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Which Quantum specialty restaurant should we choose?


ChanaC
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We're booked on Quantum this spring to Alaska. We booked through Costco, who threw in some cool extras including a specialty dining experience, excluding Izumi. Not sure why that one in particular is excluded, but luckily I live in an area with great Japanese food so it's not a huge loss. That means our other three options are Chops, Wonderland, and Jamie's Italian.  I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on which one you would go for in this situation.

Personally, I'm leaning towards Wonderland. We've never done it, and I think it looks interesting and unique. I'm traveling with my mom who thinks some of the menu looks odd, but she also pointed out that it's just one meal, and if we don't like it in the end and don't eat everything we're still on a huge cruise ship and can find something else to snack on later. I don't know if it's something I would spend money on ordinarily, but since we wouldn't be paying for this one it seems like a good time to experiment and try something new. It's not like any restaurant I've ever been to before.

We've done Chops on past cruises and it's our second choice (or maybe first if people comment that they hate Wonderland!). Since we've done Chops before I'm not particularly jumping to do it again. Also, I don't eat beef, so I wouldn't order one of their signature steaks, although I heard their fish options are really good, which is what I would go for. My mom does like a good steak, and has really liked Chops in the past, so it's still in consideration.

And unless anyone has rave reviews of Jamie's Italian, it's not something we're really considering. It looks like basic, generic Italian-American food, which I could find at the Olive Garden down the street. If anyone has rave things to say about it we may consider it, but it doesn't really feel like a "special" place to visit, if that makes sense. That being said, I do love Italian food, especially pasta! I have heard that Wonderland and Chops book up fast, and some of the fine print on our deal is that we can't book until we get on the ship, so it might have to be a default option in case everything else is booked up, or we can't get a night we want (we have some late ports of call so we may not be on the ship at dinner time every night).

Anyone have any thoughts or opinions? What would you do in my situation? 

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Personally, I'd do Wonderland.  It's unique and delicious.

I'm biased because I can count on two fingers when I've had steaks out anywhere better than Mr. SpeedNoodles makes (once was Giovanni's Italian Kitchen on Odyssey), and we really aren't into Italian (unless it's Giovanni's Italian Kitchen).  Ok, I'm sensing a theme here.

That's just my personal opinion.

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I'll also suggest Wonderland.

Will also say to be open to your "culinary experience guide" and indicate any dislikes. Also, look over the menu and decide on any must try items and tell your guide. Finally, if you do try something that your really liked, don't be afraid to ask for another round. Keep in mind the appetizer items are what I'd call small bites. Good example, the Liquid Lobster is just a spoonful.

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Wonderland is a unique experience.  Food isn't "fantastic" but certainly OK, unless you have a lot of dietary restrictions. Steak is steak and Italian is Italian.  

If the choice is to select one specialty restaurant, Wonderland is something you'll tell friends about when you get home.  

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Jamie’s is great if you have a group 5+ people.  The food is good, not great, but if you have a group it’s a fun dinner.  They may take your order but basically they bring every appetizer to the table.  Then they turn round and bring every dinner.  And the same for desert.  They brought two small cans and a wooden plank to each table and load it with every app.  Then brought every entree.  Then loaded each desert on the planks.   
 

If you go with a smaller group as a couple, 3-4 people, they tend to take your order like traditional restaurant.

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On 2/26/2022 at 10:36 PM, ChanaC said:

And unless anyone has rave reviews of Jamie's Italian, it's not something we're really considering. It looks like basic, generic Italian-American food, which I could find at the Olive Garden down the street.

I have not been yet but planning to go at least twice.  I am curious as to what makes you think that this place looks "generic Italian-American?"

Reasons I ask:

1. Jaime Oliver is British.

2. The pastas are fresh made...don't see many generic Italian-American restaurants doing this.

3. The pastas do not looked sopping drenched in sauces like most generic Italian-American.

4. BURRATA CHEESE!

5. Meat Plank!

I don't frequent Olive Garden often unless I have an elderly family member gift me a gift card to Olive Garden.  From what I remember, none of the above are synonymous with Olive Garden.  Not trying to be snarky, but the comparison seems unfair.

 

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1 hour ago, CruisingNewb said:

I have not been yet but planning to go at least twice.  I am curious as to what makes you think that this place looks "generic Italian-American?"

Reasons I ask:

1. Jaime Oliver is British.

2. The pastas are fresh made...don't see many generic Italian-American restaurants doing this.

3. The pastas do not looked sopping drenched in sauces like most generic Italian-American.

4. BURRATA CHEESE!

5. Meat Plank!

I don't frequent Olive Garden often unless I have an elderly family member gift me a gift card to Olive Garden.  From what I remember, none of the above are synonymous with Olive Garden.  Not trying to be snarky, but the comparison seems unfair.

 


Burgers, fries, garlic bread, even chicken/eggplant parmigiana, etc.

No offense meant towards Jamie’s or Olive Garden. I just kind of meant that nothing seems super special about this place, at least compared to other Italian restaurants in my area. The fact they have fresh pasta and the planks is great, but when I cruise I like to try new things and nothing seems like stuff I haven’t tried before, or stuff I can’t get elsewhere. 

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24 minutes ago, ChanaC said:


Burgers, fries, garlic bread, even chicken/eggplant parmigiana, etc.

No offense meant towards Jamie’s or Olive Garden. I just kind of meant that nothing seems super special about this place, at least compared to other Italian restaurants in my area. The fact they have fresh pasta and the planks is great, but when I cruise I like to try new things and nothing seems like stuff I haven’t tried before, or stuff I can’t get elsewhere. 

Ok.  I guess I can see what you are trying to say, but it still seems like a huge stretch comparison considering the things that I posted.  I live, and lived, in cities that were world-renown for food and fresh made pasta, alone, was still not very common.  Instead of looking at similarities between Jaime's and other "generic Italian-American" restaurants, try looking at the differences. 

I am not trying to sway you one way or another, but look at it this way:

You say Chops is your second choice...Well, Outback Steakhouse has Shrimp, lobster, and bone-in ribeye.  Does that make it mundane?  Heck, Denny's has steak, shrimp, and caesar salad.  

P.S. Jaime's offers a taglietelle pasta that is not very common in run-of-the-mill Italian -American restaurants.  

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1 hour ago, CruisingNewb said:

Ok.  I guess I can see what you are trying to say, but it still seems like a huge stretch comparison considering the things that I posted.  I live, and lived, in cities that were world-renown for food and fresh made pasta, alone, was still not very common.  Instead of looking at similarities between Jaime's and other "generic Italian-American" restaurants, try looking at the differences. 

I am not trying to sway you one way or another, but look at it this way:

You say Chops is your second choice...Well, Outback Steakhouse has Shrimp, lobster, and bone-in ribeye.  Does that make it mundane?  Heck, Denny's has steak, shrimp, and caesar salad.  

P.S. Jaime's offers a taglietelle pasta that is not very common in run-of-the-mill Italian -American restaurants.  

For someone who said they aren't trying to be snarky, you're riding this conversation pretty hard. It's just a restaurant, and we all have different food preferences. Sorry to offend the good name of Jamie Oliver.

And I think we would all agree that Chops is more upscale than Outback. If there is a chain parallel maybe something like Ruth's Chris? For me personally, I don't go to steakhouses at all, so Chops would be something more unique, especially considering the average price of a steak or fish, something I generally wouldn't pay for out of pocket. Meanwhile I think Jamie's advertises itself on being more casual.

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  • 1 month later...
13 hours ago, silenttuba said:

We’re sailing on Anthem in two weeks, and we have opted not to book any specialty dining. The only restaurant I’d be interested in is Wonderland, but with my wife being most vegetarian, then specialty restaurants aren’t a great value for dollar for us. 

Wonderland isn't very vegetarian friendly, but there are a few good veggie options on Anthem! Izumi has great udon noodle dishes or fried rice dishes with tofu. Also, Jamie's Italian has the best vegetarian options of all Italian restaurants on Royal Caribbean, with eggplant parmesan and pasta options.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd go for Wonderland. It's a unique dinning experience and I really like the food. It looks different and the descriptions make it sound odd but to me it's really just good food with a unique presentation.

We were on Mariner recently and Jamie's didn't impress me at all. The food was fine but not amazing so that would be my 3rd choice pick of the three. I think we would have enjoyed it more if we were in a larger group like @TMatl described above. 

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  • 8 months later...

Wonderland would be my first choice just because I have never ate there before and I love to try new foods.   You never know when you will discover your next favorite foods. But I am adventurist so Wonderland may not appeal to the masses.  https://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/dam/royal/resources/menus/wonderlad-menu-sample.pdf

PLEASE don't compare Jamie's Italian with Olive Garden.  That is like comparing Ruth's Steakhouse with McDonalds.  There is NOTHING better than fresh made pasta.  Check out their menu and see if they have anything that would interest you.  https://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/dam/royal/resources/menus/jamies-italian-menu-sample.pdf  I am Italian.  My husband is Italian.  I make lots of Italian foods but not fresh pasta. My entire family loved Jamie's. That would be my second choice.

Chop's is a great steak and seafood restaurant.  You can find their menu here: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/dam/royal/resources/menus/jamies-italian-menu-sample.pdf.  Their Wild Mushroom Soup is to die for. Their steaks were excellent.  But since I can find great steak houses near me, I have rank this as third.

Whatever you decide, you can't make a wrong decision.  Just look at their menus and decide from there. BUT PLEASE DON'T COMPARE Jamie's with Olive Garden.  LOL!  

OR Purchase Chops+1 dining package.  With that and your free specialty dining, you can try all three!

Let us know what you decide and how the food was. Enjoy your trip. 

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Wonderland is my pick.  Let your server pick your appys. (not to crazy about the Liquid Lobster, did like the Veggies in the Garden). As far as the entree goes your mom should get the Short Rib, very tender piece of beef. For dessert the server should bring all out, including The World, If you LOVE chocolate , Enjoy!  Its all about the presentation.

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