sailing on the Disney Dream for a 5-night Bahamas cruise! Let’s break it up by breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Order your breakfast at dinner the night before with your server when you’re dining at one of the three dining rotation restaurants. Let them know which dining room location you will be eating at and what you would like. The wait time for the specialty items will decrease significantly.
Ask and you shall receive! Some people think that they might be limited when going on a cruise. Think again! Disney has tons of options to choose from for a gluten allergy. I wanted to stuff my face the first morning I was on the ship but needed to pace myself for all the goodies I would be eating on this cruise. Each morning I tried something new and always went to the Royal Palace to get my fill of the beautiful decor.
Muffins– The server let me know that they switch it up daily. One morning I tried warm blueberry muffins and another morning I tried warm chocolate chip muffins. Each one fulfilled my morning, paired with a hot cup of coffee. The ooey gooey melted chocolate chips were a guilty breakfast pleasure and the warm blueberry muffin was soft and decadent with a delicious sugar muffin top.
Toast– In all honesty, this was not my favorite choice. Even though it was toasted, by the time it got to me, it was cold and started to get hard.
Pancakes– I love pancakes, and even though I have an allergy I can still be picky about them. I had to get sausage with them to have that wonderful salty and sweet duo. The sausage was juicy and was full of flavor and the pancakes were soft, melt-in-your-mouth disks of heaven! I will say that they are like a sponge and soak up syrup very quickly, so be careful.
Donuts– These were amazing! Warm and soft cake donuts coated with cinnamon sugar were a perfect start to the day. I had to hold myself back from wanting to order more.
I was seriously spoiled on this cruise with such an amazing arrangement of fruit! I am so thankful that I pre-ordered my fruit for breakfast because I got everything I asked for. The kitchen has a usual medley of fruit and melons, but not being a huge melon fan, I was very thankful that they could make me a bowl of fresh fruit everyday. Each day I tried a new medley of fruit.
Wanna Splurge? Try Brunch
On one of the days we tried brunch at Palo and let me tell you, it is worth every penny! The chef was accommodating; he came out and personally showed me around the tables that I could eat from and asked me if I would like a fruit plate, since the fruit on the table was near bread. He made me an amazing array of fruit with a touch of dark chocolate drizzle to finish it off. He suggested I try the spicy sausage pizza from the menu and guaranteed that I wouldn’t be disappointed. Our server and the chef were more than welcoming and understanding, walking me through what I could eat on the menu and insisting on me ordering whatever I wanted until I was full and could eat no longer. I did just that!
On the first night of the cruise our server gave me an explanation of pre-ordering food the day before going to shore on Castaway Cay, to ensure that there was no cross contamination. They make it on the ship and deliver it to Cookie’s BBQ the day we get to shore. He showed me the menu and let me know I could order anything on it and as much as I wanted. I wanted to keep it simple and not go overboard with all the food choices.
I ordered the Salmon Sandwich but the server let me know that it would be mahi mahi for this sailing. For sides I ordered fries and white rice. The server nudged me to order the Namaste Cake and promised I would not be disappointed — so I did.
Getting the food was a breeze! There is only one location to get items that were pre-ordered: Cookie’s BBQ. I went to the nearest cast member and they showed me the person I needed to talk to about getting my lunch. They found the ticket for the order and handed me a number to place on the table I was sitting at so they could bring out the food. Soon enough the food was there.
The sandwich was fine, nothing to rave about. The mahi mahi was a little dry, and I knew going in that it probably would be. The bun was warm and soft, and the seasoning on the fish was on point — a little salty with a hint of spice. Sadly, the fries were soggy but warm. I should have known since they were made on the ship and sent down to the island that they would be.
The Namaste Cake was the highlight! Our server from the night before was absolutely right; the cake was rich and decadent and tasted more like a brownie than a cake. It was definitely a great indulgence! I cannot stress this enough: If you have any allergies it is highly recommended to pre-order your items the night before, since they cannot guarantee that there will not be any cross contamination if you order food on the island. Also, your best bet is to bring snacks with you too.
You are in good hands. The menus in the main dining rooms will have a GF symbol next to items that are gluten-free to allow easy ordering, but the server should still be notified about the allergy.
I was lucky enough to try both premium dining experiences — Palo and Remy — for dinner and they do not disappoint. Palo had numerous options for gluten allergies. The pasta and bread were amazing. The best part of all was that I was finally able to try a soufflé. If you are thinking about getting this delectable chocolate soufflé, let them know when you sit down at the table so the kitchen can start preparing it.
As for Remy, they knew ahead of time about my allergy and made a special dessert for me, and the tasting menu I chose was mostly gluten friendly with minor adjustments on a couple dishes. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to try both of these restaurants. Both were absolutely amazing and I would love to go on another cruise to eat at them again. If you’re thinking about making reservations, just do it! You will not regret the amazing service, food, and atmosphere.
Honorable Mention and Fun Find
Like numerous Walt Disney World quick service locations, gluten- free chicken strips can be found with ease and I had no idea that I would be able to enjoy them sailing in the middle of the ocean! Over at Flo’s Café, guests can enjoy this fried guilty pleasure. The fries were also made in a dedicated gluten-friendly fryer.
Tyler, Steve, and I found a really cool low-key lounge that we loved hanging out in where we could play board games, watch TV, relax in comfy oversized leather chairs, and enjoy a good drink. Where is this amazing place you ask? Pub 687! The most amazing part was that I was able to have a nice cold beer with the fellas. Not just any beer, one of my favorite gluten-free beers, Estrella Daura Damm Lager! Just a heads up — this is an adults only area.
No matter where you go, you will always have choices on your next Disney Cruise. I was really impressed on what was available on the ship and am looking forward to trying them all again soon.