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Guest Review: Dinner at Palo Aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy Cruise Ship

Ahoy to Rachel Gardner! She brings us a delicious review of the exclusive table-service restaurant, Palo, aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Atmosphere

Warm tones of reds, greens, and taupes; elegant wood paneling; large spacious dining rooms with sweeping ocean views; the smell of Italian food wafting from the plates around you as you make your way to your table: this is Palo.

A warm chandelier welcomes diners!

Meaning pole in Italian, Palo is named after the pole to which the gondoliers tie up the gondola when docking.

Palo’s Dining Room

Sweeping ocean views create a serene atmosphere.

Enjoy an ocean view!

Eats

Palo provides northern Italian cuisine full of both light and hearty flavors. Luca, our wonderful server, provided excellent service, and clearly and honestly described each menu item to help us make our decisions.

Bread Service

The following is no ordinary breadbasket. It had tall crunchy breadsticks, fluffy onion loaf, and my favorite, pizza dough. It was pizza dough with a little Parmigianino Reggiano and herbs- delish!

Bread Basket!

Appetizers

For another pre-meal appetizer, antipasti: aged Parmigianino Reggiano with balsamic drizzled on top, 83 day aged Pruscitto di Parma, aged beef, artichokes, olives, sweet red and yellow peppers. The Parmigianino Reggiano was my favorite due to the surprisingly bold flavor when combined with the balsamic vinegar.

Antipasti.

Tomatoes were juicy, the mozzarella was creamy perfection, and the pesto had just the right flavor to bring tomatoes and mozzarella together in a memorable mix.

Caprese: tomato, mozzarella, and pesto.

All of the shrimp we ate on the ship was phenomenal! This was no exception.

Sicilian Pesto Marinated Grilled Shrimp over Tomato Ragu.

My parents devoured this one, especially the fried cherry peppers, which added a nice kick to the dish. The calamari was just crispy enough that it provided a good crunch without overpowering the chewiness and flavor of the calamari.

Fritto di Calamari: fried calamari w/pesto, roumelade-ish sauce, and deep-fried cherry peppers.

Main Course

My dad enjoyed the Prime Rib, and the meat was cooked exactly to his medium rare liking.

Prime Rib.

Okay, here is the deal: never in my life have I or my mother had fish like this. THIS IS THE BEST FISH I HAVE EVER EATEN. The sea bass is one of the healthiest fish to eat, according to Remy head chef, Patrick Albert — even more than salmon.

It had the lightest, flakiest texture that literally melted in your mouth. My mom had it as her main course for the first three nights of the cruise (more on this interesting development in another review!).

Branzzino in Cartoccio: sea bass with grilled vegetables.

I am a big pasta lover and this dish did not disappoint! The pasta was delicate enough that the balance between pasta and lobster mascarpone filling could not have been more harmonious.

The liquid surrounding it was too thin to be a sauce, but not thin enough to be a broth. Whatever it was, my raviolis floated nicely on top of it until I devoured every last bite.

Lobster and Mascarpone Ravioli.

Dessert

For dessert, we had the most DIVINE chocolate soufflé (find the recipe here!)! It was fudgy, yet fluffy. Chocolate and vanilla sauce poured into the center for extra rich flavor.

The perfect dessert combo.

In addition, if you are celebrating a special occasion (such as a Graduation!), tell your server and they will provide you with a special dessert with a fancy presentation!

Me with my chocolaty masterpiece!

Overall

Though Palo has an extra charge per person plus alcohol, it is worth it! The restaurant gives diners an escape from the traditional hustle and bustle of rotational dining, and allows them to sit back, relax, and enjoy a fantastic meal at sea.

Sunset from Palo!

Our first meal on the ship, Palo was the perfect way to begin our voyage.

Rachel is a college student with a PASSION for Disney! She avidly reads the Disney Food Blog and loves helping friends and family plan their Disney vacations. Since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was four years old, Rachel has traveled to Walt Disney World, Disneyland (CA), Disneyland Paris, and taken two Disney Cruises. She hopes to one day visit all the Disney parks in the world.

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9 Comments

  1. Chuck says:

    Great review! I am also a college student with a love for Disney :)

    I just dined at Palo for the first time on the Disney Magic and fell in love it was simply phenomenal everything about the experience was top notch!

    I am on the Dream in October and would love to try the larger ships Palo’s however I think I am going to give Remy a try!

    Chuck

  2. Wendy says:

    Oh, how I love the chocolate souffle… and everything else about Palo! Truly amazing… thanks so much for sharing, Rachel!

  3. Tracy says:

    I really dislike fish and am allergic to shellfish so I never eat it seafood. On our last cruise I decided to give in and experiment since I could easily get something else if I really disliked my meal. I still wouldn’t regularly order fish but the branzino/sea bass at Palo was really good and something I would order in a restaurant. Palo is a great place to experiment with new foods. Everything is quality and very well prepared.

  4. Hannah1230 says:

    Hey Chuck,
    We have been to Palo’s on both the Magic and the Dream. We enjoyed the Magic more. However we will certainly give it a try on the Dream again, also in October.

  5. Rachel says:

    Wow! Thank y’all so much for the positive comments :)

  6. Chuck says:

    Hannah1230 thanks for the feedback! Something about the open kitchen on the Magic was really cool – I wish they did brunch on 3 day Dreams so I could experience it on the Dream…

    I plan on at least poking my head into the Palo on the Dream in October though its my 21st birthday trip so I’m sure I will be in Meridian and my Birthday dinner is at Remy :) (tough life lol)

  7. Hannah1230 says:

    Chuck….Have a GREAT Birthday on the Dream. We will have a drink and a toast for your Birthday at the Meridian on our 4 day.

  8. Kelly says:

    WOW…what a fantastic blog! The pictures are gorgeous & I loved everything you shared Rachel!! Wish I were there now :) Look forward to more of your blogs!!

  9. cupcake says:

    I wish we’d done the Palo dinner on our Dream cruise instead of the brunch, which we’d been led to believe was superior (pfffbt). The food was -okay-, but just not what we expected…it was more on the level of a low-end TS at WDW and not the amazing ‘signature’ experience we’d been led to anticipate.

    But then, we found the food on the Dream to be overall quite substandard and yet we’re pretty easy to please (obviously, I’m posting on a Disney food blog!) so maybe the ocean air messed with our taste buds!

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