Palo has always been touted as one of the best experiences on board the Disney Cruise Line. But a new menu released showing the dinner options. And the prices has Disney Cruise Line fans up in arms.
Previously Palo dinner was $40 per person for all you care to enjoy menu items. You could order multiple appetizers, entrees, desserts all for one price. It was an absolute steal of a deal. While most cruisers (I think) expected prices to increase on cruises in general, particularly one of the most expensive cruise lines Disney Cruise Line, every time a price increase (especially one this large) becomes public, there is an outcry.
It’s easy to say, “prices are definitely going to go up.” It’s a lot harder to stomach it when you see it right there in black and white.
That seems to be the case with Palo on board Disney Cruise Line.
The menu has been completely revamped and so has the pricing. Previously a set price, the menu items are now priced per item.
The antipasto that was previously prepared tableside for the table at the beginning of the meal is now priced at $22. That’s right. The interactive beginning to a magical meal is now over half the price of the entire meal prior to the pandemic.
Friends of ours and fellow Disney enthusiasts Adam and Sherri Legg from LeggLife are experienced Palo diners.
On almost every Disney Cruise, they experience either a brunch, dinner or both at Palo.
When Disney released the new Palo menu and prices we reached out to them to see what they had to say.
Adam actually went through the menu and made a list with prices of all the items they typically get for dinner. Adding up all their normal items the meal for the two of them came out to $127 before tip whereas as prior to the pandemic the meal was $80 for the two of them.
That’s quite the increase.
Prix Fixe Menu
In addition to the individually priced items, there is a pre fixe menu. For $70 per person, guests receive an appetizer, salad, choice of entree (two selections are provided for each prix fixe menu) and a dessert. It doesn’t appear that this prix fixe option comes with the antipasto that we mentioned earlier. So, this is $30 more per person with far fewer choices and no antipasto.
It really doesn’t seem like a great deal any longer.
Now, we love Disney. You guys know this if you follow along with our social media and even here on our blog. And we love good food. Had the menu always been individually priced, we wouldn’t have batted an eyelash about an increase but this change in menu style and the significant price increase defintely gave us pause.
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Here is the thing with Palo though. You don’t have to go to Palo. You don’t have to pay the money. You can choose to stick with the dining rotation restaurants and not have the Palo experience. If we were to go to a steakhouse, we would expect those prices and wouldn’t mind them so if we want that same experience on board the Disney Cruise Line, we’ll pay the price and tip our servers accordingly.
This seems to be a point of contention among many cruisers on various social media platforms. As someone who worked in hospitality for over ten years and is married to someone who did the same, let’s be really clear. If you can’t afford to tip appropriately or don’t want to, stick to dining rotation….and you still need to tip them at the end of your cruise.
Just because you are paying a premium for a Disney Cruise doesn’t mean you don’t have to tip. Your servers, heck, the entire crew are working so hard to provide you with a certain level of service, tip them.
With the new menu changes that means that your final bill will indeed be more than on previous sailings. It’s your choice to go to a dining experience that costs above and beyond what the cruise costs. It isn’t mandatory. If you can’t tip, don’t go.
That’s all we’re going to say about that.
On the cruises in Europe that have sailed thus far the menu for Palo brunch has also been a-la-carte style. This again, would be different than the previous menu that was all-you-care-to-enjoy for one fixed price. No official statement has been released by Disney if this will be a permanent change or temporary for test and initial sailings.