Food

Guide to Royal Caribbean's Windjammer Cafe buffet

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04Jun2018

Royal Caribbean's Windjammer Cafe is the cruise line's preeminent buffet option and a popular choice for many guests throughout the day.  The Windjammer serves up food for all meals, and offers a laid back experience with enough variety to satisfy nearly any palate.

Here is what you need to know about The Windjammer Cafe on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Atmosphere

The look and decor of the Windjammer depends on the ship you are sailing on, but in general it features a classic nautical look with lots of deep blues and wood around the entire venue.  After all, the word "windjammer" refers to a merchant sailing ship.

Most Royal Caribbean ships have two entrances to the Windjammer, one on each side of the elevator banks closest to the Windjammer.

As you walk in, in most cases the Windjammer is a mirror split, where buffet stations on either side of the restaurant offer the same food as a means of splitting up crowds.

You will find ample seating in the Windjammer, with tables, booths and even high tops on some ships.  Seating is first-come, first served and there is wait staff that roam the restaurant to help clear tables, serve drinks and and assist in any special requests.

All Windjammer locations have lots of seating with views of the ocean.  On certain classes of ships (Quantum and Radiance class), there is outdoor seating towards the rear of the Windjammer.  Regardless of where you sit, it is usually quite easy to get a good view of the ocean.

How it works

If you have ever been to a buffet style restaurant, the Windjammer Cafe should be no different in approach.  As you enter the Windjammer Cafe, you pick up a plate and utensils that are rolled in the napkin.  You then proceed to any buffet station you like and wait your turn to serve yourself.

There is no limit on how many servings or visits you can make to the Windjammer, and the Windjammer Cafe is a complimentary dining choice on all ships.

The proper protocol for serving yourself in the Windjammer is to always take a new plate when you go up to get more food.  Reusing plates is a health hazard on a cruise ship, so you simply leave any used plates and utensils on your table and one of the Windjammer waiters will collect it.

Royal Caribbean typically breaks up cuisines offered via each Windjammer buffet station.  For lunch or dinner, there is a salad station, an international foods station, a soup area, etc.  You can easily walk around the Windjammer to "scope out" the choices and then enter the line for whichever station appeals to you.

For breakfast, you will find a myriad of traditional breakfast options, including eggs, bacon, cereal, sausage, yogurt, fruit and more.  With the exception of the Oasis class ships, there is a custom egg ordering station that is a really popular and fabulous choice. The breakfast food choices rarely change (if ever) during your sailing.

There is also coffee and tea stations set up near the entrance of the Windjammer for easy access to getting a cup of coffee to start your day. 

At lunch and dinner, you will find a wide selection of food, with dinner offering the greatest variety of choices.  Meals at these times combine typical American cruise fare (burgers, hot dogs, salads and sandwiches) with a lot of international foods. 

The exact menu will change on a daily basis, but there is usually a few consistently offered choices that will form the core options.

In the evening, the Windjammer Cafe usually has a theme to the menu, where a special menu is offered in addition to the usual fare. Some examples are Mongolian grill, Mexican, pasta station, etc. The great thing about these stations is the food is prepared just for you and that means you get exactly what you want in your dish.

The Windjammer is also home to a lot of vegetarian and gluten-free choices.  The signs for each food will indicate if they satisfy a particular need, but you can always speak with the head waiter of the Windjammer about special requests.

In terms of drinks, the Windjammer regularly offers milk (chocolate and regular), lemonade, water, flavored waters, iced tea, coffee, tea and juices (in the morning).

In addition to the regular food, the Windjammer always has a large array of desserts to choose from.  You will find ice cream, cakes, gelatin, fruit, cookies and pretty much everything needed to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Windjammer hours

The exact hours will vary from ship to ship, but the Windjammer is open for most, but not all hours of the day.  Your Cruise Compass will list exact times, but plan on breakfast, lunch, mid-day snacks and dinner.

The Windjammer will offer the widest array of dining times, which is great for those that sleep in or are looking for off-hour meals.  The Windjammer is also open for all meals, regardless of if your Royal Caribbean ship is in a port or at sea.

By far, the most crowded time for the Windjammer is breakfast, with a peak in the 9:00am hour.  There are times when seating may be full, but the Windjammer crew members do a great job of helping clear tables quickly and encouraging guests to vacate their tables once they are done.  If you are having trouble locating an open table, ask a crew member for assistance.

For those wondering, no, Royal Caribbean does not offer a midnight buffet option either at the Windjammer or anywhere else onboard. 

Windjammer Dress Code

The dress code for dining in the Windjammer Cafe is always listed as casual, regardless of the main dining room dress code.

This means you can wear shorts, t-shirts are all okay.  The only real dress restrictions in the Windjammer are no bare feet and bathing attire will not be permitted at any time.  

Windjammer Cafe tips and strategies

  • When you enter the Windjammer, you will be required to wash your hands and/or sanitize your hands.  Yes, you have to do it and yes, it is worthwhile to avoid getting sick.
  • You can take food from the Windjammer to go at any time.  Feel free to bring the food back to your stateroom, pool deck or wherever your family is located.
  • If you have trouble finding a table, ask the waiters roaming the restaurant for assistance.
  • The Windjammer waiters are happy to bring you beverages, straws, booster seats and anything else you may need.
  • If you have a dietary need, ask to speak to the head waiter.  They are quite good at accommodating most needs, but keep in mind they may need advanced notice to prepare something in particular.
  • If you want eggs of any kind at breakfast, skip the eggs in the buffet area because they tend to be powdered eggs.  Instead, go to the custom-made egg station and have them made there.
  • On Oasis Class ships, the Windjammer does not have a custom-made egg station, but you can find that at other locations onboard.
  • Try to go to the Windjammer at least once for dinner when they open up for the evening.  We usually find the crew members welcoming guests with clapping, singing and/or dancing.  It is a fun display!
  • If there is outdoor Windjammer seating, take advantage of it for the great ambiance. The Windjammer often boasts some of the best views onboard.
  • If your Windjammer has a Jade section, this means that area of the Windjammer serves up Asian food regularly.  On some evenings, this may include sushi.

Have you dined at the Windjammer Cafe? Tell us about your experience and share your favorite tips in the comments!

Royal Caribbean Commits to Improved Conditions for Broiler Chickens by 2024

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25May2018

Royal Caribbean International's parent company announced today it is adopting a series of requirements for its poultry providers to meet when it comes to how they breed, raise and process poultry. 

This announcement furthers the company's progress in its animal welfare sourcing program. Royal Caribbean has already committed itself to using cage-free eggs and gestation-crate free pork.

“Royal Caribbean takes seriously our responsibility to ensure improved animal welfare in our supply chain,” said Mike Jones, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Travel, Port Services and Workplace Solutions, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This is why we we’re working to transition to products like cage-free eggs and gestation stall-free pork. We are proud to now also move the needle when it comes to the poultry we purchase for our business.”

The company is extending these commitments to include comprehensive broiler chicken welfare policies. By 2024, in the United States, Royal Caribbean will responsibly purchase 100 percent of chickens from Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certified sources. RCL will require these chickens to be processed in a manner that avoids live-dumping and live-shackling, instead utilizing a pre-shackle, multi-step controlled atmosphere processing system that is widely known as more humane.

“Royal Caribbean shows yet again that doing good is part of doing well,” said Matthew Prescott, Senior Director of Food and Agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States. “Our partnership with the company dates back almost a decade, and we welcome this latest move to animal welfare.”

15 amazing things you can eat on Royal Caribbean

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16Dec2016

If you think cruise line food is just mass-produced buffet food, prepare to loosen your belt next time you go on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Royal Caribbean's cruise ships are filled with amazing culinary options, including a must-visit Mexican specialty restaurant, Italian restaurants with freshly made food, and entire neighborhoods of the ship dedicated to fine dining, these cruise ships take their food seriously.

Our advice? Leave the snacks at home, arrive early, and come hungry, because these twenty-five indulgences will feel even better than nabbing a sunny day at the pool deck.

Tuna Crudo Tacos

At Sabor, there a few different variety of tacos, but the raw tuna option is incredible.  Light and full of flavor, the three in each serving may not be enough.

Kummelwick Sandwich

Thin-sliced roast beef with just the right amount of spicy mustard and au jus leads to the perfect sandwich for a meal or just a passing snack.

Johnny Rockets milkshake

The thick and frothy milkshakes at Johnny Rockets are made with hand-dipped premium ice cream and are as good as they sound.

DX Sushi Combo

Not only is the DX Sushi Combo at Izumi the best value on the menu, it has the perfect variety of nigiri rolls and sushi pieces for any meal.

Dry-Aged Steaks

Dry aged steaks are very popular at the premier land steakhouses, and Royal Caribbean offers these steaks at Chops Grille, which are stored in a climate-controlled room for nearly four weeks to achieve the pinnacle of flavor, tenderness and aroma.  It really enhances the flavor of the meat in a way conventional steaks cannot match.

Aloo Gobi Curry

Love Indian curry? Do not miss the aloo gobi (cauliflower and potato) curry.  Not only is it a vegan-friendly dish, but it tastes amazing.

Red Velvet Cake

Of all the desserts at Chops Grille, the red velvet cake has been a fan-favorite for many years and deservedly so. Save room earlier in the meal for this beauty.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

It does not matter which flavor of ice cream hits the spot for you, the thing is, Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop has been a favorite spot to stop in for a treat. Whether you stop at Ben & Jerry's as a post-meal dessert or you just need a little ice cream break in your day, no Royal Caribbean cruise is complete without at least one ice cream cone!

Meat Plank at Jamie's Italian

Jamie’s Italian Famous Plank piled high with cured meats, pickles and tempting cheeses.

Soft serve ice cream by the pool

Unlimited self-serve is offered near the pools, which means there is never a far walk to cool down with this tasty treat as you see fit.

Sabor guacamole

It's fresh, prepared tableside, and if you order it with one of Tortilla Jo's famed margaritas, you'll almost forget you're not inside the park.

Lasagna

The lasagna at Giovanni's Table is topped in a fabulous meat sauce and has just the right amount of cheese that accentuates the taste of the layers of pasta, sauce and meat.

Chocolate banana empanadas

What you have essentially is melted banana and chocolate inside a fried shell. They are rich, moist and small enough that you start to think, "Yes, I should ask the waiter for a few more".

Labadoozie

The Labadoozie is an alcoholic drink that is famous among Royal Caribbean because it is only available on Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee. Labadoozie's have reached cult-like status for being a large, fruity alcohol drink that is just perfect to have while on a beach.

Cupcakes from the Cupcake Cupboard

First, the cupcakes are the size of a baseball, which means there is plenty to enjoy. 

Second, the rich frosting and clever designs make these cupcakes just as much fun to look at as eat (although eating is quite good too).

Food on a Royal Caribbean cruise

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08Aug2016

There is no question that dining on a Royal Caribbean cruise has become a major aspect of the cruise experience.  The food available onboard ranges from simple and classic to extravagant and contemporary.  In short, there are a lot of great dining choices available on Royal Caribbean.

With so many choices, often guests preparing for their cruise have many questions about what is included, which options are available and how it all works.  What follows is our guide to understanding better the basics of dining on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Complimentary food

Simply put, there is plenty of great food included in the cost of your Royal Caribbean cruise.   One can easily go an entire food and enjoy nothing but food that has no additional cost from morning to night. After all, that is what the concept of a cruise has been for a long time.

Royal Caribbean ships have different names and venues for its dining options, but you will find some basic characteristics among them all to prepare you for what to expect.

Main dining room

The main dining room is the stalwart and institution upon which cruise ship dining was established.  It has changed over the years, but the principles remain the same and is available on all Royal Caribbean ships.

Guests may dine in the main dining room for dinner every night and breakfast every morning. Lunch is served in the main dining room on sea days only. The basics of the main dining room are it is a large, sit-down restaurant with waiter service that is included in your cruise fare.

For dinner, Royal Caribbean offers a traditional set time with assigned seating, or an alternative first-come, first-served option (My Time Dining).  Both offer the same menu, which changes every night and in both cases, there is the possibility that you will be seated with other guests.

Dinner is the most popular and common time to dine in the main dining room, when the main dining room offers appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from each night and you may order as much (or as little) as you like and it's nearly all complimentary.  The exception for food that is not complimentary in the main dining room are a few premium dishes that have an additional surcharge and premium beverages, such as soda, alcohol and specialty coffee.

Breakfast and lunch is less formal than dinner, with guests seated as they arrive, with posted hours of when the dining room is open. In both cases, the meals are served to you at your table.  The breakfast menu does not change, but the lunch menu does.

On Empress of the Seas, breakfast is sometimes replaced by a brunch option.

The main dining room has a dress code.  Dinner has a dress code that changes each day, while breakfast and lunch have a more casual dress code requirement. When guests hear the word, "dress code," that often causes a lot of concern about what to wear.  The reality is on most nights, guests can easily wear what would be defined as "resort casual," which can mean a sundress or skirt for women and a collared shirt and slacks for men.  "Nice" jeans are appropriate for both men and women too.  On formal nights, the suggested attire gets a bit fancier, with cocktail dresses or gowns for women and suits for men.

Windjammer Cafe

First time cruisers often imagine a large buffet when they think of eating on a cruise, and the Windjammer is the closest thing to that concept.  

The Windjammer Cafe is a buffet restaurant that is included in your cruise, which serves meals throughout the day.  Most are not open all the time, but have long enough hours to cover nearly all the times guests would like something to eat.

The Windjammer has lots of seating and even more food variety than anywhere else on the ship. You will find burgers, soups, sandwiches, ethnic dishes, salads, pastas and much more every day. Guests will find the greatest variety of food at the Windjammer compared to any other dining location on the ship, complimentary or paid.

Guests serve themselves from the buffet and then bring their food to a table in the area. Guests are also free to take their food elsewhere on the ship, like the pool deck.  There are wait staff who will clear plates, clean tables and bring you drinks.  

Unlike the main dining room, the dress code for the Windjammer is casual.

The Windjammer is a great alternative to any sit down restaurant, including the main dining room.  Some guests opt to eat exclusively at the Windjammer for dinner instead of the main dining room for a variety of reasons.

Quick service restaurants

The bulk of complimentary food on a Royal Caribbean cruise is available from quick service restaurants, which offers prepared and short-cooked food to guests.  The sort of food you find here are sandwiches, snacks, pizza and everything between.  Each Royal Caribbean ship will offer a number of these locations around your ship, so you are never too far away.

There is usually limited  seating available at these locations, but most guests go into get the food and then bring it somewhere else on the ship to eat, such as their stateroom or by the pool.  It is designed for guests that want something quickly to eat on their way to somewhere else.

Room Service

Room service is available 24 hours per day on your Royal Caribbean charge.

Since March 27, 2017, Royal Caribbean charges a $7.95 per order fee for room service. This means, whether you order one item or ten items, a $7.95 fee per room service order will be levied.  A complimentary continental breakfast option remains complimentary and will not incur the $7.95 fee.

Just like room service at a hotel, you can call room service and place an order to have a crew member deliver the food to your room.  Royal Caribbean has also added a room service ordering option via the stateroom television, which simplifies the ordering process.

The room service menu does not change and is limited in scope.

Specialty dining

In addition to all the food that is included in your cruise fare are specialty dining options, that carry with it an extra cost to enjoy the food there. The exact amount extra will vary from restaurant to restaurant, and ship to ship.  

In most cases, the specialty dining options offer a greater variety of food choices than what is available at complimentary dining locations. Royal Caribbean has designed its specialty restaurants around themes or cuisines (Italian, steakhouse, sushi, etc).

Royal Caribbean recommends making a reservation in advance for its specialty restaurants to ensure there is a seating available, but there is usually walk-up availability although there is a greater risk of waiting to be seated.  Unlike the main dining room, you will not be seated with other guests with the exception of the Izumi Hibachi experience.

Specialty restaurants are priced in one of two manners: cover charge or a la carte pricing.  With a cover charge, there is one price for all the food on the menu (except for beverages).  There can also be a surcharge for ordering more than one entree, although this rule varies based on the specialty restaurant you happen to be dining at.  A la carte dining charges you just for what you order, and is similar to how food is billed at a conventional land-based restaurant.

Specialty dining can be booked prior to a cruise via Royal Caribbean's web site or once onboard the cruise.  Reservations made online for a specialty restaurant with a cover charge will charge that amount at the time of booking.  Reservations made for specialty dining onboard your ship will not be charged to your SeaPass account until you dine at the restaurant.

Specialty restaurant costs

The cost of specialty dining varies considerably and we even see different pricing across the fleet.

Most specialty dining has a flat-fee surcharge, ranging from $6.95 (Johnny Rockets) or $25 (Giovanni's Table) to $85 (Chef's Table).  Most specialty dining restaurant cover charges fall into the $20 to $45 range.

The a la carte priced restaurants will have item prices of just a few dollars to around $20.  

Specialty restaurant hours

All Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants are open for dinner, with some open during breakfast and/or lunch.

Lunch meals at specialty restaurants usually are priced a bit lower and only on sea days.  Breakfast is quite rare to be offered at Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants. Some specialty venues, like Johnny Rockets on Oasis-class ships and Chops Grille, transform to offer breakfast for no additional fee.

For breakfast or lunch, advanced reservations are not usually available nor required.

Kids at specialty restaurants

Royal Caribbean welcomes children that are 13 years old or younger to its specialty restaurants (when accompanied by an adult) and even offers them special pricing.

Kids ages 6-12 can dine at specialty restaurants for a $8 cover charge. Kids 5 years old and under eat free.

In fact, some specialty restaurants have a special kids menu, which kids can order off that offers kid-friendly favorites from the regular menu.  Children under the age of 5 will have a menu similar to the kids menu from the main dining room.

Royal Caribbean does recommend, but does not restrict, Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, 150 Central Park, and Chef's Table are best enjoyed by children 13 years or older.

Dietary restrictions and special requests

Royal Caribbean is very accommodating when it comes to guests who have special dietary needs. The cruise line can handle a number of requests, such as food allergies, Gluten-free, Kosher, Low-fat, and Low-sodium.

Vegetarian Meals (including Indian-style vegetarian) are available on all menus in the Dining Room and Windjammer Cafe every day. Guests do not need to make a special request for these meals.

Lactose-free/soy milk, Ensure, and kosher meals are available no extra charge. All you have to do is notify Royal Caribbean at least 45 days prior to sailing (90 days for European/South American Itineraries).

For any and all dietary requests, contact your travel agent or Certified Vacation Planner and request that the remark be noted in your reservation details. If you made your reservation online at royalcaribbean.com you may add your request to the "update personal information." section. You may also send an e-mail request to special_needs@rccl.com; please include in the e-mail the guests' names, booking number, ship name and sail date. E-mails will receive an automated response. 

More Royal Caribbean food info

This blog post is just the beginning of the many options, choices and tips about dining on a Royal Caribbean cruise.  Here are a few more resources that will help you better understand what to expect once onboard:

Top 5 quintessential Royal Caribbean foods

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05Jul2016

Going on a Royal Caribbean cruise, expect to run across a lot of great food.  Many Royal Caribbean fans love to enjoy the many culinary options available but there seem to be some foods onboard that after a few Royal Caribbean cruises are recognized as the kind of food one only finds (or enjoys) on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

This is not a list of the best food on a Royal Caribbean cruise, just a few options you can have that seem to resonate immediately as something "very Royal Caribbean." Arguably, there are a lot of snacks, entrees and side dishes that we can consider "a Royal Caribbean food," but here are our list of five that always ring true as a quintessential Royal Caribbean food.

Triangle hash browns

If you eat breakfast almost anywhere on the ship, you are likely to run across Royal Caribbean's version of hash browns that are triangle in shape, and sort of remind me of McDonalds hash browns.

The hash browns are your typical fried potato pattie, that comes in triangle shape and are found on pretty much all Royal Caribbean ships in the breakfast selection, including the Windjammer, main dining room and room service menus.

My grandfather was fond of saying fried foods in general, are hard to not be tasty and these are something that if you see, will resonate as a true Royal Caribbean food.

Guacamole from Sabor

Since Sabor Modern Mexican premiered on Navigator of the Seas just a few years ago, it has quickly become a fan favorite and I believe its guacamole is heart of the specialty restaurant's appeal.

Guests dining at Sabor will have their guacamole hand-crafted right at their table, and made to your liking.  Extra lime, extra spicy, no tomatoes or however you like your guac is key to making this really tasty.  Plus, the guacamole is really great tasting.

The reason the guacamole from Sabor makes this list is if you ever talk to someone who has dined at Sabor, you are most likely to hear the guacamole mentioned, if not poetically described.

Ranger cookies

There are a ton of tasty treats, desserts and snacks that are so hard to resist, but the ranger cookies are one of those foods that you have to try.

I think ranger cookies make this list because I have yet to see ranger cookies somewhere other than on a Royal Caribbean cruise, but seeing it onboard at Cafe Promenade or the Windjammer provides a pavlovian response of a euphoric sense that you are indeed on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

If you have never tried a ranger cookie, it’s an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of recipe—you throw in whatever tasty stuff is lying around, such as rolled oats and pralines. Royal Caribbean’s version kicks it up with shredded coconut for a sweet taste and delectable texture. Read more at http://www.royalcaribbean.com/connect/a-very-royal-recipe-ranger-cookies...

Tutti salad

You might have heard about this thing called, "the tutti salad," but by the name alone, you likely do not know what it is.  It is one of those things you have to experience to fully understand.

On sea days in the main dining room, lunch is served and in addition to the fixed menu, there is a make-your-own salad bar that Royal Caribbean calls the Tutti salad.

The tutti salad bar is essentially a large salad bar in the main dining room that is available to guests on sea days, where guests can pick from a variety of ingredients to create their own custom salad.

You can walk around the rather large salad bar area and pick from what interests you. Vegetables, cheeses, chicken, shrimp, tuna, dressings and more are all available to choose from.

What makes the tutti salad so unique, is that you can have  a freshly made salad exactly the way you like it.

Honey stung chicken

Up until a few years ago, honey stung chicken was a food choice in the Windjammer that was only available on embarkation day.  It is still available via room service and the reason these breaded chicken cutlets make our list is it is one of those foods that you can only get a Royal Caribbean cruise.

When you are eating honey stung chicken, then you are likely on a Royal Caribbean cruise and all foods taste better when you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

It gets rave reviews because people associate it with being on a cruise and let's face it, everyone is the happiest on the day their cruise vacation they have been looking forward to is finally starting.

Your thoughts

There are probably many more foods on a Royal Caribbean ship that you associate with being on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Which foods do you think are definite Royal Caribbean traditional foods? Were one of these a favorite yours? Tell us about in the comments.

The top decadent Royal Caribbean snacks

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11Feb2016

When you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise, that means you are on vacation and splurging here and there is what makes being on vacation so much fun.

In addition to the terrific entertainment onboard and the ports you will visit, there are a lot of tasty snacks you can enjoy that just are not worth worrying about how many calories they have.  This is about enjoying your vacation!

Let us look at some of the most decadent snacks available to binge on during your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Sorrentos Pizza

There is no doubt that the pizza at Sorrentos will not win any awards, but sometimes you just need a slice of pizza and Sorrentos fits that requirement.

Sorrentos pizza comes in a few different varieties, depending on what they are cooking, and it is included in your cruise fare.

For most guests, grabbing a slice of pizza is the perfect pit stop as you move from one end of the ship to the other.  And after a night of partying, pizza really hits the spot!

Kummelweck Sandwich

A Royal Caribbean classic offering is the Kummelweck sandwich, which offers slices of seasoned slow-roasted beef, sliced to perfection that is available to guests at Park Cafe.

The Kummelweck sandwich was first offered on Oasis class ships, but Park Cafe has spread to other ships in the fleet since then.  It's also available on Quantum class ships at Cafe@270.

Guests are served a rare, thin cut of beef dipped in au jus accompanied by a secret sauce.

If it sounds mighty tasty, that is because it really is and something that is a must-try (at least a half dozen times) for any guest.

Dog House hot dog

When Royal Caribbean designed its Dog House hot dog offerings, they did not just settle on one style of dog.

The Seaplex Dog House and Boardwalk Dog House offers four kind of hot dogs:

  • Big apple: Chicken and apple
  • German: Thuringer (Pork - genuine old world style)
  • Smoke House: Smoked Bratwurst (pork - traditional spices)
  • Coney Island: Classic American all-beef Kosher hot dog

No matter which dog you pick and what sides you toss on them, it is a tasty quick snack that really "hits the spot."

Chips and salsa

There are two spots on Royal Caribbean that regularly serve up some great chips and salsa: Sabor and Rita's Cantina.

Regardless of which one you visit, be sure to enjoy the perfect finger food that is great for groups.  Bonus points if accompanied by a margarita!

There is an additional fee to dine at either restaurant, but when you are in the mood for a great Mexican snack, this is your best bet.

Johnny Rockets milkshake

Johnny Rockets has locations around the world, including Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and the chain has a reputation for amazing classic American food, including its milkshakes.

The milkshakes at Johnny Rockets are made with hand-dipped premium ice cream and are as good as they sound.

Milkshakes come in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.

There is an additional cost to the milkshakes, but it might be one of the best, inexpensive splurges available on your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Sandwiches from Cafe Promenade

It never ceases to amaze me how I will not feel hungry, but as soon as I walk by Cafe Promenade and see the amazing sandwiches waiting to be picked up, I instantly become famished.

Each day, Royal Caribbean offers a different variety of sandwiches, from wraps to shrimp rolls, to Greek salad rolls and more.

A visit to Cafe Promenade often begins with the words, "let me just see what they have..." and before you know it, you have a plate full of mini-sandwiches to enjoy.

What is your favorite snack that is worth every single calorie? Leave a comment and share with us!

Royal Caribbean commits to using cage-free eggs and gestation-crate free pork

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03Dec2015

Royal Caribbean has commited itself to providing its guests with 100% cage-free eggs and sourcing all of its pork from gestation-free crates by 2022.

The effort builds on an initiative that first introduced cage-free eggs into its supply chain in 2010.

“By moving to 100 percent cage-free eggs we are not only delivering quality food, but acting responsibly when it comes to the welfare of animals in the food system,” said Mike Jones, Vice President, Supply Chain, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. 

Royal Caribbean had promised to provide sustainably sourced food for guests including sourcing pork from gestation crate free suppliers.

Jones said, “Royal Caribbean supports the continual movement of the food service industry in this direction, and remains committed to keeping the treatment of animals in consideration when supplying its fleet with food.”

Sushi on Royal Caribbean: Everything you need to know

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04Sep2015

One of the most popular foods these days has to be sushi and on a Royal Caribbean cruise, guests can enjoy sushi throughout their cruise.

Sushi is a healthy and incredibly tasty meal that seems to becoming more and more popular.  Here is where you can get sushi on a Royal Caribbean cruise, how much it will cost and everything else important to know.

Izumi

When Royal Caribbean launched Oasis of the Seas back in 2009, the cruise line added a brand new specialty restaurant dedicated to sushi and Japanese cuisine, Izumi.

Izumi specialty restaurants have spread like wild fire to many other ships in the fleet and each Izumi restaurant offers guests popular sushi rolls, sashimi, hot rock (Ishiyaki) plates, sukiyaki and more.

For sushi lovers, Izumi is the place onboard Royal Caribbean to get sushi because of the quality and variety available.

The following Royal Caribbean ships have Izumi available onboard

Izumi is a specialty restaurant that charges a la carte for items on the menu.  There is no cover charge, and instead you are charged for what you order.

Izumi is open for dinner on every night and lunch on sea days.

Izumi Hibachi & Sushi

Royal Caribbean re-imagined Izumi in recent refurbishments for the Oasis class ships, that combines what you would typically find in Izumi on other ships with a hibachi experience.

In addition to the sushi rolls and sashimi offered at Izumi, guests can also order from a full teppanyaki menu.

The hibachi meals have a cover charge that includes the entree. Choices include Beef, Chicken, Lobster or Shrimp.

Each meal includes soup or salad, edamame app, fried rice or lo mein noodles, cooked veggies and dessert.

Essentially, the restaurant is divided in two sections: one section for sushi and the other section for the hibachi.

Sushi is priced exactly the same at Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, with sushi priced for each individual roll or piece.

Izumi Express

As of July 1, 2016, all Royal Caribbean ships also offer an Izumi Express option, where guests can purchase take-out sushi.

Izumi Express is a takeaway service that offers packaged sushi, ready to go, at a very discounted price.

Jade

On some Royal Caribbean ships, there is a section in the Windjammer called Jade, where guests can enjoy Asian food of all kinds.

In the evenings, Jade usually offers sushi rolls to guests that are complimentary.

The selection of sushi available at Jade is more limited than Izumi, with usually a half dozen hand rolls available at any given time. There is no nigiri sushi and none of it is made to order.

The chief benefit to Jade is that it is complimentary and available in the evening for dinner.  

Jade sushi was Royal Caribbean's first foray into sushi but has largely been replaced or superceded by Izumi.  

Jade is still available on a number of Royal Caribbean ships, mostly those ships that lack an Izumi.

Which sushi have you had on a Royal Caribbean cruise? Tell us in the comments!

Royal Caribbean Classic: Tutti salad bar

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22May2015

There are just some aspects of the Royal Caribbean cruise experience that are quintessentially a Royal Caribbean "kind of thing" and today we will look at one of these, the tutti salad bar.

The tutti salad bar is essentially a large salad bar in the main dining room that is available to guests on sea days, where guests can pick from a variety of ingredients to create their own custom salad.

You can walk around the rather large salad bar area and pick from what interests you. Vegetables, cheeses, chicken, shrimp, tuna, dressings and more are all available to choose from.

After picking your favorite ingredients, the Royal Caribbean staff will chop it all up for you and put it on a plate.  Instant perfect salad!

What makes the tutti salad bar experience one that many Royal Caribbean fans come back to again and again is the opportunity to get a freshly made salad exactly the way you like it.  

For those wondering, the word "tutti" is Italian for "all" or "everything", which is a reference to the fact you can have it all in your salad.

Have you eaten at the tutti salad bar? Will you try it on your next cruise? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!

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