In some ways, the best meal you get on a cruise is the first. We didn’t have a wink of sleep the night before we left, and to finally have the chance to shed our luggage and sit down to a dignified meal was…heaven.
Attached to the pool deck, Cabanas is the Fantasy’s buffet spread, and is usually open for two to three sittings a day. While we’ve heard people complain about “cruise food” in general, that wasn’t the case here. We enjoyed eating every time, the food always tasted fresh, and you didn’t have to spend extra for non-alcoholic drinks like soda, coffee, and iced tea. If Cabanas is closed, there are cafes available that serve burgers and pizza all day long, so there is always something to eat if you have a hankering.
For sit-down dining where food is brought to your table, the standard options include The Animator’s Palate, The Enchanted Garden, and The Royal Court.
Animator’s Palate is an activity based restaurant. The moment we sat down, we were asked to draw on our placemats which would be later used as part of the evening’s entertainment. I don’t want to ruin it for everyone, but it was a creative use of my otherwise untalented scribbling.
As shown above, all the meals are both elaborate and tasty. We enjoyed jumbo lobster tails on our first evening, and the kids menu is filled with comfort food for the finicky eaters. While I got full faster than I would have liked, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one order. You like the appetizer? Get another one! Don’t like the sautéed vegetables? Get a side salad instead. While you can’t stray from the menu, there is flexibility to make sure you get a full meal and then some.
Things get a little fancier with The Enchanted Garden. I didn’t think to take pictures of my food, but I remember enjoying some sushi, a good steak, and dessert.
What made this meal unique was each eight day cruise features a “pirate night”, and everyone had fun wearing a Pirates of the Caribbean bandana around their head.
To exemplify the service you can expect with Disney, not only did the staff have a baby seat waiting for our son DJ, they had a labeled cup of water waiting for him as well. They clearly made an effort to remember the special needs of each guest.
The Royal Court was the last restaurant we sampled. This was by far the fanciest of the three restaurants we ate at. Heck, even the table napkin was dressed in a suit! This time around, we had onion soup, escargots, and a choice of entrees.
The remaining restaurants were Palo and Remy. These are considered the fanciest of the restaurants aboard the Disney Fantasy, and feature an outlook over the water.
They aren’t free, and you could easily spend as much as $100 for your meal. We’ve been told the food is even fancier and customized compared to the other restaurants, so I encourage you to try it if you get the chance.
The only restaurant we didn’t care for was Cookies. One of the ports of call is Disney’s Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas. Admittedly, we got there a bit late in the day. The food choices were burgers, hotdogs, potato salad, and some other odds and ends. I know it’s supposed to be barbecue style, but the food didn’t look very appetizing by the time we got there, and they definitely needed more options. A good salad bar would have made a big difference.
While I mentioned Cabanas in passing, this will be a high point for many. Sliced turkey, ham, roast beef…they’ve got it. Ice cream, pastries, fresh fruit…they’ve got it. They even had well cooked minute steaks ready to go. Cabanas has theme nights too! For example, after the Pirates of the Caribbean show, they had a midnight pirate buffet on the ship featuring Mexican food, crepes, awesome deserts, and more. One of the other passengers I spoke with skipped out on the fancier restaurants to go to Cabanas because the food quality is pretty close, and there is a lot more variety to choose from.
If you are lucky enough to enjoy a cabin with a veranda, or you are stuck in your room because your kids have to get to bed, there is always room service! We didn’t have a chance to order the more elaborate meals, but comfort food is readily available 24 hours a day. Our recommendation is to order the cake of the day, and even though it’s not on the menu, get a “Mickey Bar” as well. Just be aware that even though room service is free, you should give a gratuity to your server for getting the food to your room.