Disney Cruise Line – Remy Dinner Review
During our recent 5-night Marvel Day at Sea sailing on the Disney Dream, my husband and I took the opportunity to upgrade from our one-meal-at-Palo routine to one dinner at Remy instead. I’ve read many reviews of dinner and Remy, and heard several comparisons to Victoria & Albert’s. Since our July 2022 dinner at Victoria & Albert’s is my all-time favorite meal ever, and my husband valiantly stayed in the resort room with the kids during that meal, I knew I had to treat him to a similar experience. We scheduled our dinner for the last night of the cruise, and I spent every (excellent) rotational dinner looking forward to the culinary finale of our trip.
What You Need to Know
Remy is a dining experience. Each course and item has its own story, and both the individual dishes and the menu as a whole are thought out such that they bring you along on a food journey. That’s why I highly recommend the prix fixe menus rather than ala carte, which is an option.
There are two prix fixe menus that you can select from for your dinner, one curated by Chef Scott Hunnel (of the aforementioned Victoria & Albert’s), and the other by Chef Arnaud Lallement (who has 3 Michelin stars to his name). You can make additions to these menus, such as a wine pairing or upgrades to the wagyu beef. But be aware that when you order the 5-course prix fixe menu, you’ll already be getting one welcome drink, your 5 courses, plus two “surprise” pre-courses, bread, and additional desserts. It’s a lot. And this is coming from someone that ordered every single appetizer and entree on the Royal Palace menu earlier in the cruise.
The dress code for Remy has somewhat recently been relaxed, but don’t take that to mean that you can show up in just anything. Our family was already really tight on packing for our 5-night adventure, so we didn’t bring a jacket for him (but did bring dress slacks, a button-down shirt, and tie), and I brought a blouse and skirt that I knew wouldn’t wrinkle. Even so, we were almost certainly the least-dressed-up people in the restaurant, and I wouldn’t have minded being “fancier”.
The prix fixe menu is set at $125 per person for those 5 courses with surprise bonuses. Compare this to 7 courses at Victoria & Albert’s for $295, or 10 courses there for $375, and it’s easy to see that the cost reflects that you are already on a cruise that prices in all of your food. This meal would cost much more on land. I highly recommend tipping accordingly, to reflect what you would expect for an on-land equivalent.
Service and Ambiance
If you arrive early for your Remy reservation, you will get to wait things out in the beautiful Meridian Lounge. Since this lounge is so far removed from the other drinking and adults areas of the ship, it is rarely crowded. In fact, we were 10 minutes early for our reservation, and as we were waiting, there were about 9 people inside Meridian and the bartender called for backup because it was so crowded. Ha! Suffice it to say – you’ll have very attentive service in Meridian, and that will be just the start to your adventure.
As you make your way into the restaurant, you’ll always be introduced to two very special bottles of wine – both featured in the film Ratatouille. And if you think that crazy Kaiburr Crystal drink in the camtono on the Disney Wish is too extra … try multiplying its cost by 5 times, and you get the $25,000ish bottle of wine. You can really take your cruise up to that next level!
Next, your attention will be drawn to any of the several homages to your rat chef throughout the dining room. And then you’ll be walked to your table. There are several layers of seating in the not-huge space. I think the best thing to do, if you have a winter sailing, is to make the first reservation of the evening so that you’re seated near the floor-to-ceiling windows. You’ll have a lovely view as the sun sets and you enjoy one of the best meals of your life.
Each server has maybe two tables that are their responsibility for the evening, which means you will have as much personal attention, menu-explaining, and story-telling as you want. Our server, Gianluca, was amazing – and had only been at Remy on the Dream for a week. Before that, he was at Remy on the Fantasy. But each ship has a totally different menu, and I couldn’t tell that he only had a week of familiarity with this one.
On most nights, a chef will also come to your table. And you’ll also get attention from assistant servers, head servers, and more. Our Remy reservation was at 6 pm, and later that night I was wandering the walking path on deck 4, and a chef was out taking his break. He made sure to stop me and ask how my experience was. They all care deeply about maintaining excellence.
First things first – as soon as you are seated at your table, you will be served your welcome drinks. Extra double bonus – they have alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. My husband doesn’t drink, so we got to try one of each. The alcoholic (and default) drink is the Collette, which is a champagne cocktail. This recipe has shifted at least somewhat, because most recipes that you will find online include dried pineapple cubes, and those were missing from this preparation. The non-alcoholic option is, fittingly, the Linguini – it is made with passionfruit, jasmine tea, and raspberry puree. It’s not the “smartest” mocktail ever conceived, but it had good balance.
Next will come your canapes. This is another course that seems to have shifted somewhat recently, and used to be some foie gras and cauliflower foam, each in crispy wafer shells. The shaved fois gras is still around, but the cauliflower foam has been replaced with micro-curls of cheese instead. I consider this to be an upgrade! This is the first of your “surprise” courses before you even get to your ordered menu. While bite-sized, these little pies pack a punch. The foie gras was one of my favorite little tastes of the evening.
One more “surprise” pre-course was a beautiful duo of parsnip puree and a green “curry” (it didn’t taste like curry …), covered with a very light puff pastry shell. Wow. If this was offered on the rotational dining menus, I’d order it as a soup course every night. I know, purees aren’t soups. But this was bold and flavorful without be crazy. Such a good course.
One final stop stands between you and your main courses – bread and butter! On a night filled with SO much food, this bread is worth the room. We were served fresh sourdough with three types of butter – red pepper, regular, and seaweed. You also get a small pot of fleur de sel (really, really fancy and rare form of sea salt harvested in France) to tweak the saltiness of your butter if needed. After trying all three butters, my husband finished off the red pepper and I finished off the original. We even requested and were given second servings of bread.
And finally it was time for the main attraction. I ordered the French menu, which was more heavily seafood-based, and my husband chose the American menu. For just about every course, we switched plates halfway through so that we could each experience every dish. Highly recommend doing this if you’re dining with your significant other.
Both first courses featured seafood – mine was a gorgeous sea scallop, and my husband’s was langoustine. That scallop was everything that you could ever want a scallop to be, and we easily finished up both plates.
Our next course was when the two menus diverged rather significantly. The French menu presented what I like to call “a tribute to all foods but especially beets”. It was beets. All beets. In the best way possible. At Victoria & Albert’s, we ate pickled blueberries, which the eloquent Len Testa described as “the blueberriest blueberry that ever blueberried”. Well, folks, these are the beetiest beets that ever beeted. The picture does not do them justice. The American menu avoided the beets and opted for Glacier 51 Toothfish. Holy moly, was that some beautiful fish. This fish is sort of the seafood equivalent of wagyu beef, and the story behind it is remarkable. The taste and texture were even more remarkable.
Third courses continued the divergent thread for the last time in the meal, with the French menu going back to seafood, and the American menu continuing on to lamb. The French menu focused on lobster, and added in some sea urchin, but my absolute favorite bite from this dish, and the entire evening were the little, unassuming, gray-looking tofu-like cubes. Scallop mousse. That scallop mouse was crazy good. Like the texture of bone marrow with the concentrated flavor of scallop. Words cannot do it justice. I want scallop mousse back at home. Every day. Thank you.
But also … that lamb. If I compare it to the lamb served in Royal Palace on this same cruise – not even in the same league. If I compare it to the lamb course served at Victoria & Albert’s – I actually and surprisingly preferred this one! Those little lamb medallions just melted in your mouth, and the potatoes were potato perfection. My main complaint about the dishes in the rotational restaurants are that the potatoes are always phoned in. Not these. If Bob Ross has happy little trees, I’ll take happy little potatoes.
Now we come to what could have been some micro-episode of Iron Chef: Battle Wagyu. The French menu had a wagyu strip as its fourth course, and the American menu had the wagyu tenderloin instead. The strip was served with a “trio of carrots”, and the little baby carrots were totally the winner of the sides this round. There were also optional upgrades to this course (more wagyu), which we did not purchase. This wagyu was more than enough, especially after all of the courses we already had, and all of the courses to come. I personally preferred the strip of wagyu – perhaps it was just ever-so-slightly easier to cook, because the texture was more perfect. But I’m nitpicking here, as you can tell by me using comparisons like “more perfect”.
And just as you get comfortable – after all, you’ve gotten 4 expected courses in a row – boom! The Remy staff throw in another bonus course before dessert – and this one has ALL of the cheese. Now, I didn’t take out a pen and paper and write down the name of every type of cheese. I like capturing all of the details, but that seemed a little rude. And my brain is good, but not good enough to remember the names of 10 different cheeses that came in the middle of what ended up being approximately a 10 course meal anyway.
But this course is a next-level teaching/learning moment for any cheese lover (it’s me – I’m the cheese lover). Your server will spend 10-15 minutes describing each cheese and cutting them with a wide array of cheese knives to serve on your plate. There is a specific order they recommend for eating the cheeses, from hard cheese to double crème and triple crème and then finishing with a blue cheese. You are given dried fruits to cleanse your palate between each cheese family, and some raw honey to pair with various cheeses.
Finally, we get back to finish our “main” tasting menus with the included dessert course. I’ll be honest up-front and say this was our least-favorite part of the entire meal. The desserts were good, but featured flavors that we are not fans of. We trusted the process, but if we could go back in time, I’d probably ask if there could be something swapped in.
The French menu did its whole double-down-on-a-single-flavor thing like it did with the beet course. Except instead of beets, the dessert was all about hazelnut. Hazelnut mousse covered in hazelnut twirls (which were gorgeous), served with hazelnut ice cream in a hazelnut sauce. If you are a big fan of hazelnut, then this is the dessert for you.
The American menu described its dessert as a homage to chocolate. Hooray! Can’t go wrong there … except if you don’t like coffee. Neither my husband nor I drink coffee or really appreciate the flavor. I know it is often paired with chocolate to help boost the flavor, and I can get behind that sometimes. Unfortunately, in this case – I would call this a coffee-flavored dessert with some hints and additions of chocolate. That coffee flavor was strong. Again, if you’re a chocolate + coffee fan, this bodes well for you. For me, my favorite part was the pure-chocolate circle that adorned the top. Ha!
But the fun doesn’t end there, folks. Oh no no! More courses must be had. When you receive your bill, you will also be treated to several little candies. In our case, “several” meant eight little candies for two of us. The chocolates were definitely filled with some sort of alcohol – I’m guessing rum, but didn’t ask. And the fancy fruit-roll-ups were probably my favorite dessert item of all. Simple, flavorful … yum.
There was also one last “plated” dessert – a blackberry tart, served in a silver egg. Think mermaid egg thing from Harry Potter. Those were the vibes. The tart was so delicious that I neglected to take a picture of it.
And the food doesn’t stop there! As you get ready to depart the restaurant, you are given parting gifts! Ladies will receive a red rose, and everyone gets a box of candies and some lollipops to take with them. This worked out perfectly for us because when we picked up the kids from the kids club after our meal, we could share a little bit of the magic with them. They each got a lollipop and took turns carrying the rose, which made them feel extra fancy too.
Since we dined at Remy on the last night of our cruise, we packed away the candies on a carry-off bag and took them home with us for a little bit of magic at home. Don’t do that. Don’t be us. Something happened along the way – the candies looked fine and remained intact, but the flavors got REALLY strong by the time we got around to eating them at home. Overwhelmingly strong. Probably best enjoyed later that same night or the next day.
I loved our meal at Remy. It is absolutely better than a dinner at Palo – service, food, ambiance and experience are all in a different league. And the courses that we had were 100% on par with similar courses from Victoria & Albert’s. I will 100% give credit to the kitchen team, because this sort of execution absolutely must be at least 2x harder at sea than it is on land. It’s remarkable, and should be applauded.
Here’s the rub for me. After dining at Victoria & Albert’s, that meal was a 100% must-repeat as soon as I left the dining room. And Remy didn’t leave me with that same gut feel. Including a tip, our total for two adults was over $300. Maybe it’s because we didn’t communicate our preferences enough and so desserts ended the meal on a flat note. Or maybe it’s because we had already had some absolutely delicious “free” (read: included in the price) meals during rotational dining. But this Remy meal will definitely fall into the bucket of an experience I’m 100% glad that we did, and I wouldn’t go back in time and skip it. But we probably won’t repeat. We’ll go back to one Palo meal per cruise as our special treat, and “save” all of that potential Remy money for an eventual return to V&A instead.