I caught sight of the Disney Dream while we were still five miles out. Seeing it, live and in person for the first time, gave me that same excited, fluttery feeling as the first time I saw the Castle grow larger as I walked down Main Street as an adult. Or maybe that was just nerves … because I was really quite nervous.
Of course, as it turns out, my nerves were misplaced. I had an absolutely fabulous Disney Cruise Line experience. But I didn’t know that at the time. At the time, I was nervous. Even after we made it to our room, explored the ship and enjoyed the Sailing Away Party on Deck 11, I was still gastrointestinally distressed about our impending trip.
Truly, it’s just as likely that I was seasick as it was that I was nervous. The ship was hauling ass on choppy waters that first evening at sea. But it’s possible that I was just a big bundle of nerves. Point is, I was sick. And as our 8:15 p.m. seating at Royal Palace drew nearer, I wasn’t feeling any better. But that did not stop me from joining Dan and two other couples for dinner.
The place is loaded with details that celebrate everything princess, with opulent fabrics, dark woods and gold-lined everything. It’s all very Disney, very palatial. And all the classic princesses (plus Tiana) are there, celebrated in both big and small touches.
The touches don’t stop at the walls and floors. Once we were seated, I was delighted by everything on the table, from the tiny tuxedo napkins to the pumpkin carriage bread basket. Even the chargers had tiny little crowns and carriages around the edges.
Point is, it’s all really pretty. And while we’re admiring the decor, I thought I’d explain how food service works at each of the main dining rooms on the Disney Dream. You already know that you’ll dine in a different restaurant each night. Your servers follow you to each restaurant and so will your fellow cruising companions.
What you see below, from three different angles, is a server side station. Here, your server and assistant server will keep track of your orders. They also bring your food to this station from the kitchen and serve from there so that all the food comes out at the same time. It’s a genius little piece of service, and you’d never even notice it if you weren’t paying attention.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t eat much here. The food is French-inspired and very rich, and my stomach was not having it. I did drink lots of ginger tea and enjoyed the wild mushroom ravioli in broth. And I had a couple of bites of Dan‘s lamb, which was ah-mazing.
The food here was fancy but not fussy. Very good. It wasn’t unrecognizable, but very nicely prepared. The cook on the meat was perfect.
What I ate was good, and the portions here were really reasonable–not too big at all, which I was a little worried about! The server kept trying to get me to order more food! I wish I had been up for more, but I just felt so nauseated.
Dessert was equally perfect and adorable. The souffle. How is it possible that they make so many hundreds of tiny, perfect souffles every night!?! Dan doesn’t know. But does have this to say:
The Grand Marnier souffle is the best! Nice light citrus flavor and fluffy texture. Good stuff. I also had a trio of desserts–I liked it. I remember the peanut butter square was quite good.
Though I wasn’t my best self that evening on the Dream, I did spend a good deal of time admiring the chandeliers. They are absolutely beautiful, and every one of them is different, all with delightful little royal touches, like Cindy’s glass slipper and Prince Phillip’s shield.
Ever since that night, I’ve been feeling truly regretful about missing out on so much of our dinner here. Unfortunately, our next cruise is aboard the Disney Magic, which doesn’t have a version of Royal Palace … so I guess I’ll just have to wait until I can next sail aboard the Dream.
What do you think of Royal Palace? Tell us in the comments below.