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Royal Caribbean working on new main dining room menu

In:
30Jul2020

Expect to find new choices the next time you dine in the main dining room on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley announced in an email to repeat cruisers that the cruise line is working on an update to its main dining room menus.

While the cruise line is shut down due to the global health crisis, shore side teams are working on ensuring when the time is right to return to service, the guest experience can be improved.

Specifically, Mr. Bailey mentioned that Royal Caribbean's Food & Beverage team is working on a new main dining room menu.

"Our F&B team has been revamping the Main Dining Room menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as adding some unique experiences to our specialty dining venues."

There was no schedule or rollout date included in the announcement.

Linken D'Souza is Royal Caribbean's Global Vice President Culinary, Dining & Beverage, and he has been responsible for some of the big dining changes Royal Caribbean has rolled out over the last few years.

Since joining the company, Mr. D'Souza was responsible for the updated Sorrento's pizza recipe, revamped the culinary offerings at CocoCay, and introduced Portside BBQ specialty restaurant on Oasis of the Seas and Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar on Freedom of the Seas.

It looks like his next target is the venerable main dining room.

Based on older blog posts on this site, it appears the main dining room dinner menu was last updated in 2016. Royal Caribbean has a standardized main dining room menu across its fleet.

Specialty restaurant menus are also generally the same across the fleet, although sometimes new menus get rolled out with ship refurbishments, as is the case with Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar concept on Freedom of the Seas (and Allure of the Seas before the upgrade was put on hold).

Royal Caribbean's test kitchen is located at the cruise line’s Miami offices, and it is where they can come up with new ideas among the corporate team, test and just those ideas, and then roll them out to the fleet.

What do you want to see on Royal Caribbean's main dining room menu? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Recipe: Caesar Salad from Royal Caribbean's Main Dining Room

In:
30Apr2020

There are so many great options on the main dining room menu that have become favorites over the years, including the Traditional Caesar Salad.

Caesar salads are not unique to Royal Caribbean, but the version served up in the main dining room are usually a must-order every night appetizer.

Did you know: Contrary to popular belief, Caesar Salad is not named after Julius Caesar, the famed leader of the Roman Empire, but for Chef Caesar Cardoni, famed Italian restaurateur, who created the dish in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924. The original dish called for coddled whole eggs. 

Traditional Caesar Salad Ingredients

Serves 6

Croutons

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sourdough bread, cubed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Ingredients

  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried and cut lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese 

Salad

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 anchovy fillets, drained or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt 

Suggested music while preparing your Traditional Caesar Salad

  • Marshmello ft. Bastille - Happier

Traditional Caesar Salad Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 380°F
  2. To prepare croutons, place bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Set aside to cool on a paper towel. 
  3. To prepare Caesar dressing, combine all ingredients except oil in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. While processing, slowly add oil. Adjust seasoning, cover, and refrigerate.
  4. Place romaine hearts on chilled plates, drizzle with Caesar dressing, and garnish with Parmesan shavings and croutons. Serve immediately. 

A look at the New Years Eve dinner menu on Royal Caribbean

In:
Category: 
31Dec2019

Would you want to celebrate New Years Eve on a Royal Caribbean cruise? We have a look at the main dining room menu for New Years Eve.

Cyndi White snapped this photo of the New Years Eve dinner menu on Freedom of the Seas.  Like other holidays, the main dining room menu on holidays tends to be the same across the fleet.

Royal Caribbean celebrates holidays with a special menu that adds additional menu choices to the regular menu.

What would you order for dinner from this menu if you were onboard? Share your answers in the comments below!

A look at the Christmas dinner menu on Royal Caribbean

In:
25Dec2019

Have you ever thought about going on a Royal Caribbean cruise for Christmas? We get a lot of questions about what it is like to cruise on Royal Caribbean over the holidays, so here is a look at the main dining room menu for Christmas day.

Holly Herrera snapped this photo of the Christmas dinner menu on Oasis of the Seas.  Like other holidays, the main dining room menu on holidays tends to be the same across the fleet.

On holidays, the main dining room menu typically retains the usual options, along with an added holiday menu. 

What would you order for dinner from this menu if you were onboard? Share your answers in the comments below!

New vegan menu to be added to Royal Caribbean's main dining room

In:
02Aug2019

Guests dining in Royal Caribbean's main dining room will have new vegan options to consider.

As first reported by Cruise Critic, an enthusiast site not affiliated with any cruise line, Royal Caribbean added the new vegan choices effective August 1, 2019 to its main dining oom menu.

Some of the new items include:

  • Edamame-stuffed portobello mushrooms
  • Vegan spaghetti "bolognaise"
  • Orzo pasta stew with green vegetables
  • New desserts

Spotted: 50th Celebration birthday cake

In:
Category: 
04Apr2019

Royal Caribbean is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and already some of the festivities are underway.  No birthday celebration is complete without a little cake!

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Shawn Wallace enjoyed a special cake while dining in the main dining room on Brilliance of the Seas.

The buttercream birthday cake was served to each table in the main dining room, and is topped with rainbow sprinkles, a swirled lollipop and chocolate coin.

Keep an eye out for this birthday while when you dine at the main dining room on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2019!

Royal Caribbean My Time Dining versus Traditional Dining

In:
05Sep2018

Royal Caribbean offers its guests two choices for enjoying dinner in the main dining room: My Time Dining or Traditional Dining. 

Each option allows for a style of meal aimed at the individual cruiser's preference and if you are wondering if My Time Dining is a better choice or if traditional dining is the way to go, then this blog post should help sort it all out.  

Traditional Dining

Traditional dining is an option for dinner where you choose between an early or late seating (sometimes referred to as "first seating" or "second seating").

In traditional dining, you are assigned the same table to dine at for each evening of your cruise and you will have the same dining time, table mates, and wait staff for each evening of the cruse.  

In some cases, you may be seated with other guests from the cruise (especially if you are traveling in a smaller group).

The advantages of traditional dining are:

  • Simple planning: Same time each night for dinner, so nothing to plan ahead
  • Personalized waiter service: Since you will have the same wait staff each evening, they will make an effort to get to know your habits.
  • Great for larger groups.
  • Evening show times are often scheduled around traditional dinner times.

My Time Dining

My Time Dining is a choice you have to have dinner at the Main Dining Room, where there is no assigned time or table.  Rather, you have the choice of making reservations in advance or simply showing up and waiting for an available table.  

You can make reservations for My Time Dining either before the cruise on Royal Caribbean's site, or once you are on the ship.  My Time Dining is a lot like dining out in your local town, where you can opt to call ahead and make a reservation or walk up to the restaurant and see what availability there is.  Moreover, the flexibility in dining times means being able to eat dinner on your schedule.

With flexibility comes responsibility, as it is up to you to make reservations when to dine.  While you can show up and wait for a table, we highly recommend making reservations in advance to limit wait times.  

If you like, you can request the same wait staff each evening, but it may result in a longer wait for an available table.

The advantages of My Time Dining are:

  • Greater choice of dining times: My Time Dinner is available each evening between the hours of 6:00 and 9:30 p.m.
  • Great for scheduling around shore excursion plans.
  • Getting a table is simple for smaller groups.  
  • Less likely to be seated with other guests.

Choosing between My Time Dining and Traditional Dining

Ultimately, the decision of which option is better will come down to your personal preferences, as well as some other factors related to your group.

In a nutshell, My Time Dining offers greater flexibility in what time you eat, but there can be waits for to be seated.  Sometimes the wait can be as long as 45 minutes during peak times.  This can be mitigated by making reservations in advance, although for some people planning ahead defeats the point of My Time Dining to some extent.

Traditional dining is a simpler approach to dinner in the main dining room since it requires very little work up front.  Traditional dining requires you to adhere to one of two dining times, which may be too early or too late for your taste. Moreover, you may be seated with other guests and that has been hit or miss in terms of personalities clashing.

Larger groups (more than six people) will find it significantly easier to stick with traditional dining so that they can have the same table assignment each evening.  Getting larger groups seated near each other at the same time in My Time Dining is not a simple task.

If you place a high priority on seeing the shows each evening onboard, you can go with both, but traditional dining times are usually already scheduled around the entertainment.

Both My Time Dining and Traditional dining adhere to the main dining room dress codes each evening, which includes formal night.

Your thoughts

Which dinner option do you prefer? Is there an advantage to one over the other, in your opinion?  Share your experiences and post your questions in the comments below.

Video: Crafting Royal Caribbean's Main Dining Room Menu

In:
11Jul2017

With ships around the world, Royal Caribbean welcomes guests from nearly every country. When it comes to dining, while their appetites and tastes differ, their expectations remain the same– fresh, delicious and authentic cuisine. Traveling chefs from across the fleet collaborate to perfect new menu items, but guest feedback ultimately determines which dishes make the cut. Every aspect of the ships’ main dining rooms, from the menu to the atmosphere to the service, sets the table for an unforgettable experience.

Royal Caribbean adds shorts to approved clothing for main dining room

In:
27Mar2017

Royal Caribbean's website now lists shorts as one of the suggested forms of clothing to adhere to the cruise line's dress code while dining in the main dining room on casual nights.

The website now describes casual night suggested attire as, "Jeans, shorts, tees, tank tops, polos, sundresses and blouses are all the right amount of laid back. Please keep swimwear to the Pool Deck."

While the rule looks to be updated for casual nights, many guests have seen other guests dine in the main dining room wearing shorts on numerous occasions.  Additionally, shorts we never saw shorts explicitly mentions as a prohibited article of clothing in the main dining room.

It is unclear when the webpage was changed, but the good folks at the Internet WayBack Machine show the old version of this web page do not mention shorts, as of August 2016.

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