When I mention how much I enjoy sailing with my family on Disney Cruise Line, I am often asked the following question:
“Is there anything for you to do without your kids?”
I don’t mind answering that question because there may be the assumption that sailing with Disney Cruise Line means that there is little-to-nothing for adults to do by themselves for enjoyment and entertainment. The truth is that Disney has mastered the art of keeping children (with or without their parents) and adults (with or without their children) quite happy.
Because food is one of my favorite things, today’s post will focus on Palo, my favorite place to enjoy dinner on a Disney Cruise.
When we first sailed with DCL in 2010, my kids were in elementary school and middle school. At dinnertime, my youngest preferred to dine on chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese while visiting with princesses in the Oceaneer Club. (Kids can eat and play in the clubs. A child’s dream come true!) My middle schooler met kids his age in the tween club, Edge, and preferred to munch on pizza or burgers with his new found friends. My husband and I were fine with dining alone in the rotational restaurants while our kids enjoyed themselves.
Cruises are great for family time, and we knew that after dinner we could spend time together enjoying the entertainment and activities offered on the ship. Family karaoke is one of our favorite post-dinner activities.
One of our answers to a romantic Date Night on a Disney Cruise is dining at Palo.
Palo is a fine dining restaurant found on every Disney ship. The menu consists of dishes with authentic Italian flare. Palo, after all, means ‘pole’ in Italian. This adults-only restaurant is named after the signature long poles used by gondoliers in Venice.
Some of you stopped at ‘adults only’ and have read it over and over. You see, whereas the rotational dining restaurants are designed to accommodate families of all ages, Palo is reserved for guests aged 18 or older. Your two-hour dining experience (and it is an experience) will be spent in a romantic atmosphere in the company of adults only.
We have dined at Palo six times for dinner, and once for brunch. It is THAT good.
Palo is not one of the restaurants included in the rotational dining schedule on a Disney Cruise, and there is a $30 per person charge. We find this to be money well spent because the personalized service, dining experience, and food at Palo rivals any fine dining restaurant on land.
With the exception of formal and semi-formal nights, cruise casual wear is the norm throughout the rotational dining restaurants, but there is a dress code for Palo. Jackets are required for men, and women can wear a dress or a dressy dress pant outfit. The atmosphere at Palo is relaxing and romantic and I enjoy the opportunity to dress up to enjoy a romantic evening with my husband.
We always start our evening with Palo’s Cold Antipasti Specialties:
Prosciutto, Bresaola, Parmesan Reggiano, Marinated Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes served with Palo’s Famous Dips and Olive Oil.
During this course, my husband left the table for a moment and I had to use self-control to keep my hands off of his portion. This is a serious selection of deliciousness!
Before the main course is served, a delicate glass with a scoop sorbet is brought to each guest at the table to cleanse the palate. It is light and refreshing.
There are many succulent dishes to choose from on the menu, and there is a dish that was introduced in February 2016 that I fell in love with on our New Year’s cruise on the Disney Wonder. Between cruises I dream about dining at Palo, and I believe this dish is the main reason for those dreams. I had this dish for the first time in December 2016, and relived its savory goodness so often that my husband decided to try it on this cruise.
How do you say, “I told you that you would love it!” in Italian?
If you enjoy fish (or even think you enjoy fish), locate the section on the menu titled, Il Pesce (the fish) and find the following dish:
Piquant Dover Sole – filleted table side | with nut brown Butter Capers, Anchovies, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach, Carrots and Thyme Potatoes
Place your order and sit back to enjoy the experience of having the most succulent fish you’ve ever tasted filleted (deboned) right in front of you. Cut a small piece of this soft, yet firm dish with your fork, lift the fork to your mouth and let it melt in your mouth.
Dinner isn’t over until dessert is served, and no one does chocolate soufflé better than Palo.
If you choose to enjoy this delectable delight, your order has to be placed with your server at the start of your meal. If memory serves me well, our server took our soufflé order when the Cold Antipasti appetizer was served. The soufflé is served with vanilla bean and chocolate sauces and is topped with a fresh scoop of vanilla bean ice cream that is added at the table. Perfection!
During an Alaskan summer, sunset begins around 8:00 p.m. and from our window seat in Palo, we had a beautiful view of the sun setting over Ketchikan Harbor while we chatted and enjoyed our soufflé.
Do you remember I told you that when our kids cruised with us on our first Disney Cruise they were more interested in spending time with princesses and friends? Over the years, our kids have come to enjoy being with us when we dine in the rotational restaurants for dinner. Even after an evening of fine dining and romance, we still find time to meet our kids at dinner to chat about the day and plan our evening. We enjoy spending time together as a couple and as a family because family time is very precious.