Travel Tuesday: Delicious Dining on the Disney Wonder (Part 1)
This post contains affiliate links (ads), which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive some $$$ to keep this blog running.
There are many different places to eat while on a Disney Cruise Boat. Disney has a unique experience called rotational dining where guests get to enjoy all three themed dining venues while on board. Once guests receive their Key to the World card, they also receive their rotational dining.
Our dining was: Triton’s, Animator’s Palate, Tiana’s Place, Triton’s, Animator’s Palate, Tiana’s Place, and Triton’s.
We missed our first night of dining, due to eating a late lunch, and missed the second night of Animator’s Palate because we had Palo reservations.
I do not suggest missing the first night of dinner because it throws the servers all off their game and all the activities for the whole week.
Here is my review our dining experience for the Days 1-3 on the Disney Wonder.
Day 1 – Room Service for Dinner; Embarkation
We ordered two All Hands on Deck cheese plates and three Chicken Caesar Salads from room service. The room service menu has a little bit of everything for anyone in your party. You can order anything from appetizers, chicken fingers, hamburgers, or Mickey Bars 24/7. You can also order alcohol, sodas, candy, or bottle waters for a nominal fee. With Disney’s loose alcohol policy, the ability to bring any closed snack packages on board, and water – I do not see a reason to order any of the food items that cost additional.
To order room service, one just picks up the phone, place the request, and wait the allotted amount of time for the food. I never had an issue with the speed of delivery, but a few times I called they didn’t pick up the phone, so I hung up and called right back. Room service delivered our cheese plates and salads in about 35 minutes.
Days 2-6 Room Service for Breakfast
Each evening we would fill out the Room Service Continental Breakfast for the next day. Our order would typically be a couple of orange juices (to make mimosas!), fresh fruit bowl, Danish Pastries, Croissants, selections of Jams, and two carafes of coffee. You can select anytime you want your breakfast to be delivered to your room between 5:00 am-9:30 am in 30-minute increments. Depending if we had an excursion or not we had breakfast delivered between 6:00 am – 7:00 am.
The breakfast wasn’t anything spectacular, but we wanted to make sure that we hot coffee in the morning. The coffee wasn’t that great either (New Orleans natives usually brew their coffee quite strong), so when we docked at Skagway, my family decided that they needed to buy some Starbucks Via Instant Coffee.
Also, there is no option to order half and half with your coffee, the only place where I found half and half was at the 24/7 soda, coffee, and tea station on deck nine. I just took a large cup and filled it with half and half every other night, so no one had to worry about running up to get it in the morning.
Day 2 – Triton’s for breakfast – Sea Day
I ordered a Traditional Eggs Benedict and Grits for my breakfast. The grits were quite thin and bland, so I tried spicing it up with some cheese and salt and pepper, but that did not help this item (note a non-New Orleanian probably wouldn’t mind the grits). The Eggs Benedict was delicious and cooked to perfection.
Day 2 – Cabana’s for lunch – Sea Day
Lunch at the cabanas on a sea day is insane! Granted, I knew this because everyone is trapped on the same ship, but this was the only time on vacation I ever realized there was a significant number of kids on board.
Like any buffet, you want to assess the situation of what are the food choices. Everything looked very similar from the day before, except they had a small Mexican section for Taco Tuesday. I opted to make myself a fried chicken salad (salad from the salad bar, chicken from the hot food line), tried some lo mein, French fries, a myriad of desserts, and of course ice cream!
I should have tried the fixings for Taco Tuesday because I didn’t see any other Mexican dishes the whole week.
Day 2 – Mojito and Caipirinha Tasting – Sea Day
On Embarkation day, we signed up for a Mojito tasting for our first day at Sea. The class cost $20 per person and was well worth the price. When we arrived at the D-Lounge, we sat down at a table, and there were three glasses per person with limes, mint, and rum already in them, Sprite, a muddler, and stirrers.
The class lasted about 45 minutes (or maybe we just stayed late!) and was very enjoyable and actually educational. We went through a step by step process to learn how to create a delicious mojito. We muddled the limes and sugar with the rum (don’t muddle the mint!) and added Sprite or Club Soda to taste.
After having three mojitos, varying in different rums and fruit within them, we moved on to make a Caipirinha. Now, I had only had a Caipirinha once in my life (it was in New York at a bar called Lava Gina – I kid you not) and did not enjoy it. But this vacation was all about trying new things!
A Caipirinha is sugar, lime, and Cachaça, very similar to rum. Even though these were not as easy to drink as a Mojito, it was still a refreshing drink and was interesting to learn the history.
Day 2 – Animator’s Palate for dinner – Sea Day
Our first rotational dinner look the cake! First, we were 15 minutes early, when we were 15 minutes late; so we were one of the first families in the restaurant. The hostess asked us which table we were (we said 7120 which was incorrect; we were table 30) and whisked is away to meet our dining staff (enter their names here).
The menu for the first night at Animator Palate was spectacular.
Bread service was a Garlic and Herb Focaccia Bread with Roasted Garlic Dip.
For my appetizer, I had the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes. Let me tell you, we talked about these little purseittes for the rest of the cruise and I wish we had them every night! I followed the appetizer with the Arugula Leaves salad that had Red Beets, Orange segments and Marinated White Beans with a Mustard Dressing. I did not enjoy the white beans, but knowing I was going to have a four-course meal, it wasn’t disappointing to skip out on some beans.
For my main course, I had the Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes with Bok Choy. This steak was one of the best cuts of beef I had on this vacation (minus our dinner at Palo). Dessert was a Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake, which I had apparently read the menu wrong because it was Vanilla Cheesecake on a Chocolate Fudge base. The cheesecake was one the better desserts that I had on the ship.
My sister and I ordered a bottle of wine, which came to $42.55 with the gratuity and service charge. The great thing about a Disney cruise is you can either bring a bottle of wine with you (they open it for a $25 corkage fee), order from a wine package (three, five or seven bottles), or order wine bottles a la carte. Also, if you do not finish the bottle, your dining team will save it for you for the next evening, or you can take it home with you to finish in your stateroom.
Day 2 – Captain’s Reception – Sea Day
My mother jokingly said that if there were free or inexpensive alcohol on the ship, I would find it. On the first Sea Day, before the Golden Mickey’s, there was a Captain’s reception on Decks 3 and 4 to welcome us aboard the Disney Wonder. This activity was listed under “Fun For All Ages” because everyone could take a photo with the captain and a couple of other characters. We stayed on Deck 4 so we could look down at all the festivities (and it was one of the only places to sit). During this time, we pursued the Disney Cruise Line Catalog (yes, we booked another cruise, more about that later) and sipped on some free beverages.
The drinks that I could see included: White wine, red wine, two fruity cocktails, light beer, and a dark beer. Since we were the second round of the Captain’s Welcome reception, some of the drinks ran out towards the end but we tried the white wine, it was Chardonnay but tasted extremely too sweet, and both of the fruity cocktails. The cocktails had a strong hard liquor taste, so I was not interested in those. Finally, I sipped on the light beer; I believe it was Miller Lite.
The dining crew was coming out of the D-Lounge, so I was able to hover over there to grab the second round of drinks when the white wine wasn’t up to our standards. Make sure to attend the Captin’s Welcome whether it is for some tasty beverages, or to take photos with characters and the captain.
Day 3 – Endicott Arm Excursion Day – Triton’s Breakfast
We were lucky enough to book the Glacier Explorer (TC01) excursion through Disney to get an up close and personal look at Endicott Arm at noon. Going on the excursion means that our whole breakfast-lunch-dinner plan was thrown off.
We started off the day with our standard room service and then opted for a later breakfast at Triton’s. We all ordered the vegetarian omelet (with some different choices of vegetables in them), hash browns, and bacon. Ally also ordered an espresso $2.59, which did the trick of waking her up for the day. The breakfast was quite tasty and held us throughout our excursion.
After the excursion, we ordered a few mulled wines so we could stay warm while watching the rest of Endicott Arm. Now – I’m not sure if my drink of the day cup would have been able to be traded in for a mulled wine drink of the day, but now we had a cool coffee mug that we could bring on vacations. Also, the coffee mug said Alaska, so I wasn’t disappointed. We only bought one full price mulled wine and three refills so that cost came to $31.91.
Day 3 – Endicott Arm excursion day – Tiana’s Place, Dinner
I was very excited to try Tiana’s Place because it is a New Orleans themed restaurant and one of the newer restaurants since the Disney Wonder’s Dry Dock in 2017. The ambiance of Tiana’s Place is wonderful. When you walk in, there is a live band playing New Orleans and Disney songs. I mean, I was not expecting to sing When The Saints Go Marching In while in Alaska!
Thank goodness the ambiance is great because, being a New Orleanian, the food was not that tasty. Don’t get me wrong, the food wasn’t terrible, but it I felt like it was advertised incorrectly. The food could be fixed in two ways, don’t pretend that it is New Orleans Cuisine, or change the recipes for the items on the menu.
Bread service was a Herbed Brioche with Roasted Onion Dip.
For my appetizer, I had the Sautéed Gulf Shrimp and Grits, and these were delicious! The Grits were much better than the grits at Triton’s, and this should really be a main course choice and not an appetizer. I then followed my appetizer with the Iceberg Wedge salad and replaced the Thousand Island Dressing with Blue Cheese Dressing. I then followed all of that with Big Daddy’s Roasted Prime-Rib of Beef. The sides, Double Baked Potato, Broccolini, Sweet Roasted Carrots, were delicious, but the steak was just ok. It was quite flat and had very thick Red Veal Sauce gravy on it. I really wasn’t into the flavor, which was disappointing because the steak the evening before was delicious.
While waiting to order our dessert, the band started playing Happy Birthday and all the servers surrounding our table and sang us Happy Birthday! (I had put down that we were celebrating my 30th, my sister’s 33rd, and my mothers 60th birthdays with our travel agent!). It was such a fun surprise, and we got an adorable chocolate cake that had Happy Birthday written on it.
The ambiance was the best because Princess Tiana came and met everyone at their table! We spoke to Princess Tiana, and she was impressed that we were from New Orleans. Also, her knowledge about New Orleans was spot on!