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dinner @ Solarium Bistro - thoughts?


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Recently watched Matt’s epic 1hr review of Oasis and i was instantly drawn to the Solarium area as a potential “home base” for the cruise.  I see that the Solarium Bistro requires dinner reservations when I look under Dining in the cruise planner section.  Looking for information - is it better than the main dining room?  Any advantages eating dinner here?  This is my 1st try on Royal [6x Disney Cruiser though] and I hear all kinds of reviews on the MDR - some good, some bad and some ugly.  Also have a 3 night dining pkg so 4 nights are open to try things out.  We will try the MDR during the cruise at some point but i am intrigued about this restaurant.  Please let me know any thoughts and you have and past experiences!!! 

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I haven't sailed on a ship with the Solarium Bistro yet, but I am in two weeks so I've been researching it. Unless anything changes, I believe all Solarium Bistros serve general buffet stuff or breakfast and lunch, although maybe healthier options than the Windjammer. For dinner, they do a hybrid buffet/sit down service, all Mediterranean themed. You order a main entree at your table with a waiter, like chicken, salmon, or lamb, and on the buffet they have small plated appetizers and side dishes like hummus, tabbouleh, pita, various salads, etc. The pros are that it's included, it's somewhat lighter and healthier options, and (in my opinion) Mediterranean food is delicious! Cons are (at least on my ship - I can see the menu ahead of time) is that each night is the same menu, although that might also be a pro if there are multiple things you want to try.

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25 minutes ago, ChanaC said:

I haven't sailed on a ship with the Solarium Bistro yet, but I am in two weeks so I've been researching it. Unless anything changes, I believe all Solarium Bistros serve general buffet stuff or breakfast and lunch, although maybe healthier options than the Windjammer. For dinner, they do a hybrid buffet/sit down service, all Mediterranean themed. You order a main entree at your table with a waiter, like chicken, salmon, or lamb, and on the buffet they have small plated appetizers and side dishes like hummus, tabbouleh, pita, various salads, etc. The pros are that it's included, it's somewhat lighter and healthier options, and (in my opinion) Mediterranean food is delicious! Cons are (at least on my ship - I can see the menu ahead of time) is that each night is the same menu, although that might also be a pro if there are multiple things you want to try.

Good to know!  As of now we have the bistro reserved for night 1…if its great we will look to add more nights.  I guess we wont know until we check it out!

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4 hours ago, Pooch said:

Is the Bistro open now?  Was not on Harmony in March.

Sailing on Quantum soon and according to the app it looks like it’s open for breakfast and dinner every day, and lunch most days. I don’t see an option to make a reservation for it though, they might just be doing first come first serve. 

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The entire Solarium area is beautiful on the Oasis.  We ate lunch there a few times while on our cruise in November.  We also had breakfast there.  Both are buffet style and much nicer (IMO) and less crowded than the Windjammer.   We decided against dinner since the offerings weren't spectacular and we enjoy the MDR ambiance for our dinner experience.  

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5 hours ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

The entire Solarium area is beautiful on the Oasis.  We ate lunch there a few times while on our cruise in November.  We also had breakfast there.  Both are buffet style and much nicer (IMO) and less crowded than the Windjammer.   We decided against dinner since the offerings weren't spectacular and we enjoy the MDR ambiance for our dinner experience.  

Good to know, thank you for the information!  On Oasis, what’s your favorite place for breakfast?  This is my 1st time with Royal and I’m trying to learn as much as i can-

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On Oasis there really is no bad place for breakfast…just depends on what you are looking for.  Now…I have only sailed on Oasis once so this is my opinion only!  The MDR has your typical restaurant-style offerings and best part is the waiter attention.  It is less busy so wait staff is pretty easy to find when needed.  We ate in the MDR on debarkation day so we could enjoy the relaxed atmosphere one last time before heading home.  The MDR is not a quick eat and run type of restaurant so if you are in a hurry…go somewhere else.
My favorite is the Solarium Bistro because it is less crowded than WJ and although there may be less to choose from…believe me there is plenty!  It feels like a more gourmet sort of food is offered.  You can eat quickly or take your time and enjoy the scenery.
The WJ has so many food choices and sometimes (depending on timing) quite crowded and noisy.  It is very large and you should know there are 2 areas of the same selections on each end.  A few of my pet peeves about the WJ:  I hate it when I finally get to the section with the food I really want and the pan is almost empty!  It happens!  I will say that I did find they try very hard to keep up with refilling but I did have to wait for a few things.  Another thing is when you are in a long line and the people in front of you just take their sweet time looking over everything and hold up the line.  Even worse is when one person is in front of you and next thing you know there are 4 or 5 people joining them…just cutting in!   All this happened to me which is reason I only ate there once!
So there is also the Park Cafe which I did not check out for breakfast and of course Cafe Promenade.  But I believe both of these are quick bite sort of places.  Johnny Rockets also has a breakfast but that is not for me.

Sorry I rambled…hope you first experience on Oasis will be the best!!!

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14 hours ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

On Oasis there really is no bad place for breakfast…just depends on what you are looking for.  Now…I have only sailed on Oasis once so this is my opinion only!  The MDR has your typical restaurant-style offerings and best part is the waiter attention.  It is less busy so wait staff is pretty easy to find when needed.  We ate in the MDR on debarkation day so we could enjoy the relaxed atmosphere one last time before heading home.  The MDR is not a quick eat and run type of restaurant so if you are in a hurry…go somewhere else.
My favorite is the Solarium Bistro because it is less crowded than WJ and although there may be less to choose from…believe me there is plenty!  It feels like a more gourmet sort of food is offered.  You can eat quickly or take your time and enjoy the scenery.
The WJ has so many food choices and sometimes (depending on timing) quite crowded and noisy.  It is very large and you should know there are 2 areas of the same selections on each end.  A few of my pet peeves about the WJ:  I hate it when I finally get to the section with the food I really want and the pan is almost empty!  It happens!  I will say that I did find they try very hard to keep up with refilling but I did have to wait for a few things.  Another thing is when you are in a long line and the people in front of you just take their sweet time looking over everything and hold up the line.  Even worse is when one person is in front of you and next thing you know there are 4 or 5 people joining them…just cutting in!   All this happened to me which is reason I only ate there once!
So there is also the Park Cafe which I did not check out for breakfast and of course Cafe Promenade.  But I believe both of these are quick bite sort of places.  Johnny Rockets also has a breakfast but that is not for me.

Sorry I rambled…hope you first experience on Oasis will be the best!!!

Great info, thanks!!!

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On Wonder of the Seas the secret was out about the Solarium Bistro.  Went there for Breakfast a few times and it was so crowded and so noisy.  Believe or not, went to the Windjammer, it was peaceful, no lines and everyone was patient and calm compared to The Bistro.  The new design for Windjammer on Wonder is great I was impressed with it.  I never went to Windjammer on any of my cruises but I did on this cruise and I was not to traumatized.

You can make reservations for the evening meals once onboard in the App.  It definitely was not as crowded as it was during breakfast.  The few times we ate at Hooked we could see down and it seemed very pleasant.

 

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On 5/16/2022 at 7:56 AM, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

On Oasis there really is no bad place for breakfast…just depends on what you are looking for.  Now…I have only sailed on Oasis once so this is my opinion only!  The MDR has your typical restaurant-style offerings and best part is the waiter attention.  It is less busy so wait staff is pretty easy to find when needed.  We ate in the MDR on debarkation day so we could enjoy the relaxed atmosphere one last time before heading home.  The MDR is not a quick eat and run type of restaurant so if you are in a hurry…go somewhere else.
My favorite is the Solarium Bistro because it is less crowded than WJ and although there may be less to choose from…believe me there is plenty!  It feels like a more gourmet sort of food is offered.  You can eat quickly or take your time and enjoy the scenery.
The WJ has so many food choices and sometimes (depending on timing) quite crowded and noisy.  It is very large and you should know there are 2 areas of the same selections on each end.  A few of my pet peeves about the WJ:  I hate it when I finally get to the section with the food I really want and the pan is almost empty!  It happens!  I will say that I did find they try very hard to keep up with refilling but I did have to wait for a few things.  Another thing is when you are in a long line and the people in front of you just take their sweet time looking over everything and hold up the line.  Even worse is when one person is in front of you and next thing you know there are 4 or 5 people joining them…just cutting in!   All this happened to me which is reason I only ate there once!
So there is also the Park Cafe which I did not check out for breakfast and of course Cafe Promenade.  But I believe both of these are quick bite sort of places.  Johnny Rockets also has a breakfast but that is not for me.

Sorry I rambled…hope you first experience on Oasis will be the best!!!

We, too, loved the Solarium for breakfast.  Less crowded and all the food choices we enjoy!

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On Allure we like the Solarium for breakfast, and most folks don't know they will cook your eggs to order if asked. They have out scrambled and fried, but you can get an omelet or poached egg to your liking. We tried Park Café and the breakfast sandwich was cold. Johnny Rockets is also a miss, as the eggs weren't great. The MDR has a breakfast bowl that is divine! We are early risers so in the MDR we get there at opening, and the meal time is around 30 minutes. The longest wait is for hot tea, the coffee comes right out. 

Man do I love breakfast on a cruise.  Don't skip it, if I was looking to cut back on the food intake it would be lunch. Lunch seems to be a petite dinner.  

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On 5/14/2022 at 8:22 AM, Pooch said:

Is the Bistro open now?  Was not on Harmony in March.

On Harmony now and the Bistro is open!  Went there for breakfast and checked it out for lunch.  It's nice and a bit less crowded than the Windjammer.  Maybe a slighter smaller selection but still worth going there.  

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On 5/18/2022 at 7:34 PM, michaelp1446 said:

Ate at Solarium Bistro on Odyssey for dinner in March. Made Dinner reservation in cruise Planner. Food very good-mediterranean themed.

Breakfast was never crowded. Keep in mind that the Dinner menu does not change daily. I would recommend trying 1 or 2 nights.

Menu posted above is same as we had.

Great tip, thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got back from the Quantum and tried the Solarium Bistro for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on various days. All in all we were a little disappointed. The breakfast and lunch were basically the same stuff as the Windjammer, just a smaller selection. Personally I didn't think anything really stood out. Kind of basic buffet food that generally looks better than it tastes. I will say it's nice that there is outdoor (covered outdoor I should say) seating so you can take your plate and get a really nice view out the windows. It was also way less crowded than the Windjammer so that was a huge advantage. We were on deck 13, right under the Solarium on deck 14, so it was great for us to grab a quick cup of coffee or tea and a pastry in the morning.

Dinner was unfortunately also kind of disappointing. I went with my mom who sailed on the Oasis and she said the Oasis definitely has a better version of the Solarium. Instead of getting served he main course, everything was a buffet, although everything was preportioned on small plates, even the main dishes. Nothing really stood out to us, which is sad because I love Mediterranean food. In the end we only did dinner there once. I would say it's at least checking out, as different ships might have different results. And as a note, I heard that they were asking for reservations for dinner even though there wasn't a section on the app where you could reserve it. The night we had dinner there we actually made a 7:00 reservation but were hungry around 6:00 so asked if we could walk in early. There were a couple of open tables and they just sat us so something tells me that reservations weren't really necessary. 

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On Allure, Solarium Bistro was only opened for breakfast  all week. Nothing else. And it was super crowded….we had to wait for plates to made available, and good luck finding a table. Food was so-so.
 

in the past, breakfast was amazing there, they had a great salad bar for lunch, and somewhat elegant and light Mediterranean dishes for dinner.

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