If you’ve sailed with the Disney Cruise Line before, you know food is serious business. You can find amazing cuisine and unique restaurant experiences, quick service and sit down, on each ship. Each ship also offers an amazing, adult only dining experience at Palo, which offers brunch on days at sea as well as dinner every evening. Last week, aboard the Disney Wonder, I got to experience Palo brunch for the first time. And by experience, I’m putting emphasis on experience, because aside from the fact that it’s a spectacular array of food, I made sure to try pretty much everything and ate 4 plates worth of food.
Let me start off with a few basics about Palo. Palo is a Northern Italian style adult only dining experience. Located on the top deck of each Disney ship, it offers an amazing view. There is an additional cost for a meal at Palo and advanced reservations are required. As for the brunch, the cost was $30 per person and does not include gratuity. That $30 covers your food, whether you are ordering from the menu or choosing from the buffet spread and your non-alcoholic beverage. They do offer a welcome drink, either a mimosa or a glass of Prosecco, but additional alcoholic beverages or specialty coffees do cost extra.
There is also a dress code at Palo. Disney’s website states “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.”
Now, onto the good stuff. The food. Is Palo brunch worth the extra cost when your food via room service, quick service and in the main dining rooms is included with the cost of your cruise? Yes. Yes. Yes. For starters, this kind of dining experience elsewhere, like at Walt Disney World, will cost you quite a bit more than $30. Second, the food itself, the selection, the atmosphere, the view and the service make it very much worth it. So let’s talk about the food…
First, you have menu items. From traditional breakfast offering like pancakes to pizza, pasta and steak, they offer a wide variety of food from their menu. But I’m going to be honest, I didn’t even get the chance to order off the menu, I went straight to their buffet style offerings and stayed there. After we were seated, our server gave us a tour of the buffet, highlighting favorites and also going over potential allergens for anyone with food allergies or on specific diets. On a side note, as with all of Disney, they work so well with people on specific diets or with restrictions. The chef spoke with each person in our party who needed to avoid certain foods, from gluten free to shellfish allergies, advising them on what to avoid and offering specially prepared alternatives so they weren’t just skipping parts of the meal. I’m always impressed with how much they care about not only taking care of those who have to avoid certain things, but how they go out of their way to make sure those guests still have an enjoyable dining experience.
So, about the buffet…
You’ll find meats.
You’ll find cheeses.
You’ll find fruits, vegetables and seafood.
Now, I’m going to just pause for a moment to reflect on what the dessert and pastry tables were. Take a moment to talk amongst yourselves. Phew, ok. I have a wicked sweet tooth. I love all things dessert. I love all things pastry. The dessert tables alone at Palo would have been worth the price of brunch. I may or may not have offered my cleaning services to our server if she agreed to let me stay and come back for more later. She did not.
Overall it was really an amazing experience and brunch at Palo will be a must do for me on every cruise I take with Disney Cruise Line from now on. I’d highly recommend it if you have the opportunity!