Lunch and dinner menus on AmaLea are often inspired by some of the European destinations that the ship visits, such as a Bavarian meal filled with schnitzel and pretzels, paired with unlimited local wine and beer. Depending on the day, we found the menu to have some tasty moments, with occasional misses, where the menu just didn't quite hit the mark and deliver the goods, taste-wise.
Dining Room (Piano Deck): This dark wood-toned room, lined with windows on each side and brightly patterned carpeting and upholstery, serves as the "formal" dining space for breakfast, lunch and dinner, each with a set time depending on the itinerary. Open seating is first-come, first-served, and we found that we were likely to get a table by the window if we got there early. There are tables and booths, and two more separate rooms closer to midship are suitable for large groups traveling together.
Breakfast in the Dining Room included a buffet of prepared eggs, breakfast meats, freshly squeezed orange juice that you could prepare yourself from the juicer, yogurts and muesli. You could also order eggs, waffles and other items from the kitchen -- the eggs Benedict were a favorite.
On some days, the restaurant would feature a lunch buffet with hot and cold items like salads and sausages, with a few items that you could order prepared by the kitchen. One day, a special pho soup lunch was available here. On other busy port days, the Dining Room was closed with only a light lunch available upstairs in the Lounge.
In the evening, all items were delivered by wait staff from the kitchen. A changing three-course menu included items like tiger prawns, mushroom soup and chevre salad for appetizers, a fruit juice palate cleanser, such as a pear or pineapple cocktail, and entrees like grilled sea bream fillet, lemon pepper herb crusted lamb rack and Karntner noodles with pumpkin and nut butter. There is always a standard menu of steak, salmon, chicken fillet, Caesar salad and french fries available, too. Desserts included crepes Suzette and hazelnut ice cream with rum sauce.
Though we are not vegetarians, we were perhaps most impressed with the flavorful and inventive vegetarian entrees, and a waiter commented that several passengers had said the same.
On an Adventures by Disney cruise, there is always a kids' menu, with simple fruit cocktails, salads, soups, pastas, beef, fish or chicken burgers, and a special kids' dessert (usually some variation on an ice cream sundae).
During lunch and dinner, waiters circulate with beverages, with white and red wines -- such as Gruner Veltliner and Zweigelt in Austria, with California chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon always available -- paired to the daily menus.
We found the service to be prompt and friendly, and unlike ocean cruise dinners that can span up to two hours, meals on the AmaLea moved fairly expediently. This was a benefit for families with younger kids who don't like to sit still for long.
Chef's Table (Violin Deck): One night at Chef's Table, a specialty restaurant located at the ship's aft, is included with your Adventures by Disney cruise. This is a slower, intimate dining experience. It is hands down the best meal on the ship and highly recommended (it's restricted to ages 16 and up, so this is best for a night when the kids can join the Adventure Guides for dinner).
The fixed menu is the same throughout the cruise but changes seasonally. On our cruise, we started with an amuse-bouche of heirloom tomato carpaccio and eggplant caviar, followed by lemon pepper salmon tartare, carrot–ginger soup, skin-grilled pike perch with celery mash and beluga lentil ragout and Nebraska beef with green pea veloute, guacamole and beetroot. Dessert was rum raisin crumble and an apple tartlet, and each course was a delightful surprise.
Lounge (Violin Deck): In the Lounge, a lighter breakfast is always available for early and late risers, mostly including cereals, fruit and pastries. A self-service espresso machine is available 24 hours.
On certain port days, only a light lunch of sandwiches or pizza, salads and sides would be served in the Lounge if several tours groups were going off the ship for the day.
Tea time fare (in the late afternoon, around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.) is quite substantial, including items like eggplant tabouli wraps, turkey club sandwiches, grilled vegetable bowls, butter crumble cakes and coconut lemon muffins.
On some nights, children were welcome to join the Adventure Guides for a pajama party (called Junior Adventurer Movie Night) featuring a meal in the Lounge filled with kid-friendly items like pizza, burgers and chicken nuggets (passengers could also order entrees to be sent from the Dining Room for their kids).
Later, post-dinner snacks in the Lounge might include cookies or cakes. One night when two evening excursions returned, there was a "Goulash and Sausages Festival" with these local snacks awaiting in the lounge at 10:30 p.m.
Room Service: Room service is generally not available on an Adventures by Disney cruise unless a passenger is not feeling well enough to leave his or her cabin. In this case, simply call reception and a meal will be delivered to your cabin.