TLDR: A must if you are celebrating a special occasion and a great restaurant overall but not once-in-a-lifetime by any stretch. Not in our top 10, probably not even in our top 100.
Let me get this out there first because I wished at least one person had told me this: “No, you are not missing out if you don’t go to Remy on your first cruise. There are plenty of great first-time experiences to have and Remy is not one of them. It was good money spent but not worth the hassle of getting a reservation”
Sneaky! Are you saying Remy is just like eating out of a garbage can? No, not at all. Remy is a great restaurant by anyone’s standard, even mine. If I had to rate it, it would definitely give it a 5 out of 5 stars. If I was celebrating something I would try to grab a reservation, but I wouldn’t sweat it if I didn’t. It just isn’t “an experience” as someone described it.
Being a first-time pleb, Disney treated us like second class citizens and surely there weren’t any Brunch reservations open by the time our window opened. A very nice concierge-level lady in our Facebook group took pity of me and gave me her reservation. I guess it does pay to complain on social media. There were some openings for dinner, but our Very Merrytime cruise was already so tight with dinners (Pirate, Thanksgiving, Farewell, and two rotations) that we didn’t want miss one of them so we opted for brunch.
Remy is on deck 12 in the rear part of the ship. One floor above the buffet restaurant Cabanas and one below Goofy’s Sports. If you are a first-time Disney cruiser this probably doesn’t mean anything, but you’ll find these references useful when you are trying to find the restaurant, just do as if you would go to Cabanas and go one floor up! This was confusing because the deck plan doesn’t mark entrances and navigating the ship becomes quite the treasure hunt.
This is a photo of stairs looking down from deck 12 to deck 11.
Let me spend some time talking about Meridian. Disney’s ships are dry deserts compared to other cruise lines, honestly. Really, you absolutely can’t get a decent drink. On my second day I learned I had to start asking for doubles everywhere because all cocktails were so watered down that I thought I had developed some sort of alcohol resistance. The drinks are “decently” priced but that’s only because they contain half the alcohol they should. They don’t even attempt to hide it; your receipt will even say 1.5 oz Pina Colada (every recipe everywhere else calls for 3 oz not 1.5 oz).
Meridian, however, it’s a decent bar. Like any bar, you could order whatever cocktail you want but their menu has some really nice offerings. Here’s a pic:
We arrived about 25 mins early to our reservation. I wasn’t sure if the bar would be open at that time but gladly it was. On a Disney cruise you quickly realize that the ship runs on Bahamian time and all schedules are merely suggestions. Sometimes a place would be open and sometimes it just wouldn’t be. No pattern. It’s nice, it adds to the adventure. Thankfully, the things that matter like photo ops and shows are on time always.
We wished we had arrived sooner to enjoy the bar more. The bar has a great view and ambiance. Most bars on the ship (although I wouldn’t call the pool bars, real bars) don’t face the sea and Meridian does. It’s a great peaceful view. After checking in with the hostess we sat down on one of the super comfy chairs. There weren’t a lot of guests. Surprisingly, the bars never had a lot of guests anywhere. Despite the ship being at full guest capacity when we sailed, bars were sort of empty. I don’t think this was uncommon. I think most people come on a family plan and don’t spend their time drinking.
Anyway, the barman approached us after a couple of minutes, and we ordered two Singapore Slings and before we knew it our table was ready. Too soon! I wanted to try the gin trolley (which you can barely see at the edge of the picture). Oh well, maybe next time.
When you go in, Remy feels like a special place. A little special corner away from the rest of the ship. After you go past the wine cellar, you are shown the glass statue of the head chef Remy. It might be cliché but the occasion demanded a photo.
Our table has a beautiful unobstructed view of the sea. Just this view alone would be worth the price of the brunch if only you couldn’t get the exactly same view in Cabanas on the deck below (but you would probably have to fight someone’s grandma for it). You are greeted with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and offered water from their water menu, the wine was quite tasty and we chose still water by some Italian designer (Versace I think, it seems they make luxury water too).
The menu is fixed but they can make accommodations if you don’t like something. My wife can’t eat shellfish and she was offered and alternative to the lobster (Homard). You can see the menu is very French. For upscale restaurants I never even open the menu and just go with whatever is good that day so I didn’t have a problem with this but if you are picky with what you eat then you might not like the brunch. We are not much of Champagne drinkers so we didn’t do the pairing but at $33 per person it seems like a good deal. The cost of the brunch was $75 per person not including tip.
The first course was the pea soup. It’s hard to describe it as a soup at all. It was more like pea ice cream with chiffon (fancy word for foam). The flavors were subtle and playful. The portion is very modest, you can get about 6 very small spoonfuls but it didn’t matter as it was excellent. Never thought pea ice cream would taste this good. We were off to a great start.
Along the pea soup they served Spanish jamon serrano de bellota. Truly out of this world. We are big fans of jamon serrano and we were very happy how it was served: hand carved and with a healthy amount of fat. If you try it, I implore you that you be adventurous and eat with the fat. You wouldn’t remove the fat from bacon would you? (maybe you would if you are one of those turkey bacon weirdos) Anyways, Remy knows how to serve jamon serrano not like over Jaleo at Disney Springs.
Next came the lobster (homard)…wait, that doesn’t look like a lobster at all you might say! Well, they never said lobster tail just lobster something. The white thing is mashed cauliflower and the brown is a sort of broth, the lobster is hidden along the cauliflower mash. Don’t be fooled by the plates, they are massive and the portion was sufficient for a six-course meal. The lobster mash/soup (?) was delicious, and cauliflower was so good.
Since my wife has a food allergy her lobster was substituted with gnocchi. The plate looked beautiful but she said it was “just” gnocchi and nothing special. I got a strong sense she didn’t like it as much as I did mine.
The third course was the Cannelloni, the best dish of the brunch. I couldn’t really say what was in it but it was very meaty like eating a brisket crepe. It was a big deviation too from the more subtle flavors of the other dishes. I’m going really fast in these descriptions, but we were probably an hour into our meal and this was only the third course! That’s fine, you don’t want to rush these things. The view of the sea was peaceful and the restaurant itself was very quiet despite being full.
Next was the toothfish tomato and it was…well… a piece of toothfish on a tomato, no surprises here! Our server told us a story about how they source the fish and how difficult it was to obtain but I had forgotten the details by the time he finished talking. For such an impossible fish to catch its flavor was uninteresting. The dish was good but it tasted exactly as you would imagine, some good fish and a good tomato. There was no depth to the dish. You could even replace the swordfish with any other fish and the dish would be the same. We still finished it all and were grateful for trying it.
Our fifth course was the poulet rouge. It was a panko-crusted chicken roll on top of root vegetables and mushrooms. A solid plate. Interestingly enough, the most delicious were the vegetables and mushrooms. I sort of felt like the dishes lost some steam after the cannelloni, they were all good dishes but it didn’t end with a bang.
Our server had one more surprise reserved for us. It wouldn’t be Disney without one more pixie dust and what better way to end dessert that another dessert! The last-last dish was caneles which managed to surpass the already perfect baba vanille. The taste of sweet burnt sugar still lingers in my mouth to this day.
By any measure the brunch was delicious and we enjoyed the views and the time away from the kids, however, we have our fair share of fine restaurants under our belt and Remy isn’t something we will repeating anytime soon. We would have been perfectly fine skipping it specially after so many “firsts” during our cruise. If you live close to a big city, chances are you can find a restaurant experience that is just as good as Remy if not much better, although for the price I admit it is a good deal.
For real? I had some AMAZING cocktails on the Dream - and I think I set the bar pretty high! Drink Of the Day? Nope, that’s not the one. But to say there are no decent drinks is quite a stretch.
I found it to be quite incredible actually. The view, the ambience, and - yes - the drink, were all top notch.
Ah yes. We agree!
Same when I went. My one regret was that I finally got there on my last day. Had I discovered this place first, I probably would have all but moved in. Again, not because I couldn’t get a good drink anywhere else but because that whole vibe is exactly my kind of vibe. Upscale, quiet, classy, peaceful. It was sort of like Nomad on the seas for me! I’m getting all swoony thinking about it now
It is funny…when we were looking at doing a cruise, we of course first considered DCL. Aside from the high cost, the number one reason we decided against it was the food. The food just seemed horrible (for mundane eaters such as ourselves). This thread only further confirms our decision. Nothing here looks even mildly appetizing.
We are doing one more Disney cruise in Easter and that will likely be our last. Now that we know DCL’s value proposition I can confidently say the premium cost is not worth it to our family. We don’t care about having the same server every night, or princess photo ops, or heated kiddie pool, or free room service, or a gigantic kids club, or getting our name called when you board, or most things that DCL uniquely offers. We already have two years of cruising planned on other lines.
Remy is French and certainly not everyone’s favorite type of cuisine, it surely is not ours. The food at the other dining rooms is far less adventurous and they can accommodate anyone. My son ate steak and fries almost every day.
But given the high cost I would always recommend a different cruise line other than Disney. Better to cruise twice on another line than cruising only once on DCL.
I didn’t drink as much as I would have liked since I was on a budget but out of 10 drinks, 7 were below par. Granted, most were “basic” cocktails like mojitos, caipirinhas, and pina coladas but after if trying the basics the drinks weren’t good then I was not willing to spend more trying to find the perfect drink. Next time I will focus on “original” creations instead.
I’ll take your word for it. You are much better at cocktail drinking than I am.
I don’t know if all the ships operate identically. On my first DCL trip on the Magic I was able to get a Palo brunch reservation because someone in my cruise group released hers and we coordinated. But what the first timers don’t know, and I’ve since learned, DCL holds back some reservations for people booking on board. On embarkation immediately go to Guest Services to find out where and when the dining team will be available. The dining team had lots of Palo brunch reservations available and I was able to switch to my preferred day. They were also changing early/late rotational seating for people.