Palo: An Adult ONLY Experience

Hey guys, Nina again…talking about Disney Cruise Line.  For those that don’t know, ALL regular dining aboard the ships are INCLUDED.  However, if you want an ADULT ONLY experience in a more intimate setting – Palo and Remy might be calling your name.  I thought I would give Palo a try since I get asked about it ALL THE TIME from you guys.

DISCLAIMER:  I have FOOD ALLERGIES and I am VEGAN, so my experience is not the same as someone who can order directly off the menu.  For this reason, I have been avoiding paying for a meal I felt I could get at the regular dinner locations.

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Price:

Off the bat its $40 PLUS tip PER PERSON, however you can add alcohol to your meal and pay additional for that.  They even had meal/wine pairings for those who wanted a FULL oral palate experience.

Atmosphere:

I found it to be peaceful, Italian decor (so a little dark) and fancy (perhaps too fancy for this theme park gal).  The views out the windows were breathtaking, especially as the sun went down and the moonlight sparkled on the ocean.

Attire:

People were dressed up, but its not as fancy as Remy.  I was wearing a nice wrap skirt with a simple top and a light sweater (its always chilly in the dining rooms) – but I am always the one to dress down, I didn’t even have heals 😉

FOOD:

I found the food to be delightful, but nothing crazy amazing.  Again, this might not have been the best place for me.  However my group seemed to all enjoy their food, not a crumb left 😉  They were able to order whatever they wanted off the menu, even several items to taste a bit of each.  I would say they got their $40 worth for sure.  Even their desserts looked amazing.  The food was multi-course and they were even given a tart/lemon/lime Italian frozen taste cleanser to enjoy as a way to prepare their mouths for the main course.  Our Waiter and other staff were very friendly and at times, a little difficult to understand…but that just helped with the Magic of it all.  They even had a little celebration for us, for one of the ladies at the table.  Disney thinks of everything!

MY FOOD – Vegan/Food Allergy Experience:

A chef came out and talked with me about each of my dishes, down to my dessert for which I specifically asked for a cake, NOT just fruit or a sorbet.  I might have been given the typical Vegan Course with slight alterations per my other crazy allergies.  NOTE:  I have like 20+ different food allergies and 100% carry an Epi Pen.  And I am not a fan of Tofu…so veggies and pasta are my usual go-to.

SEE BELOW and READ the Captions for description of my Meal:

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So…would I do it again?  Probably NO, not unless going for work again.  The food was yummy, but fancy really isn’t my cup of tea and to spend $40 per person, when I could spend that somewhere else on the ship…I most likely would pass.  But for those couples that want a semi-romantic dinner SANS the kids – why not?  Especially when you can enjoy the FULL menu and order whatever you want.  AND when you think of it – a character meal, for an adult, at Disney can be $40-45 per person easy…so in a way, I spend this kind of $$ on meals often, not sure why I was being so skeptical of Palo…I think it boils down to – I am just a comfy pants/tee shirt wear’in gal who would prefer to “slum” it with the other cruise folks over getting dressed up and feeling out of place.  Anyone else feel this way sometimes??  So I guess take my review with a grain of salt, but if you have Food Allergies or are Vegan – they 100% can accommodate you and I felt very safe.

Hope this review helped someone – Mahalo Nina

Long time NO blog – OOPS

Hey FANS, Nina here.  No I didn’t die, no I didn’t fall off the planet…life got me.  You know life; where work, kids, family, travel, moving, homework, sport events, school and constantly cooking something gets in the way – I got trapped into the spiral known as life.  Sorry about that.

But…nothing has changed (OK I lied, something REALLY BIG changed…my hair) – I am no longer a redhead 🙁  But I am still a Mermaid, so my #mermaidhairdon’tcare still exists…its just on the gray side 😉  BUT I am still a Travel Agent, specializing in Disney Vacations BUT I also added a WHOLE list of other things that I also book (YAY!!!).  But Disney, you will always be my ONE TRUE LOVE!!

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Nina and Ariel at Carsland in Disneyland.  The Red is gone, but Ariel is still a FAN!

I tried starting a YouTube Channel – life got in the way.  I have been uber focused on my Instagram…so that at least is still beating – PLEASE JOIN AND FOLLOW ME – @mermaidninatravels

WE also moved to a NEW house; which meant a new neighborhood, new schools, new furniture and lots and lots of trash, donations and Mom2Mom sales 🙂

But through it all I have worked and worked and traveled and hugged Mickey.  We have been to Walt Disney World, Disneyland and on Disney Cruise Line SEVERAL times.  I have explored Mexico, traveled with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and visited Universal Orlando…I even met Bart Simpson 😉

Through it all I have taken THOUSANDS of pictures, videos and posted ALL about it on my Facebook Page which is still very much alive and beating – www.facebook.com/wordofmouse

My business has grown and grown and I can’t thank you all enough for allowing me to be apart of your Magical Vacations!!  It truly is the BEST JOB ON THE PLANET.  As a thank you, I am setting a goal…to bring back the blog, this blog.  In the beginning I thought it needed to be long, informative, entertaining and filled with pictures…now I am thinking it can be little snip-its of life; of travel, of Disney, of vacationing.  So…please follow along as I try to grow this blog and use it as a way to share ALL of the TRAVEL I do, travel I love and frankly…am the expert at.  Perhaps its a good sign that I was too busy to keep up with all these Social Media things, perhaps it means I am TOO busy being the expert and traveling and exploring and testing and trying out NEW things so I can better help my clients, YOU!

So – Stay tuned.  I plan on blogging all about my most recent adventure – Disney Cruise Line and Walt Disney World…which I only returned home from last week.  Then we can explore Disneyland as that was only last month and in the future – GALAXY’S EDGE – for which I am doing at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World this year.  Squeeeee…

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NEW Ice Cream Shop on the Disney Fantasy…Complete with Vegan Ice Cream options!

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This is probably the most MAGICAL picture I have ever taken, some things you can’t plan. Santa Goofy ROCKS!!  We just happened to be sitting there while Goofy strolled by, the kids knocked on the Port Hole (very gently) and Goofy was well…very Goofy.  

Until then – Nina

Eating with Pooh…and Piglet too!

One thing my family does EVERY Walt Disney World vacation is Crystal Palace…home of Winnie the Pooh and friends.  Dining with Pooh is my daughter’s (5 years old) FAVORITE attraction, lol.  Every time we go to WDW her only concern is if we got reservations to eat with Pooh.  So what’s the hype you ask?

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Well besides the above mentioned eating with pooh…you get to eat with Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet too.  And if you’re lucky…and everyone is…you’ll get to be part of a Pooh parade and follow the characters around the room.  Kids march around the room with the characters while music is playing – can someone say photo op?  And the thought of marching around with Pooh is enough to excite kids with ear to ear grins.  No tears in this place.  And with characters aside…Crystal Palace has a few other perks;

  • Unlimited Friendly Buffet – one of my husband’s favorites, and he’s picky
  • Location – It’s located inside Magic Kingdom, no need to leave the park.
  • Availability – When many character experiences book up at the 180 day mark…Crystal Palace almost always has an opening…which is perfect for last minute vacationers
  • Hours – It’s open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and if you’re an early bird…you can get a reservation before the park even opens and see Magic Kingdom privately and get a beautiful picture in front of the castle without all the other vacationers in your perfect shot.

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Of course for my family…there is one other perk…Chef Mike.  That’s right…the Disney Chefs are celebrities to us…they keep my family safe, fed and happy.  They go out of their way to make sure my kids and I have what we need to continue with our magical vacation.  Due to our various food allergies…we pretty much always get special service.  And usually that means specially prepared food just for us.  Some people with allergies can eat the food that the restaurant regularly prepares; they just get a non-contaminated plate of goods from the back.  But my family needs, well…specially made goods.

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Chef Mike

After getting a call from the chef 1-2 weeks before our trip…Chef Mike and I were able to come up with a game plan to make sure my kids could get similar foods as the other guests.  This meant special Gluten Free, Diary and Egg free pancakes.  Frozen waffles were offered, but I wanted something we don’t usually eat at home.  We were able to have the home potatoes from the back, fresh strawberries (which was special) and real Maple Syrup.  Other foods were available…but these were the favs.

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And since the Chef had called for the kids, I couldn’t help but to ask about me – I am vegan with a dairy allergy.  So…as most vegans I was curious about some protein.  Crystal Palace doesn’t usually carry vegan meats, but Chef Mike being awesome…ordered some fake chicken for me, cooked it up special and I devoured.  I was even able to cut some up for later.  Not bad; food for now, some for later 🙂

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For dessert…we were given several packages of Enjoy Life cookies.  As I have mentioned in previous posts…that is the standard dessert for most peeps with food allergies so it gets tiring after a while…but the kids didn’t care and it gave me something to treat them with later as well.

And for those that wondered…my husband ate from the buffet…took about 3-4 trips.  We practically had to roll him out the door.  He had plates and plates of food, and then one whole plate filled with baked goodies like muffins, brownies, cookies and such.   He left a happy dad and was able to use his fuel to continue on with our day and wasn’t hungry again until dinner.

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Dining tip:  We usually like to eat our table service meal at about 10:45-11:00am – as you still get some breakfast goodies like waffles and then also eat the typical lunch proteins to help you fuel for the long day ahead.  But this last trip…it was a little too much breakfast and I think the kids did get tired of Mickey waffle after Mickey waffle 🙁  So next time…I think we will do half brunch time and half dinner times – Just “Food for Thought”

As usual – I am a FREE Disney Travel Agent that specializes in Food Allergies and Special Diets at Disney.  I do book WDW, Disneyland and Disney Cruises.  Disney pays me, so you don’t have to.  Contact me anytime and I can get you organized and prepared for the most Magical Vacation.  Nina@goTMCtravel.com