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One of the questions which I am often asked is should you choose Palo Brunch or Palo Dinner on a Disney Cruise? Is Palo Brunch or Palo Dinner the best choice?
Disney Cruise Palo
Palo is an adult only restaurant which is available on all of the Disney ships. You have to be 18 or older to dine in Palo.
Disney Cruise Line Palo Reservations
You can make one Palo Brunch and one Palo Dinner reservation online prior to your cruise. If you book Palo Dinner for the first night you can also make an additional Palo Dinner reservation for your cruise.Palo is very popular and reservations are essential. However, do not be too concerned if you are not able to secure a Palo reservation prior to boarding the ship.
Quite often when you try and book Palo online you will be told that there are no reservations available. Don’t worry. A large number of reservations are held back for booking on the cruise.
If you want a Palo dining reservation for either Brunch or Dinner you can book on board. Your Disney Cruise Navigator will show where the Palo reservations can be made when you board the ship. After boarding you can go straight to that location and book Palo.
Disney Cruise Palo Dress Code
The Disney Cruise Palo dress code has relaxed quite a bit over the years. Gone are the days when you would be asked to change if you were wearing jeans.
However Disney does still ask that you follow a more dress code in Palo, albeit a pretty relaxed one.
Guests are asked to “preserve the ambiance of this fine dining venue. Dress pants, slacks and collared shirts are recommended for men and a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse are recommended 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.”
In our experience there is a pretty wide range of interpretation of this Palo dress code, but most people are dressed in what would be described as “smart casual”. As you would expect, guests at Palo Dinner tend to be more formally dressed than at Palo Brunch.
Disney Palo Cost
There is an extra charge of $40 per person for both Disney Palo Brunch and Dinner. This does not include gratuity. With Disney Palo Brunch there will be either a sparkling wine or a Mimosa included in the cost.
There have been a number of price increases for Palo Brunch and Dinner over the years. The most recent price increase was on December 14th 2018. The cost went up from $30 for both Brunch and Dinner.
A 25% price increase is a big price hike. However, I still feel that it is worth experiencing Palo for $40 per person. The quality of the food, service and experience are worth it.
There is an extensive wine and cocktail list for both Palo Brunch and Dinner.
It is perhaps surprising that the cost for Palo Brunch and Dinner is the same. You will probably pay more for Palo Dinner as most are likely to indulge in something from the wine menu. However, the basic cost is the same. This means it doesn’t help at all in your choice of whether to book Palo Brunch or Dinner!
Disney Palo Location
On the classic Disney Magic and Wonder Palo is located on Deck 10 Aft. This is a very low traffic area so it feels very exclusive. Take some time to look at the display shelves outside Palo. Also, the bathrooms are very lavishly decorated so you definitely have to see that too!
Disney Palo is located on Deck 12 Starboard on the Disney Fantasy and Dream. As you would expect it is larger than on the classic ships as it has to accommodate more guests.
Both restaurants have an Italian theme and plenty of the tables have a fabulous view out to the ocean. This is where the newer Disney ships the Fantasy and the Dream have the advantage as the ocean view is better. It is good on all ships, but Dream and Fantasy are better.
The other difference is that the Disney Magic and Wonder have an open kitchen, whereas the Fantasy and Dream do not. I like the open kitchen concept so prefer this on the classic Disney ships.
The Dream and the Fantasy have a separate bar area, the Meridian. This is located between Palo and the other adult only restaurant on these ships, Remy. The Meridian feels like one of those forgotten spaces on the ships which you only visit if you are going to Palo or Remy. You are welcome do visit at any other time. There is also a very nice outdoor seating area with Meridian.
On the Disney Wonder and Magic there is a bar area inside the restaurant. It is rare that you see anyone actually seated there, but you are welcome to sit there prior to being shown to your table.
Is Disney Palo better on the newer Disney ships of the Fantasy and the Dream. I really don’t think so. They are in a different location with different decor. However, I think that the food, the service and the ambiance are equally as good on all of the ships.
I think that Palo will also be included on the three new Disney ships. However, I would also speculate that there will be more adult exclusive dining choices on the new ships.
On all of the Disney ships Palo is in a location which definitely has a very upscale and adult feel.
Disney Palo Brunch
Disney Palo Brunch is offered on all cruises of 4 nights or more on sea days.
For Palo Brunch there is a huge buffet selection as well as a hot food selection which you can order off the menu.
You will be offered a complimentary Mimosa or Sparkling Wine with your brunch. There is also a wine and cocktail list. As with all Disney cruise restaurants the soda beverages are complimentary.
Your server will take you on a tour of the buffet. There is a huge selection of different items and everyone is sure to find something that they like. It is difficult to prioritize what you should eat first!
I always go to the seafood section first as I particularly enjoy the crab legs, shrimp and salmon mousse. The caviar is also a great choice.
The huge selection of cheeses is also very tempting. Particularly this huge parmesan cheese! It is amazing with the honey comb.
There is such a huge selection of buffet items that it is difficult to choose which hot item you should have from the menu.
You can see the hot menu items displayed at the side to help you choose which one you want. Of course you can order as many as you want, but you may be too full to eat all your selections!
I confess that there is one section which I rarely choose anything from and that is the pastry section. Not that it doesn’t look great! Just not my thing and there are so many other choices I tend to just walk on by.
You need to make sure that you save room for dessert. There are so many tempting options. The desserts are small so you can pick lots of different ones without feeling too guilty!
You can see my most recent Disney Cruise Palo Review if you Click Here. This has a lot more detail and more Disney Cruise Palo Brunch pictures.
Disney Palo Dinner
Even though the location is exactly the same, the experience of a Disney Palo Dinner is very different to Brunch. As we have mentioned, surprisingly the cost is the same, so this doesn’t help with your choice of one over the other!
Dinner is served every night of your Disney cruise. The least popular night is the first night. This is why Disney now offer you the chance to book two Palo dinners online prior to boarding, provided that one of your nights is the first night.
Some people we know book every single night in Palo, but this is not that common. The Disney cruise rotational dining restaurants are very good, so we only ever book one of possibly two Palo dinners for each cruise.
I have learned that it is a nice idea to arrive slightly early to your Palo dinner. This is so you can enjoy a pre dinner drink. You may as well make the most of the experience!
Your Disney Palo Dinner will start with a delicious selection of anti pasti. Your server will bring the cart to your table and you can choose what you want. For me this is one of the highlights of the meal. Be sure to ask for what you want.
Disney Palo has an extensive wine menu. Of course if you already have the Disney Wine Package it can be served to you in Palo. If you have an unfinished bottle it will be brought to you in Palo as well as the rotational dining restaurants.
The Disney Palo Dinner menu has something for everyone. If you have any special dietary requirements such as gluten free then be sure to tell your server.
I will be sailing with my daughter who is vegan soon and I am very interested to see what Palo has to offer. She has sailed many times on Disney cruises but this time she is an adult so able to go to Palo. I want to see how much value Disney cruises offers to vegans in Palo. She hasn’t sailed since 2015 so it will be interesting to see how much progress Disney cruise lines has made with offering vegan dining options.
Here is the Disney Palo Dinner Menu
You can order as many items as you would like from the Disney Palo Dinner Menu. Service in Palo is excellent so if you have any questions make sure that you ask your server.
The Ciuppin Soup is delicious.
The Fresh Arugula Salad is very flavorful.
Everyone is served this Disney Palo sorbet in between courses. It is a nice touch.
A favorite of mine are the Sea Scallops.
If you actually have room for dessert there are some wonderful choices.
The Chocolate Souffle is a great choice.
Disney Palo Brunch or Disney Palo Dinner?
If you can choose only one, should you choose Palo Brunch or Dinner? This is a difficult question! The answer is really that it depends on what you are looking for. Each experience has advantages over the other.
If I had to choose I would choose Palo Brunch rather than Dinner. There are a number of reasons for this. I think the main reason is that I enjoy the buffet choices more than I enjoy the dinner choices.
This may be because I love seafood, but I don’t eat meat. There are seafood and vegetarian choices on the Palo Dinner Menu, but I just love the availability of the Crab Legs and the Shrimp for the Brunch.
There is another very strong reason to choose Palo Brunch rather than Dinner. The timing. If you have Palo Dinner this means that you have to miss a rotational dining room experience.
Of course the quality of the food is better in Palo than it is in the main rotational dining rooms on the Disney ships. However, the quality of the experience is so good in the already included in the fare dining rooms, that you may want to take this into account.
It is difficult to choose which restaurant to skip.Usually I will choose to have dinner at Palo on Pirate Night. This is because my least favorite menu is on Pirate Night. Others will probably think the exact opposite and definitely not want to schedule Palo for Pirate Night as they want to enjoy the pirate fesitivites instead.
However, if your priority is a romantic meal then you will probably want to pick Palo Dinner. The Brunch is a romantic option as well, but there is something just extra special about dinner.
Which do you think you will choose? Palo Brunch or Palo Dinner? I would love to hear your views. Leave me a comment below.