Food can be the greatest pleasure of any holiday – not having to worry about cooking or the washing up for a week or two is a heavenly prospect. But on Royal Caribbean, the pleasure goes so much further than that.
There are so many foodie options that you’ll need more than a week to try them all. Best make it a fortnight then…
1 – Jamie’s Italian
You’ll find a familiar face on Royal Caribbean ships in Jamie Oliver and his Italian eatery. With a family-friendly menu full of pasta, risottos and a selection of Italian-inspired mains, there’s something for everyone in the family, from vegetarians to the ones who just want to say they’ve tasted the cuisine of the famous chef himself.
2 – Wonderland
Magical surroundings, weird and wonderful flavour combinations and an unusual menu divided into elements wind, sea, fire, ice and dreams make a trip to Wonderland an undeniably epic adventure. This is the place for anyone looking for something utterly unique, imaginative and innovative; you’ll try things you’ve never tried before, how about an exploding olive? Wonderland requires an additional charge, but with it’s ‘whole other world’ concept you can hardly put a price on it!
3 – Izumi
If you’re a fan of sushi, Japanese restaurant Izumi is full of Eastern promise. Bamboo and cherry blossoms add Asian flare to the décor, and the sushi is prepared fresh right in front of your eyes. You can also order a hot rock plate to cook your own meat at your table, meaning it’s piping hot and exactly as you like it. If you like to keep it light, the fresh and flavoursome sushi rolls and sashimi are right up your street, and the slight additional charge means you didn’t have to fly all the way over to Asia just for the taste.
4 – Johnny Rockets
While fine dining and haute cuisine can be quite delightful, sometimes what you really crave is a big fat burger and milkshake, in that case, head to the Johnny Rockets American style diner. Once every hour the staff will stop what they’re doing and dance to an old 50’s song bringing the 50s American flare to life. On the menu, you’ll find such calorific treats as deluxe shakes, malts and floats, chilli fries, Rocket Double cheeseburgers and apple pie served American style. This relaxed diner comes at a small extra charge and is available on 14 Royal Caribbean ships.
5 – Giovanis Table
Treat yourself to the traditional dishes of Tuscany. Giovanis Table is an authentic Italian restaurant that allows you to savour the home cooking flavours while surrounded by elegant dark wood and brick decor. Onboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, you can experience Giovanis Table with sweeping views through the floor to ceiling windows in the restaurant. There is a five-course dinner menu and a slightly lighter lunch menu available. The highlights of the menu are dishes are the potato gnocchi with bleu cheese sauce; prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella cheese with ciabatta, eight-ounce grilled beef tenderloin and the chocolate-cream-filled cannoli. Giovanni’s Table comes at extra cost ranging from $25 to $15 per person and is available on 17 Royal Caribbean ships.
6 – 150 Central Park
For a classic fine dining experience, 150 Central Park is the place to be. A huge step up from your average cruise ship dinner, 150 Central Park is the most upscale restaurant Royal Caribbean offer. With six-course seasonal menus created by famed Miami restauranteur chef Michael Schwartz and paired with matching wines, it’s nothing short of a gastronomic wonder. The restaurant has a limited capacity to make you feel like a VIP, reflected in the opulent decor. This dining experience comes at an extra charge and is limited to four ships as of now: Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.
7 – Sabor
In Spanish, Sabor means flavour and Royal Caribbean fully deliver in with thier take on modern Mexican cuisine. While finding crowd favourites such as nachos, tacos and quesadillas Sabor also offer contemporary dishes. The restaurant has a bright and fun vibe with blue, yellow and magenta decor. Royal Caribbean veterans become fast fans of Sabor’s margarita menu which offers creative takes on the classic zingy drink. Happy hour between 3 pm – 6 pm is a great choice for those who want to try other onboard venues but don’t want to break the bank, happy hour offers a selection of bar bites, featuring the famous guacamole, and a selection of margaritas.
8 – Samba Grill
The best of South America is on offer at Samba Grill, with 13 different types of meat and seafood specialities, carved right at your table. Samba Grill is open for dinner only and features an all you can eat buffet of appetizers and salads, to accompany the all you can eat meaty main event. From beef, lamb, pork, chicken and seafood there will be something for everyone’s tastes. As of now, Samba Grill is only available on Allure of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas.
9 – Chef’s Table
If you really want to push the boat out with an exclusive dining experience (as exclusive as you can get on a ship carrying 4,000 passengers!), why not book a place at the Chef’s Table. This is a private and formal affair for just 14 to 16 diners each evening, hosted by one of the ship’s head chefs. You’ll be taken through the gourmet delights of a five-course meal, each course matched beautifully with wine by the expert sommelier (also in attendance), for a truly exceptional dining experience. Just don’t plan much for afterwards as chances are you’ll want to head straight to your cabin to collapse into a blissful food coma!
10 – Main Dining Room
While the Main Dining Room on a cruise ship is often considered to be the poor relative to the speciality restaurants, to bump it off any list of the best dining options onboard would be doing it a disservice. Forget all thoughts of a school or work canteen – these dining rooms are grand affairs, complete with chandeliers, artwork on the walls and linens on the table. The menus are extensive – great for those who like to be spoilt for choice – and you can try as many different dishes as you like. Plus, and here’s the best bit, the food is free!
From quick bites to fine dining – with no shopping, cooking or washing up to do- there is a menu for every cruiser.
Which is your favourite from the list? Which restaurant do you not mind paying an additional charge for? Leave us a comment with your favourite Royal Caribbean dining experience…