One of the onboard activities Sean and I did on the Disney Fantasy was the Palo Be Our Chef Cooking Class. This unique culinary experience is one of the highlights of our trip.
At a Glance
- $279 per person
- Max of 8 participants
- Only available on the Disney Fantasy
- 11 am – 2 pm (For our cruise, it was when the ship docked at Falmouth, Jamaica)
- Must wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and long hair must be pulled back
Whoa, $279 per person?! Was it worth it?! Read on to see why we loved it.
To be honest, we rarely do any Port Adventures (aka excursions). We love staying onboard to enjoy the ship while everyone is on shore. There’s still a lot to see and do on the ship. Port days are my favorite because the spa is empty, all the common areas are nice and quiet (perfect for photo ops), and you don’t have to wait in a long line for the AquaDuck (haha). Okay, back on track. I mention this because since we didn’t spend money on port adventures, we decided to YOLO and splurge on taking this class.
We found these packages on our bed the day before class. I am a sucker for nice packaging, and these were presented nicely. Included were our invitations, our name tags, and our costumes (chef’s jacket, apron, hat). We tried them on to make sure they fit properly. They were a little big and we probably could have sized down a size, but we decided to just keep them.
The next day we put on our costumes and headed to Palo. Our room was located forward and the restaurant is located aft (aka the back). Since it was windy outside we decided to walk through below deck. It was very interesting walking through wearing our costumes… Everyone thought we worked for Disney Cruise Line, even a few cast members. Cast members typically acknowledge you quickly when you make eye contact and they say, “hello” or some other pleasantry with a smile. When cast members saw us it was a quick nod instead.
We got to Palo about 15 minutes before our class started and filled out a health form. We sat and waited in the Meridian Lounge. There were 3 other attendees and 1 was actually a cast member that normally floated between Disney Wonder and Disney Dream. She was there to experience activities that those ships don’t offer. Wait, what?! I want a job that’ll let me do “travel homework!” Hahaha.
We were then escorted into Palo. It was really awesome to see the restaurant “show ready” without any guests inside. I took this rare opportunity to snap a few pictures. I love this restaurant with all of my heart on all 4 of the ships, especially when I dine there for brunch. Quick Disney Cruise history – Palo specializes in Italian fare. The classic ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) were built in Italy. All 4 ships have this restaurant as a nod to Italy. Palo means “pole” as in the pole that gondoliers use in Venice. You can see glimpses of the theme in the pictures below.
We met our chef, Chef Davide. A special guest swung by for pictures, can you guess who it was? None other than Mickey Mouse himself adorned in a chef uniform! We took pictures with Mickey Mouse and also with Chef Davide. I thought it was really cool that the pictures showed up in our photo package folio that we pre-purchased.
Chef Davide led us into Palo’s kitchen. It was really neat to go “backstage!” I have never seen a kitchen cleaner than Palo. The ship is 6 years old now and everything looked brand new! I am sure all of the galleys are just as clean. After a brief tour of the galley we all meticulously washed our hands and slipped on gloves.
Chef Davide demonstrated how to make Margherita Pizza and then we practiced at our stations. All the ingredients were pre-measured and ready to go. The dough was already premixed for us so all we had to do was flatten it and put the toppings on. There were other chefs there to help us along the way.
Chef Davide snapped a few pictures of our cooking class.
After we were done with the Margherita Pizza we washed our hands again and slipped on new gloves. He demonstrated how to make Butternut Agnolotti Ravioli. Again, all the ingredients were pre-measured and ready to go and the noodles were already made. I’ve never used molds before so using them for the first time was kind of cool.
After we were done with the Butternut Agnolotti Ravioli, we washed our hands again and put on new gloves. Chef Carmine, the executive pastry chef, took over and demonstrated how to make Limoncello Tart. There was a lot of “Disney magic” for this dessert. We practiced putting the pastry for the crust into the mold. After the chef reviewed our work, a baked crust “magically appeared.” Haha. Then we added the filling on top.
I know some may be a little disappointed that they don’t get to actually make the dough, noodles, or pastry. The group I was with didn’t seem to mind. I for one liked that those were already pre-made and that everything else was already pre-measured. Not only due to time constraints, but because it also helps non chefs (like myself) feel like I conquered the kitchen. Hahaha.
We went back to the restaurant and sat at a big table. We took off our costumes and got to keep our name tags. We were then presented with “goody bags.” Included was a brand new costume (chef’s jacket, apron, and hat), a packet with recipe cards (full instructions too! So even though we didn’t get to make the doughs, noodles, or pastry – all the information is provided on the recipe cards), and a sweet folder that had our pictures.
We had a glass of bubbly and dined on delicious food. It was the perfect ending to our culinary adventure. Yay for good food and good conversations!
Sean and I thoroughly enjoyed the food adventure. It would be really awesome if the other ships offered something similar OR if Remy had a version of this class. We’d be so down to sign up! To sum it up all up, YES – the $279 per person fee was worth it to us. We got to go behind the scenes, we got to learn how to make something new, we got to talk with cast members, we got to take pictures with Mickey, we got to eat good food, and we got to take home some cool swag.