Dining is definitely the highlight of any Disney Cruise vacation. These tips will help you get the most out of every delicious meal.
- DO check in online. You can register online at least four days before your departure date, saving you time when boarding day arrives. This is the best time to book special dining experiences, such as dinner at the adults-only restaurants, Palo (all ships) or Remy ( Dream and Fantasy ).
- DO consider which dining seats are best for your family. Disney’s rotating meal system offers two seats for dinner, at 5:45 pm and 8:15 pm. Many families with young children opt for early seating because it is closer to dinner time. However, the rear seats allow you to see the shows first and then enjoy a quieter dinner. Another plus: parents can register their children for youth night activities without leaving the table. Counselors magically appear in the middle of the second seat to take the kids to the clubs while the adults finish dinner. This is offered for children ages 3-12 during the second seat in all main dining rooms.
- Pack some dining suits. There is no “formal night” on a Disney cruise, but passengers tend to dress smartly for dinner at the main restaurants. For adults, a typical look is a men’s suit or shirt and tie; dresses / skirts or dress pants for women; polo shirts or button-down shirts for boys; and coordinated dresses or outfits for girls. On “pirate night,” many passengers wear the role, and on any given night young children are often seen in costumes of their favorite Disney characters. If you plan to dine at either (or maybe both) of the wonderful adult-only specialty restaurants, you’ll want to dress in a notch or two: men’s suits and women’s semi-formal dresses.
The day of departure
- BOOK last minute experiences. Once you’ve boarded the ship, you can book experiences you may have missed during check-in online, like dining at the adults-only restaurants.
- Enjoy lunch. On embarkation day, you can head to the upper deck for a buffet lunch at Cabañas ( Magic, Dream, Fantasy ) or Beach Blanket Buffet ( Wonder ) or you can have lunch in the ship’s main dining room that is open for lunch: Carioca’s ( Magic ), Parrot Cay ( Wonder ) or Enchanted Garden ( Dream, Fantasy ). Both lunch options include a hearty buffet, but the dining room will be quieter and a server will bring you drinks, while it’s completely self-serve at the upper deck buffet.
- Start your first night in style. If you’re sailing on the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy , consider treating yourself to Remy’s Petites Assiettes, a special event offered the first night of your cruise at Remy, the ship’s elegant adults-only French restaurant. Check in as you board for a tasting tour that includes six courses paired with the perfect wine.
- LET your servers do their thing. With rotating meals on Disney Cruise Line, dinner servers follow you throughout the cruise. They provide incredibly personalized service, so be sure to let them know if your kids need a cut, absolutely hate broccoli, or have a food allergy, and they’ll remember you for the rest of your cruise. Do you need a wine pairing recommendation? Your dining team will not mislead you.
In the days of the sea
- Don’t miss out on an amazing brunch. If your cruise is long enough to include a day at sea, both Remy and Palo offer a decadent champagne brunch with exquisite service for a nominal charge. At Remy, it’s a French-inspired, six-course feast. At Palo, brunch on select seaside days and harbor days is a wonderful variety of small bites, from caviar to croissants, followed by delicious, custom-made dishes. Make sure to book in advance.
Throughout your cruise
- Order room service. It’s included in your rate and allows you to enjoy a lazy snack in your stateroom whenever you want.
- YES bring your camera to dinner. This is especially true for Animator’s Palate, where you can get surprise appearances from Disney friends like Mickey and Crush.
- Have your morning coffee at Cove Cafe. This top deck hideaway is an exclusive area for adults to enjoy gourmet coffees, specialty drinks, and lighter meals. Muffins, cakes and desserts are offered throughout the day, and a selection of antipasto is served before dinner.
- Take a look at the dinner menu. If “what’s for dinner?” It’s a chorus in your family, you and the kids can check out menus before meals with the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.
- DON’T miss the big game. Each ship has a place where you can comfortably watch your favorite teams. At Disney Dream , for example, you can skip the dining room and head to Pub 687 on Deck 4 to check out Wagyu beef sliders, shrimp tempura, or sausage and mash for a nominal charge.
- YES save space for delicious desserts. At Palo, omitting the famous chocolate souffle is not acceptable.
- DO NOT count calories. Just plan to work out in the gym, in an exercise class, or with a few laps around Deck 4.