Our Family Vacation on the Disney Wonder – Part II: The Food!

Like on all cruises, there was a heckuva lotta eatin’ going on.  Primarily by me.  Actually, I was trying to behave but despite my efforts, I still came back a little heavier than I left.  Anyhoo, let me tell you about the food situation on the Disney Wonder cruise ship.

There were three main sit-down dining halls and each night, you are assigned one dining hall to attend at a set time.  One was called Triton (named after Ariel’s father from The Little Mermaid), a second called Parrot Cay, and a third called The Animator’s Palette.  Triton was the classiest with subtle colors and some sealife decor, Parrot Cay was a little more tropical with bird decorations and bright colors, and The Animator’s Palette was super fun with black and white domino design tables and chairs, checkered floors, paintings that changed from black and white to color, and paint brush wall accents that also changed colors.  Each night came with a different theme and you could pick from a number of appetizers, main courses, desserts, etc.  Our waiters were charged with serving 24 of us.  There was an assistant waiter (Jude from India) who was responsible for taking drink orders and bringing drinks, cleaning up the table and assisting the main waiter (Chat Chai from China).  It could not have been easy serving us but they did it.  All in all, the service was ok but the meals just seemed to drag on forever, partly because they’re course after course and partly because our guys couldn’t go any faster than they were.  The hard part is that with eight kids under the age of six, someone was always taking a little one out to walk around.  It was hard to enjoy a meal in peace.  But that’s to be expected.  I have to say that Jude was excellent with Miss K’s milk.  We noted on our cruise reservation that Miss K. had a milk allergy and he had a warm glass of soy milk ready for her at every meal.  Just the right temperature.  Because the meals took so long to come out, though, Miss K often filled herself on bread (we had to give her something to keep her busy!).

Disney was excellent with making sure that Miss K didn’t have dairy since we noted it.  Once at breakfast I had ordered an omlet with cheese and they checked three times with me to make sure it was ok for her eat.  Crazy.  Our friends also have a daughter who is lactose intolerant and the day care folks called them to make sure it was ok to have a cookie since there’s butter in it!

Our friends were interested in eating Indian food instead of the normal menu and the head waiter accommodated that.  Although the descriptions sounded excellent, I didn’t care for much of the food that was on the normal menu.  I’d say the indian food was better!  But this is typical for cruises.  The food is usually upscale in nature and in appearance but I just don’t think they can make it taste fantastic when they’re having to make so much food.

Anyway, the ship also had a couple buffets that were convenient for lunch or breakfast.  They weren’t as good as the ones we had on the Celebrity cruiseline, but they were fine.  The ship also had three quick-serve food joints near the pools – Pinocchio’s Pizza, Pluto’s something or other that served hot dogs, burgers, and fries, and Goofy’s something or other that served salads, sandwiches, fruit and healthier options.  Those places came in handy too.

One thing that was different on this cruise versus others is that the soda was included in the price of the cruise.  I think we only got Sprite once but considering other lines charge extra, thought that was nice.

The ship also had a fine dining restaurant on board called Palo.  It was an Italian restaurant and if you’re interested in eating there, you pay an extra $20 per person.  The food was definitely worth more than $20 per person.  I really enjoyed our meal.  I had a steak for dinner that was cooked perfectly, and I think polenta for an appetizer and then for dessert, the waiter brought out eight desserts for four us!  He was gung-ho on the chocolate souffle, which I thought was good – I just don’t love it.  But he insisted that we all get it.  In addition, he brought out a fancy shmancy tiramisu (which was ok), a DELICIOUS panna cotta, and two other desserts that were quite good.  I really liked it.  Our sister-in-law and her husband were gracious enough to watch the baby while we ate and then we watched their dumpling when they went.

What else?  Oh!  There’s also 24 hour room service.  We ordered sandwiches once and then got milk and some bread and fruit for Karina in the morning.  I’m telling you – there’s a lot of food!  Oh ya, each night at dinner, the kids also feasted on mickey mouse ice cream bars.  I have to say they were pretty rich – definitely not the chintzy ice cream bars we used to get at school!

I think the worst part about the food was that while on the boat, Miss K. got diarrhea.  It started the second to last day on the ship.  We don’t know if it was from food she had on the boat or if it was the food she had while we were on land or if it was something she put in her mouth that she shouldn’t have.  All we know is that she had diarrhea for over a week so we had her stool tested.  Four days later we found out that the poor baby had Shiga toxins caused by e. coli.  Her stomach had been cramping and we didn’t even know it.  Sure, she was cranky but she was also fighting a cold/flu.  She was miserable.  Luckily she seems to be much better now and no medication was in order.  It was just something she had to work through her system.  I don’t understand it though.  I ate pretty much everything she ate – she basically ate from my plate the entire trip.  I didn’t get sick but she did.  Anyway, I can’t blame the food on the ship necessarily but it may have been a cause.

Otherwise, the food was fun, if for no other reason than it was abundant and I didn’t have to cook it.  :)

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