Location

Disney Fantasy, Deck 12 Aft and Starboard

Summary

Given what you’ve already spent on the cruise, dropping another $30 to dine at Palo requires no thought whatsoever. Because it’s cooked to order, the food tastes substantially better than anything coming from the main dining rooms, and that’s not a surprise. But Palo’s menu has a wide selection, and many of its dishes - especially the soups - are done very well. It’s no wonder that Disney only allows guests to make one reservation before boarding.

Note: An additional $30 per person charge will be added to your cruise bill for each meal at Palo. If you need to cancel a reservation, it must be done before 2:00 PM on the day of your reservation or the full per-person charge will be applied to your bill. Children are not permitted in Palo – guests must be 18 and up.

Photos and masthead courtesy of Ricky Brigante.

Setting and Atmosphere

Palo is located on the starboard side at the back of Deck 12, opposite the French restaurant Remy, and adjacent the Meridian bar. Although all four Disney ships have a restaurant named Palo, the restaurants on the Dream and Fantasy have the nicest furnishings.

The entrance to Palo on the Fantasy has a pretty gold-and-ruby colored glass chandelier, surely one of the most photographed parts of the restaurant. Upon entering Palo, guests walk past glass-enclosed wine closet and see the main dining room, decorated with deep mahogany wood paneled walls and columns, and rich burgundy carpet. One half of the room features patterned, deep green fabric on the booths and chairs, with paintings of the Italian countryside and seashore along the walls. The other half of Palo uses a saturated red fabric for its seating; illustrations of Italian villas hang on the walls. Also within Palo, and unique to Disney’s larger ships, are small, private dining rooms with custom fabrics, wallpaper and lighting. Stick your head inside if one is not in use, and you’ll see how the wealthy merchants of Venice might have lived.

Naturally, tables next to Palo’s floor-to-ceiling windows afford the best views. However, tables near the back wall sit on an elevated platform, allowing diners there to see over the tables nearest the windows. Our favorite table is to the left of the entrance, tucked by itself in a rounded corner along the inside wall and surrounded by a mural depicting Venice from the water. It’s a bit of a high profile, however; quieter seats are available at the far ends of either side of the restaurant. Brunch offers open seating, so sit wherever the view is best.

House Specialties

For dinner appetizers, try the cioppino, a tomato-based fish stew with squid, clams and shrimp; or the white bean soup, with prosciutto ham and perfectly al dente beans. A complete selection of pasta is available, either as a separate course or as an entrée. One of these, the vegetarian mushroom risotto, is so rich you’d swear it had beef. Our favorite meat entrée is the rack of lamb, which comes in a crispy crust of parmesan cheese and oregano. For seafood, we like the grilled tuna with potato risotto a bit more than the grilled scallops. The chocolate soufflé is by far the most popular dessert, and comes with both dark and white chocolate sauces.

Palo’s brunch menu is very good. One large table is dedicated to selections of breads, muffins and pastries, along with sliced fruits and fresh vegetables (the roasted asparagus is tasty). An entire aquarium’s worth of fish is available in another section, including shrimp cocktail, cured salmon, smoked trout mousse, seared tuna, scallops, crab legs, crawfish and mussels. Eggs cooked in every conceivable way, including Benedict, Florentine, Julia and customized omelets, are on the menu. Not enough? A selection of made-to-order pizzas are available. If there’s any room left for dessert, small cups of tiramisu will take care of that.

Photos