Disney Cruise Line offers a wide variety of dining options during their cruises. From quick snack options to fantastic dining at multiple restaurants with its rotational dining experience, almost all of the dining is included in your cruise fare. If the included dining options are so good, you may not think it’s necessary or even wise to pay for a dining experience at Palo. We’re here to tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong. Not only is Palo a steal of a deal, but the food is superb and the service is impeccable, making it the highlight of any Disney Cruise. Keep reading for our thoughts and review of Palo on Disney Cruise Line.
Editor’s Note: Disney Cruise Line has suspended all departures through May 2021 and Disney Magic through August 10, 2021. We present this article for future cruise planning.
1 – Palo on Disney Cruise Line
At Palo, Disney Cruise Line passengers experience excellent dining in an intimate atmosphere reserved exclusively for adults, where every romantic dinner and exquisite champagne brunch provides unsurpassed service and inspired modern Italian cuisine. Palo is on all four Disney Cruise Line ships. On the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, sweeping ocean views add to the ambiance, and an exhibition kitchen provides guests a glimpse into the culinary magic. Note that Palo is an adults-only experience. Guests must be eighteen years or older to dine there.
2 – Dressing for Palo
Like most signature dining experiences at Walt Disney World, there is a dress code for Palo. Here are the guidelines from the Disney Cruise Line website:
To preserve the elegant ambiance of this restaurant, you are asked to adhere to a dress code when dining at Palo. We recommend dress pants or slacks and a collared shirt for men, and a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse for women. Jeans may also be worn if in good condition (no holes). Please no tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, shorts, hats, cut-offs, torn clothing, t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics, flip-flops or tennis shoes.
It’s not very hard to meet the recommendations, plus it’s fun to dress up for dinner or brunch. Like most cruise meals, you’ll find a wide variety of dress at the restaurant with some going all out and some merely meeting the guidelines.
3 – Beautiful Dining Room
Named after the colorful poles that line the canals of Venice, Disney Cruise Line’s signature restaurant invites adults to indulge in a menu of sophisticated cuisine, classic reserve wines, and superior service. Palo provides an unforgettable dinner experience at sea. With a semi-circular design, floor-to-ceiling windows, and raised banquettes along one side, every seat offers beautiful views. Stylish furnishings, fresh linens, custom art, warm wood tones, and a color palette of rich red, green, and gold jewel tones create a refined, Italian-inspired décor.
4 – Dinner at Palo – Starters
Your dinner will begin with both cold and hot antipasti selections, including hand-tossed pizzettes emerging fresh and piping hot from the wood-burning oven. Chilled Gancia prosecco is the perfect, bubbly complement. Starters include soft potato gnocchi tossed in piennolo tomato sauce and garnished with kale and caramelized grape tomatoes, Tuscan white bean soup prepared with cannellini beans, pancetta and kale, and sliced beefsteak tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, basil, virgin olive oil, and arugula leaves.
5 – Entrees at Palo
There is an exceptional selection of entrées. Pasta is perfected in the form of butternut agnolotti with sage-brown butter topped with amaretti and buffalo mozzarella, pappardelle tossed in lobster tarragon sauce with leeks, white truffle oil and grilled lobster, and wild mushroom risotto prepared with arborio rice, porcini, portobello, crimini mushrooms, virgin olive oil and a parmesan crisp.
Aptly, the fish offerings are superb, featuring a piquant Dover sole fileted tableside and served with regional staples like capers, anchovies, sundried tomatoes and thyme potatoes, sea scallops with an exquisite Prosecco and black truffle reduction, and seared ahi tuna steak prepared with blanched green beans, roasted new potatoes, and peppered quail eggs.
Prime meat selections include beef tenderloin served with Palo signature Barolo Chinato wine sauce and roasted garlic rack of lamb with roasted shallots, crunched potatoes, and herb jus. A stand-out selection is a whole roasted chicken intended for sharing, marinated for 24 hours in lemon, sea salt, and rosemary. Beautifully presented in a copper serving dish with roasted baby vegetables, asparagus, and potatoes, the entree is topped with a Barolo wine reduction typical to the mountainous region of Piedmont in the northwest.
6 – Desserts at Palo
Diners saving room for the delicious finales can indulge in Palo’s homemade tiramisu, panna cotta with a strawberry-basil sorbet, and the signature Palo chocolate soufflé, prepared fresh-to-order and served piping hot with luscious vanilla bean and chocolate sauces, plus a scoop of ice cream for good measure.
7 – Wine Selections
The sommelier is pleased to recommend the perfect wine pairings to please guests’ palates and make an extra-special meal extraordinary. Palo’s extensive reserve wine list features selections that hail from some of the most mature vineyards in the world and highlight Super Tuscans such as Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and Tignanello.
8 – Champagne Brunch
In addition to romantic dinners, Palo offers an adult-only Champagne brunch on sea days and select port days. Brunch is served while the ship is out at sea during 4-night and longer cruises. The brunch features Palo’s signature pizzas, made-to-order entrées, seafood, a selection of international cheeses, fresh breads and pastries, desserts, champagne, and mimosas.
On our most recent Disney cruise, our Palo brunch was the highlight of the cruise. There was so much food to choose from, and every bite was delicious. We both agreed that we enjoyed the brunch more than the dinner. You get a wider selection of food, and we enjoyed the daytime views more. We left our brunch stuffed, and we can’t wait for the next time we can enjoy a Palo brunch again.
9 – A Small Fee
There is a $40 charge for dinner and brunch, plus the cost of alcoholic beverages. We firmly believe that a $40 charge is well worth the cost of either dinner or brunch at Palo. A signature dining experience meal at Walt Disney World is usually well over $100 per person. We believe Palo blows away most signature dining at Walt Disney World (and anywhere else, frankly). The food and service are exceptional. Do not let the $40 charge keep you from enjoying this meal! You’ve already spent thousands on the cruise fare, spending $80 more is not going to break the bank. It will likely be the highlight of your cruise!
10 – Overall Thoughts and Recommendations
We absolutely love dining at Palo and can’t recommend it enough. It is so worth the small extra charge. If you could only fit in one meal, we would recommend the brunch over the dinner; however, both experiences are fantastic. You won’t be disappointed. If possible, on a seven-night cruise, we would be tempted to book both a dinner and a brunch! Reservations are required for all Palo dining experiences. You can book your dining experience in your Disney Cruise Line account.
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