Cruising is back as of this summer and things still feel just as great as they did before. I had an opportunity to check out the Disney Dream for myself in September and was eager to see if the vegan options had changed much since I was last on it in 2019. We packed up our things and headed out for a 3-Night Halloween on the High Seas sailing and were ready to eat!
Currently to sail with Disney Cruise Line everyone 12 and over must be fully vaccinated and 11 and under need to take a PCR COVID test within 3 days of sailing. Then once at the port every guest has to take another COVID test (vaccinated or not) prior to boarding.
Day 1 – Embarkation Day
Once on board we went to Cabanas for lunch, which is the buffet on the ship. Historically there hasn’t been much of anything on the buffet during embarkation that is vegan so I opted to immediately find a coordinator to then speak with a chef about our options. We were first told we could have some of the salads on the buffet and that the could make us a pasta. I said that was fine since we were at the mercy of the ship at this point.
A few minutes later the coordinator came back and asked if we would rather have vegan chick’n tenders instead and he showed us a Gardein bag of what they were. We said absolutely and got those, fries, and some of the cold “salads”. We were given hummus with no bread, some steamed vegetables, and couscous. This was the only time we ate at Cabanas for lunch.
Since Disney Cruise Line does rotational dining (we have the same servers but dine in one of the three restaurants each night) we started our sailing at Enchanted Garden. This restaurant is Alice in Wonderland themed and absolutely stunning. We were also enchanted with a visit from Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy during our meal.
The meal starts with bread and whatever the features spread is of the meal. During this day it was a hummus and they gave us the generic (but delicious) vegan rolls to go with this,
Our appetizer here was a Cucumber Garden Roll. This appetizer is vegan as is and one I’ve experienced on both the Dream and the Fantasy. The appetizer is light and flavored well with the White Shoyu and Lemon Dressing on it. It is a nice fresh veggie focused option.
After the appetizer we got to have a Spinach and Raspberry Salad modified by removing gorgonzola cheese. The salad featured spinach coated in a raspberry vinaigrette with raspberries and pine nuts. The salad was super wilted from all the dressing and it basically just tasted like raspberry.
The entrees here are not my favorite. The vegan as is option is the Pearl-Barley Cakes. Not only does it look less than appetizing, but it also tastes like nothing. The barley cakes themselves are in a light saffron broth. If you can I recommend skipping this one.
I did ask our server if we could modify the Glazed Portobello Mushrooms. He found out we could as long as we got it without the Sun-Dried Tomato Cream. These were delicious. The portobello was cooked well and it had a ton of lentils with a solid tomato sauce. I would get these again.
For Finn’s entree we asked if they still had the vegan and gluten free mac and cheese, and they did! So for his entree this night we got that, fries, and veggies for him. The mac and cheese is the Amy’s frozen one, which is one of my guilty pleasures, so I ate more of it than he did.
Dessert here was really good though, we got little rectangles of Carrot Cake. The texture on these weren’t great, I imagine they may have been gluten free too, but the flavor was really good. They also gave us raspberry sorbet, which Finn destroyed. We left very full from this meal.
I do recommend pre-ordering the night before for dinners as you can get something specific for you, but you can still order from the menu, which is what we did the next two nights. We also pre-ordered our breakfast for the next morning.
Day 2 – At Sea
For breakfast we planned on going to the restaurant we had pre-ordered for only to find out they didn’t open for about 45 minutes so we went up to Cabanas instead. We found a coordinator and told them we had pre-ordered and gave our room number. A few minutes later our breakfast showed up.
We had ordered three vegan omelets with spinach and mushroom and vegan cheese, and some allergy waffles. The omelets were really good but they didn’t have the vegan cheese on them, which we just assumed they didn’t have. The JUST egg was cooked well and they were pretty tasty.
The waffles were awful. The driest waffle I have ever eaten, ever. I was hoping for a Mickey waffle but that is not what we got.
On the buffet we also grabbed some hash browns and fruit to enjoy our meal and got Finn a cup of soy milk from the cereal station.
For lunch we opted for my favorite, Flo’s V8 Cafe by the pool. There are tons of options here, from veggie burgers, Beyond Sausages, Pizza, and Veggie Wraps. We opted for a classic vegan pizza. The coordinator suggest the Beyond Sausage on the pizza so I agreed.
This took about 45 minutes to get. I am thankful I left my guy playing at the pool when I went to order for all of us so I could coordinate getting him dried off and ready to eat. The pizza isn’t amazing, it has that weird school lunch comforting taste that I enjoy. The Beyond Sausage on the pizza was cut thin like pepperoni and was really good. If we were on this ship longer I probably would have gotten this again. The cheese definitely seemed like Follow Your Heart.
Dinner that night was at Royal Palace, which features the princesses. This day we were able to request vegan butter with our rolls, which was a good move. The bread was the same each night for us (aka the vegan rolls) and they pair best with Earth Balance butter. Just ask and you shall receive!
Our starter here was a Farmhouse Salad which had to be modified to be vegan by removing cheese. It ended up being very bland with the oil and vinegar and was just basically cold potato chunks, some asparagus, and more spinach. In terms of starter salad it was fine, but nothing great. I kept asking our server if any soups were vegan but he kept insisting they all had beef or chicken broth.
The entree here that is vegan is the Grilled Marinated Tofu, Roasted Zucchini, Eggplant, and Red Peppers. This option is actually really good. The Israeli couscous is full of flavor and a fun texture. While the tofu tastes good, it is not firm at all. The vegetables are cooked well and it all has a smokiness to it.
We pre-ordered Curry for dinner too because this is what we actually wanted. Cruise ship curries are the best, they’re always full of flavor and just so good. Our one curry was chickpea based and the other was potato. Both were so flavorful I could have eaten two entrees worth myself. We also got a Paratha style bread to go with it. Everything on this plate was amazing.
For Finn we pre-ordered him some of the Gardein tenders since he didn’t eat the mac the night before. He happily ate his tenders with fries and steamed vegetables.
Dessert this night was my least favorite of the three. We were given a cookie with a brownie on it and raspberry sorbet. The texture wasn’t great and it was really cold. It had the taste of sitting in a fridge for a long time so I didn’t eat much of it.
We pre-ordered for all three meals this night since the next day we had the option to eat at Castaway Cay.
Day 3 – Castaway Cay
This morning we ate in Royal Palace for breakfast for our pre-ordered breakfast. Things were pretty unorganized and they didn’t seem to understand our pre-order. I was surprised that Cabanas had been smoother than this. But eventually we received Finn’s soy milk, soy milk for our coffee (they still don’t have soy creamers), two vegan omelets, and two sides of potatoes.
This time our omelets came with vegan cheese, spinach, and mushroom. They were cooked great and that cheese really took it to the next level. I am happy to eat a vegan omelet like this each morning while cruising! Our potatoes were well seasoned and cooked well.
For lunch we ate on Castaway Cay (this is Disney’s private island) at Cookie’s BBQ. If you have to pre-order food you have to eat at Cookie’s and not Cookie’s Too. We made this mistake on our first vegan sailing on the Fantasy, it’s a bit of a hike between the two. We pre-ordered three vegan burgers here.
In the past these were the classic Gardenburger Malibu patties, but now they’re Impossible Burgers! The toppings on them were lettuce, tomato, pickle, and my friend got the lottery of the only tiny sliver of onion. The vegan sides were fries or corn. We got both, they didn’t tell me we’d also get a baked potato, which we didn’t touch because who wants a plain baked potato?
The burgers were cooked well and much more enjoyable than the old veggie patties they had here. The corn was steamed and unseasoned, I recommend getting the fries or asking for fruit.
Back on the ship for dinner we dined at Animator’s Palate. This restaurant is the absolute coolest and the vibe is different depending on the night. On the shorter sailings you get to hang out with Crush the Turtle here, just like at Epcot and Disney’s California Adventure you get to talk to him too!
For our appetizer here we had Arugula Leaves modified by not having the dressing. When I ate here years ago the dressing was vegan, but apparently now it is not. This salad contains beets, white beans, and oranges. It was really not good without the mustard dressing. It wasn’t awful but oil and vinegar just doesn’t hit the same.
The vegan entree here is a good one, the Black Bean Chipotle Cakes. These cakes are a great texture, much like a classic black bean burger, and have a very strong chipotle flavor. They’re topped with a pico de gallo type salsa and are on a bed of rice. These guys are a classic and still hold strong. Absolutely recommend at least trying these.
Even though I knew I liked this entree, we still pre-ordered more curries. This time they gave us huge bowls of everything to share family style. One curry was pea and mushroom based and the other was eggplant and potatoes.
We definitely preferred the eggplant one, but the ones from the night before were much better. The pea one was just too much pea and the mushrooms were just a weird texture in it. In general the flavor of the eggplant potato one was better too.
Finn had the same Gardein tenders and fries as the night before. If you’re a parent you know that when you find something for them to eat you just ride it out for a bit.
Dessert here was the best of the trip, we were given brownies topped with a raspberry mousse. The texture was amazing, they were so moist and chocolaty and the mousse was creamy. I wish we had this night one because I’d have just asked for it the whole time.
Day 4 – Debarkation Day
The morning we got off the ship we dined at Animator’s Palate again. When you do breakfast on debarkation day you get to have your servers one last time, so they knew what we had pre-ordered and had it ready right when we got there. Just like every other morning, we opted for vegan omelets and potatoes.
This time our omelet didn’t have vegan cheese again, but it was full of vegetables to make it more like a western omelet and it was great. It was full of peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. We also got toast and Earth Balance this morning. It was a great meal to send us home with.
Other food options around
Since the sailing was so short we didn’t have much time to try other places. We did however head to the Vista Cafe a few times. They serve Joffrey’s coffee here and have the vegan Monin syrups and both Soy and Almond milk available. I got myself a few Pumpkin Lattes. Make sure to get a card so you get a free coffee after your 5th purchase!
Unfortunately the Senses Juice Bar was not open when we sailed. This is also an additional cost, but they have great smoothies and juices when they’re open.
If you want a sweet treat you can head to Vanellope’s Sweet & Treats for vegan ice cream. This is an additional cost, so I recommend you just order the same vegan ice cream with room service (not an additional cost) and get yourself some vegan cookies while you’re at it. If you aren’t vegan I am sure Vanellope’s is more worth it, but our options are vanilla, chocolate, and pineapple.
I still haven’t personally made it to Palo or Remy, so if you have as a vegan can you drop a comment about what options you’ve had here? I’ve heard pretty mixed reviews of how they cater to vegans there.
Cruising still felt incredibly normal. We did have to wear our masks when indoors and there were plenty of characters to see at a distance and take photos with.
The kids club situation was interesting as instead of having them come and go as they please you have to schedule times for them to go. Pre-boarding you can book one slot a day (1.5 or 2.5 hours depending on day) but once you’re onboard you can add more times. One day Finn spent three 2.5 hour sessions in the kids club and loved it.
The pools limited how many people were in them. During the busy hours they would cycle the pool patrons about every 15 minutes. We only encountered the pool cycling a little bit during our day at sea.
There was still lots to do on the ship too! We saw trivia happening, bingo, they had two nights of their award winning production of Beauty and the Beast (which is still phenomenal!), and there was lots of live music and entertainment. They did a great job of offering certain shows multiple times to allow for ample distancing.
In terms of dining things were pretty much the same but a little slower for our lunches. I highly recommend pre-ordering as much as you can and being specific if you have anything you want or do not like. These chefs work best when you lay it all out; ex “I want a spinach and chickpea curry” or “a vegan omelet without mushrooms”.
We absolutely loved our experience and I am already trying to plot when we can go back out to sea. Our ship was at about 30% capacity and at times it felt like a ghost town. I felt incredibly safe the whole time knowing everyone was vaccinated and we all had to be negative for COVID to board.
If you’re interested in booking a Disney Cruise Line sailing head here to fill out a no-obligation quote form. Soon all of the Disney Cruise Line ships will be sailing again and the Disney Wish will join the fleet next summer. If you’re vaccinated and ready, let’s plan your magical vacation!