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

Shannen Ace

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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

Entrance to Tiana's Place on the Disney Wonder; a brick wall with Tiana's Place in dimensional letters.

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.

Four-top tables with white chairs and green table cloths.

The restaurant features frog and lily pad-inspired sconces, bowls, and more.

A wide shot of the restaurant with brick walls, wooden dividers, and framed photos on the wall.

There are framed portraits of Tiana’s and Naveen’s parents, and newspaper clippings.

An upright piano with "The Crawfish Crooners" in golden script.

During dinner, there is live music and “The Princess and the Frog” characters, but there is no entertainment at lunch.

A washboard percussion instrument with "The Crawfish Crooners" in 1920s-style text.

However, lunch is a good time to take photos in the restaurant.

Welcome Aboard Menu

Embarkation Lunch menu for Tiana's Place on the Disney Wonder.

Bread Service

Bread rolls in a basket with wooden salt and pepper shakers on a lily pad-shaped mat.

The bread service is standard French bread and rolls.

Appetizers

Sliced Smoked Salmon

with Lemon and a Honey-Mustard Dill Sauce

Sliced salmon plated with a ramekin and lemon slice.

There’s nothing wrong with this dish, but nothing spectacular about it either. The mustard was a nice accompaniment.

A closeup of the art on the plate.

Tiana’s Place has plates decorated with images of Naveen and lily pads.

Beef Empanadas

with Red Chimichurri

A single empanada plated with a ramekin.

The empanada was fine, but we weren’t blown away by it.

From the Kettle

Seafood and Chicken Gumbo with Cornbread

A plate and saucer of soup beside a plate 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.

Cornbread on a plain white plate.

The cornbread isn’t the freshest we’ve had but it’s good enough.

A closeup showing a spoonful of the beef.

For Disney, the soup is quite spicy and tastes pretty authentic.

Leek and Potato Soup with Soda Bread

A plate and saucer of soup next to a plate with two bread rolls.

The leek in this soup is a forward, potent flavor. It’s a little salty but good. We liked the gumbo better.

Two soda bread rolls on a plain white plate.

The soda bread is very dry, as you’d expect. It’s fine.

Entrées

Muffuletta Sandwich

Olive Salad, Genoa Salami, Mortadella and Provolone Cheese on Muffuletta Bread served with a side of Chips

A slice of sandwich beside a ramekin and a pile of potato chips on a plain white plate.

This is just an okay dish.

A closeup of the sauce and chips.

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.

A closeup of the sandwich.

The sandwich has a few too many slices of cheese. That was the overpowering taste, with just some saltiness at the end.

A closeup of the stacks of cheese and meat on the sandwich.

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

Penette in a themed pasta plate.

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.

Desserts

Welcome Aboard Sundae

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Pecan Caramel Cupcake Bites, Butterscotch Sauce and Whipped Cream

The sundae in a clear glass sundae dish on a saucer decorated with a drop of water rippling.

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

A slice of cake on a themed plate with yellow and red sauce dots as decoration.

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

A slice of cheesecake with a cookies and cream white chocolate square leaning against it.

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

A mousse dome topped with a white chocolate spiral and surrounded by a ring of 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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