Most of you know how dining works on the Disney Cruise Line, but for those of you who don't here is a quick run down. On DCL ships there are three main dining rooms. You are assigned one restaurant each night of your cruise on a rotation. Both your tables mates and server are with you throughout your rotation. The three restaurants have their own menu for the first three nights of the cruise, after which specialty menus are implemented and are the same in each restaurant.
These specialty menus are usually themed somewhat. There is a "pirates" menu, a "prince and princess" menu, even a Star Wars Day At Sea menu. Today we're revisiting the vegetarian options on the Captain's Gala menu.
Like every other menu on the Disney Cruise Line, vegetarians will have plenty of options, so don't worry about that. And since the food is included with the price of your cruise feel free to order however many of those options you like. The portions are on the smaller side (for Americans anyway...) for this exact reason.
As an appetizer we ordered the breaded eggplant, which is described as Filled with Sweet Ricotta and Mozzarella, served on Toscano Sauce and Drizzled with Aged Balsamic. This is perhaps the biggest surprise of the meal...not because it was phenomenal or anything, but the fact that it wasn't terrible. When cooking for such a large group of people this could have gone horribly wrong.
Luckily this was very reminiscent of the standard vegetarian option at any Italian wedding. The eggplant held up and wasn't soggy at all. The sauce wasn't overly salty at all, which can be a big problem on the cruise line. Definitely a solid option.
No meal on cruise would be complete without a bad basic salad. The Beef Steak Tomato and Vidalia Onion Salad was literally the most forgettable thing I've ever eaten in my life. The only thing that stood out about this salad is the fact that it had whole spring onions on it. What?
The entrees of the Captain's Gala menu are very diverse flavor wise. There was no question that I was going to order the Thai Red Pumpkin and Coconut Curry. This is a unique dish as far as the rotational dining is concerned. (the main buffet Cabanas is much more likely to carry this flavor profile...) The curry had a very subtle coconut and curry flavor, playing to the audience it is presented to. The stewing sauce is on the saltier side to make up for the missing curry flavor, but honestly it wasn't all that bad. I like the use of pumpkin in this dish which is unexpected. I eat a LOT of curry in my day to day life and don't think I've ever seen it used before.
The dish is served with (too much) rice and (not enough) bok choy. The rice is an obvious side. However I was surprised and very happy to see the bok choy, which was steamed perfectly and a good fresh counterpart to the rich curry.
The Green Pea and Fava Bean Risotto was doomed from the start. There is NO WAY a kitchen staff can pump out several hundred risotto dishes at once. We ordered it knowing this, and of course it was dreadful. The rice was not only undercooked, but I'm pretty sure they were using long grain rice which is bizarre and super off putting. The only flavor to note is salt and salt. Meh.
I don't like sweet food at all, but my loving husband does, so I indulge him by ordering as well. (knowing that I will take one bite and focus on my coffee.) Featured above are the banana creme brulee, banana fosters sundae, and apricot trio. I order the apricot dessert, because I do prefer fruit flavors over chocolate. The creme brulee falls into the same category as the risotto...we KNOW Disney doesn't do it well, but we always order it anyway. To be frank, the rotational dining restaurant dessert options are awful over all. The only reason we order them is because they exist.
I know it seemed like a generally bad review, but this is honestly one of the better specialty menus on the Disney Cruise Line. Next time we experience the Captain's Gala menu we will probably pare down our order and focus on the things we know we love. Have you ever had the Captain's Gala menu? What are your thoughts? Let us know over on Twitter...