Disney Cruise Line – Vegetarian Dining – flavour and labelling and lack thereof

In the past on Disney Cruise Line, we had two complaints about the dining.  The first complaint was the food was bland, the food in the main dining rotation seemed to have had all the taste sucked out of it and was lacking flavour.

When we did our Transatlantic cruise back in 2010, the first night after our tasteless dinner, I jokingly said to our head server who was from India “where is the Indian food?”.  He looked surprised and asked if I liked Indian food.  Well if you have been following my blog for any period of time you know the answer is “heck, yes”.

He said that he would arrange Indian food for the following night – I said, “and every night for the rest of the (two-week) cruise please”.  Quite simply, amazing food!

Each night we’d get the regular menu, choose if we wanted anything from it and then they would bring out the specially prepared Indian dishes.  Apparently a lot of the chefs on board are from India and it seemed like they were cooking dishes they liked, beautiful food!  I wondered why the regular menu items didn’t come up to the same amazing standard?

We did much the same on our Hawaii cruise a couple of years later.

When we did our Alaska cruise earlier this year, I’d heard the quality of the food had improved.  With this in mind, we didn’t make any particular dining requests this time and just ordered from the menu. Somewhere between the time we did the Panama Canal Cruise in 2008 and our Hawaii cruise in 2012, they must have made some major changes to the menu.  The food was excellent.  We did get Indian food one night but for the most part, I was pretty happy with the vegetarian choices on the menu.

The table next to us ordered a number of Asian style dishes one night and the Vegetarian Pad Thai which I had a small taste of was amazing!

The second complaint we had, and still have (and I complain about it every cruise on the comment card) it’s the labelling of food at the buffet.  Other than names of the dishes at the buffet, there was no indication of which dishes contain animal products.  Being vegetarian or vegan is not an allergy – if we come into contact with animal products, it won’t kill us.  So how hard is it to put a symbol on the name card indicating it is vegetarian? Perhaps a picture of the animal in the food.  Lots of people may not be vegetarian but choose not to eat pig or beef products for religious or cultural reasons.

I shouldn’t have to ask if the soup is made with animal stock or whether the salad or desserts have hidden animal products such as gelatin.

This shouldn’t be a difficult or unreasonable request.  If my local food court can do this on their menu, why can’t an award-winning cruise line?

And now to the food pictures, these are a selection of the vegetarian dishes we have eaten over the various cruises.  Some look better than they tasted.

Asian style tofu
Asian style tofu
Portobello mushrooms in green pea puree with brown lentils
Portobello mushrooms in green pea puree with brown lentils (I asked for the asparagus as a extra item)
Little ravioli parcels as a starter
Little ravioli parcels as a starter
Gnocchi - this was delicious!
Gnocchi – this was delicious!
Risotto - I don't remember what flavour but I know I enjoyed it
Risotto – I don’t remember what flavour but I know I enjoyed it
Crumbed, cheesy, ravioli parcels - I could have eaten a bucket full of these
Crumbed, cheesy, ravioli parcels – I could have eaten a bucket full of these
More gnocchi
More gnocchi
More tofu
More tofu
Ravioli parcels and I asked for a side of brussel sprouts which were a side on one of the carnivore meals
Ravioli parcels and I asked for a side of brussel sprouts which were a side on one of the carnivore meals
Flakey pastry tart
Flakey pastry tart
Crumbed tofu with sweet chilli sauce and asian style veggies
Crumbed tofu with sweet chilli sauce and asian style veggies
Tofu ?
Tofu ?

 

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