Is Palo Brunch on Disney Dream Worth the Upcharge?

We just dined at one of Disney Dream's specialty restaurants and give you our honest Palo Brunch review. Is it worth the upcharge?

Is Palo Brunch on Disney Dream Worth the Upcharge?

If you are looking for an adults-only escape on your next Disney Cruise Line sailing, look no further than Palo Brunch on the Disney Dream.

Disney Cruise Line features its famous rotational dining and dining entertainment. With so many complimentary dining options included in your cruise fare, is dining at Palo for brunch worth the upcharge? We just dined at this specialty restaurant on our most recent Disney Dream sailing and are giving you our honest review!

About Palo

Palo is one of two adults-only dining venues onboard Disney Cruise Line ships, offering brunch and dinner service. It is available on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy. There’s also a reimagined version, Palo Steakhouse, on the Disney Wish. Named after the poles used by gondoliers in Venice, this Italian-inspired eatery offers ocean views from every table, Italian murals and decor, and an extensive Italian and American wine selection.

Is Palo Brunch on Disney Dream Worth the Upcharge?

Located on Deck 12, Aft, Palo is a semicircle dining space with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase exquisite views from all angles. Additionally, on the Disney Dream, Palo offers an outdoor teak deck with the option to dine al fresco in the ocean breeze, weather permitting.

Palo Brunch is $50 per person with an all-you-care-to-enjoy dining style. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages cost extra, except one complimentary mimosa or champagne.

Further, it’s important to remember that Palo has a dress code. Dress-casual to semi-formal is the dress code, with men expected to wear collared shirts, dress pants, jeans in good condition, or formal attire. In a recent change, Palo Brunch now allows dress shorts in good condition. Women must wear dress pants, sundresses, dressy tops, and appropriate shoes. The restaurant does not allow guests to wear flip flops, swimwear, t-shirts, or sports attire.

How to Book Palo Brunch

Reservations are required in advance to attend Palo Brunch, which is highly sought after. Brunch is only available on select days of your sailing, which means getting reservations is difficult. Brunch reservations are typically available between 10 AM and 12:30 PM, with the experience lasting roughly 90 minutes.

Guests can book reservations when their booking window opens before their cruise. How early the booking window opens depends on your Castaway Club loyalty status. This could be anywhere from 120 days before your sailing for concierge guests to 75 days before your sailing for first-time cruisers.

Is Palo Brunch on Disney Dream Worth the Upcharge?

If you can’t get a reservation on the first try, be sure to keep checking back. Guests can book or cancel their onboard activities up to 3 days before sailing, so be sure to keep an eye out for a last-minute reservation!

Fear not for those who can’t secure a reservation online. There may still be hope! On embarkation day, cruise staff are available at a designated “dining desk” location, typically near guest services, to assist guests with last-minute reservations and dining concerns. If you want a Palo Brunch reservation but couldn’t secure one, head straight to the dining desk once onboard the ship. DCL does reserve a small amount of reservations for embarkation day!

Palo Brunch Menu

Palo combines classic breakfast offerings with indulgent Italian entrees during brunch, giving guests the best of both worlds. The menu has the following sections: antipasti, eggs, waffles & pancakes, soups, pizza, and entrees.

Frittatas, omelets, and benedicts round out the egg portion, while specialty waffles and pancakes such as apple cinnamon, strawberry, and blueberry make up the waffle and pancake section. The famous parmesan-crusted chicken breast and risotto are featured in the entrees, as are Italian lasagna, veal, and mushroom ravioli specialties.

Is Palo Brunch on Disney Dream Worth the Upcharge?

The dessert menu offers a variety of light, citrusy, and indulgent options such as a limoncello torte, panna cotta, and warm chocolate cake.

All menu items at Palo use fresh ingredients and are made to order. Whatever you choose, everything is high quality and expertly prepared, as Palo chefs are highly regarded within the food industry.

Our Palo Brunch Dining Experience on the Disney Dream

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, what we actually ate!

Upon entering the restaurant, the fantastic Palo staff guided us to our table pointing out the significance of Palo’s decor along the way. As soon as we sat, our server immediately introduced himself and offered us water and a complimentary beverage. I opted for the mimosa, while my husband opted for a glass of champagne. The champagne was good quality, and the champagne to orange juice ratio was generous.

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As our server reviewed the menu, he asked if we had any time limitations so that he could pace our meal accordingly. We let him know that our son was in the kids club, and he was very gracious and attentive to the fact that they could page us at any time. He eased our minds that we would still get to enjoy our meal should one of us have to step out for a moment.

He reminded us that it is all you care to enjoy, and gave us his recommendations for each category. You place your entire order (except for dessert) at the beginning of the meal. But don’t worry, they bring your food out course by course.

Now, let the culinary adventure begin!

What We Ate During Palo Brunch

To start, we ordered both antipasti selections along with a complimentary bread service. Bread service included focaccia, crusty breadsticks, and an almond croissant. According to our server, the almond croissant was a must-try, and it did not disappoint!

Both antipasti selections were terrific, with the spiced ahi tuna being the best we have ever had. I do wish the crab claw had been a bit larger, but we would not be going hungry with what we had left to come.

Next up was the egg course, and we opted for the Tomato and Onion omelet and the Rosemary Ham Eggs Benedict. Both options were fresh and beautifully presented. The poached egg was perfectly firm yet runny. You won’t want to go back to eating the eggs benedict at the Cabana’s buffet after having this one! Further, we shared a portion of the buttermilk pancakes, which were light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. They were the perfect breakfast companion to our savory egg selections.

Next, it was time for the famous Palo pizzas! We knew we wouldn’t eat a whole pizza each, so our server suggested we split the pizza in half. We opted for a few slices of the Spicy Italian Sausage pizza. Then, our server recommended a secret menu item for the second portion, the Grape and Gorgonzola pizza.

I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive about this, I mean, grapes on pizza? Boy, was I wrong! I highly suggest everyone try this at least once. The sweetness of the grapes balances perfectly with the gorgonzola and port wine sauce drizzle.

Lastly, here come the entrees. We chose the Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast with risotto, Lasagna Bolognese, and the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. All three were good-sized portions with a classic Italian flare.

The chicken was crispy but moist, pairing perfectly with the creamy risotto it laid on top of. The lasagna was packed with rich flavors, and the ravioli was like nothing we had tasted before. It wasn’t overpowered with mushrooms, and the brown butter and lemon made it seem lighter after just indulging in two very heavy entrees.

We were stuffed at this point, but who passes on dessert?! We chose the Buttermilk Panna Cotta Pot, the Warm Amaretto Chocolate Fondant, and the server recommended the Limoncello Torte. All three desserts were well-presented and shareable in size.

The limoncello torte was light and citrusy, with the chocolate fondant being the exact opposite. It was heavy on the chocolate, but we didn’t get much amaretto flavor. My favorite was the panna cotta, a perfectly refreshing way to end our meal at Palo brunch.

Overall Palo Brunch Review

So, is Palo Brunch worth the upcharge and a portion of your time onboard the Disney Dream? Yes, yes, yes! It was pure excellence from the moment we stepped off the elevator into the lobby. The service staff was attentive, highly knowledgeable, and extremely accommodating. Our brunch was not just a meal; it was a fine dining experience.

For $50 per person, this is unbeatable. From a complimentary beverage to the ability to order as much as you’d like, it would be hard to find a better deal at sea. Compared to Palo dinner, which is prix-fixe or a la carte, brunch is more economical. But, both options are excellent.

Cruisers looking for an elegant, upscale dining experience or just some time away from children must visit Palo. Brunch is an excellent option for guests who want to experience the upscale, adult-only dining offerings but may not be adventurous enough to dine at Remy.

Our brunch experience lasted about two hours from start to finish, so be sure to carve out enough time to enjoy and not rush. It’s worth it! Our meal at Palo ended up being one of the highlights of our trip, and we cannot wait to be back!


Have you dined at Palo for brunch on Disney Dream? What are your favorite DCL specialty restaurants? Drop us an anchor below to share your experiences sailing with Disney Cruise Line.

Growing up an hour from Disney World, Cyndal has been visiting the parks for as long as she can remember. Her favorite parks are Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Currently, she is an HR/Marketing Manager by day, but visits the parks almost every weekend and enjoys making new Disney memories with her husband and son, Luke, named after Luke Skywalker of course.
Cyndal Benullo, Contributor
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Is Palo Brunch on Disney Dream Worth the Upcharge?

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