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Chops Grille is the best Royal Caribbean extra-cost restaurant, according to a passenger survey

09 Mar 2024
Calista Kiper

Specialty restaurants are not included in your fare, so what’s worth splurging on?

Among over 1,000 past Royal Caribbean cruisers, Chops Grille came out as the most popular specialty restaurant across the fleet.

People from the Royal Caribbean Dining Facebook page were asked to vote on their absolute top restaurant.

Across 14 possible choices, Chops was ranked the top pay restaurant in Royal Caribbean's fleet, garnering 28% of the vote.

On a Royal Caribbean ship, you’ll have access to complimentary restaurants, such as the Windjammer and the Main Dining Room.

Specialty restaurants usually have a unique theme and more specific menu than others. 


Cruisers prefer them for the quality service, upscale atmosphere, and overall more luxurious experience.

Chops Grille was voted the best specialty restaurant 

In total, we received 1115 votes on the poll. Chops Grille won as the top favorite, with 28% of the votes.

150 Central Park came in second place, at 22%.

In distant third place, 9% voted Izumi Hibachi as their favorite specialty restaurant.

8% of respondents also voted for Wonderland as their favorite restaurant, with the rest only getting a few of the votes.


This result isn’t a surprise, considering that most respondents have had a chance to try dining at Chops Grille.

Chops is one of the most popular and well-known specialty restaurants. This quality steakhouse is featured on all Royal Caribbean ships, meaning you’ll get to try it no matter which sailing you choose.

Dru Mason explained her thinking: “It was between Chops and Izumi, but I voted for Chops. Chops has been consistent across most of the ships, so I gave them the vote.”

Because Chops Grille is so popular and offered on every ship, it makes sense that Royal Caribbean has had the chance to test and perfect the restaurant’s menu and service. 

Mike Fresa echoed this sentiment, commenting that, “Chops is the best… then Izumi.”

Izumi offers both Hibachi and sushi options, serving up quality Japanese food. 

Izumi is available on Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Icon of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Utopia of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, and Voyager of the Seas.

On the other hand, some commenters didn’t have a great experience with Chops Grille. Zach Zilen wrote: “We have been disappointed in Chops several times. The only one we keep going back to is Giovanni’s.”

7% of the votes on the Facebook survey went to Giovanni’s Table or Giovanni’s Kitchen, a venue that serves popular Italian cuisine.

On Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, and Voyager of the Seas, the restaurant is called Giovanni’s Table.

On Freedom of the Seas, Icon of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, and Odyssey of the Seas, the venue was revamped and named Giovanni’s Kitchen, an upgraded contemporary that added perks such as fresh-tossed pizza.


Other comments on the survey expressed that they would choose other restaurants for reasons other than the food.

For example, some venues have different experiences to offer: “I say Wonderland because it’s the one that I’d never be able to duplicate on land,” said Charla Miller. “A truly unique experience.”

The Wonderland venue is an imaginative experience based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. With its experimental design and mind-bending food, it makes sense that this venue provides an irreplaceable experience. 

Wonderland is available on Anthem of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas.

But not everyone likes to spend extra money on food. Since specialty restaurants come at an additional cost, some cruisers would rather eat the complimentary food and save their money. Mary Chi expressed this perspective, commenting, “4 cruises and never felt the need to buy extra dinners.”

Still, if you’re interested in trying a luxurious meal, Chops Grille is voted your best option.

What can you expect at Chops Grille?

Chops specializes in juicy steaks, with the tender filet being the most popular menu item.

However, the steakhouse also serves other meats like lamb, pork, fish, Maine lobster, and chicken.

The price for a dinner at Chops Grille varies depending on the ship but usually ranges from $50-$60 per person. The price for lunch is usually lower than for dinner.

A meal at Chops can also be included in your specialty dining package, whether that’s the unlimited package or the 3-night dining package. 

An 18% gratuity may also be added automatically, and you can always tip again at the end of your meal.


The restaurant's classy ambiance makes it a popular spot for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other special occasions. The location is decorated with low, golden lighting, dark brown wood, and crisp white linens, except on Icon of the Seas which has a more modern motif. 

It is an upscale four-course meal. The dress code is smart or smart-casual, and you will be served by a dedicated waitstaff. 

Chops Grille offers both lunch and dinner. If you’re planning an evening meal at Chop, it’s best to reserve a dinner, as spots fill up quickly.


The dinner meal begins with a complimentary serving of bread buns and butter.

After you receive your menu, you can start by ordering unique appetizers such as bacon, shrimp cocktails, crab cakes, tuna tartare, and beer carpaccio.

Next, you can select a soup: wild mushroom, lobster bisque, or other specials; or a salad: caesar, wedge lettuce, or crispy goat cheese.


Your waiter will also bring a beverage menu, with many quality wines. Like in other venues on the ship, the alcohol costs extra, but may be included in your beverage package.

For the entree, options include meats like the tender filet—either 9 or 6 ounces—prime ribeye, prime NY strip, a rack of lamb, or roasted chicken.

There is also a selection of seafood entrees: grilled branzino, spicy jumbo shrimp, Atlantic salmon, or Maine lobster.


You can choose an unlimited number of sides, with options such as tater tots, spinach, grilled asparagus, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, French fries, and baked potatoes. 

And yes, you might notice that there are many potato-based items available.

For dessert, the menu includes delicacies like red velvet cake, raspberry cheesecake, and key lime pie.


The desserts come in huge slices, a much larger serving than you might receive at the Main Dining Room. If dessert’s your thing, that’s one reason to consider splurging on an extra-cost restaurant!

The lunch menu is a slimmed-down version of the dinner, with fewer appetizers, entrees, and sides, and only two dessert selections.

If you get full at any point, you can ask your server to package up the food to bring back to your cabin. Don’t let those extra pennies go to waste!


As always, you can ask for accommodations for your food allergies, from lactose-free to gluten-free to vegetarian options. However, given that Chops Grille is a steakhouse, it may not be the best spot for vegetarians or vegans. People who avoid meat and animal products may not find a lot to enjoy.

But if juicy steaks and quality meats are your thing, this restaurant might also become your new favorite. 

Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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