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Our Exquisite Palo Disney Cruise Restaurant Review

by Mommy Frog on April 15, 2024

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Palo holds a special place in the hearts of many Disney Cruise guests, and it's easy to see why. With its mouthwatering menu featuring a delicious array of northern Italian cuisine, succulent steaks, irresistible desserts and fine wines, it's no surprise that Palo has earned a stellar reputation among cruisers. If you're just starting your Disney Cruise research, you won't get far before you hear the buzz about Palo. In short, Palo is an adult-exclusive restaurant available on all Disney Cruise ships. In this post, we'll delve into the basics and share our latest experience at Palo Steakhouse aboard the Disney Wish. Let's dig in!

Palo Disney Cruise Line - Entrance

Palo Disney Cruise Restaurant Overview

Palo is an upscale adult-exclusive restaurant that can be found on every ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Aboard the Disney Wish, it is known as Palo Steakhouse. Palo is renowned for its luxurious atmosphere and superb Italian cuisine. Did you know that "Palo" is the Italian word for the long poles used by the gondoliers in the Venice canals? So cool!

The restaurant is open for dinner every night, and brunch is typically available on sea days or on 4-day or longer cruise itineraries. While almost all of your dining options are included in your cruise package, dining at Palo and Palo Steakhouse is an additional fee. Disney Cruise Line will charge the price of your meal, drinks and an 18 percent gratuity to your stateroom account. You have the option of adding an additional tip if you'd like. We recommend tipping at least 20 percent. To learn more about Disney cruise tipping etiquette, hop on over to this post.

Disney Cruise Tips - Docked Disney Wish at Castaway Cay

Advance reservations are required. Palo reservations are highly coveted, so you will want to book your reservation as soon as possible. Reservations can be made on the Disney Cruise Line website and the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. Now, just how far in advance you can book reservations? That depends on your Castaway Club membership stats. We've got all the deets here! And speaking of Castaway Club benefits, Platinum and Pearl members receive a complimentary meal at Palo for everyone assigned to the same stateroom.

If you find yourself unable to secure a Palo reservation before your sail date, don't worry! Plans change all the time, and many fellow sailors adjust or cancel their Palo reservations. Let me share a little story with you. On our last Disney Wish sailing, Leap and I made a spontaneous decision to book a Palo reservation at the very last minute. Naturally, since we waited so long, there were no reservations available initially. However, once we boarded the ship, we hustled over to Guest Services. The fantastic Disney crew members added us to a waitlist, and to our surprise, we received a call on the second night informing us of availability! Wahoo!

Disney Cruise Gratuities - Guest Services Desk

So, if dining at Palo is high on your list, keep trying right up until your sail date and check in with Guest Services once onboard. #worthit

To complement the upscale dining experience, there is a dress code. We would describe the dress code as "elegant casual." This means that while formal attire is not required, guests are encouraged to dress up a bit more than they would for a casual dinner. For men, this often means dress slacks with a collared shirt, such as a dress shirt or polo shirt. Some guests may opt to wear a jacket, although it is not mandatory. Women typically wear dresses, skirts or dressy pants paired with a blouse or a nice top. Jeans, shorts, swimwear, tank tops and flip-flops are not permitted.

Theming and Ambience

The interior of Palo exudes Italian luxury. Additionally, there are floor-to-ceiling windows that provide breathtaking ocean views. (If prime ocean views are a priority, we recommend booking your Palo reservation for brunch or an early dinner. Once the sun goes down, it's not as easy to see the ocean as the interior lights reflect off the glass.)

Aboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the restaurant is decorated in warm wine and gold tones. The vibe is elegant, and the semi-circular shape creates an intimate and cozy setting. So romantic! In addition, there's an onsite kitchen where you can watch as the expert culinary team crafts your meal.

Palo Disney Cruise — Disney Magic

On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy ships, you'll be greeted by stunning art pieces adorning the walls, reminiscent of the picturesque canals of Venice. With wood paneling and elegant gold embellishments, the atmosphere radiates warmth and charm. Arriving early to your reservation is a smart move. While you wait for your table, head to the Meridian bar where you can enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail. If the weather permits, consider dining al fresco on the outdoor teak deck. A delectable four-course Italian dinner paired with a breathtaking sunset over the ocean? Count us in!

Palo Disney Cruise — Disney Dream

The Disney Wish is home to Palo Steakhouse. Palo Steakhouse is similar to Palo, but there's an obvious emphasis on different steak options. The menu includes prime choice cuts and even Wagu. We'll cover menu specifics in more depth below. One of our favorite things about Palo Steakhouse is the Disney theming! The Steakhouse's interior design is reminiscent of Cogsworth, the fastidious clock from "Beauty and the Beast." Rich wood tones and metallic accents, including gears, pendulums and circular features (complete with hidden Mickeys!), adorn the space, subtly paying homage to Cogsworth the clock.

Palo Disney Cruise — Disney Wish

Palo Steakhouse sits tucked away in the aft on Deck 12 of the Disney Wish, adjacent to Enchanté, another adult-exclusive restaurant onboard. Guests can access both restaurants via a beautiful corridor that leads to The Rose, an upscale lounge featuring a wide selection of fine wines, liquors and small plates curated by the Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement.

Disney Cruise for Adults - The Rose Bar

The up-and-coming Disney Treasure (the inaugural sail is scheduled for December 2024 — we're so frogcited!) will also host Palo Steakhouse. And, of course, we've got our sights set on the all-new Disney Destiny, debuting in 2025 to see what restaurants and dining options will be revealed soon!

Palo Disney Cruise Menu

The dinner menu includes two options, a prix fixe menu or à la carte items. The prix fixe menu offers a four-course meal that includes an antipasti (appetizer), insalata (salad), il second (main course) and dolce (dessert). Currently, the price stands at $50 per person. There's also the option to add a wine pairing for $70 per person. This is a bit of a price jump, but worth it if you enjoy tasting new wines.

For the prix fixe menu, you'll choose one from each course:

  • Antipasta — Fritto di Calamari e Gamberi or Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Insalata — Mesclun Salad or Baby Arugula
  • Il Secondo — Penne Pasta, Pan Seared Salmon, Roasted Chicken or Angus Beef Tenderloin
  • Dolce — Chocolate Soufflé or Limoncello Tart

The à la carte menu includes the items in the prix fixe list, incorporating additional options. Starters include Ciuppin or a White Bean Soup. Savory pasta and pizzas are introduced, alongside Jumbo Scallops, Grilled Yellowfin Tuna and Osso Buco as main dishes. Furthermore, two vegetarian options are available — Grilled Portobello Mushroom and a Saffron dish. There's also a Parmesan-Crusted Rack of Lamb and a Porterhouse Steak, accompanied by a selection of delectable sides such as Pan-Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Cavatappi (mac and cheese) and Grilled Asparagus, among others.

Are you drooling yet, or is it just us?

Palo Steakhouse follows suit and has the same menu pricing — prix fixe or à la carte. The prix fixe menu is $50 per person and you'll choose one appetizer, salad, main course and dessert to complete your meal. For $70, you can add on the wine pairing. You'll notice that many items are similar to the Palo menu.

Prix Fixe Palo Steakhouse menu options:

  • Antipasta — Fritto di Calamari e Gamberi or Heirloom Tomato, Burrata Mozzarella Caprese
  • Insalata — Crisp Romaine Hearts or Baby Arugula
  • Il Secondo — Penne Pasta, Pan Seared Salmon, Roasted Chicken or Angus Beef Tenderloin
  • Dolce — Chocolate Soufflé or Palo's Tiramisu

Palo Disney Cruise — steak

If you decide to leap for the à la carte menu, you'll find a wide variety of options. Some of those additions include the antipasto tray, Puy Lentil and Cotechino Soup, Soft Potato Gnocchi and savory pizza and pasta options. The main courses include the addition of Piquant Dover Sole and a Veal Rib Chop. As the "steakhouse" part of the title implies, there are extensive steak options including both choice and prime-cut steaks. The choice cuts are a 6 oz Angus Beef Tenderloin and Cowboy Rib Eye steak. The prime cuts include an 8 oz Tenderloin and a 12 oz New York Sirloin. There are even three varieties of wagyu — the Japanese Strip Loin, Snake River Black Loin or the Snake River Black Tenderloin.

The dessert menu has so many yummy choices. Good luck deciding which one to try! The list includes the iconic Chocolate Soufflé, the Amaretto Soufflé, Palo's Tiramisù, the 14k Chocolate, Lychee Panna Cotta, 6-Layer Carrot Cake, Italian Ricotta Cheesecake and a selection of gelatos. Just be sure to save some room!

Our Palo Steakhouse Experience on the Disney Wish

On our last Disney cruise, we chose to dine at Palo for dinner. We started with drinks at The Rose and I finally got to experience the Mrs. Tea cocktail. The Mrs. Tea is served in a glass teapot, reminiscent of Mrs. Potts from "Beauty and The Beast." It's made with SelvaRey White, Belvedere Pear & Ginger, Pique Passion Fruit Green Tea and Moët Imperial Rosé. The bubbly made it light and refreshing — the perfect start before the meal.

Once we were seated, we were presented with physical menus. Leap decided to try the prix fixe menu, while I opted for the à la carte menu. I mean, we just had to try out both, right? Our server went over the menu and guided us through wine recommendations. I was still finishing up my Mrs. Tea, which I was allowed to bring with me to the table, so Leap and I both decided to order a glass of wine. Wine is available by the glass or bottle. There is a corking fee if you'd like to save your bottle of wine for later. I tried the Bramito del Cervo Antinori and Leap ordered the Classico Chianti.

Palo Disney Cruise — bread basket

Shortly after, a bread basket arrived at our table. Palo makes the bread from fresh handmade dough. We love the herbed pesto coating!

Before our appetizers arrived, the chef surprised us with a gift—a fried gnocco served in a mushroom sauce and topped with parmesan cheese. Although it was just a single bite, it offered a delicious preview of what awaited us in the following courses.

For our appetizers, Leap selected the Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Mozzarella Caprese, while I ordered the Agnolotti from the pasta menu, featuring butternut squash, buffalo mozzarella, amaretti, sage-brown butter and basil. Both dishes delivered freshness and flavor, with the Agnolotti melting in my mouth. The sage-brown butter was particularly delicious!

Palo Disney Cruise — appetizer

Next up was the salads. We settled on one of each option. Leap really enjoyed the Crisp Romaine. I tried the Baby Arugula. The ingredients were simple, but high quality, making both salads fresh and bright.

Palo Disney Cruise — salad

At this point, we're both reminding each other to save room! It's on to the main course ...

And it lived up to expectations! Leap chose the classic 6 oz Grilled Choice Angus Beef Tenderloin, accompanied by pancetta, truffle potatoes, spinach and Barolo. The smile on his face as he savored every bite of his steak was priceless. As expected, he polished off every last morsel! Following our server's recommendation, I opted for the Osso Buco, featuring a center-cut veal shank slow-roasted in Barolo Wine, served with Gremolata and Milanese Risotto.

This dish was a delight! There were so many flavors but it was very, very rich! I was a little nervous about trying the bone marrow, but it was actually very delicious, but again, extremely rich. I've never had Osso Buco before, so that was a new experience.

Palo Disney Cruise — dessert

Finally, dessert time arrived! With numerous tempting options to choose from, we couldn't resist ordering the soufflés. The Chocolate Soufflé, highly praised by Disney Cruise fans, was an obvious choice, served with Madagascan Vanilla Bean Gelato, Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Anglaise — simply delicious! Additionally, we ordered the Amaretto Soufflé for comparison, with Hazelnut Gelato and Vanilla Anglaise.

The server brought both soufflés straight out of the oven, piping hot, prompting us to wait a few minutes before indulging. Advised by our server, we made a hole in each soufflé, poured in the Vanilla Anglaise, added a touch of chocolate sauce and then topped them with gelato, allowing it to melt over the soufflés. The result? Oh, my stars! Both were absolutely fantastic!

To conclude the meal, the waiter served us a complimentary palate cleanser — a mini cocktail consisting of sorbet, champagne and vodka — which proved to be very refreshing and provided a delightful conclusion to our dining experience. Overall, we both thought our entire Palo experience was superb!

Palo Disney Cruise Restaurant Brunch

As we previously mentioned, Palo is also open for brunch on all the Disney Cruise ships. The cost is $50 per person and includes a complimentary mimosa or Prosecco, fresh pastries, a starter, a main course and dessert.

The starters include antipasti selections such as the seafood plate and the meat and cheese plate. A scrumptious array of omelets, frittatas, poached eggs, pancakes and Mickey waffles are available. Moreover, don't overlook the array of pizza varieties available; they're simply irresistible. Both the Goat Cheese with Sun-Dried Tomato and Grape and Gorgonzola Cheese Pizzas are our solid go-to's. For even more variety, there are lunch entree options such as Mushroom Ravioli, Sirloin Steak, Parmesan Roasted Chicken Breast and Lasagna Bolognese.

Many might argue that brunch is the superior Palo meal, but we frogs don't discriminate here! Every meal we've experienced at Palo has been top-notch and we'll let your tastebuds decide which meal option is your favorite. Don't forget to hop back and let us know what you think.

Final Thoughts

Palo Disney Cruise — main course

So is Palo worth it? Well, that depends on several factors such as your dining preferences, budget and timeframe. Since the already frogtastic rotational dining restaurants are included in your cruise price, some will wonder if a meal at Palo is necessary. For us, it's definitely not necessary, but a great option if you have a longer cruise and are looking for variety or an elevated dining experience.

Even though it's an extra expense, we think the $50 for a gourmet meal of this caliber is a pretty sweet deal. Of course, you'll want to take into consideration that drinks and gratuities will be an additional expense. If you have a 3-night itinerary, you'd have to decide if missing one of the rotational dining rooms is worth it. However, if you scheduled it just right, you could technically eat at Palo and at one of the rotational dining rooms on the same night — this is a no-judgment zone!

Here's a quick breakdown to help you decide.

Dining at Palo is a great option if:

  • You have a longer cruise itinerary and you're looking for an additional dining option.
  • You want a meal with elevated food options just for the adults. Palo is an adult-exclusive restaurant, perfect for a date night!
  • You're looking for an upscale dining experience and want to dress for the occasion. (So fancy!)
  • You're OK with splurging on the additional cost.

You'll want to pass on Palo if:

  • It's not in your budget.
  • You can't break away from the kiddos.
  • You have a shorter cruise itinerary and don't want to skip one of the rotational dining restaurants.
  • It doesn't fit in with your schedule. Hey, there's a lot to see and do on a Disney cruise!

Overall, we personally loved our Palo Steakhouse experience. The food was outstanding and our service was impeccable. We're counting down the days until our next Disney cruise just so we can dine at Palo again. Until then, you can find me dreaming about that chocolate souffle. Sigh! Let us know if you have plans to try out at the infamous Palo Disney cruise restaurant. Still have questions? Ask away in the comments below!

Related: Your Complete Guide to Disney Cruise Food

Related: Disney Cruise Gratuities — Everything You Need to Know About Tipping

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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