Disney Cruise Magical

A Magical Monday Full of New Adventures!

SURPRISE! I just returned from a 7-day Western Caribbean Cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy. It was my first time leaving the country (besides my quick drive through Canada) since my celiac diagnosis. And, it went amazingly!

Disney Cruise Magical

For today, I’ll just summarize some of the best parts, but be sure to come back each Monday as we dive into the food options onboard, ports of call, and the essential packing list! AND, if you are hopping aboard a Disney cruise any time soon feel free to comment or reach me on my Contact Me page with any questions. 🙂

The magic begins the moment you step aboard the ship when a cast member welcomes your family through the speakers, and everyone claps. The lobby is majestic. Right away, you can climb up the stairs to meet a character onboard the ship! (We saw Donald and Minnie before we even arrived in our room).

In Disney style, the entire boat is decked out and no detail was spared. We ate at Cabanas for breakfast and lunch most days, and they have the most gorgeous tile mural.
Disney Fantasy Magical Cruise

While Cabanas is buffet style, all my meals were special orders from the back that I placed the night before. I started ordering lettuce wraps for lunch that were delicious and refreshing. Other guests certainly turned their heads as these were brought out by the chef, and some people definitely wanted their own lettuce wraps too.

Disney Fantasy Magical Cruise

Now, my favorite meals were crafted by Chef Giuseppe at Palo, one of the two adult only (18+) restaurants on the ship. Here’s the meal he crafted when he had no idea I was arriving. Just wait until you see the meal he prepared at the end of our trip in a future Magical Monday post! Disney Cruise Magical

I ate tons of food, and had a blast! However, it took careful planning with my AWESOME head waiter, Alberto, who took all my orders. There were locations where I couldn’t eat, such as the quick service on the side of the pool: Eye Scream, Frozone Treats, and Flo’s Cafe.

Disney Cruise Fantasy Magical
Even though I couldn’t eat there, this sign is absolutely adorable!

Lastly, not only did the Disney cruise fill my heart with delectable food, but we traveled to beautiful places! Our cruise went to Cozumel, the Grand Caymans, Jamaica, and Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas). It was great to see all these new locations, while eating safely onboard the ship. My favorite port was Jamaica, where we went to Dunn’s River Falls, and went on an alpine slide crafted to look like Jamaican bobsleds.

Disney Fantasy Magical Cruise
Mystic Mountain Rainforest, Jamaica

I had an amazing time, and certainly miss the expertly prepared meals. What was your first experience traveling outside your home country with celiac disease? Have you ever been to any of the places I named?

Hope you have a Magical Monday, and enjoy the last few moments of summer!

P.S: If you want to know about dining in Walt Disney World check out my Gluten Free in Disney page.

15 thoughts on “A Magical Monday Full of New Adventures!

    1. Thanks, Helen! I just wrote a little bit in the comment below about food prep. I think they did a pretty awesome job. My body is a pretty good gluten detector, and I felt fine the whole trip!

      As for ship life, my sister and I are 23 and 19, and we found plenty of things to do aboard the ship as well. We went to both family events and the adult only events. There are also awesome broadway style shows most nights, my favorite was Aladdin. The genie was hilarious!

      I had been on a Royal Caribbean cruise before my celiac diagnosis. Disney is much better with crowd control, which means that getting on and off the boat is a breeze. If you have any specific questions, let me know!

      Otherwise, I’ll be writing more next Monday!

  1. That sounds great. We’ve been thinking about taking a cruise but wondered how the whole gluten free thing would work. Hate to spend all that money and then have Geoff spend the whole holiday feeling lousy.

    1. It was my first one, so I was definitely worried! We chose Disney based on online reviews and our past experiences in Disney World. We also packed a bunch of factory sealed snacks that could pass through customs on port days, and in case I felt uncomfortable eating on the boat.

      I thought they did a really good job! On the Disney Cruise you rotate between three restaurants, but you keep the same servers. Each night my head server would take my breakfast, lunch, and dinner order for the next day. Since breakfast and lunch were buffets, I would pick my meal up from the chef in the back. Then, for dinner my meals would sometimes be up to five minutes after everyone else’s because the chef prepared it separately. But, that doesn’t bother me one bit!

      The funniest meal was breakfast. Since they cooked my bacon separately, they would give me the whole pound they cooked for me. And, I ate it all every day… oops!

      I met the Executive Pasty Chef who prepared my desserts, the mangers, and the chefs across the various restaurants. By the end of the trip, every head waiter knew me and my dietary needs, which was pretty cool too.

      As they put it to me, they really don’t want any emergencies on board the ship. I did ask any questions I had about any food put in front of me. Hopefully, that explained how it works a bit!

      Have a magical week!

      P.S: Disney actually labels which meals are GF and DF on the menu. This made it easy for me to know which meals would be easy for the chef to prepare for me, but it’s important that they still prep it separately. 🙂

    1. Cool! There’s actually a Disney Cruise that goes to Bridgetown, Barbados, so maybe I’ll make it out there sometime too. Hope you get to visit again soon! 🙂

  2. Kaila! My FIRST vacation was actually a cruise with Celiac, and I got treated like Royalty as well! Except lunch was a bit tricker for me, since there was no wait staff for me to talk to really the day beforehand, I would have to hunt someone down to have a chef safely make me eggs and gluten free bread in the buffet style dining hall. BUT YOUR WRAPS LOOK ON POINT and your advice of “lunch the day beforehand plan” gives me ideas for my next trip, whenever that will be.

    HOW exactly did you do that? Like, the people who serve dinner/that waitstaff is not the same as the buffet wait staff usually!

    1. That’s awesome! On the Disney Cruise, there are head waiters. They oversee a ton of tables, so there aren’t too many of them. I placed my order with my awesome head waiter, Alberto, each night! He would tell me which buffet he was at for lunch the next day. If I wanted to eat at a different restaurant or if he had lunch off, then he would tell me which other head waiter to see. It was great, and by the end of the trip, I knew almost all of the head waiters. 🙂

      P.S: Wait until you see the cucumber wraps they made me as an appetizer one night for dinner! Amazing!

  3. I’m so glad it all went smoothly for you. I really wondered how it would work since they’re feeding so many people each day. Was smoking allowed on a Disney Cruise? That’s another one of the main things keeping me from a cruise. I get deathly asthma attacks from smoke and I’ve heard so many stories about how bad the smoke is on cruises (even though it’s supposed to be only in designated areas).

    1. Thanks! I’m pretty much a freak when it comes to question asking and meeting chefs, but they were all so great! For food allergies, only the head chef for that kitchen will prepare your meal, which means that sometimes your food comes out later, but I felt very safe. As one manager told me, they really don’t want a medical emergency aboard the ship!

      As for smoking, it helps that we sailed out of the U.S., Disney is pretty strict on rules, and it’s a family oriented cruise. Specifically, Disney hasn’t allowed smoking on verandas of staterooms since 2013, which helps a ton. There are three designated smoking areas on the Fantasy, two of which are outside of the upper deck bars. I actually never saw anyone smoking, and only smelt a lingering cigar smell once while aboard the ship. I did notice it right outside of port and at Castaway Cay (but only in designated areas). I’m sure people smoke outside at night, but I tended to go to shows and daytime activities (like Arts and Crafts!), and certainly only in designated spots.

      If I’m not eating at a 100% GF restaurant, then Disney is pretty much one of my favorite spots. And, this is actually better than WDW because you have the same servers (and frequently chefs) all week long.

      Hopefully that helps a bit!

      P.S: I brought a TON of prepackaged snacks aboard the ship, which I’ll talk about in a future Magical Monday post. But, I definitely didn’t end up needing them as back up meals. 🙂

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