*This dining gluten free experience took place in October 2018. It includes notes about dairy free options too.
Lunch at Royal Palace
Royal Palace, located on the Disney Dream, is one of the three main rotational dining restaurants on the ship. On our October 2018 3-day cruise on the Disney Dream, we ate at Royal Palace quite a bit. That’s because it’s one of the restaurant options for breakfast and lunch, in addition to dinner. On this particular occasion, we had lunch at Royal Palace on the day we were in Nassau, Bahamas. We had opted to stay on the ship most of the day and wanted to get a quick bite for lunch.
Royal Palace has a Disney princess theme — complete with artwork featuring several different princesses. We absolutely loved the theme of this restaurant and found it to be simple, understated, and the most spacious feeling of the three main restaurants on the ship.
Royal Palace definitely has a lot of seating and many large tables for group dining. We were seated at a 4-top table during our dinner at Royal Palace because we requested to dine by ourselves.
You can read a bit more about the theme in my dinner and breakfast review of Royal Palace. But, you can see some charming touches in the photos shown here. I loved the intricate wallpaper found in the restaurant shown in the photo above.
I have to admit, Brandon and I both weren’t really that hungry before we went to lunch. We had already enjoyed a filling breakfast at Royal Palace and decided to have a late lunch after spending some time relaxing in the Rainforest Room in Senses Spa. Because I had pre-ordered lunch, both Brandon and I thought we should at least go to lunch and then eat as lightly as we could. Of course, we both forgot how much food you tend to get on the ship — even when you try to eat light!
The lunch menu at Royal Palace included a variety of options. And, like breakfast and dinner, options that are gluten free and dairy free are marked on the menu. You can always still ask about other options too. I have found that breakfast and lunch had a lot more flexibility to customize than dinner.
Up first, Brandon and I did each order a Signature Gin and Tonic from the lunch menu. It included fresh apple slices and berries which was a nice twist on my favorite drink. For those who aren’t sure what alcohol is gluten free, you can always bring a list of options before your trip. Typically, hard alcohol made distilled with gluten containing grains are considered gluten free, due to the distillation process. Gin does not seem to bug me (vodka does), so it’s one that I have found I can tolerate.
Up first, I was served the Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad. This was marked gluten free and dairy free on the menu. Disney Cruise Line’s salads are typically pretty boring and bland. I have no idea why, but they just are. This particular salad, however, was really good. The tuna was absolutely outstanding and all of the other ingredients were perfect. The Dijon Mustard Dressing was light, flavorful, and well-seasoned. Definitely a home-run. Because I wasn’t that hungry, I could have honestly just had this, my gin & tonic, an allergy-friendly roll and have been completely satisfied. I will definitely be ordering this again on a future cruise.
For my main entree, I ordered Grilled Filet of Halibut with a White Wine Tomato, Olive, and Garlic Reduction served with Saffron Rice. It was marked gluten free on the menu and contained dairy in some way. Overall, I thought this was just OK. The fish was overcooked. The rice was decent. But, I really did not like the sauce that came with this dish. I am not a red sauce fan, and this one was just oddly flavored. It’s not one I would prioritize ordering again.
For dessert, I was given “chef’s choice,” again. I wasn’t at all hungry and tried to tell them that I did not want to have dessert. But, I was still given one anyway. It was a modified version of the Italian Style Ice Cream Sundae and included Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce, and Whipped Cream.
I really do not like regular dairy filled ice cream, even though I’ve reintroduced dairy back into my diet. I find it way too sweet and rich. I did take a few bites and thought it was definitely way too sweet and rich for me. Brandon ended up eating part of my sundae and thought it was pretty good but preferred the chocolate molten cake he ordered.
One of the biggest lessons I learned on this cruise was to be very specific about desserts. It was probably the only part of any of my meals that I wasn’t all that keen on. Next time, I’ll be making specific requests instead of going with “chef’s choice.”
Both Brandon and I were pleased with our lunch options at Royal Palace. Brandon enjoyed his cheese plate and lamb burger, and I absolutely loved my Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad. We both agreed that next time we’d eat lighter but that we’d definitely eat lunch at Royal Palace for table service again on another cruise.
Have you been to Royal Palace for lunch on the Disney Dream? What did you think of the options?