PRIMA NOTTE AT PALO

It’s no surprise that my family loves Disney destinations, especially when it comes to sailing the high seas. We recently returned home from a three-night cruise onboard Disney Cruise Line’s Wish. This particular sailing was among the first to offer a new dining experience at the adult exclusive Palo Steakhouse. Disney Cruise Line explains that Prima Notte offers guests the chance to “savor an exquisite tasting of fine Italian wines complimented with a curated selection of bite-sized delicacies from Palo”. Based on my experience, I’d say that is a fair description. It was a lovely way to begin our cruise!

How much does it cost?

Currently priced at $85 per guest (ages 21+ are welcome to book this experience), the event is offered at either 6:45 or 8:30pm on the first night of select cruises. When we attended on the Disney Wish, we were seated at a private table in a dedicated space that included approximately eight other parties, all of which were seated at private tables.

The experience was hosted by the Palo Steakhouse sommelier, who offered brief notes about each wine and the food pairing. His comments were brief and relatively informative. In my experience, other beverage tastings offer a more engaging and entertaining experience. It seems as though this event aimed to elevate the ambiance at the expense of a certain level of charm that Disney Cruise Line guests typically experience during beverage tastings. It wasn’t bad, necessarily, just slightly more standoffish than seemed appropriate in so intimate a setting.

What do they serve during Prima Notte at Palo?

The first of five wines was the Bellavista Alma Gran Cuvée Brut ($63/bottle ) and was served without a food pairing. It was a medium-bodied sip with notes of green apple and brioche and had the loveliest little bubbles.

The second wine was a soft Chardonnay from Planeta ($95/bottle) and was paired with Sliced Herbed Yellowfin Tuna and Biscotti di Regina. I appreciated that this wine was not overly buttery or oaky, but definitely conveyed it’s namesake grape by delivering a beautiful balanced creamy and crisp sip. My husband and I found that a single bite with a bit of everything on the plate followed by a taste of the wine pulled out new layers of flavor hidden in the pour.

Next, we were served a pillowy soft potato gnocchi with pine nuts and a basil pesto Prosecco wine sauce. This bite was paired with a sampling of Banfi’s Chianti Classico Riserva ($64/bottle). Chianti is not one of my go-to wines so I can’t offer a lot of input here. I can say that this was a tasty pairing and neither of us left any food or wine behind.

Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was dished up in the next pairing: a Snake River Farm Wagyu and Tenuta Luce 2019 ($125/bottle), a Tuscan Merlot and Sangiovese red blend. Both the food and the wine served in this course were standouts. They each delivered the strength and depth of flavors needed to stand up to one another.

The final pairing of the evening was a blood orange chocolate mousse served atop a dusted chocolate disc. The texture of this bite was the perfect ending for so fine an experience. The dessert wine for this course was a Fattoria Zerbina Arrocco. Though I am not a fan of sweet wines, this one was a nice compliment to the bite.

Start to finish, the experience lasted approximately and hour and twenty minutes. Including the automatic gratuity, we paid a total of $200.60 for our party of two.

Is Prima Notte worth it?

We do not regret having attended Prima Notte at Palo Steakhouse. We are the type of people who take great pleasure in quality food and great wine. Those with a preference for quantity might not feel this experience is worth the cost.

Our late dinner seating took place immediately following our 6:45 Prima Notte reservation. Suffice it to say, my appetite was definitely satiated by the pairings I enjoyed at Palo. For dinner that night, I skipped most courses and didn’t even finish half of the entree I ordered.

All that said, I can’t say I would pay to do Prima Notte again. Why? At the close of the experience, I asked the host if the pairings would remain consistent for future events and across the fleet. I was told that the menu was set and would not vary in the foreseeable future.

Though I certainly enjoyed it, I’d only pay to attend again if I could look forward to new sips and bites.

Hopefully, this review helps you decide whether to attend Prima Notte on your next Disney cruise.

6 comments

  1. Appreciate the review. Seems like a great experience to book once but not a must do.

    1. That’s probably a fair statement. The ultimate foodies might classify it more as a must and, like I mentioned, I’m really glad we did it once. I wouldn’t repeat unless they updated the menu. I wish they would make seasonal changes, or ship-specific menus because I really would like to experience it again, but with new pairings and flavors.

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