Food is part of the 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…
These megaships have the space and the culinary expertise to offer a vast array of dining experiences, from hotdogs on the Boardwalk to fine dining at the Chef’s Table. 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 RCI’s new Quantum class 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.
All the ingredients are fresh and seasonal so that you can taste some rustic dishes whilst having a large choice of their speciality in pasta, bolognese and risotto. It does count as one of the speciality restaurants so it will require an additional charge, but it is a must-see and one you will not regret.
Drop down the rabbit hole on Quantum class ships for a unique dining experience at 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? This is another that requires an additional charge, but with it’s ‘whole other world’ concept you can hardly put a price on it!
If you’re a fan of sushi, Japanese restaurant Izumi on Oasis class ships Oasis and Allure of the Seas, 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. So pull off that penguin suit or evening gown, grab the kids and head to the Johnny Rockets American style diner.
When we say all-singing all-dancing, we mean it! Once every hour the staff will stop what they’re doing and dance to an old 50’s song.
You’ll find it on Oasis and Freedom class ships, with such calorific treats on the menu as deluxe shakes, malts and floats, chilli fries, Rocket Double cheeseburgers and apple pie served American style.
Send your taste buds back in time to the retro-inspired diner with its red vinyl seats and booths for a small additional charge.
Visit Silk restaurant on Anthem or Quantum and allow each dish to weave you a story through the rich tapestry of Asian flavours.
Described as ‘where Silk Road spice meets the salt of new shores’, Silk offers up tastes of China, India, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, for an unforgettable culinary journey through the exotic East.
This restaurant is free to dine in and you’ll find the deep, plush red furniture and silk lanterns make it feel like a luxury experience anyway…
6- 150 Central Park
For fine dining on Allure and Oasis of the Seas, 150 Central Park is the place to be. A huge step up from your average picnic, this restaurant, in the sophisticated and leafy Central Park area of the ship, offers the most upscale dining experience onboard.
With six course seasonal menus created by award winning chef Michael Schwartz and paired with matching wines, it’s nothing short of a gastronomic wonder.
Finish with a stroll of the Central Park tropical garden and you have the perfect evening onboard. Additional charge.
7- The Boardwalk
A great dining experience doesn’t have to be about course after course of gourmet concoctions matched with fine wines. Head to the Coney Island-esque Boardwalk on Oasis class ships for an on-the-go meal with all the fun factor of the fair.
Hit the Dog House for hotdogs to go, then the donut shop or ice cream parlour for desert….
When you can finish a meal with a spin on the carousel, who needs a cheese board? No additional charge at Dog House or Donut Shop.
8- The Grande
While it’s great that family friendly megaships have a variety of more casual dining options, sometimes it’s nice to hark back to a more formal age of cruising.
The Grande restaurant on Quantum class ships does exactly that, with a classic menu featuring such traditional treats as Chateaubriand Wellington and Crème Brulee.
With its exquisite décor of crystal chandeliers, Venetian mirrors and plush, high backed chairs, you’ll definitely want to dress for dinner at this elegant spot.
Oh, and you might want to book a babysitter for the kids – this isn’t the type of place that offers crayons at the table. No additional charge.
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 – available on Oasis, Allure, Splendour and Radiance.
This is a private and formal affair for just 14 to 16 diners each evening, hosted by the 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! Additional charge.
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 lots of choice – and you can try as many different dishes as you like. Plus, and here’s the best bit, the majority of the food is free!
Note that, on new Quantum class ships, RCI has dispensed with the MDR, favouring a Dynamic Dining concept instead. On Quantum and Anthem of the Seas you’ll instead find five complimentary, full service restaurants, including Silk and The Grande above, plus American Icon Grill, Coastal Kitchen and Chic.
This makes Royal Caribbean’s newest class of ship ideal for you if you want the variety and service of speciality restaurants, without having to pay extra for it.
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…