We’re heading out of Port Canaveral on the Disney Dream for a 3 night cruise, let’s go! Disney Cruise Line is in a total league of their own, if you think Disney World is extra, imagine how you’re treated on their cruise! This specific cruise was on the Disney Dream and was a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise. They also do special cruises for Christmas.
Matt and I have done five of them together, two as vegans, one as vegetarians. This was our first time cruising with our 1 year old, so we knew it was going to be a lot different. We have never found it hard to find vegan food on Disney Cruises. The chef will always come up with something for us. The most difficult day is always day one though. Some of the cast members have never even heard of the word vegan, or they think vegan and vegetarian is the same thing. But after you get through the first few hours of talking to the cast, it’s pretty easy.
One thing that was different for us this cruise was in Cabanas, the main buffet on deck 11. This was the first place we ate when we got on the ship. During previous cruises we would just find a cook and they would come up with something vegan. This time you need to go up to a coordinator at one of their stations. These stations are at every entrance to Cabanas and were not hard to find. You tell them you are vegan, they write a note to the chef, you tell them where your table is, and they will bring the food to you. Sometimes they will ask you what you want, or they will say the chef will make something. Honestly, it frustrated us when they asked us what we wanted because we didn’t know what they had. Just be aware that if you don’t give them some direction you will probably end up with pasta or rice. Also to note, we did walk the buffet before or after meeting with the coordinator to see what was available, when asking the cook if something was vegan they would just direct us to the coordinator. It was rather time consuming to walk it before, so if you’re with small children and just hungry, skip the walk and go straight to the coordinator.
Our first meal that came to us in Cabanas was an extremely oily and over salted stir fry. The saving grace of the dish was it was loaded up with veggies and tofu. For our little Mouseketeer they sent out pasta with red sauce. We preferred the pasta she got.
At the dessert counter we were able to get vegan Tofutti ice cream with Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.
After lunch we decided to check out what other options we might be able to get at the quick service location Flo’s V8 Cafe. These locations don’t usually have a coordinator to talk to, so you just speak directly to the cast behind the counter for help. At the pizza counter, Luigi’s Pizza, we were very happy to see they had Daiya cheese. It was cheddar, which was an odd choice, but the pizza was still solid.
The stand next to Luigi’s is Tow Mater’s Grill, and they can make you a veggie burger. Being that Walt Disney World has both the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burgers, we were hoping for one of those. But on the Dream they still have your standard Malibu Gardenburger veggie patty which came with fries.
For dinner the first night we were assigned to the Royal Palace. (Disney Cruise Line has you move dining rooms during your stay, unlike other cruise lines where you eat in one restaurant the whole trip. Your servers do move with you.) Our server brought us the allergy bread, which is also gluten free. He also brought us a herb and oil dip, along with earth balance butter. The bread was okay, they served it warm which made it better. It’s pretty much the same allergy bread they serve at Walt Disney World, we believe it is the Ener-G brand.
For our appetizer we got a spinach salad with an Italian vinaigrette. It was a decent salad, nothing to write home about. Our main course was really good. It was right off the menu too, Grilled Tofu with Roasted Zucchini, Eggplant, and Red Pepper served on a bed of couscous. We have had this on a previous cruise, so we already knew we were going to love it.
Our daughters option from the kids menu was Pasta with Red Sauce, broccoli, & apple slices. She did have pasta for lunch so we weren’t too thrilled with her eating pasta again, but she didn’t mind.
Dessert for her was a raspberry sorbet. For us they brought out a sundae with soft Enjoy Life double chocolate chip cookies on the bottom, coconut ice cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup. So gooood!
Our server suggested we eat breakfast at the Royal Palace the next morning. She took our order and said it would be ready when we got there. For us, this was a huge mistake. We usually eat breakfast in Cabanas but thought we’d give this a try. When we sat down the next morning, the server assigned to us had no idea what we were talking about. He said he couldn’t find our order anywhere. We told him we were vegan and just wanted pancakes, Mickey waffles, and breakfast potatoes. After waiting about half an hour our food finally came out. The pancakes and waffles were flavorless and the potatoes and tofu were very greasy. When we asked the server why the waffles weren’t Mickey waffles he gave us attitude & said the allergy waffles aren’t shaped like Mickey. But we all know they are.
We were feeling hungry after breakfast so we went up to the pool deck to get some fruit. The fruit was great and tasted very fresh.
For lunch we went to Cabanas. We easily found a coordinator and told him we were vegan. He said he would let the chef know and didn’t ask us what we wanted. After having an awful breakfast we were hoping to be presently surprised by lunch and we were! The chef made us a wonderful fried rice with filled with veggies and fried tofu.
Dinner that night was at Animator’s Palate. Unfortunately, we were disappointed in a few things here. First, they gave us the same allergy bread as the first night, this time with just the Earth Balance. Second, the chef made us some weird pasta stir fry thing. It wasn’t dressed at all.
We also got what was on the menu, Black Bean Patties served on rice. Those were just okay. Our daughter was able to get a cheese pizza here, again made with cheddar Daiya cheese.
Dessert here was awesome though. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, raspberry whip on top and raspberry sauce on the side. We were very happy with this.
Since we were on a Halloween On The High Seas Cruise, night 2 was our Trick or Treat night. Our daughter got a bag like all the other kids. They don’t have special allergy bags on the ship like they do in the parks. However, every table giving out candy had a sign on it saying to ask for allergy candy. We did, and we were disappointed in what we got. All lollipops & Tootsie Rolls. Unlike in Magic Kingdom where all the allergy candy is top 8 allergen friendly, these were not as Tootsie Rolls contain dairy. We were hoping for a great selection like at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and this did not deliver.
Late that night we were feeling hungry so we ordered room service. There isn’t much for vegans on the menu, but we wanted ice cream and cookies. They told us they would send us some up and we were very happy with what we got. A full box of Enjoy Life cookies & berry ice cream. We also ordered some Uncrustables for our daughter.
Sunday morning we went to Cabanas for breakfast and it was great! We talked to a coordinator as usual and asked for vegan Mickey waffles. On the buffet we got oatmeal, hash browns, bagels with peanut butter, and fresh fruit. They do have soy milk, but you have to ask for that too.
Sunday was our Castaway Cay day, which is Disney’s private island. On Saturday night our server at dinner asked us what we wanted for lunch on the island. We didn’t want that veggie burger so we asked for vegan chick’n, knowing it would probably be a long shot. Before lunch we walked around the island. We saw at Summertime Freeze there were lots of fun drinks, we’ve enjoyed their stuff before but didn’t get any this time. Near where you get lunch there is a long table set up with lots of fresh fruit on it. This usually opens a little earlier then 11:30.
Lunch is served starting at 11:30. We had to go to Cookie’s BBQ, as that’s where all of the allergy (and vegan) food is served. We told the cast member our room number and waited at a picnic table with a number. They brought us our lunch pretty quickly. We asked for vegan chick’n, but we got that regular veggie burger with fries. We also got a small cheese pizza with Daiya.
After eating that food we went up to the buffet and were told the chili and couscous were vegan. They were both full of flavor and we really enjoyed them. In hindsight we would’ve skipped the burger and just gotten those things for lunch. We were also able to get Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies. We asked for ice cream, but they said we would’ve had to tell our server we wanted that the night before.
Our dinner for the last night was at the Enchanted Garden. Right away our server brought us the allergy bread. The bread everyone else was getting was a whole wheat bread with cranberries, served with hummus. It looked so good so we asked if that bread was vegan. Our server said he would call the pastry department and check. A few minutes later he gave us the rolls with hummus. It frustrated us that he hadn’t been checking on the bread the previous two nights. That being said, these rolls with the hummus were delicious.
To start we got the Cucumber Roll and the Spinach Salad. The roll was super refreshing. It was all raw veggies, crunchy and had a great sauce with it. The salad was just okay. Spinach with pine nuts, fresh raspberries, and a raspberry vinaigrette.
Both of the main courses we got were off the menu. The first was a Grilled Portobello Mushroom Cap served on lentils with red pepper on top. The second was a Barley Cake served in vegetable broth with celery and carrot shreds.
When we first sat down we asked our server if our daughter could get beans and rice for dinner. Our server said no, that it would take too long to make. So we ordered her pasta, again. But when he brought out our food we were very pleasantly surprised with the huge plate of fried rice with veggies and tofu he brought us. It was even better then the one we got from Cabanas. This whole meal was really delicious.
Dessert here was just like all the other desserts we got on the ship, soooo gooood. It was a banana sauce topped with berry ice cream, vanilla whip, and a brûléed banana.
Our daughter went to bed early that night, so we did not make it to the pirate party with the fireworks and buffet. We did get to talk to a pastry chef though who told us they were going to have vegan options.
Our last morning on the ship we had the option of going to a sit down breakfast in the Enchanted Garden or Cabanas. We opted for Cabanas. Here we got more Mickey Waffles, oatmeal, and fruit.
There were a few things that they offer but didn’t get, but are great options for snacks. The first is a Dole Whip, with or without rum. Another was in Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats. Here you can get vegan chocolate ice cream and various sorbets. We sampled all the vegan options and they were all great. You can get toppings here too, including Oreos. Both of these things are on deck 11.
If you’re going to see a movie or stage show while on board, you can get popcorn. It’s the same popcorn they sell in the parks which is completely vegan. In the gift shop they sell dark chocolate bars.
Even with the few disappointments, we had a great time on our cruise. The lines to meet the characters were always short. The weather was great. The cast members were all so nice to us. We will definitely be going on another one soon!
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