*This gluten free dining experience took place in October 2018. It includes notes about dairy free options too.
Dinner at Royal Palace
Royal Palace is one of the main rotational restaurants located on the Disney Dream. This means that it is one of three restaurants that you will dine at on your cruise for dinner. It is included in your cruise fare and does not have any additional charges (except for alcoholic beverages or select beverages on the menu). On our recent cruise on the Disney Dream in May, we missed out on dining at Royal Palace due to dinner reservations at Remy on our last night. For our cruise in October, we actually requested with Disney to dine at Royal Palace on our first night, if possible. Luckily, this request was accommodated. And, we also dined at Royal Palace for breakfast and lunch on our cruise.
Royal Palace has a theme of Disney princesses. You’ll find lots of art work and decor themed to several of the princesses, including Cinderella and Aurora.
We requested our own table in advance and were excited to see that our request had been granted. We were seated at a 4-top table and had a nice view of the restaurant from our location.
Our table was in a section devoted to Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. As you can see, there was a lot of artwork to represent the animated film.
I also loved our table number that was also themed to the restaurant. Ours had a image of Cinderella and Prince Charming on it.
Unlike the Disney World theme park, the Disney Cruise Line does not have allergy-friendly menus for meals. Their regular menus do have listings that note GF or DF for dishes that are gluten free or dairy free. However, these typically aren’t the only offerings available at a restaurant. And, unlike Disney World, you don’t typically speak with a chef on a Disney Cruise. So, I often find myself ordering through a head server which then gets relayed to the kitchen. It feels a bit like a telephone game sometimes. But, I’ve gotten pretty good at navigating things on the ship.
On this particular occasion, I actually stopped by the Dining Session offered on embarkation day to pre-order two dishes at Royal Palace. Pre-ordering is simply a way for you to request a dish that might need a slight modification instead of ordering directly off the menu with its limited gluten free offerings. I had heard from Christy at Pack Your Pixie Dust that you could pre-order the Chateaubriand steak and even get the deep fried Brie made gluten free with advance notice. When I went to the Dining Session, which was held at Enchanted Garden on our cruise, they made a notation in my reservation and said they might be able to make these requests happen.
After arriving at Royal Palace, our server Jude noted that he had my pre-order request ready to go, which was amazing. As an aside, we absolutely loved our server Jude. He was so on top of both of our special dietary needs and ensured we had delicious food at every meal.
First up, I was given Ener-G brand rolls. On the cruise I was also served regular butter because I have reintroduced dairy back into my diet. On previous cruises, I was told they did not have Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, but I have heard reports that it might be available now on the Disney Cruise Line upon request. Overall, I wouldn’t say I really love the Ener-G rolls, but for the most part, they actually heated my rolls well throughout the cruise, which makes a huge difference.
First up, I received the Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp appetizer, which is served with asparagus, horseradish cream, and dill dressing and is marked gluten free on the menu. This was absolutely delicious and a dish I would order again without hesitation. I love seafood, and this was light and refreshing.
Up next was the Breaded and Deep Fried Brie, which was made gluten free with advance notice. It was served with an orange and cranberry chutney. Brandon ordered the gluten-filled version of this and also tried mine. He thought both were really good and that mine was a nice alternative for guests who can’t have gluten (he actually finished my Brie because I couldn’t eat it all). I loved the orange and cranberry chutney that came with it. That was a nice contrast to the rich and buttery fried Brie.
For my entree, I ordered the Chateaubriand-Roasted Filet Steak with Crushed Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Red Wine Jus. This was made gluten free with advance notice. Overall, I thought the steak was well cooked and seasoned. I also enjoyed the potatoes a lot. The green beans were pretty bland, so nothing special there. The Red Wine Jus was excellent, but I have to admit that I wished I had more on the plate. The only entree on the menu at Royal Palace marked gluten free was the duck, which I am not a fan of, so I would definitely order this again instead of opting for duck.
For dessert, I was given “chef’s choice,” which is a fancy phrase for whatever gluten free dessert they can find. One thing I learned on this cruise was to be very specific if I have requests, because I had several desserts I did not really enjoy. The Creme Brulee I was served here was definitely not one that I enjoyed. I have never been a fan of creme brulee, mostly because I do not like the texture. This version was no different, so I really didn’t eat more than a bite or two of it. It seemed like it was a decent creme brulee, just not my personal preference. Next time I’d ask for something chocolate based instead.
Both Brandon and I agreed that Royal Palace was our favorite main dining room option on the cruise. We liked the food a lot there, and we both felt that the restaurant was much calmer and quieter than say Animator’s Palate which is always very crowded and noisy. We would definitely make sure we get to Royal Palace on our next cruise on the Disney Dream instead of skipping it for adult dining.
Have you been to Royal Palace on the Disney Dream? What did you think of this restaurant?