Not Impressed by Palo

BruinEd03

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 23, 2013
DH and I went to Palo for the first time on the Dream this week. We were really looking forward to the exclusive dining experience. We read so many wonderful things about the atmosphere, the food, and the service. We were greatly disappointed. The atmosphere was nice. Our dining time was at 8:00pm, so it was dark outside and made a nice dimly-lit ambiance. However, the food and service were lacking. Our server was not very attentive, and I spent most of my meal without a drink. He always seemed rushed and we didn't see him very much. We only saw him at one other table, so I don't think he was overbooked. The food, we found, was equal to the food we had in the MDR. We each ordered the beef tenderloin. It was good, but again, we didn't find it any more tasty or tender than the beef we had in the MDR. It was nice to go there once, but we will never do it again. Has anyone else had this same experience, or feel that Palo is overrated? I'm just curious if anyone else feels the same.
We've dined at Palo on both classic ships and the Dream. The Dream was probably our least favorite experience. Our theory is that since it is the only premium dining experience on the classic ships, it gets a lot more attention/resources. On the other hand, on the Dream class ships, Remy is the premium experience. The Palo on the Disney Dream does not nearly have the same amount of character for dining as the classic ships. Of course, this is just a theory as we've only dined at Palo on the Dream class ships once. I also think that your experience is also colored by the service. When we've had great service, we tend to enjoy the dinner more.
 

dclpluto

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2012
I tried palo once when I wasn’t platinum and it wasn’t worth it imo. Now platinum it’s worth it for brunch imo. Brunch is definitely better will probably never go back to palo dinner. On my last cruise I booked late so couldn’t get into brunch. Tried on board still couldn’t get in. Told me they had plenty of spots available for dinner. I said that’s ok not even worth the tip imo.
 

FSU Girl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
We love Palo so im sad you didn't enjoy it! We always book two brunches and a dinner here (before even being platinum for a free meal).

I'm curious... I wonder what the people who get brunch here and are disappointed order? I have to say, if you spend the $40 on brunch and order a waffle or an egg dish, yes, it is going to seem like the MDR breakfasts for a hefty fee. However, if you're getting that lasagna or chicken parm... 🤤 I think the experience may be better? But that's just my speculation!
I wasn’t a fan of brunch and we did order both the lasagna and chicken parm. It wasn’t that anything was bad, I just wasn’t wowed by anything. I kept comparing it to California Grill Brunch at Disney which is the best I’ve ever had and Palo didn’t come close. I love the dinner there though, but brunch was definitely a one and done for us
 
  • Pooh2

    Dis Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2011
    We enjoyed our Palo evening but do not have any desire to rush back.
    Wouldn't mind trying brunch if I can ever get a reservation.
     

    smmco

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2019
    I've always enjoyed Palo, but it's been a while since we've paid for it. It's definitely a step up from the MDR. I can see why people may not think it's worth the upcharge. If I still had to pay the 30.00 pp plus tip I probably wouldn't do it. We're platinum therefore I only have to tip. I usually leave 50.00 dollars. I think for just a tip it's a pretty great meal.
     

    smmco

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2019
    No one is required to complain to management. It’s not the job of the diners to improve the experience for people in the future. They aren’t planning to go back and if making a big deal about it would have been uncomfortable for them why should they?
    I couldn't agree with you more.
     

    Stratus22

    Vacation more, Smile Often....
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2015
    No one is required to complain to management. It’s not the job of the diners to improve the experience for people in the future. They aren’t planning to go back and if making a big deal about it would have been uncomfortable for them why should they?
    I too couldn't agree more. and Tipping the CM is tipping their service, not the one's making the decisions. And as far as Palo goes, I LOVE It...all of it because I'm not cooking!! AMEN!
     
  • serenitynow

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2005
    I've always enjoyed Palo, but it's been a while since we've paid for it. It's definitely a step up from the MDR. I can see why people may not think it's worth the upcharge. If I still had to pay the 30.00 pp plus tip I probably wouldn't do it. We're platinum therefore I only have to tip. I usually leave 50.00 dollars. I think for just a tip it's a pretty great meal.
    It is now $40.00 pp plus tip.
     

    Pooh93

    <font color=blue>Proud mom of 2 dd's<br><font colo
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2000
    We are embarking on our 7th cruise in August and will sail on the Dream. We have never booked Palo, but are doing the brunch this time. Now, I am a little nervous as my oldest daughter is the one really wanting to do it and looking forward to it. I will report back!
     

    daisyx3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2009
    We just disembarked the Dream yesterday and ate dinner at Palo for our 33rd anniversary on Friday. It was wonderful!
    Our server was Corrinne from France. She was all over us! She kept our drinks (Iced tea and soda; we aren't wine drinkers) refilled constantly if that is your measure of a good server. She explained everything on the menu thoroughly. When we both ordered the scallops (awesome) she suggested a pasta that was a perfect pairing with it and brought us a bowl to share. Then after dessert (I got the chocolate souffle and DH got the amaretto souffle) she also brought us little shots of a lemon drink (I did not get the name; it was a slushy type drink ) at the end to top it off. Even the chef came out at the end to see how things were. We actually tipped more than we had planned. There is no way we would get that type of food and service on land for $80. And we had a window view as well.
    Like everything else, this is an opinion and it doesn't mean other opinions are wrong. But surely don't cancel a Palo reservation based on one opinion. See for yourself; you might have a great experience like we did!
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    We just disembarked the Dream yesterday and ate dinner at Palo for our 33rd anniversary on Friday. It was wonderful!
    Our server was Corrinne from France. She was all over us! She kept our drinks (Iced tea and soda; we aren't wine drinkers) refilled constantly if that is your measure of a good server. She explained everything on the menu thoroughly. When we both ordered the scallops (awesome) she suggested a pasta that was a perfect pairing with it and brought us a bowl to share. Then after dessert (I got the chocolate souffle and DH got the amaretto souffle) she also brought us little shots of a lemon drink (I did not get the name; it was a slushy type drink ) at the end to top it off. Even the chef came out at the end to see how things were. We actually tipped more than we had planned. There is no way we would get that type of food and service on land for $80. And we had a window view as well.
    Like everything else, this is an opinion and it doesn't mean other opinions are wrong. But surely don't cancel a Palo reservation based on one opinion. See for yourself; you might have a great experience like we did!
    Thanks for this! I love Palo and have it booked for dinner and brunch for my upcoming cruise. I have to stop by dining changes anyway to triple check that I'm listed as gluten-free and that I have a private table for the MDRs (birthday trip - do not want to deal with a solo dump table at any time, but especially not for this). I may put in a request for Corrinne for my server - she sounds awesome!

    I was drooling over the menu again and am wondering if I could request the espresso gelato with my chocolate soufflee rather than the vanilla what comes with it (since they have espresso gelato for the amaretto soufflee). I think that would make a WONDERFUL pairing!
     
  • Ralph&Pam

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2001
    Thanks for this! I love Palo and have it booked for dinner and brunch for my upcoming cruise. I have to stop by dining changes anyway to triple check that I'm listed as gluten-free and that I have a private table for the MDRs (birthday trip - do not want to deal with a solo dump table at any time, but especially not for this). I may put in a request for Corrinne for my server - she sounds awesome!

    I was drooling over the menu again and am wondering if I could request the espresso gelato with my chocolate soufflee rather than the vanilla what comes with it (since they have espresso gelato for the amaretto soufflee). I think that would make a WONDERFUL pairing!
    I don’t see why you should not be able to pair the espresso gelato. I have paired the vanilla with the amaretto soufflé, since I cannot handle the caffeine at that time of day (the reason I now avoid the chocolate soufflé, since I always have a restless night after too much chocolate late in the day).
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    I don’t see why you should not be able to pair the espresso gelato. I have paired the vanilla with the amaretto soufflé, since I cannot handle the caffeine at that time of day (the reason I now avoid the chocolate soufflé, since I always have a restless night after too much chocolate late in the day).
    Thanks!

    I was thinking about it, and I think that Corinne might have been our server in Palo in 2013... Hmmm.
     

    jiminyC_fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2001
    I also think a lot of the buzz about Palo comes from Platinum members who get their meal for free. We may have been more impressed by the experience if it had been free, rather than $80.00 for the two of us.
    We get it for free, but remember we did pay the price before we got that perk. We've always enjoyed Palo for brunch and dinner, both. I think once the dress code had been lowered it lost it's feel. The food has always been wonderful. The main restaurants are cooking for the masses where here the entrees are made per plate.
     

    thumpie's mom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2015
    We have eaten at Palo's both for brunch and dinner on numerous occasions. I can honestly say we have always had excellent service and food (except for the desserts, not crazy about those). I prefer the brunch over dinner, but that is not to say the food at dinner was not excellent. We will be booking again when our booking window opens next month :flower:
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    DH and I went to Palo for the first time on the Dream this week. We were really looking forward to the exclusive dining experience. We read so many wonderful things about the atmosphere, the food, and the service. We were greatly disappointed. The atmosphere was nice. Our dining time was at 8:00pm, so it was dark outside and made a nice dimly-lit ambiance. However, the food and service were lacking. Our server was not very attentive, and I spent most of my meal without a drink. He always seemed rushed and we didn't see him very much. We only saw him at one other table, so I don't think he was overbooked. The food, we found, was equal to the food we had in the MDR. We each ordered the beef tenderloin. It was good, but again, we didn't find it any more tasty or tender than the beef we had in the MDR. It was nice to go there once, but we will never do it again. Has anyone else had this same experience, or feel that Palo is overrated? I'm just curious if anyone else feels the same.
    We find the food quite good at palo, but we think the staff is oppressive. We love the atmosphere, but overall we do not find it worth the extra charge and tip.
     

    mmmears

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 30, 2005
    I'll start by saying that I really enjoy the food at Palo. I think so many extras on DCL, upcharge or bookable things, get overhyped online. Sure it's nice, but it's nothing unbelievable. Yeah we saw Anna and Elsa, but again, it's not amazing. Yes the cabana we had was nice, but was it worth the cost? Probably not, but it was fun to try one and we split the cost with another family so it wasn't outrageous. I can't tell if it's a competitive thing with people or what, but I love DCL and don't feel the need to try everything like some do. Like I said, I enjoyed Palo, both dinner and brunch, but it's not really better than going out to a nice Italian restaurant at home.
     

    Pooh93

    <font color=blue>Proud mom of 2 dd's<br><font colo
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2000
    Just off the Dream for the 8/5-8/9 sailing! We requested Corinne as our server as I saw on here the excellent service she provides! She had a note that we had requested her and was a little confused and asked if we had ever met? I laughed and said "no, but do you know about Disboards?" She said "yes" and I explained how her name was here as providing excellent service in Palo. She was a little embarrassed until I told her she was an internet sensation!!! We had a good laugh about it and she told some of the other servers as they were teasing her and us by the end of the meal.

    Palo brunch was wonderful in our family's opinion! I had the celery soup, artichoke ravioli, eggs florentine and shared a lasagna with my husband. It was all delicious!! Also some pre meal appetizers which I can't pronounce let alone spell!!

    Desserts were fabulous and portion sizes just enough!

    We would definitely do it again!
     

    mom+3girls

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2005
    On a girls trip in May 2018 on the Dream we girls did Palo dinner, we loved it. My sister and her husband returned to the Dream in September 2018 and said it wasn't that good, she didn't enjoy it. She said the food nor the service was up what it was on our May trip. My brother in law said he wasn't sure what all the fuss was about that he enjoyed the food in the MDRs more than Palo.
    I'm booked for the Dream in Feb 2020, I'm not sure I'm going to do Palo or not.
     

    hubbard53

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2012
    They kept trying to insist that they serve me the food in the buffet, rather than let me serve myself. Not, like, asking, “Sir, may I serve you some shrimp?”, but almost racing me to the tongs to grab them before I could.
    :rotfl2:

    same thing happened to us during one of our brunches. Wife asked for shrimp and they put two on her plate :) She had to ask for more...
    The guy wanted to make my caviar toasts for me - I felt silly so I just asked for a plate of caviar, toast, egg, and onion so I could make my own back at the table. It was indeed super-annoying.

    We just disembarked the Dream yesterday and ate dinner at Palo for our 33rd anniversary on Friday. It was wonderful!
    Our server was Corrinne from France. She was all over us! She kept our drinks (Iced tea and soda; we aren't wine drinkers) refilled constantly if that is your measure of a good server. She explained everything on the menu thoroughly. When we both ordered the scallops (awesome) she suggested a pasta that was a perfect pairing with it and brought us a bowl to share. Then after dessert (I got the chocolate souffle and DH got the amaretto souffle) she also brought us little shots of a lemon drink (I did not get the name; it was a slushy type drink ) at the end to top it off. Even the chef came out at the end to see how things were. We actually tipped more than we had planned. There is no way we would get that type of food and service on land for $80. And we had a window view as well.
    Like everything else, this is an opinion and it doesn't mean other opinions are wrong. But surely don't cancel a Palo reservation based on one opinion. See for yourself; you might have a great experience like we did!
    This is my usual experience in Palo for brunch and dinner. I can't remember our server's name but we've had him a few times - he's from Italy, lots of charisma, loves that we love prosecco (we usually get multiple refills on the house), and loves that we love GOOD balsamic (he gets something special for us). He always remembers us and he gets a gratuity reflective of his superb service. Is the food incredible? Not really. But for $40 we get our fill on shrimp, caviar, parmesan, and other cheeses. Plus it's a reprieve from the crowd in Cabanas.
     

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