Dining aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships is an event in and of itself. As you might’ve come to expect, when Disney is involved, a simple meal becomes an all-encompassing experience for young and old alike. As we DCL fans sit and wait with bated breath for word about a resumption of sailings, I thought that it might be nice to stop and get caught up on what the dining experience was like onboard Disney Cruise Line before the pandemic. Just before the suspension of sailing, I had the chance to take a 4-night sailing on the Disney Dream. Let’s take a virtual tour of one of the Dream’s main dining rooms, Royal Palace.
Guests sailing on the DCL ships are treated to three main dining rooms, and, they, along with their assigned serving team, rotate between the three themed restaurants each evening. The theme changes each night according to dining location and night of the cruise.
One of the three main rotational dining rooms found on the Disney Dream is Royal Palace, located on deck 4. Royal Palace is an elegantly detailed dining location, and features homages to the beloved Disney princesses throughout its interior.
The formal flair begins even before guests enter the restaurant as they are greeted by an intricately detailed floor that features inlaid marble. Arches reminiscent of those you might expect to find in a castle can be found on both sides of the entrance.
The dining room is set in a circular pattern, with tables surrounding the inner circle of the restaurant, and radiating outward from the middle. The inlay marble work continues on the floor leading to the center of the space, and guests will notice that Princess Aurora’s crown is proudly displayed in the detailed flooring.
Cinderella’s coach can be found adorning the railings that lead you into the center of the space. Touches like these that remind guests of the restaurant’s regal theme can be found throughout the dining room.
Of the three main dining rooms, Royal Palace (and its sister restaurant on the Fantasy, Royal Court) is the most formal. The flooring is marble, the woodwork is in a deep cherry finish, and the cloth napkins are folded and displayed just-so. Everything is displayed with great care, and I find that the dining room, while being elegant, is also warm and inviting. The food served here has a formal flair to it and highlights a French influence.
The ceiling in the center of the space features a chrysanthemum design and centers around a grand lighting fixture adorned with tiny glass slippers. Princess Aurora’s crowns are found here, and the tufted effect of the blue ceiling only adds to the formal yet warm ambiance. The fabric used on the chairs utilizes jewel-toned trellis prints, and adds to the regal air.
The theming extends to the window dressing as even the window cornices are the in shape of crowns. The chandeliers, the thick, colorful carpeting, the weighty fabric used for the curtains; it’s all incredibly lovely.
Paintings depicting the Disney princesses and their friends can be found along the back wall of the dining room.
Even the backs of the chairs feature princess motifs: Cinderella’s carriage and glass slipper, and Belle’s rose, to name a few.
As I mentioned earlier, the food here at Royal Palace has French leanings. My favorite Disney Cruise Line appetizer, the Breaded and Deep-Fried Brie, appears on this menu, and I’m hoping that it’s around for some time to come. The chutney made of oranges and cranberries tastes like Thanksgiving. The creamy, warm brie paired with the bright notes of the chutney is a spectacular combination. I could eat three helpings of this brie appetizer, but then I wouldn’t have room for the rest of the meal, so that’s just not good.
It’s interesting to sit and look at this space and wonder how it’ll be different when you and I next step into it for a meal. I would imagine that it’ll feature less tables, and that the tables that are there will be much further apart to allow for greater physical distancing. I would also imagine that the chargers sitting at each place would perhaps not be used in order to cut down on surfaces being touched by multiple people. Will we see an adjusted menu with perhaps fewer offerings? Will napkins be single use so that they can be thrown away after the meal? It’s questions like these for which I can’t wait to have answers.
Where does Royal Palace (or Royal Court) land in your ranking of the DCL main dining rooms? What changes do you think we’ll see to the experience once sailings have resumed? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
If you’d like additional information regarding rotational dining aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships, be sure to check out this episode of DCL Fan:
As always, when you’re ready to book your next Disney Cruise Line vacation, the experts at Dreams Unlimited Travel are ready to help you out. Click here to contact them today for a free, no-obligation quote. When you book a DCL vacation with Dreams, you can receive up to $1,000 shipboard credit and an exclusive gift!