David's Vacation Club Rentals
David's Vacation Club Rentals

Review: Palo on the Disney Fantasy is a delicious departure from the rotational dining routine

in Disney, Disney Cruise Line, Food, Reviews

By far, the best meals for the best prices available on the new Disney Fantasy cruise ship can be found at Palo. Though the Italian restaurant may not be unique to the Fantasy, also appearing on all three other Disney Cruise Line ships, its cuisine is nothing short of spectacular, far superior to anything found in the rotational dining options on board.

Palo on the Disney Fantasy

After a lackluster meal at Animator’s Palate the night prior during the recent Inaugural cruise, I was certainly ready for some great food. The rotational dining on the Disney Fantasy includes stops in Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Court, placing diners at assigned tables with the same servers and shipmates each night. Those experiences are included in the cost of a Disney cruise. But for an extra $20 per head, adults (18+) willing to dress up a little bit can dine comfortably and quietly at Palo, well worth the extra cost.

Palo on the Disney Fantasy

Palo is not overtly Italian in its dimly-lit decor, but its food speaks volumes beyond its understated appearance, beginning with the fresh bread and crispy breadsticks awaiting patrons at each table.

Bread and breadsticks - Palo

From there, the Italian culinary adventure begins with a delicious assortment of antipasti, wheeled table side by servers, with each plate individually and carefully prepared.

Antipasti - Palo

Offerings include fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese, prosciutto di Parma and other sliced cold cuts, marinated olives and artichokes, roasted peppers, and an assortment of flavored oils. I could have eaten just these finger foods all night and left happy, but there was much more to come.

Antipasti - Palo

Palo’s menu isn’t a typical Americanized Italian menu with over-sauced, over-stuffed lasagna and manicotti. Its Northern Italian cuisine features dishes prepared with finesse, each offering complex flavors, beginning with the appetizers.

I ordered the Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Polenta, with a Roasted Shallot Sauce and Parmesan Crisp. Though I wouldn’t give it the highest points for presentation, nearly unrecognizable on the plate, its taste far made up for it with the rich sauce equally as good as the perfectly prepared polenta and savory mushroom. My only complaint is that the parmesan crisp wasn’t quite crispy, though still enjoyable.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Polenta - Palo

My wife Michelle ordered Mozzarella and Plum Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing, a variation of a Caprese salad. I tried it and found the fresh, ripe tomato’s natural sweetness beautifully enhanced by the bright dressing.

5 Comments

  1. Jeff Lynch

    Ricky –

    You always photograph food so well — I mean, it looks professionally done. Food can look terrible if someone doesn’t know what he’s doing when he shoots it…but wow, when you take pictures of food, it’s always so delicious looking. You are talented!

  2. Regular Listener

    I agree with your assessment of Palo, as we had eaten at both this and Remy (on the Dream but I assume the menus and ambiance are the same on the Fantasy). The one thing that concerns me, however, is that you mentioned that it was a great bargain — it is, indeed, equal to or better than Remy at a fraction of the stated extra charge; BUT — I’m really afraid that a lot of guests may think they should just tip based on the price they paid, not what the equivalent meal would cost elsewhere (as they politely point out when the meals are booked). Both restaurants would easily cost about $100 per person in the “real world” or more at WDW.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Excellent point! Though Palo costs only a $20 per-diner premium, it’s a meal worth far more than that. Since meals are already included in the price of a cruise, this $20 meal is actually valued at a much higher price. Just imagine what it would cost if my wife and I went to a nice Italian restaurant and ordered antipasti, two appetizers, soup, salad, three entrees, and four desserts, plus sodas and glasses of champagne. We’d easily run up a bill of more than $200 between the two of us. And yet at Palo, it costs just $20 each, on top of the price of going on the cruise itself.

      I should note that like almost everything on this media preview cruise, we did not actually pay the $20 premium here. Disney picked up the tab for that and gratuity. But we gladly will pay the $20 each for the same dining experience next time, on our own dime.

  3. JIMMY

    Im having trouble on selecting one night out of the 4 night cruise to dine at Palo. I dont want to miss the other magical restaurants and of course the fireworks

  4. George

    I couldn’t agree more! We just returned from our first cruise aboard the Fantasy and Palo is exceptional. It is more than worth the $20 “up charge” – – and, in my view, is one of the finest restaurants at any Disney establishment (and we have been to many!)
    Interestingly enough – – our choices for Entree were identical to yours!!

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