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Should you book the Izumi pre-fixed sushi option?

06 Oct 2022
Matt Hochberg

Izumi is Royal Caribbean's popular Japanese specialty restaurant on nearly all of its ships, so is it a good idea to purchased the pre-fixed option instead of paying as you go?

Izumi sushi over the top view

I've been eating at Izumi since it was first introduced on Oasis of the Seas when the restaurant was tucked away on deck 16 and always loved the assortment of sushi (and non-sushi) options. I've always thought besides the variety of food, it also allows for a very filling or light meal because everything is priced a la carte.

Recently, many blog readers have been choosing the pre-fixed menu option and it got me wonder if it was a better idea. Would I save money with it, and would I leave the restaurant feeling as satisfied compared to paying as I go?

On a recent Allure of the Seas cruise I chose to go with the fixed menu option in order to see how well it would work for my style of eating.

What is the pre-fixed menu?

Review: Izumi on Allure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

The Izumi menu is priced individually for each item, and that means you pay for what you order.

Izumi menu

Royal Caribbean has an alternative option where you pay one price and get certain amount of food included. They've tweaked what's included over the years, but today it's:

  • 1 small plate, like Miso Soup or Pork Gyoza Dumplings.
  • 2 large plates from a selection of signature rolls, sushi & sashimi, flavorful bowls of ramen and more.
  • 1 dessert like mochi ice cream offered in a variety of flavors.

The cost onboard is $34.99 per adult or $10.99 per child (children between the ages of 6-12. Children ages 0-5 are complimentary).  You may find a better price if purchased before your cruise from a Cruise Planner sale. If you have a dining package, you can opt into the pre-fixed menu.

Rice at Izumi

Royal Caribbean sometimes offers the Sushi & Sake lunch, which is different from the pre-fixed menu as it includes alcohol, isn't available for kids, and is more of an experience with the sake instruction aspect.

My meal


I had the unlimited dining package for my cruise and decided to give the pre-fixed option a try.

The waiter gave all of us the choice, and once I opted into it, he took my order based on the three courses I could choose from.

Miso soup

The online menu didn't make the distinction, but at the restaurant, a bowl of miso soup was included in addition to the 1 small plate.  I went with the soup and the vegetable fried rice. I usually do just sushi, but I was really in the mood for fried rice.

As for the large plates, there's quite a few choices to consider.

Wonder of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Labadee | Royal Caribbean Blog

I ended up with the spicy crispy tuna roll and the chef's sushi selection. The sushi selection has plenty of sushi variety for what I like, and the crispy tuna roll helps bring a different texture to the meal.

Izumi cake

To round it out, I went with the chocolate lava cake for dessert.

Izumi prix-fixe review

Review: Izumi Hibachi on Harmony of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

After trying the pre-fixed menu, I came away from my meal thinking this is an option to simplify the menu down for someone who may be completely new to Japanese food.

I eat a lot of sushi on cruise ships and on land, so I have a pretty good idea of what I like and don't like. Moreover, I've spent years trying different things on the Izumi menu to find the right combination for me.

Thanks to years of dining package prowess, maximizing every dollar out of my dining package has proven to be a fruitful endeavor. 

Royal Caribbean Blog - Unofficial blog about Royal Caribbean cruises

Depending on how adventurous you are, the prix-fixe menu can be advantageous in terms of value.

I think it's fair to compare it to the dining package, which allocates $35 worth of food to each person.  Unlike the fixed price option, the dining package stipend can be pooled among everyone at your table, which means the light eaters can provide greater value to the friends.  This is usually the case when I eat with my wife, as she rarely ever comes close to getting $35 of value from her dining package.

In adding up the prix-fixed menu option I chose, I came away with $46 of value compared to if I bought the same items a la carte. That sounds like a great value, but there's a few things I would have done differently had things not been included. I would have only gotten one small plate, but since miso soup came with it at no additional cost, I opted for the soup and a small plate. 

Symphony of the Seas Live Blog - Day Two - Sea Day | Royal Caribbean Blog

I also never order dessert at Izumi. I'd much rather get my extra calories from another sushi roll because I love their sushi that much.

Of course, if you don't eat sushi, then the fixed price menu has fewer options and I think beef teriyaki and an udon or ramen bowl sounds like a lot of food.

Ultimately, if you're looking for a big meal, everyone getting a dining package and pooling your money together should get you more food than everyone on the prix-fixe.  If you are a light eater, I think you'll find more food than you can handle with the option and better off paying for Izumi a la carte.

I certainly didn't walk away disappointed or hungry, but I think for the way I enjoy sushi, I'll stick to the individual item pricing at Izumi for the time being.

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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