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How does specialty dining work on Royal Caribbean?

01 Apr 2024
Calista Kiper

There's a choice on any Royal Caribbean cruise to eat the restaurants that are included or the restaurants that cost extra.

Couple at Empire Supper Club

From the Windjammer buffet to room service to Jamie’s Italian and Japanese cuisine at Izumi, there are flavors for every guest’s taste.

Complimentary restaurants are included in your cruise fare, but specialty venues come at an extra cost.

These alternative restaurants can come a la carte (meaning, charged per dish), or with a set entrance fee per person.


Specialty restaurants are often higher quality, and more elegant than the complimentary options. 

Royal Caribbean ships include popular choices such as Chops Grille, Jamie’s Italian, and Wonderland.

Whether you’re interested in an unlimited package or in trying a specific restaurant, our guide will provide everything you need to know about specialty dining on a Royal Caribbean ship.

What are specialty restaurants?

Tomahawk steak

Guests tend to like specialty restaurants because there is different cuisines offered.

If you value one particular type of food or want a certain sort of atmosphere, a specialty restaurant gives you a way to choose and focus on that energy for the length of your meal.

They’re also a great option for special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Royal Caribbean’s specialty restaurants come in different shapes and sizes, with all sorts of cuisine.

Chef Travis at Izumi

The venues available vary by ship, but fleet-wide options include:

  • 150 Central Park
  • Chops Grille
  • Giovanni’s Table
  • Giovanni’s Kitchen
  • Hooked Seafood
  • Izumi
  • Izumi Hibachi
  • Izumi in the Park
  • Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver
  • Johnny Rockets
  • Johnny Rockets Express
  • Mason Jar
  • Chef’s Table
  • Sabor
  • Samba Grill
  • Sichuan Red
  • Fish and Ships
  • Playmakers
  • Wonderland
  • Empire Supper Club

To double-check which venues are free and which come at an extra cost, you can always take a look at your Cruise Compass or refer to the Royal Caribbean app.

Which restaurants are a la carte?

Playmakers on Oasis of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s specialty restaurants are either a la carte, meaning that each dish comes at an extra price, or they have a cover charge per person.

The a la carte restaurants on Royal Caribbean’s ships are Portside Barbeque, Izumi Sushi, Sichuan Red, Johnny Rockets, Fish and Ships, Basecamp, and Playmakers.

Other specialty restaurants charge each a fee to each person to enter, and once you do, all the dishes and desserts are included. 


The only items you may still have to pay extra for would be alcoholic or specialty drinks.

Read more: Royal Caribbean Drink Prices

Is specialty dining worth the extra cost?

Family eating at Chops Grille

If you consider every part of the dining experience—from dressing up to food to service—part of the cruise’s entertainment, specialty dining might be a good option for you.

If meals are a key part of enjoying your cruise, focusing on a few specialty restaurants is a great way to elevate your experience.

Buying a dining package makes for a smart method of saving money. 

Instead of dining at a certain number of specialty restaurants and paying the list price for each one, you save money by paying a set price for one package.

Because most specialty restaurants have a cover charge of about $35-60 per person, a dining package can save a lot of money!

A dining package is great for someone who wants to enjoy a lot of specialty dining restaurants during their cruise. On Royal Caribbean ships that have a lot of specialty restaurant choices (such as Oasis, Quantum, and Icon Class ships), splurging on a dining package also opens up your options.

How do dining packages work?


If you’re interested in trying popular specialty restaurants, you can purchase meals individually or use a dining package to streamline your experience.

These packages provide flexibility for guests to pay once, and then choose which venues they’d like to try.

This way, guests can enjoy multiple specialty restaurant meals at a discounted rate.

Read more: Royal Caribbean specialty dining packages guide

Icon of the Seas Empire Supper Club salad

You can even choose between multiple package configurations.

The options offered vary by ship, but usually these include:

  • 3 Night Dining Package
  • Chops Grille + 1 Package
  • Unlimited Dining Package

3 Night Dining Package


The 3-night package gives you access to three dinners at unique specialty restaurants. 

For this set cost, you can dine at three different venues. Guests can even use this package to dine at the same venue multiple times.

Chops + 1 package

Pretzel bread

The Chops + 1 package includes one meal at Chops Grille and an additional free meal at any specialty venue of your choice. 

You cannot use your second meal at Chops Grille; you must select a different restaurant.

Unlimited Dining Package

Unlimited dining package in Cruise Planner

For one price, the unlimited dining package gives you access to multiple specialty restaurants every night of your sailing.

It also includes lunches at specialty restaurants on sea days, 40% off bottles of wine under $100, and 20% off bottles of wine over $100.

You can use this package to dine at the same restaurant multiple times, but the Chef’s Table and other culinary activities are excluded from this package.

Subject to which ship they are sailing on, guests can use the unlimited dining package at the following restaurants:

  • 150 Central Park
  • Chops Grille
  • Giovanni’s Table
  • Hooked Seafood
  • Izumi
  • Izumi Hibachi
  • Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver
  • Johnny Rockets
  • Sabor
  • Samba Grill
  • Sichuan Red
  • Wonderland

While it is included in the package, there is an additional $10 charge per person for the Izumi Hibachi experience.

The price of each package varies depending on the sailing and ship.

Can I use my dining package at an a la carte restaurant?

A la carte restaurants that put a price on each menu item are still included in specialty dining packages.

Guests with a dining package usually get a $20 or $35 credit towards food at those restaurants per day.

This goes toward the cost of the food items and can be used once a day.

How do I make reservations?

Cruise Planner on an iPad

For individual meals at a specialty restaurant, you can reserve a time in advance on the Royal Caribbean website or mobile app, through the Cruise Planner

Royal Caribbean does not yet allow guests with a dining package to make reservations before the cruise.  However, the cruise line plans to change this in 2024.

In the meantime, you can make reservations as soon as you get onboard by going to any specialty restaurant and speaking with the staff there.

They will do their best to get you a spot at the day and time you prefer.

Can I make changes to my reservations?

If you’d like to make any changes to reservations onboard, you can speak to the hospitality staff onboard.

Again, this can be done by going to any specialty restaurant and speaking to the staff at the counter. 

But you can even call them directly from your stateroom phone for assistance.

Is there a dress code for specialty restaurants?

Chops Grille on Utopia render

Specialty restaurants have their own dress code, which is primarily "smart casual", although dress codes are loosely enforced.

However, the style of dress depends on which specialty restaurant you’re dining at.

At a more casual venue, such as Johnny Rockets or Playmakers, you could certainly wear simple clothing like jeans and a T-shirt.

But there are more formal, elegant venues, such as Izumi, Chops Grille, or the Empire Supper Club where it would be appropriate to dress more formally. In fact, Empire Supper Club requires men to wear a jacket.

Worst case scenario, if the staff turns you away, you only need to go back to your room and change before returning.

Looking for more information about Royal Caribbean dining?

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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