Disney Cruise Line - Palo
Palo is heaven on earth ...
Imagine yourself sailing away on the high seas, staring into the sunset and enjoying the finest in Northern Italian cuisine in an elegant, romantic dining room with a first class view to the edge of the world. Now imagine being on a Disney Cruise, and being able to enjoy all this – without the kids.
Sounds like heaven to me...
This is an adults-only restaurant found on the Disney Cruise Line ships. It serves Northern Italian cuisine for dinner, and on select cruises brunch is also available. What's the catch? Well, it does cost extra to dine here, and you have to made advanced reservations. But it's worth it. Trust me.
Palo is the perfect place for a really special date night or celebration of any kind. While the dining on Disney Cruise Line is pretty great, Palo is on a whole other level. Think of it like Signature dining at Walt Disney World... it's the best of the best.
If you plan an evening here, plan to spend several hours eating and chatting with your party - you'll have a table to yourself unlike in the bigger dining rooms where you may have to share. It's long and luxurious and really feels like a special treat. Come hungry, you'll be glad you did.
What to Expect
You'll find Palo aboard all of Disney's cruise ships - the Disney Wonder, the Disney Magic, the Disney Dream, and the Disney Fantasy. In each case, the decor is elegant and refined - dark wood, red and gold upholstery, and crisp white linens.
This is the kind of place where you can speak to a sommelier if you want to, certain dishes are dished up table side, and you'll have a new fancy fork with every course. But don't let that intimidate you - the service here is warm and attentive - you'll feel like you're being waited on hand and foot.
Brunch is the first meal I ever had at Palo, back when Mrs. Mom and I sailed on the Disney Magic in 2017. The atmosphere is bright and airy with the daylight flooding in the windows. It's a partially serve-yourself meal, but don't let that fool you. The food is top-quality both in taste and appearance.
Dad LOVES seafood and it's available by the bucket (okay, perfectly piles on elegant plates) here. Crab legs. Scallops. Little shrimpies. Yummy. More pastries than you've ever seen - and these are fresh-made, top-of-the-line croissants, tarts, and sweets. If you love high-end cheeses you could get your money's worth alone here. And that's just the "cold" buffet.
You'll also get to order an entree (or as many as you want) from the hot menu - pasta, eggs benedict, even steak... yep, Dad's in heaven.
The only problem with brunch at Palo is that it's only offered on at-sea days - which means on the shorter 3-day sailings you won't get a chance to experience it.
After our experience at Palo for brunch, Mrs. Mom and I just HAD to do dinner when we sailed on the Disney Dream. I was a little nervous about the fancy-sounding menu but I took some chances and had the best meal I've ever had - any time, any where.
Dinner time has a more romantic feel to it with moonlight out the window and couples dressed to the nines. Fancy breads and butters are brought right to your table - and drinks are fancy too, even iced tea (which is made with iced tea ice cubes so your drink never waters down).
Then a cart of antipasto arrives at your table so you can pick and choose which meats, cheeses, and veggies you want to try. Then you choose an appetizer, and you'll get a tiny palate cleanser (a spoon of sorbet) before your entree. I've never had osso bucco before Palo, and let me tell you - it won't be my last time!
But the creme de la creme was dessert - I wasn't even hungry anymore but you can believe I ate every last bite of that chocolate soufflé Everyone should taste something that good at least once in their life.
Reservations, Cost, and Dress Code
You have to be 18 years of age or older to visit Palo, and the cost for dinner or brunch is a charge of $30 per person (alcohol is available for an additional charge).
There is also a strict dress code at both meals - men must wear dress pants and a collared shirt, though a jacket is optional. Women should be in a dress, or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. They will permit "nice" (non-ripped) jeans but in my experience people were dressing very nicely for the occasion.
Reservations at required and while you MIGHT luck in to reserving once you're on board, if you want to eat here, reserve in advance, up to 75-120 days in advance (depending on whether you're a first-timer or a returning guest). Make them online, by phone, or though your travel agent.
Dad's Bottom Line
Do you like excellent food? Silly question. Of course you do. If you're on a Disney Cruise and you have the chance to visit Palo, throw caution to the wind and do it. You'll love it. You deserve it. Trust me.