*This gluten free dining experience took place in January 2020. It includes information about dairy free options, as well as a review of fish/shellfish free, peanut free, cabbage free, hazelnut free, and chicken & turkey free options.
Dinner at Royal Palace
On our recent 3-day cruise on the Disney Dream, our first rotational dinner was at Royal Palace. Located on deck 3, mid-ship, this Disney princess inspired restaurant is one of our favorite restaurants on the Disney Dream. We also spend a lot of time there (as you’ll see by our cruise reviews), because it’s one of the a la carte options for breakfast and lunch on the ship.
This was our first experience with the allergy-friendly dinner menus too on the ship, so we were looking forward to checking it all out. I will say that it might have been my least favorite meal of the cruise, which is unusual for Royal Palace. But, that’s because I totally branched out and tried a few dishes that I would not normally order. That being said, it’s still a great rotational dining option for guests with special dietary needs.
As I mentioned, Royal Palace is inspired by Disney princesses. I do love the murals, paintings, and decor throughout the restaurant.
On this particular visit, I didn’t get too many photos because the ship was rocking quite a bit due to waves and wind. It was our first time cruising in January, and as we learned, winter on the high seas can include slightly rough waters!
We had the second dining of the night, which is at 8:15 p.m. So, the restaurant was a bit dark. And, as you can see from the portholes in this photo, it’s pretty dark outside too!
We were seated at a 4-top table in the middle area of one of the dining sections. It wasn’t my favorite location that we’ve had in Royal Palace, but it was by no means terrible. We were seated by ourselves, which we personally prefer. You can request to be seated at a table by yourself both in advance by calling Disney Cruise Line or by asking at one of the ship’s dining sessions on embarkation day.
We had learned that the Disney Dream had started offering allergy-friendly dinner menus to guests with special dietary needs sometime in late fall 2019. Our last cruise was in May 2019, so we were looking forward to checking the menus out ourselves.
As you can see by this photo of Brandon with the allergy-friendly dinner menu, there were a ton of options. Almost every single dish on this menu is top 8 allergy free (gluten/wheat, egg, fish/shellfish, milk, peanut/tree nut, and soy), which was fantastic! There were SO many choices!
I do have to shout-out our server team. Our Assistant Server Gedde was just awesome, and once he learned our drink preferences, he made sure we were ready with drinks as soon as we arrived at our meals. By the end of the cruise, he was bringing me double iced teas as soon as we were seated!
Up first were Ener-G rolls with butter. If you’re dairy free, do ask about dairy free butter options or other dipping sauces. Both Brandon & I were served these rolls on this visit to ensure that our special dietary needs were covered. These are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, fish/shellfish free, peanut/tree nut free, soy free, and vegan.
For my starter, I ordered Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp with Green Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli, and Dill Dressing. This dish is marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Fish, Milk, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Allergies.
I’ve been getting this dish for quite a long time on the Disney Dream, and it never sails to disappoint. If you love seafood, this is a fantastic option. I probably should have ordered it again on another night, because boy, is it delicious.
I couldn’t help but try one of the new allergy-friendly menu options — the Potato Gnocchi tossed in Provencal Sauce, garnished with Cremini Mushrooms and Caramelized Grape Tomatoes. It is marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Milk, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Allergies.
Oh boy. I wanted to love this dish. I really did. Especially because it’s so rare to get something like gnocchi gluten free when dining out. But, I was not a fan. The gnocchi itself was extremely gummy and tasteless. And, the sauce pretty much tasted like bad pizza sauce. Overall, I cannot recommend this unless you really really love pizza sauce or have your heart set on trying it. I’m glad I did try it, but I’ll be skipping this one next time.
Brandon was extremely happy to be able to order not one but two soups. He got the classic French Onion Soup and Potato Leek Soup. Neither are listed on the allergy-friendly menu. But, they are listed on the regular Royal Palace dinner menu. The kitchen confirmed that both soups contained vegetable broth, making them safe for Brandon’s fish/shellfish, peanut/tree nut, and chicken & turkey allergies. The Potato Leek soup is also gluten free.
As a quick aside, if you’re interested in ordering something from the regular menu, you can still do so. We ordered a bit from the allergy-friendly menu and the regular menu at every meal. In fact, the regular menus do still have GF, DF, and vegetarian notes still on them. And, you can also still look for items not marked safe for a special dietary need that can be modified easily too. My rule of thumb is, if you’re interested in a dish, ask your server!
For my entree, I ordered another dish that was new on the allergy-friendly menu — Oven-Baked Salmon with a White Bean, Pancetta, and Swiss Chard Ragout. This was marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Milk, Peanut/Tree Nut, Shellfish, and Soy Allergies.
Overall, I was not impressed with this dish. The salmon itself was super tasty. But, the ragout was not. I guess I should have expected it to be tomato-based, but I was a bit surprised when it came. I was not at all a fan of the ragout which included touch, almost crunchy white beans and way too much tomato.
Next time, I’d go for the Chateaubriand steak or the tuna for safer bets.
Speaking of steak, Brandon ordered a dish we both usually get — the Chateaubriand-Roasted Filet Steak which featured a Roasted Filet Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, and a Red Wine Jus. The Jus was omitted for Brandon due to the chicken broth in it, and Brandon got mashed potatoes instead of the Sage-Rosemary Roasted Potatoes listed on the allergy-friendly menu.
His version was safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Peanut/Tree Nut, Soy, Chicken & Turkey Allergies. You can get it dairy free too by getting the roasted potatoes.
Overall, Brandon said this was very good and a dish that he always enjoys whenever we have dinner at Royal Palace.
For dessert, we both got desserts from the allergy-friendly menu. Brandon got the Warm Chocolate Cookie Brownie which came with chocolate sauce and raspberry sorbet. This dish is marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Milk, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Allergies.
Brandon is a big fan of this dessert and has gotten it quite a few times on previous cruises. Funnily enough, I think he likes it more than I do, as I haven’t been as big of a fan when I’ve gotten it. He said it was great, as usual.
For my dessert, I got the Raspberry and Cream Cake layered with Raspberry Jam and Whipped Cream. This dish is marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Milk, and Peanut Allergies.
While I liked this cake, I didn’t love it. The cake was Namaste brand, and I found it to be a bit on the dry side. The dairy free whipped cream and frosting, on the other hand, was outstanding. It was definitely not a bad dessert, and I’d probably get it again because I enjoyed the flavors — even with a dry cake.
If you’re interested in learning more about the allergy-friendly options, our initial reactions and thoughts, or just want to see a bit more of our cruise experience, check out our Disney Cruise Vlog. Our Day 1 video includes this meal and more!
Royal Palace is always a great meal experience with a lot of special dietary needs options. With the addition of the new allergy-friendly menus, there’s even more to enjoy. While I didn’t love all of the dishes I tried, there’s still a lot of the classic dishes at Royal Palace for dinner that I do really enjoy. I’ll look forward to our next cruise and ordering some of those favorites again.
Have you been on the Disney Dream? What do you think of Royal Palace?