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Review: Palo Dinner on Disney Magic Cruise Ship

Palo Dinner Review Palo Mosaic SignI recently went on a 5 Day Bahamas Cruise on the Disney Magic that was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.  And to me the absolute highlight of the trip (big reveal coming) was the food, in particular I enjoyed what up to this point has been the best Disney Dining Experience I’ve ever had, and maybe the best I’ve ever had anywhere period.  You are in for a treat today, so sit back and enjoy this Palo Dinner Review.  FYI, don’t do it on an empty stomach…you’ve been warned! 😉

Palo is an Adults-Only Signature Dining Restaurant, and can be found on all of the 4 Disney Cruise Line ships: Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and our ship the Disney Magic. In fact it’s the only Adults-only dining available on-board the Disney Magic.

It has amazing ambiance, themed after the Italian city of Venice, and naturally serves delicious Northern Italian Cuisine.  It also has the Best View on-board the Disney Magic, offering 270-degree  views of the sea.  Palo is open for both Dinner and Brunch (Only on Sea-days), and while both are absolutely amazing experiences (don’t worry I have a Palo Brunch Review in the works), for this review we are showing the Palo Dinner.

  • TIP: If you are undecided between Brunch or Dinner, I say do both!  But if you can only choose one then my choice would be for Dinner but only by the slightest of margins, it’s like choosing between your children, you can’t do it!

Being a Signature restaurant, Palo isn’t included in the price of your cruise like your regular dining rotation and comes with an added cost of $40 per person.  Don’t let that deter you, because it will be the best $40 you’ve ever spent in your entire life!  Just knowing that it costs less than a mediocre burger and drink at Planet Hollywood is really laughable.

  • TIP: Reservations are a must, and I would make them the very first day that reservations are made available for your cruise as it tends to fill up very fast (especially for Brunch).

Ok, let’s get right into it and I’ll show you why this is my favorite Disney Dining experience of all-time…

 Atmosphere:

Palo Dinner Review Elevators

Elevators

Palo is located on the 10th Floor of the Disney Magic and you can get there either by elevator or by the stairs, which I recommend to try and burn all the extra calories you can before this meal!

Palo Dinner Review Top of Stairs

Top of Stairs

I love the ambiance of Palo, it’s elegant and yet modern at the same time.  The huge circular lamps overhead which are made to look like marble are a signature of the Palo Design, as well as the illuminated wall panels.

Palo Dinner Review Sign

Palo Sign

I love how even though there are Palo restaurants on all 4 Disney Cruise Ships, each one is styled a bit different from the others.  Of all the ones I’ve seen, this one is my favorite!

Palo Dinner Review Hallway

Hallway outside of Palo

When you step into Palo you feel like you’ve been transported into another world.  The story behind Palo is an interesting one.  The Disney Magic Ship was constructed in Italy, half in the Marghera shipyard and half in Ancona.  Disney chose to give the Palo restaurants a Venetian theme as its way of saying thank you to Italy.  In fact the word “Palo” in Italian means: pole, which refers to the Gondola Poles present throughout the restaurant…get it now? 😉

Palo Dinner Review Entrance

Palo Entrance

Notice the gondola pole behind the reception desk?

Palo Dinner Review Reception Desk

Palo Reception Desk

Palo Dinner Review Gondola Pole at Reception Desk

Gondola Pole at Reception Desk

Everything is designed so elegantly

Palo Dinner Review Waiting Area

Waiting Area

Ask you enter on the right you’ll notice a col collection of Venetian masks that are used to celebrate Carnivale in Venice:

Palo Dinner Review Wall of Masks

Wall of Masks…

This one was particularly interesting to me:

Palo Dinner Review Golden Mask

Golden Mask

These guys are pretty funny too:

Palo Dinner Review Red, White and Black Masks

Red/White and Black/White Masks

Let’s continue to make our way through the restaurant…

Palo Dinner Review Entrance and Waiting Area

Entrance and Waiting Area

Past the masks on the right you’ll find a beautiful display case filled with rare and expensive wines.

Palo Dinner Review Wine Case

Wine Case

Palo has an amazing collection that is sure to satisfy the biggest wine connoisseur..

Palo Dinner Review Wines

Wines in Display Case

These three particularly caught my eye..

Palo Dinner Review Wine Bottles

More Wines on Display

After the wine case you’ll come into an open area where the restaurant starts making a curve.  That’s because it’s starting to wrap around the back of the boat.

Palo Dinner Review Walkway Near Bar

Walkway in front of the Bar

Notice the lanterns, another tribute to Venice..

Palo Dinner Review Lantern

Glowing Lantern

Here’s the bar:

Palo Dinner Review Bar

Palo Bar

Definitely modern influences.  Really diggin the futuristic looking wine rack behind it!

Palo Dinner Review Bar and Wines

Bar with Wines

Further down still you’ll find the Open-style kitchen.  A fantastic opportunity to watch the masters working at their craft:

Palo Dinner Review Open Kitchen

Palo Open Kitchen

The Chef Salvatore was super nice, and come to find out he lived some time in Bergamo, Italy, where my wife is from!

Palo Dinner Review Open Kitchen and Chef

Palo Open Kitchen and Chef

The details of this place are really what I love.  These colorful ceiling lights remind me of the stained-glass that the island Murano off the coast of Venice is so famous for:

Palo Dinner Review Light Fixtures

Awesome Light Fixtures

Here’s some funky artwork on display in the Palo Lobby…

Palo Dinner Review Display Case

Artwork Display Case

This was my favorite plate on display…

Palo Dinner Review Colored Plate

Colored Plate

Also this was a cool touch, a map of the World of Disney built into one of the lamps.  Notice Disneyland, Disney World, and some of the Cruise Ships making their rounds.

Palo Dinner Review Lantern Map

Lantern Map

Here’s a close up of it:

Palo Dinner Review Lantern Map of Disney

Closeup of Lantern shows the U.S. Disney Parks

  • TIP: Palo offers unprecedented 270-degree views of the surrounding sea, but try to get there around sunset for the best views.  That means take a look at the sunset time before making your reservation for the best experience.  If you come after it gets dark it will still be an awesome meal but it’s totally black outside and you won’t be be rewarded with something like this shot which I took on the deck right outside Palo:
Palo Dinner Review Sunset on Disney Magic

Sunset outside Palo on Disney Magic

This looks like a perfect table for 2 for you and your significant other…

Palo Dinner Review Table for 2

Table for 2

Or maybe you like this one better:

Palo Dinner Review Romantic Table for Two

Romantic Table for Two

Or a booth perhaps?

Palo Dinner Review Booth Table

Palo Booth

The Main Dining Room is actually quite big, even though it doesn’t seem like it at first:

Palo Dinner Review Dining Room Tables

Dining Room Tables

And it wraps around to the other side:

Palo Dinner Review Dining Room Back Tables

Tables towards the Back of the Dining Room

Palo Dinner Review Dining Room Tables

Palo Dining Room Tables

We had a huge party of 16 people and they were so kind to specially arrange all our tables for us, like this special table in the center of Palo:

Palo Dinner Review Table in Center

Table in Center

If you have a private party and are looking for some privacy, then the back room is for you:

Palo Dinner Review Private Dining Room

Private Dining Room

I was absolutely floored when I saw the mosaic mural of Venice on the wall!

Palo Dinner Review Full Palo Mosaic

Full Palo Mosaic

It’s so bright and colorful and represents the spirit of Venice well:

Palo Dinner Review Palo Mosaic

Palo Mosaic

Palo Dinner Review Gondola Mosaic

Gondola Mosaic

I’m amazed at how detailed it is!