Staying on your ketogenic or low carb diet while you're on vacation on a Disney Cruise is easy and stress-free. I'll tell you why you should avoid the breakfast buffet, show you what products I packed, and what you'll need to do to make sure you have a worry-free trip.
Most people will tell you to splurge and enjoy your vacation and eat all the things, but if you're like me and haven't had sugar or gluten in a really long time, then having these things will make you feel terrible. No one wants to feel sick on their vacation. Keto on a Disney Cruise is easy if you put a few things in motion before your trip. Disney goes above and beyond to accommodate you and make sure you are having a magical time with your family. They have lots of allergy-friendly offerings and alternatives.
First up, booking your Disney Cruise. After you have your cruise booked call the Special Services team at 407-566-3602 to let, them know about your dietary concerns. Aside from the standard Gluten, I also alerted them to sugar, rice, and root vegetables. They added this information to my account so that the head server would know before I even boarded the ship. The Special Services team will also alert you to a dinning session that happens when you board the boat.
Once you arrive on your Disney Cruise ship, stop by this special dining session so that they can pull up your serving team and your dietary needs. For the Disney Dream, this session was in Royal Table. There will be Head Servers there with computers to pull up your account and make sure that you are assigned to a special team of servers that know the menu and handle dietary and allergies.
Embarkment Day Lunch – Depending on when you board the Disney Cruise boat, your first meal will need to be navigated on your own terms. There are buffets set up in Cabanas and the Enchanted Garden (on the Disney Dream). I was able to find lots of great options like salads, grilled chicken, and various vegetables to eat and even cubed cheeses. That evening you will meet your serving staff. This serving staff will be taking care of you for the entire trip, that includes on Castaway Cay (if you're on a Caribbean cruise).
Your First Dinner – Your lead server will help you pick a great meal the first evening and discuss your dietary needs further. There are lots of protein options like steak, chicken, and seafood. There are also great green vegetables that you can pair with your meat. Your lead server will also help you plan your breakfast and dinner for the following day. They bring you a menu, and you can mix and match items to make sure you have everything you need. Pick a protein and vegetables that fit into your carb count for the following evening.
Breakfast at the Buffets– Each morning there is a breakfast buffet that you can go to at various restaurants. Your server will ask you the evening before which restaurant you plan on visiting because they will be placing a particular order for you. You might be thinking, “Why would I need a special breakfast order? I'll just eat eggs and bacon from the buffet!” WRONG! The eggs on the buffet contain sugar, and if you want sugar-free eggs, you'll have to make sure your server places your order. There is also a make your own omelet station that will make you fresh eggs with the ingredients you want. If you placed an order the night before, when you arrive, let the lead server of the restaurant know your room number, and they will begin to prepare your breakfast. Here is the difference between the buffet eggs and the freshly made eggs.
Lunch on Castaway Cay – Your lead server will also help get your lunch order for your day on the island. I ordered a bunless burger with steamed vegetables. My server lets me know which food pavilion to visit to pick up my special order. We told them my family and my server brought out my special meal. It's pretty great that even on the island my server was there with me to make sure I was full and happy!
Special desserts – This was probably the highlight of my food dining experience. There is free-flowing ice cream on the ships as well as a sweets shop. It was very tempting, to say the least. The second and third night on the cruise my server brought me a sugar-free ice cream that they had prepared for those of us avoiding sugar (I'm sure I wasn't the only one). They also brought berries to eat with them.
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Keto Items to Pack for your Disney Cruise:
Kelapo ghee and coconut oil packets – These packets are the perfect sizes for a morning cup of coffee. I brought them with me each day to breakfast.
Milk Frother – This little gadget is my favorite for mixing your ghee and coconut oil into your coffee. I use it at home as well.
Snacks – Pack some of your favorite keto snacks like ChocZero chocolate (use code jamonkey for 10% off), Moon Cheese, KetoCarne sugar-free jerky, or do what I did before my trip and get a Keto Krate or The Keto Box and they will send you a handful of different products that are keto friendly to try.
Fat Bombs – I would pack a few coconut oil rich fat bombs with you to make sure you're hitting your fat macros for the day. There is a refrigerator in your stateroom if you are scared they will melt.
NOTE ABOUT SPLURGING: Of course it is up to you whether you want to splurge during your vacation, but it is important to know that if you order something from the menu that contains an item on your dietary list, they will no longer accommodate you for the rest of the trip. I was told that Disney has standards that they must adhere to, so it's all or nothing.