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REVIEW: Embarkation Lunch is a Lackluster Welcome on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

On the first day of a Disney Cruise Line sailing, the ship’s upscale atrium restaurant will serve a special “welcome aboard” lunch menu. This is in addition to the ship’s buffet and counter-service locations, but we recommend the table service option. For our Alaska sailing on the Disney Wonder, this special menu was offered at Tiana’s Place.
Embarkation Lunch at Tiana’s Place on the Disney Wonder
Tiana’s Place is themed to New Orleans and riverboats. It’s named after Tiana’s original restaurant concept. When she finally opened her restaurant, she named it Tiana’s Palace.
The restaurant features frog and lily pad-inspired sconces, bowls, and more.
There are framed portraits of Tiana’s and Naveen’s parents, and newspaper clippings.
During dinner, there is live music and “The Princess and the Frog” characters, but there is no entertainment at lunch.
However, lunch is a good time to take photos in the restaurant.
Welcome Aboard Menu
Bread Service
The bread service is standard French bread and rolls.
Sliced Smoked Salmon
with Lemon and a Honey-Mustard Dill Sauce
There’s nothing wrong with this dish, but nothing spectacular about it either. The mustard was a nice accompaniment.
Tiana’s Place has plates decorated with images of Naveen and lily pads.
Beef Empanadas
with Red Chimichurri
The empanada was fine, but we weren’t blown away by it.
From the Kettle
Seafood and Chicken Gumbo with Cornbread
This is a good, spicy soup. The chicken is good quality. The seafood was a little fishy, but not overly so. It’s a solid soup.
The cornbread isn’t the freshest we’ve had but it’s good enough.
For Disney, the soup is quite spicy and tastes pretty authentic.
Leek and Potato Soup with Soda Bread
The leek in this soup is a forward, potent flavor. It’s a little salty but good. We liked the gumbo better.
The soda bread is very dry, as you’d expect. It’s fine.
Muffuletta Sandwich
Olive Salad, Genoa Salami, Mortadella and Provolone Cheese on Muffuletta Bread served with a side of Chips
This is just an okay dish.
As you can see, we only got about eight potato chips, and they were kind of soggy. But it comes with the same mustard sauce we enjoyed from the sliced smoked salmon.
The sandwich has a few too many slices of cheese. That was the overpowering taste, with just some saltiness at the end.
The bread is fine but doesn’t add a lot to the sandwich. We wouldn’t get this again.
Pennette Pasta
with Tomato-Basil Provençal Sauce, Goat Cheese and a Spinach Pesto
This pasta had us (well, our resident Italian, Tom) saying, “Wow.” It’s surprisingly good. The pasta is cooked correctly. The sauce tastes authentic. This is one of our top five favorite theme park pastas.
Welcome Aboard Sundae
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Pecan Caramel Cupcake Bites, Butterscotch Sauce and Whipped Cream
The cupcake bites in this sundae were stale. The ice cream wasn’t particularly flavorful. It had a weird consistency, making it more slushy than creamy. The caramel sauce was nice.
Carrot Cake
layered with Lemon Cream Cheese
This was really dry. The cake wasn’t even stale, just dry. There is a richness and sweetness from the icing, but it doesn’t fix the cake. We could hardly taste the lemon cream cheese flavor because we were so distracted by the cake layers in between.
Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake
layered on a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust with Whipped Cream
This is a warm cheesecake, which is offputting. The flavors aren’t strong, but it’s not awful.
Chocolate Marquise Bombe (No Sugar Added Dessert)
rich Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce
This was probably the best dessert, and it still wasn’t anything world-changing. It has a nice presentation and tastes like a chocolate pudding with potent raspberry cream. It hits the spot.
For more of our thoughts, watch our video review of the Embarkation Lunch on the Disney Wonder below:
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