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I went on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas. Here are the 7 best things I ate on the ship.

17 May 2024
Calista Kiper

On my recent Icon of the Seas cruise, I set out to find the best dishes onboard.

Foods to try on Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship has gained notoriety for its size and innovations.

Along with upgrades in design and amenities, Royal Caribbean made an effort to improve the food onboard as well.

Icon of the Seas has an almost overwhelming variety of food available.

Not only does the ship have over 20 dining venues on board, but each venue also has a large selection of dishes to choose from.

One week certainly wasn't enough time to try it all, but I decided to focus on the complimentary options and find some new favorites.

Here are the top seven free dishes I think everyone should try on Icon of the Seas.

Read more: Icon of the Seas restaurant and dining guide

Sugar cinnamon donuts 

Located at: Park Café


Park Café, the only complimentary restaurant located in Central Park, is somewhat of a hidden gem on the Icon of the Seas.

Nestled between the beautiful trees and bushes, this venue serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I highly recommend checking out their breakfast options.

If you love pastries of any kind, Park Café will have something for you.

Whether you're feeling donuts, muffins, croissants, danishes, or cinnamon rolls, there's a selection of every flavor imaginable.

My personal favorite here was the sugar cinnamon donut—a fluffy, sweet pastry perfect for a small breakfast.

And even though I'm someone who doesn't always love breakfast, I thought the pastries here were light, delicious, and not too sweet!

Avocado tofu salad

Located at: the Main Dining Room


This appetizer is usually served on Caribbean night at the Main Dining Room.

It features chilled tofu marinated in honey and soy sauce tossed with plump grape tomatoes, ripe avocados, and white sesame seeds.

I love avocados and soy sauce, so this dish hit the spot. 

The tofu was also well-handled, not too starchy or too mushy.

It's a lovely, refreshing marinated dish that mixes sweet and savory flavors.  

The only complaint I could make about this dish is that it's a little small, but the waitstaff at the Main Dining Room always encourage guests to order more dishes if they desire.

Read more: I ate at every new restaurant on Icon of the Seas and here's how I would rank them

Strip steak

Located at: the Main Dining Room

One of the main reasons I happily eat the complimentary food on a cruise is that the food included in the cruise fare is just so high-quality!

Whenever I order a steak dish at the Main Dining Room, I can't differentiate between it and a meal from the popular, extra-cost Chops Grille.

This strip steak from Icon's Main Dining Room menu comes made to order, and I usually ask for them to cook it medium.

Served with a baked potato, carrots, broccoli, and a creamy side of flavored butter, this meal makes for a hearty, delicious dinner.

Whenever I order this dish, I usually struggle to finish everything!

Mediterranean bowls

Located at: AquaDome Market


A brand-new food hall on Icon of the Seas, the AquaDome Market has more tasty dishes than I have space to recommend here.

The venue is located at the front of the ship's AquaDome and features five unique stalls of different types of food. 

Crème de la Crèpe serves sweet crèpes, GNGR offers up Asian cuisine, Mac's has various flavors of mac and cheese, Toast and Garden serves sandwiches and salads, and you can find Mediterranean food at Feta.

At Feta, you can select a base (gyro, rice, or lettuce), protein (chicken, pork, or egg), and toppings, and then add sauces to your liking.

The dish is completely adjustable to whatever you prefer, but I quickly learned that I loved creating a chicken bowl with lettuce as my base.

I would top it with onions, tomatoes, and hummus, and end up with a quick, delicious, healthy, and filling meal!

Bacon mac and cheese

Located at: AquaDome Market

Another type of stall at the AquaDome Market, Mac's, exclusively offers different types of mac and cheese. 

You can try multiple different kinds: classic, bacon, chili, broccoli, and pepperoni pizza.

My personal favorite was the bacon flavor: it was a simple yet tasty salty, cheesy mix.

Paired with a glass of lemonade, eating a bowl of this mac and cheese makes you feel like a kid again, enjoying a snack after school.

Hummus snack

Located at: Pearl Café

Pearl Cafe on Icon of the Seas

Another new free venue onboard Icon of the Seas is the Pearl Café.

Located above the Royal Promenade, next to the Pearl art installation, this café is the perfect spot for a grab-and-go snack or drink.

The Café serves complimentary and specialty coffee, juice, soda, snacks, and desserts, all in portable containers.

The desserts were located behind a counter, but the snacks could be found in an open-air fridge, meaning you could just walk up to one and pick out what you liked.

My favorite healthy snack at the Pearl Café is a snack pack filled with hummus, ranch, carrots, celery, and cucumbers.

Read more: The 10 Essential Dishes to Eat on Icon of the Seas

It's the perfect quick bite to eat; whether you're sitting down to enjoy live music in the Promenade or taking it back to your cabin.

While the dessert menu at Pearl Café changed daily, the hummus snack was something I could always expect to be there on every day of the cruise. 

Chicken madras curry

Located at: the Windjammer


Royal Caribbean's complimentary buffet was even larger and better on Icon of the Seas.

As someone who loves Asian food, I was glad to see they had distinct sections for both Chinese and Indian cuisine.

I love tasting the Indian food at the Windjammer, and the chicken madras curry was a dish I hadn't seen before stepping onboard Icon.

It's a fragrant, red curry made with paprika and tamarind, which adds a little bit of tang.

As someone who loves spicy food, I did find this dish was pretty mild, and wished they served a hotter version.

However, this does make it more accessible for anyone who can't handle spice but might like to try this dish.

I highly recommend this curry, and I loved pairing it with a cooling yogurt sauce on the side.

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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