Hello my friends! I just got off a 3 night Disney Wish trip and had a really fun time with all the activities, plus lots of safe food. I never went hungry, though there were some snafus and quite a few things I learned along the way!
One thing is for sure, I could not have done this trip two years ago when my anxiety towards food was at an all time high (and yet, I was still too anxious to take my FA kids without going first to know what to expect).
That said, I will be back and I’m already dreaming about cruising more and taking longer cruises! More on the newest Disney Cruise Ship, The Disney Wish, in this cruise guide.
Let’s talk about each day of the Cruise, plus some tips I learned while navigating cruising with Food Allergies!
***As Always, please speak to a qualified restaurant employee when ordering food. In order to see the most accurate ingredients and risk assessment, you will need to confirm allergy safety in real-time. This is my personal experience, I am not employed or endorsed by companies or brands mentioned.***
The Disney Wish Cruise Day 1 Embarkation
I arrived with my lunchbox with sandwiches, a giant bag of prepackaged snacks, and a sealed loaf of Canyon Bakehouse GF/AF bread.
After getting through security and on the ship, we headed up to Marceline Market. There I talked to a Head Server who was able to help me walk through my food allergy needs. I made a list on my phone of my allergies (plus hidden names), foods I wanted to avoid (things I look for on ingredients, but since I couldn’t do that here, I played it safe and avoided those items), and items I was safe with.
I didn’t know this at the time, but the head server actually printed that note and attached it to my allergy sheet that went to the Chef each and every meal. This was important, as I would later learn that multiple Chefs prepared my meals each night. Even though I ordered the same ‘southern hash’ each morning, it was prepared differently all three mornings. So clearly communcicating with Chefs (without talking to them) was new for me, but we managed ok!
Noted that I would need to bring napkins, as silverware was given out by Crew Members who had on gloves who had allergens on them.
I received a meal of Steak, Rice and a Dessert Mousse.
Then I headed out to find snacks (and mind you, I was literally wandering as I had never been here or a ship ever in my life!)
Joyful sweets is a candy shop next to Marceline Market on Deck 11. It is themed after Inside Out and it is SOOO cute! They do have a recipe book there with clearly labeled ingredients.
Spoiler alert, Most things are made in house and there are all top 8 allergens present in the case and the ice cream maker. Oh! And some items don’t have ingredients as they are produced in bulk off shore and brought on.
Enrique was incredibly helpful in answer my questions about how things are made and how things come to the ships. For example, the macaroons are mostly made without gluten. But there is one macaron that is made with gluten (the cookies and cream) and it is made in the same facility and then brought over in the same box. He said that sometimes the macaroons arrive broken and it’s likely that all of them have been dusted with broken cookies and cream macaron.
Then we went to the room to get situated, and I saw that h2o shampoo that has wheat is in the room (with NO INGREDIENT LABEL. Cue the horror). I brought my own cosmetics/personal care items and I highly recommend you do the same.
After unpacking some, we checked out the Rainforest Senses spa room. I was traveling with a group for a birthday party and we all agreed to get the passes for the Rainforest Spa Room. Inside the spa room is a hot sauna, a wet sauna, a frigid room, hot beds, jacuzzis and lounge space.
The price for the Rainforest room also included ‘body scrubs’ which did not have available ingredients. They were accommodating and removed the scrubs from my bill and did not give them to me. I’ve reacted to soy protein and pineapple topically before, and wanted to avoid any skin flares. There was one times on day two where the Wet Sauna was covered in scrub from the previous party, and one of the crew members was able to squeegee the area so I could sit on a towel in there.
To wrap up embarkation day, we watched the opening show at the Walt Disney Theater. They do have fresh popped popcorn there that is labeled gluten and dairy free. It is produced by ‘mega pop’ and is the same style of coconut oil flavoring as inside Disney World park.
They also had candy bars like twix and snickers (did not see hershey’s bars or reeses). This was my favorite show out of all the ones I watched and gave me soooo many chills! Highly recommend!
For Dinner we went to the first meal on our Rotational Dining set. Each night of the cruise you are assigned a meal, and our first night was Marvel.
I had preordered at lunch, but even with preordering we were the last group to leave the restaurant as our food took awhile. Not sure if it’s because we ordered a lot of food or because two of my party ordered of the vegetarian menu items. But this trend did continue for several other meals as well.
For the appetizer I received the butternut squash soup, which was the best soup item I had on the ship.
There was no rolls available for me, which I would later learn is because they didn’t have a soy AND gluten free roll. The soy free rolls had gluten, the gluten free rolls had soy. On Day Two/Three I would learn to bring my own Canyon Bakehouse bread and Simple Mills crackers to meals.
The Entree was a Steak, with potatoes and perfectly cooked asparagus.
I did order all three of the dessert options, which were canceled and I was given a chocolate cupcake with fruit topping (later learned it was Namaste Brand Chocolate Cake, and I received it several more times on my trip!)
Day 2 Nassau Day (I stayed on the ship!)
Day two started bright and early! I wanted to get a coffee, so I headed to one of the small coffee shops at 7:25 (they open at 730) I was the first one there and got a latte with almond milk. They also had oat milk, soy milk, dairy milk and dairy heavy cream available. Flavorings were Monin Brand which are labeled gluten free and have clear allergy details.
We went to 1923 for breakfast. I had preordered the night before.
I received a perfect yogurt with sweet blueberries. It was plain greek yogurt with no flavoring, but the blueberries balanced it out.
Then came the Mickey waffles with fruit. The Syrup was Harvest Brand and they brought it out so I could check ingredients, I declined as it has caramel color and natural flavorings. Mickeys waffles are Namaste, and like when Disney World used Namaste, it was doughy on the inside.
Then my favorite dish of the trip,was this Southern Hash. It was perfectly cooked and oh so delicious!
Then Marceline Market for lunch. I also Preordered this meal.
I recieved Fruit. Steak and rice. Basically the same as the day before and it was a good portion and perfectly cooked.
Asked about dessert and spoke to the same allergy cast member who took a new allergy sheet and called chef. He (Linval, the Crew Member who was the Head Server) asked Chef to come by and help prepare the order. Chef came by (I wasn’t able to talk to him) and he read the ingredients and scooped Ice Cream from the same container as everyone else with a new scoop. Ice cream is Grand ice cream, and didn’t have soy or gluten.
Linval was incredibly helpful as I was trying to find cookies, like the Enjoy Life brand. He called multiple people and spoke to another Chef and the storage room.
Unfortunately, No enjoy life cookies on board.
Normally they are available for room service, for desserts and such. Apparently, Ship wide they were totally out. At this point, I’m the last person in Marceline Market and my server comes out. I explained and he (Manish) said he’d ask his head server (Simone) if there were cookies or anything else available for desserts.
(are you beginning to see how this is like a really fcked up game of Telephone?)
Next up, we had Arendales for Dinner. This is a Frozen Themed Meal with live entertainment all to celebrate the engagement of Anna and Kristoff. It was VERY cute inside!
I did preorder my meal, and this time I ordered EVERY option that was gluten and soy free. I’m laugh crying at this point when they told me no rolls, and I only got one appetizer. I did bring my crackers so that was nice.
My appertizer was potato soup and it was horrible. It didn’t even taste like potato and once I realized I couldn’t eat it, shared it with my travel companions who agreed it was laughably disgusting (no cross contact as I didn’t eat after them).
At this point I asked for cheese, so my server had to go find the head server, and the head server asked the Chef if there was any gluten free and soy free cheese. Was told no, as the cheese had soy…
The first entree was a perfectly cooked Steak. The Second entree was a Chilean Sea Bass. I was not impressed with this as it was more rubbery and didn’t have much flavor.
For dessert I actually had two options, my only dinner that had offered this! First up was the apple bread pudding, which was served with raspberry sorbet (though I know there was safe gluten free and dairy free ice cream as I had it for lunch). And a shortbread style cake with fruit.
Day 3 Castaway Cay Day
We’re headed to Castaway Cay baby!!! Castaway is Disney’s Private Island.
We got up early (I got up before my travel mates to get coffee at The Cove). The Cove is an adult only coffee shop on Deck 13. I told them about my gluten and soy allergy, and they got a new container of almond milk and prepared my coffee safely.
I had preordered Breakfast at Marcelines Market, and went in and ask a Crew Member to find someone to help with my allergy preorder. Spoke to a regular Crew Member who grabbed my items from the back.
He brought out a great spread, but the bread I had asked for had been left off. I asked the Crew Member for literally any bread- muffin, cupcake, roll, hamburger bun as I was really missing carbs at this point.
I was given an adorable Fruit spread and then yogurt. I had asked for a Melon Bowl (which was fruit served over yogurt) and it was strange that I was given it separately. I always try to think about the “8 year old with Food Allergies” and how they would feel in any situations. It would have been sad to have asked for a melon bowl (which was cute!) but they have to take creative license to do it yourself.
I ordered southern hash as it was so good the day before. I got a completely different option, which I chalked up to it being upstars at Marcline Market (oh how wrong I would be!!!)
And finally, a hamburger bun that was microwaved as I told them I was comfortable with shared toasters. It was deliciously ridiculous and I was ready to tackle Castaway Cay.
I did pack two pieces of bread (no meat or veggies or fruits) and a packet of sunbutter just in case my meal didn’t go as planned on the island.
I preorder the meal the day before, and my head server offered to have it delivered to Serenity Bay (which is the adult only option). Typically allergy orders are only brought to the quick serve, Cookies Two, and my head server was going to personally bring over my meal.
Head Server Andrea was there at Serenity Bay, someone who I had talked to several times already. She called my head server Simone, and I arranged a time to meet back that would work for all parties involved.
At 12:15, I received a plain hamburger, plain rice, grilled corn. Also I got cookies (!!!!!!!!), a namaste chocolate cupcake, and some hageen dazs raspberry sorbet.
First of all, COOKIES! They had found some. These are homefree brand, and unlike the regular chocolate chip which have soy lecithin, they Double Chocolate Cookies are Top 8 Free!
I also got another Namaste Chocolate Cupcake (you can’t forget that distinct flavor once you’ve had it), and the raspberry sorbet. The Sorbet is labeled Gluten Free BUT it was opened before I received it. If I was traveling with my kids, I wouldn’t be able to let them have that as I’m not sure if the scoop was clean (I assumed, but with them I could never).
At this point, I’m very tired (and later found out, very sunburnt) so we headed back to hang out. My travel mates who were pescetarian didn’t enjoy the options at Cookies Two, so we went to Mickey and Friends on Deck 11 for them. This is the quick service grab and go type option, and I wasn’t able to eat here because of the cross contact.
Before Dinner I called room service, as I was now curious if they had some HomeFree Cookies! They did! They also had some other allergy options though I didn’t get any cooked food (still pretty cautious about that!).
I order the cookies, and popcorn as it was labeled gluten free. For those wondering, the crew member told me that they had: Gluten Free Room service. Cheeseburger. Salad. Chicken tenders. Wings. Cookies.
Not sure what else,as it’s hard to know allergies but they can read ingredients and call back. I had them check the popcorn and call back (it was safe), but didn’t go further (it’s a good option though!)
Not 30 minutes after I got cookies and popcorn by room service, my Server came knocked on the door with good news! Several of them had gone to the main store room to look for the Enjoy Life cookies and had found one box. They split it between me and another guest who needed them.
For Dinner we headed to 1923 for our last meal of the night! I had preordered this as well, and once again, took quite long to get it!
I asked for the same butternut squash soup as the first day, and was alittle disappointed it wasn’t made the same. Overall it was a 5/10 the second time. I ate it was my Canyon bakehouse bread that I brought on board.
The Entree was two items that I had pre ordered. The Lobster Salad which was a 4/10. There was no dressing, but I did enjoy the flavors. And another steak, this time a filet. It was the Peppered Filet Mignon and it was very good!
At this point we ran out to meet Mickey who was meeting at 9:45 (dinner had started at 8:15) and my table mates watched for my dessert while I waited for Mickey! Met the ole pal, had him sign a postcard for the kids, and then went back to dessert.
Dessert was a beautifully plated and tasteful dessert that was like a mix between the two items I had ordered. I didn’t catch the name, but it was another custom dish!
It was incredibly rich and greatly appreciated.
Day 4 Debarkation Day!
Breakfast was at 8 on the dot at 1923. I had preorded Southern Hash, and my server also included some yogurt (which I was thankful for as I had forgotten to ask).
This was my third version of the Southern Hash, and it was another different version (which at this point, is wildly funny!) To some people with food allergies, one of my kids included, it would have been very anxiety inducing to order the exact same thing but have it delivered differently each time.
Breakfast was easy and low key as not many people were there, and it did not feel rushed (even though we were some of the last people in the restaurant!)
It was a very new experience, and I’m still thinking on all that I experienced and learned. Overall I will be back, but Disney World still reigns supreme as far as ease of talking to a Chef and customizations. I do think Disney Cruise could be perfect for someone who has issues with anxiety when it comes to talking with Chefs.