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6 things you can only do on Odyssey of the Seas

In:
18 Nov 2021

Odyssey of the Seas may be the fifth Quantum Class cruise ship, but she offers a few things you cannot find on her sister ships, or even any other Royal Caribbean ship.

With every new Royal Caribbean cruise ship, there are at least a few things that the cruise line adds that are brand new to the fleet.

Royal Caribbean certainly puts its tried-and-true offerings onboard, but it also mixes things up with new innovations when the opportunity presents itself.

Here are a list of six things you can only do on Odyssey of the Seas

Zone Zero

Tucked away in the corner of the SeaPlex is Royal Caribbean's first foray into immersive virtual reality, with Zone Zero.

Royal Caribbean already offers a virtual reality helmet experience on the Sky Pad, but Zone Zero puts your entire body into a virtual world.

Guests put on a full virtual reality suit, with sensors on their hands, legs, and feet.  The bulk of the hardware is contained in a backpack you wear as well.

Guests then literally walk through a virtual world and fight pirates as a group, where they can see each other in virtual world. If you move your arm, your avatar moves its arm. It is incredibly impressive.

Zone Zero has a charge of $18 per person.

Go on a Quantum Ultra class ship in North America

Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas arrives in Fort Lauderdale | Royal Caribbean Blog

Spectrum of the Seas may have been the first Quantum Ultra Class ship, but she went to Asia immediately leaving the western hemisphere without the opportunity to sail on her.

With Odyssey of the Seas, this is the first chance for many to experience the extras a Quantum Ultra class offers.

If you are wondering what the difference is between a Quantum Ultra and Quantum Class ship are, the answer is in the details.  It is more a sub class than a true different class.

Between the new dining options, revamped public areas, and a splash of new activities onboard, there is just enough to differentiate Odyssey from Quantum, Anthem, or Ovation.

Quantum Ultra Class firsts

Onboard Odyssey, you will find certain features to the first to be offered on a Quantum/Quantum Ultra class ship.

On the top deck is Royal Caribbean's new approach to the pool deck, which has a Caribbean-inspired look to it with the Lime and Coconut.

Royal Caribbean Group's Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider thinks the implementation of the open deck on Odyssey took it essentially to the next level.

First look around Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

The SeaPlex has also been redesigned, opting to swap out the pods found on other ships for new activities in those areas.

This SeaPlex is the largest indoor and outdoor activity center at sea.

Adventure Ocean on Odyssey of the Seas also has the new update to the supervised kids program.

The robust program for kids up to 12 years old is designed for young travelers to chart their own adventures from one vibrant, open space to the next. At Hangout, kids can kick back and play with the latest game consoles, digital interactive tables, board games and more.

Teens have two spaces just for them. Social180 offers the latest in music, games and movies as well as an outdoor deck called The Patio.

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade in SeaPlex

Speaking of the SeaPlex, Odyssey of the Seas is the first to offer Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade onboard.

Located in the SeaPlex, it has a great spot not just for watching your favorite team on one of the many televisions, but to check out the action below. Bumper cars, pickleball, basketball, and more are performed throughout the day.

This is one of the best implementations of Playmakers on any ship because it evokes the sports bar feel the most of any location.

There are 56 TV's you can watch, which means you can catch any game that is on from pretty much any seat.

Playmakers also has a giant TV screen that hangs over the SeaPlex sports court.

Oh, and then there is the menu.

Chicken wings, nachos, onion rings, burgers and chicken sandwiches make up a really tasty set of choices.

Then there is the impressive array of beers you can choose from, a welcome change from the usual Royal Caribbean selection.

New wine bar concept

When Royal Caribbean decided to revamp Giovanni's specialty restaurant, they also took a stab at the nearby wine bar.

Instead of Vintages, Giovanni's Italian Wine Bar took over  the area, and offers a smaller bar menu, such as fried lasagna bites. These small plates are meant to go really well with a glass of wine.

For wine aficionados and those that are looking to grab a quick bite, the new wine bar offers something different.  

Everything I ate on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Pro tip: If you cannot get a reservation at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen restaurant, you can go to the wine bar and order the same food there without a reservation.

Read moreHow Royal Caribbean reimagined its signature Italian restaurant

The Book

Odyssey of the Seas in Pictures - Sept. 2021 - Live Blogs - Royal Caribbean Blog

Of course there are new shows that you can only see on Odyssey of the Seas.

In Two70 you will find "The Book: Seven Chapters, One Adventure"

This original production loosely tells a story of a librarian who explores the chapters of a book through song, dance, and music. It features lots of different elements and performing styles intertwined to create an act you have never seen before.

Royal Caribbean announces Godmother for Odyssey of the Seas

In:
10 Nov 2021

It is maritime tradition to give a new cruise ship a Godmother, and Odyssey of the Seas now has a Bahamian paratriathlete as hers.

Royal Caribbean announced on Wednesday Erin Brown is not only the Godmother of Odyssey of the Seas, but the first Bahamian Godmother of a Royal Caribbean International ship.

Ms. Brown has become an inspiration to many after losing her leg to cancer, but continuing on to become a paratriathlete competing at the international level.

The 41-year-old mother of two will accept the honor of blessing Odyssey at its naming ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Odyssey of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship in 2021, and will have her official inaugural sailing and naming ceremony held on November 13.

The 16-deck-high, 1,138-foot-long ship is one of the largest ships in the world, and can accommodate 4,180 passengers.

The cruise industry shutdown greatly impacted Odyssey's timeline for debut, having been delayed in the construction yard and two different inaugural seasons cancelled in Europe.

Fortunately, Odyssey was able to start cruises from Fort Lauderdale in summer 2021 leading up to her naming ceremony this weekend.

About Erin Brown

During her time as a collegiate track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. 

After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and Brown made the decision to amputate her limb above the knee. Brown, who watched her own mother struggle for five years before losing her battle with lupus linked to cancer, knew she had to keep going because her family depended on her. “Mind over matter,” she repeated. And then, she reinvented herself.

She said she recognizes now that her disability was a signal to start over. The first time she completed the 100-mile cycling event in The Bahamas, Ride for Hope, to raise money for cancer research, education and prevention, she led a group of adaptive athletes who heard the thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd that had witnessed Brown achieve what few with two legs could on hilly terrain.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for those living with physical disabilities.

Choosing a Godmother

A Godmother is a ceremonial position that all ships have, and different women are chosen for various reasons. The role is often held by renowned athletes, celebrities and royalty.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said selecting Ms. Brown to be the ship's Godmother made a lot of sense, "From the moment we heard Erin’s story, how her courage and determination inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a natural choice for Godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas

"A Godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its guests and crew who sail on board for years to come."

Of course, having a Bahamian Godmother is fitting considering Royal Caribbean's close relationship with the country.

"Having Erin as our Godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas as well," said Bayley. 

"Royal Caribbean’s very first international destination was The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call, and our private island destination – Perfect Day at CocoCay – remains a top pick for our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honoring our longtime partners as well as the newest Bahamian-flagged ship in our fleet."

20 free things to do on Odyssey of the Seas

In:
08 Nov 2021

Odyssey of the Seas cost Royal Caribbean nearly $1 billion, and it has so many things for everyone in your group to do that there's no room for being bored.

Royal Caribbean Blog - Unofficial blog about Royal Caribbean cruises

Whether you are into dining, activities, events, or games, there is a lot to see and do across Odyssey's sixteen decks.

Having a good time on Odyssey of the Seas doesn't mean you have to pay extra for fun either.  Royal Caribbean includes a great deal of things to do that are included with your cruise fare.

Here is my list of 15 free things to do when you sail on Odyssey of the Seas.

1. Find the stowaway piano player

Top 10 Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas hidden secrets | Royal Caribbean Blog

Live music is something Royal Caribbean does well, and Odyssey has a really fun approach to hearing live music with the stowaway piano player.

Unlike other musicians onboard that have scheduled sets in a specific location, the stowaway piano player performs in random places at random times. The idea is you can stumble on him and literally run into a great performance.

The reason why the piano player is referred to as a "stowaway" is because the story Royal Caribbean tells is the piano player snuck onboard and is playing music for fun while avoiding getting caught.

Since there is no published times to find the stowaway piano player, keep an ear out for music emanating from an usual direction and then follow the tunes.

2. Bounce on the Sky Pad

First look around Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Odyssey of the Seas has its own Sky Pad, where you can bounce along on a trampoline to a virtual world.

After being hooked up to bungee chords, you put on a virtual reality visor and explore a virtual world while bouncing up and down on a giant trampoline!

There are three different games to try, including being transported to another time and planet to bounce over moon craters or compete in intergalactic games.

If you prefer, you can do this without the virtual reality helmet and instead look out over the ocean as you leap toward the sky.

3. Splashaway Bay

Odyssey of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation | Royal Caribbean Blog

While there are no water slides on Odyssey of the Seas, kids can splash around at Splashaway Bay.

This aqua park is designed for kids to enjoy, and does have a few short slides to enjoy, along with drench buckets, geysers, and pretty much any excuse to get soaked.

On sea days, you will find kids running through Splashaway Bay over and over again.

4. Go surfing

Top 10 Odyssey of the Seas frequently asked questions | Royal Caribbean Blog

If you ever wanted to learn to surf or boogey board, Odyssey of the Seas has a Flowrider surf simulator on the back of the ship you can try.

The FlowRider is a simulator that sends water a very high speed across a small area that mimics what it is like to surf on the ocean.

Each guest takes a turn until they wipe out, and staff assist in trying to improve everyone's skills.

5. Climb the rock climbing wall

First look photos around newly delivered Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Any Royal Caribbean ship will have a rock climbing wall, where you can try your best to reach the top and ring the bell.

This is a great personal challenge that also has the added benefit of providing some fantastic views of the ocean from. Don't worry about safety, because you are harnessed in at all times.

6. Take a ride on the North Star

North Star is a signature Quantum Class ship feature, where you can board an observational pod and go up more than 300 feet above sea level to see everything around you.

North Star moves slowly, and provides incredible views of the ship below and everything else around you for miles.

Rides on North Star cost extra on sea days, but it is still complimentary on port days.

Be sure to reserve a ride as soon as you can via the Royal Caribbean app to ensure you have a spot.

7. See what it feels like to sky dive

15 really cool things to do that you can only find on Royal Caribbean cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

Plenty of people want to try sky diving, but having to jump out of an airplane seems a bit much. Luckily for them, Ripcord by iFly solves that problem.

After a safety briefing and putting on a flight suit, guests take turns going in the air tube where high powered fans provide the sensation of what it is like to sky dive.

Trained instructors are with you the whole time in a totally controlled environment.

RipCord is going to be one of those experiences that you tell your friends and family about when you get home because it's not too often you get to experience something like this.

8. Bumper cars

Complete guide to Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

There is a lot to do in the versatile SeaPlex, but the signature event held here is bumper cars.

This multi-deck facility offers basketball courts, ping pong tables, dance floor, circus school, dodge ball arena and even bumper cars to ride.

Strap into your car and then see how fast you can go while evading others, or be that guy and try to slam into as many others as you can.

Sometimes the bumper car sessions are themed, like "90's Bumper Cars" or teens-only sessions.

9. Soft-serve!

Everything I ate on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

No matter how old you are, or what you're doing, a quick pit stop for free ice cream is a great idea.

You will find a soft serve frozen yogurt station on the pool deck where you can have as many ice cream cones as you like.

Complimentary ice cream can also be found in the Windjammer (among other places), which has a wider selection of flavors.

10. The Book

New show for Odyssey of the Seas revealed | Royal Caribbean Blog

"The Book: Seven Chapters, One Adventure" is an original Royal Caribbean production that loosely tells a story of a librarian who explores the chapters of a book through song, dance, and music.

The Book is about a librarian who's in his mysterious library and he takes a few chapters from his favorite books, and then puts them into one bespoke book to take the audience on a journey.

The show features robots, performers dropping out of the ceiling, contortionists popping out of baskets, and the stage itself transforming throughout the performance.

11. Watch a game at Playmakers

5 ways Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas will be different from other Quantum Class ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

The food and drinks at Playmakers Sports Bar are not free, but there is nothing stopping you from enjoying this space and all the games being shown without paying a dollar.

Across the dozens of televisions, you will find any game the ship receives, and when there is a big game being broadcast, this is the place to go. Sports fans will love the ambiance of Playmakers, and there is nothing quite like rooting your favorite team along with a crowd of other sport fanatics.

12. Poolside movie

First look around Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Did you know you can watch recent blockbuster films on Odyssey of the Seas?

A giant screen at the pool deck plays recent flicks for no additional cost, which means you can watch it from a nearby chair, the pool, or the hot tub.

13. Showgirl: Past. Present. Future

Another must-see show on Odyssey is "Showgirl: Past. Present. Future", which pays homage to the dance style Las Vegas showgirls have made famous for decades.

A showgirl is a female dancer or performer in a stage entertainment show, and Las Vegas is famous for utilizing show girls in their acts, going back as early as the 1940s. Traditionally, Las Vegas Showgirls are classically trained dancers with skills in Ballet and Jazz dance.

Performed in the Royal Theater, Showgirl packs in a lot of energy and plenty of songs you likely know the words to.

14. Effectors

Speaking of shows to see, add The Effectors to the list.

Royal Caribbean added this new show at the end of October 2021, and it incorporates the superhero genre into Royal Caribbean's entertainment lineup.

Some superheroes are known for powers like ultra-fast speed, laser vision and titan-strength — but The Effectors draw their powers from their ability to create. Now, this band of heroes will have to face off against the ruthless Crash™, their arch-nemesis who’s bent on stopping the show and destroying the world. 

15. Silent party

Every evening features different music and parties, but one of the most fun has to be the HUSH Silent Party.

Held in the Music Hall, guests are given headphones to wear, which can be tuned to one of two music stations. Put on the headphones, choose your music, and then rock out.

Depending on which station you select, the color of your headphones change so you know who's listening to which track. Since everyone is wearing headphones, in reality everyone is dancing in a room without any music playing unless you have the headsets.

16. Watch a gameshow

First time cruisers: Entertainment on Royal Caribbean cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

Onboard Odyssey of the Seas you will find different gameshows you can play or be a part of, and see how far your fellow guests will go to win.

Shows such as Majority Rules, Blankety Blank, Family Feud and more are offered during your sailing.

These shows have no additional cost, and it's up to you if you want to participate or just watch the fun from the audience.

17. Karaoke

10 Fun Royal Caribbean upgrades under $50! | Royal Caribbean Blog

There is nothing quite like karaoke because you get all sorts of guests who step up to the mic to belt out their favorite songs.

There is usually karaoke on every night of the cruise held in the Music Hall and there is no cost to watch or sing.

18. Complimentary gaming lessons

Casino | Royal Caribbean Blog

The casino is about as far from free as you can get on a cruise ship, but the staff do offer complimentary lessons if you want to learn how particular games are played.

These sessions are about educating guests on how table games work, including crap, blackjack, and more. 

If you have ever wondered how the games are played, but are not ready to put money down to try yet, then these complimentary gaming lessons in the casino might be a good (and free) start.

19. RED

Entertainment | Royal Caribbean Blog

If you are looking for the best nightclub party on Odyssey of the Seas, check out RED - A Nightclub Experience.

Held in Two70, RED is planned to be the party onboard with all the hits, dimmed lights, and yes, lots of red lights all around.

20. Test your knowledge in trivia

First look photos around newly delivered Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Perhaps one of the most well-known cruise ship activities, there are multiple trivia contests held every day of your cruise.

Trivia is primarily held in the Schooner Bar, and there is usually a theme to each session. Music, geography, Broadway, and even pro wrestling, you will find all sorts of topics to tackle.

Teams of guests compete to get the most correct answers, with the winning team walking away with a novelty gift, such as a highlighter or pen.

Read moreTop 10 Odyssey of the Seas frequently asked questions

What is your favorite thing to do on Odyssey of the Seas? Have you sailed and tried one of these? Share with us your top picks in the comments below!

Top 10 Odyssey of the Seas frequently asked questions

In:
27 Oct 2021

Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas is an impressive cruise ship in the fleet that offers some of the latest and greatest features for passengers to enjoy while onboard.

First look around Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Being a new ship, many guests with sailings booked on Odyssey of the Seas are curious to know what there is to do onboard, as well as what makes this ship different from others in the fleet.

Every ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet stands out from others in at least a few ways, and Odyssey certainly has a lot of new additions and distinguishing features.

After scouring commonly asked questions on Google, here are some of the top questions people are searching for on the internet about Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas.

Is Odyssey of the Seas the biggest ship?

Photos: Odyssey of the Seas arrives in Israel | Royal Caribbean Blog

If you're wondering of Odyssey of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet or the biggest cruise ship in the world, the answer to both questions is "no".

Odyssey of the Seas is a Quantum Ultra class ship, and she comes in at 347.1m long and 41.1m wide and has a gross registered tonnage of 169,300t. While that is no small ship by any means, she is still smaller than any of the Oasis Class ships.

Aerial photos of Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

The biggest cruise ship in the world is Symphony of the Seas (soon to be eclipsed by Wonder of the Seas).

Symphony of the Seas measures 228,081 gross tons and is 1,188 feet 1 inch in length (362.12m).

What is a Quantum Ultra class ship?

Odyssey of the Seas will begin sea trials on March 14 | Royal Caribbean Blog

When you read about Odyssey of the Seas, you may hear she is a Quantum Ultra class ship and wonder what makes that different from Quantum Class ships.

In practice, the difference between a Quantum and Quantum Ultra Class ship is less noticeable than the difference between other classes of ships. Think of it more like a sub class of the Quantum Class, rather than a completely different categorization of Royal Caribbean vessel.

Odyssey has the same basic layout and signature activities of a Quantum Class ship, such as the North Star, SeaPlex, Ripcord by iFly, a Royal Esplanade and more.

Royal Caribbean adds new Odyssey of the Seas cruises from England & Spain in 2021 | Royal Caribbean Blog

The real difference is when you look at the layout and additions Royal Caribbean has made compared to her older siblings. Odyssey has been reworked a bit, with a unified main dining room, a SeaPlex that features Playmakers sports bar, and a new resort-style pool deck.

Some other changes you will find on a Quantum Ultra class ship include a SkyPad, the indoor pool is now outdoor, a Teppanyaki restaurant, and a slightly larger size.

Read moreAll about Royal Caribbean's ship classes

Does Odyssey of the seas have Central Park?

5 things to love about Central Park on Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

No, the Central Park area is only found on Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships.

How many pools are on the Odyssey of the Seas?

First look around Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

There are two main pools on Odyssey of the Seas, and an adults-only Solarium pool.

The main pools have a resort-style theme to it that have in-pool loungers.  Something else different is there are hot tubs on the upper pool deck with a see-through side.

There is a smaller version of Splashaway Bay for kids to enjoy.  While it is not a pool, there are drench buckets, a kids slide, geysers and plenty of ways to cool off.

Does Odyssey of the Seas have laser tag?

Top 25 free things you can do on Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

No, laser tag is not offered on Odyssey of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean offers laser tag on ships that have a Studio B ice skating rink, so that space can easily be converted over to laser tag when necessary.

Does Odyssey of the Seas have a Bionic Bar?

99 days of Harmony: Bionic Bar | Royal Caribbean Blog

Yes, there are robot bartenders on Odyssey of the Seas that can serve you drinks.

The Bionic Bar is located on deck 5 next to the shore excursions desk.

Anyone can order a drink from the Bionic Bar, as it can make alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Everything you need to know about the Bionic Bar on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Just go to the one of the nearby tablets and place an order. You have the choice of selecting from pre-defined drink recipes, or creating your own concoctions.  

After submitting your drink order, the robots assemble and serve the drink in the order they came in.

Does Odyssey of the Seas have an escape room?

Royal Caribbean now offering escape room game on Brilliance of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

While there is not a dedicated escape room on Odyssey of the Seas, they still offer an escape room game you can play.

Known as "A Royal Mystery" puzzle challenge, it is a game developed by the same company that creates the escape rooms for Royal Caribbean on other ships.

Held in Two70, this is a complimentary escape room game where teams try to solve a series of puzzles based on clues hidden throughout the room to help solve a whodunit murder case.

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 4 - Sea Day | Royal Caribbean Blog

Guests participating have a set amount of time to comb over the details provided, as well as clues and puzzles they will discover until they can solve the case.  

Check the Cruise Compass for when A Royal Mystery will be offered.

Where is the Odyssey of the Seas right now?

Spotted: New Royal Caribbean show celebrating showgirls | Royal Caribbean Blog

Odyssey of the Seas is offering roundtrip cruises from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for winter 2021-2022.  There are 6- and 8-night sailings to choose from while the ship sails from Florida.

In summer 2022, Odyssey will transition to offer Mediterranean cruises from Rome, beginning in May 2022.

Which restaurants are free on Odyssey of the Seas?

Odyssey of the Seas restaurants | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean provides a number of restaurants that will cost you nothing extra onboard.

  • Main dining room
  • Windjammer Cafe
  • The Cafe @ Two70
  • Coastal Kitchen (suite guests only)
  • Sorrento's
  • El Loco Fresh
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Sprinkles ice cream station

In addition, there are specialty restaurants you can dine at that cost extra, but offer cuisines and/or cooking styles not otherwise available onboard.

Read moreOdyssey of the Seas restaurants

Does Odyssey of the Seas have a water slide?

Odyssey of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation | Royal Caribbean Blog

Splashaway Bay does offer kids a water slide, but Odyssey of the Seas does not have the Perfect Storm water slides found on other ships for guests of all ages.

Located on deck 14, there are two slides for kids to enjoy in Splashaway Bay, a small traditional slide and a tube slide. 

Odyssey of the Seas restaurants

In:
21 Oct 2021

Whether you are a foodie or just enjoy lots of options when eating, Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas has a lot of great restaurants to choose from.

Best things to do on Royal Caribbean while there is limited capacity onboard | Royal Caribbean Blog

Most of the dining venues on Odyssey of the Seas are included with your cruise fare, along with optional specialty restaurants that cost extra to dine there.

From steak to omelets to sushi, there is a good variety of food available to consider.

If you have a cruise on Odyssey of the Seas and want to get a sense of what options are available to you, bring your stretchy pants and let's talk all things food!

Restaurants included with your cruise fare

Unlike other Quantum Class cruise ships, Odyssey of the Seas has a different layout for its complimentary dining, primarily in the main dining room.

Odyssey of the Seas has a large and inviting two-deck main dining room that is as stunning to look at as it is filled with great food throughout the day. Previous Quantum Class ships had smaller and separate dining rooms instead.

The main dining room is open for breakfast and dinner every day, with lunch served on sea days. The lunch and dinner menus change daily, while the breakfast menu remains the same.

Guests have a choice of having a set time and table for dinner every day of the cruise, or they can choose to dine in the main dining room at their discretion, subject to availability. Check out our guide on My Time Dining versus Traditional Dining for more information on these choices.

Another popular complimentary option is the Windjammer, which is the buffet on deck 14.

The Windjammer serves breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday (dinner is served assuming the ship is at least at 50% capacity), and has just about any kind of food you would want.

There are cooking stations, carved meats, soups, salads, vegetarian options, desserts and everything between. Picky eaters will love the variety of choices in the Windjammer, and the choice of international foods is a nice touch as well.

Crew members serve you food from one of the many food stations, at which point you then take your food to a table nearby.

If you are staying in a suite, Coastal Kitchen is another complimentary restaurant available to you every day of the sailing.

Coastal Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for suite guests (Junior Suite guests can only dine there at dinner), and Royal Caribbean describes it as a mix of California and Mediterranean style dining).

Just like the main dining room, the menu changes daily, and the food served here is different from the main dining room.

Since it is a perk for suite guests, it is included with the price of your suite and many suite guests consider Coastal Kitchen to be a "plussed version" of the main dining room.

The Solarium Bistro is a hidden gem, and complimentary to all guests.

Solarium Bistro is located on deck 14 at the forward part of the ship near the Solarium. While the Solarium is for adults only, the restaurant is open to guests of all ages.

You will find a good variety of food in the Solarium Bistro, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since many guests are unaware it exists, it tends to be far less crowded than the Windjammer or other dining venues onboard.

On the pool deck you will find Royal Caribbean's new complimentary Mexican restaurant, El Loco Fresh.

El Loco Fresh has a create your own menu of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. Simply start with a base, and then take it to the toppings bar to add as much (or little) toppings you like, such as guacamole, salsa, cheese, jalapeños and more.

Let's move to the grab-and-go dining options included with your cruise fare, beginning with [email protected] on deck 5.

Serving small bites throughout the day, [email protected] is where you can go to get a cup of coffee, sandwich, bagel, doughnut or panini. For a smaller venue, it has a surprising amount of choices. Be sure to try the Kummelweck sandwich for a really good roast beef sandwich.

Odyssey of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation | Royal Caribbean Blog

A staple of any Royal Caribbean ship is Sorrento's Pizza, which has hot pizza during the day, and well into the evening.

There is usually a few variety of pizzas to choose from, with special selections changing daily.  You will always find cheese and pepperoni offered, and usually one or two other options. 

Not only is the pizza good, but it is open for late night slices.

Nearby is Café Promenade, which has sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.

Read moreEverything I ate on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas

Restaurants that cost extra

Specialty dining on Odyssey of the Seas offers guests cuisines and cooking styles otherwise not available in the complimentary venues.

Whether you are looking to change things up on one night, or dine exclusively at specialty dining, there are excellent choices to consider.

All specialty restaurants are open for dinner, although some are also open for lunch. Check the Cruise Compass for exact hours, but usually Izumi and Giovanni's Italian Kitchen are open for lunch on sea days.

Giovanni's Italian Kitchen | Royal Caribbean Blog

Odyssey of the Seas is home to Royal Caribbean's revamped Italian specialty restaurant, Giovanni's Italian Kitchen.

Passengers dining here have a wide selection of Italian favorites, including freshly cooked pastas, pizzas, and lots more. The appetizer menu in particular is quite large, and when you compare this restaurant to Royal Caribbean's previous generation of Giovanni's, you will quickly notice a jump in quality.

Be sure not to overlook the pizzas, as these are of a significantly higher quality than the pizza found in Sorrento's. There are quite a few varieties, and Royal Caribbean invested a lot of time to get these just right.

If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing specialty restaurant, look no further than Teppanyaki.

Hibachi dining is where guests sit around a cooking table and enjoy their chef cook all of the food, while performing a number of fun gags and making jokes along the way.  

Teppanyaki is a popular choice with limited seating, so advanced reservations are a good idea.

Another great venue on Odyssey of the Seas is Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade, located in the SeaPlex.

You will find beers and bar food galore here, with some really tasty options to enjoy as you watch the game, play a game, or talk to friends about something else (perhaps a game?). The appetizers in particular are fantastic.

You will also find 56 TV's around the bar, meaning there is no bad seat. 

No Royal Caribbean cruise ship is complete without a Chops Grille, the cruise line's tried-and-true steakhouse.

You will find a variety of cuts of steak at Chops, along with plentiful sides. 

If you like sushi, Izumi is a great choice for your favorite roll. Royal Caribbean separated the sushi operation from the hibachi on Odyssey of the Seas, which means more space for each.

Open for lunch and dinner, Izumi offers a good mix of traditional and bold rolls, along with other Japanese cuisine. 

For something completely different, head to Wonderland for a restaurant loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

Everything in Wonderland is meant to look different than you expect, but in the end, the way the food is presented is secondary to the actual taste.  Some dishes (especially the appetizers), will cause you to stop and question what exactly you are about to eat, but it all tends to end up come off as satisfying.

If you are a truly adventurous eater, then consider booking Chef's Table for an epic fully curated meal. 

You and a group of other passengers will enjoy a 5-course meal that is paired with glasses of wine along the way.  Be sure to allocate plenty of time, as it can take many hours to complete, but cruise fans rave about the quality of this fine-tuned meal.

How to see the menus

If you are curious what's on the menu for Odyssey of the Seas restaurants, you can view the menu from all of the restaurants on the Royal Caribbean app before your cruise.

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Once in the app, go to your sailing and click the Dining icon from the bottom menu. From there, you can browse the menus of all the dining venues onboard Odyssey of the Seas.

Complete guide to Odyssey of the Seas

In:
04 Oct 2021

Odyssey of the Seas may be Royal Caribbean's fifth Quantum Class cruise ship, but she is packed with many features and offerings not found on other ships, making her a compelling choice to book.

Launched in 2021, Odyssey of the Seas is designed to offer passengers a ton of things to do, from swimming to live shows to bumper cars, there is a lot to see and do onboard.

As one of Royal Caribbean's largest cruise ships, Odyssey of the Seas has plenty of space for fun things to and with a ship this large, you may want to a heads up on what to expect onboard.

Here is a comprehensive look at everything you should know about Odyssey of the Seas.

Odyssey of the Seas overview

Top 10 Odyssey of the Seas hidden secrets | Royal Caribbean Blog

Odyssey of the Seas debuted in 2021 after a few delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but her arrival was met with a great deal of enthusiasm as the ship brought with it some really exciting new offerings onboard.

Royal Caribbean designed Odyssey of the Seas with different areas of focus, and unlike other Quantum Class ships, she has some noticeable additions. If you have been on Anthem of the Seas or Ovation of the Seas, you may notice changes the cruise line made to the layout of the ship.

Let's focus on the major areas of the ship to get a better sense of what is onboard:

  • Royal Esplanade
  • Resort-style pool deck
  • Two70
  • SeaPlex

First look around Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

If you are concerned about crowds, Royal Caribbean designed the ship with enough to do so that there will be enough going on to draw guests away from always wanting to be in the same area. Odyssey has many of her best things to do in the front or aft of the ship, which helps with crowd management.

As with any cruise ship, it is a good idea to walk around the ship once you get onboard to get a better sense of where everything is located. By exploring the ship early, you can get your bearings and be able to navigate the ship better later on.

Odyssey of the Seas dining and restaurants

There are 17 different restaurants on Odyssey of the Seas, along with multiple bars and lounges. Royal Caribbean was certain to include many options so guests had plenty of choice and no single venue became too overcrowded.

The variety of dining venues (paid and complimentary) gives passengers a choice of cuisines, cooking styles, and price.

The complimentary dining venues are included with your cruise fare, and you will be able to find plenty of food at no additional cost for every meal and snacks inbetween. In fact, the complimentary dining is quite good, and should not be overlooked because the food included with your cruise fare is cooked fresh every day and covers a great deal of tastes.

Odyssey of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Sea Day | Royal Caribbean Blog

Specialty dining has an additional cost to it, and allows guests to opt into dining at these venues if they prefer. Most venues have a cover charge, where each guest pays a flat fee and all the food is included. A couple of venues have an a la carte menu, where you pay for each item individually.

The reason to go to a specialty restaurant is for a cooking style or cuisine not otherwise available on the ship. Specialty dining is a splurge, and is akin to choosing to go to  a restaurant at home instead of having something in your house: there's nothing wrong with the food you have at home, but sometimes it is nice to pay for a meal out.

Specialty dining is not cheap, but there are dining packages you can purchase before the cruise to get a discount on multiple restaurants. 

Everything I ate on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Here is a list of complimentary and specialty dining options on Odyssey of the Seas:

Complimentary dining

  1. Main dining room
  2. Windjammer Cafe
  3. The Cafe @ Two70
  4. Coastal Kitchen (suite guests only)
  5. Sorrento's
  6. El Loco Fresh
  7. Cafe Promenade
  8. Solarium Bistro
  9. Sprinkles ice cream station

Specialty dining

  1. Chef's Table
  2. Wonderland
  3. Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
  4. Chops Grille
  5. Izumi
  6. Teppanyaki
  7. Starbucks
  8. Playmakers
  9. Room service
  10. Pub

Should you eat at the included restaurants or try a specialty restaurant? It depends on your budget and tastes, but it is nice to mix in a specialty restaurant or two.

Most passengers focus primarily on the complimentary restaurants, such as the Main dining room and Windjammer. The ample snacks and between meal bites at El Loco Fresh and Sorrento's. In short, there is a good variety of food between these venues that will leave you satisfied.

If you are staying in a suite, you should also consider going to Coastal Kitchen, which is only for suite guests and offers a completely different menu from the main dining room. Royal Caribbean fans that cruise a lot in suites swear by how good Coastal Kitchen is, and since it is included with the cost of your suite, you should plan to dine there if you can.

If you would like to dip your toe into specialty dining, consider purchasing a 3-night dining package as a way to get a good deal on a few restaurants. Some of my favorites include Teppanyaki, Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, and Playmakers.

Things to do on Odyssey of the Seas

Royal Caribbean offers passengers as much to do on Odyssey of the Seas as any cruise ship, and you will quickly find there are lots of really fun things to try.

In fact, it can feel like a floating city with all the activities to consider. Your best bet to keep track of what is offered and when is to read the daily Cruise Compass. Think of the Cruise Compass as a TV Guide for everything planned that day, including hours for all the activities, dining, shows, and live performances.

A copy of the Cruise Compass will be delivered to your stateroom each evening by your stateroom attendant, and you can also view it on the Royal Caribbean app.

Signature activities

First look photos around newly delivered Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Odyssey of the Seas stands out from other cruise ship with a few notable attractions onboard that are sure to get anyone's attention.

While there are traditional cruise ship activities onboard, such as bingo, trivia, and demonstrations, there are also lots of whiz-bang things to do as well:

  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulator
  • NorthStar observational pod
  • Sky Pad virtual realty bungee experience
  • Zone Zero fully immersive virtual reality experience
  • SeaPlex activity center
  • Bumper cars
  • Music Hall
  • Splashaway Bay aqua park for kids

Most of these activities are completely free to do on Odyssey of the Seas, although Royal Caribbean does charge for some. 

Five important facts from Royal Caribbean's business update yesterday | Royal Caribbean Blog

You can book certain signature activities ahead of time, either before your cruise on the Royal Caribbean cruise planner website, or via the Royal Caribbean app once you are onboard the ship.

Hours for all activities will be published daily in the Cruise Compass.

Something completely different you should try is Zone Zero, which is an immersive virtual reality experience. At a cost of $18.00 per person, you put on a full VR suit and literally walk around a VR world.  That is not to say you sit and explore like a video game; Rather, you physically walk in the real world while seeing a virtual one, where you battle pirates. Incredible stuff.

The North Star is another really fun thing to try out, where the observational pod will take you over 300 feet above sea level to see your ship and whatever is around you. Currently, North Star costs extra if you are on a sea day, but it is complimentary for port day. Schedule it on port days right when they open in the morning or late afternoon before the ship departs to get a free ride at a convenient time.

 

Ripcord by iFly is another popular activity, where you put on a special suit and enter a wind tunnel to get a sense of what it is like to sky dive. 

North Star, Ripcord, and Zone Zero are all bookable via the Royal Caribbean app, but book them as soon as you can because space is very limited.

The SeaPlex is a hub of activity, where you will find lots of different things to do throughout the day and cruise. Bumper cars, pickleball, soccer, basketball, dancing and more will be available. Check your Cruise Compass for times.

Something else different about the SeaPlex is the fact Playmakers sports bar is located inside. Not only can you have a drink or meal while watching the action in the SeaPlex, there are 56 televisions around the bar to catch your favorite team. It is easily the best Playmakers location on any Royal Caribbean ship.

Shows

There are two main shows on Odyssey of the Seas, with plenty of other performances to check out.

All shows are under an hour in duration, which means the performances are all at a good length to not leave you overwhelmed.

"Showgirl: Past. Present. Future." is a tribute to the dance style Las Vegas showgirls have made famous for decades. It looks at the style of dance from different eras and presents it in a fast-paced original production that has a lot of energy behind it.

Spotted: New Royal Caribbean show celebrating showgirls | Royal Caribbean Blog

You can find Showgirl performed in the Royal Theater.

"The Book: Seven Chapters, One Adventure" is another original production that loosely tells a story of a librarian who explores the chapters of a book through song, dance, and music. It is difficult to describe this show in writing, but it is certainly a visually impressive production with lots of different elements and performing styles intertwined to create an act you have never seen before.

You can find The Book performed in Two70.

You should absolutely book reservations for Showgirl or The Book to ensure you have a spot for it, as seating is very limited (especially in Two70). There is no cost to make show reservations, and you can book it via the Royal Caribbean app once onboard the ship.

Be sure to also allocate time to see the live music on Odyssey of the Seas. Music Hall has a live band most nights, and it is as close as you can get to a rock concert on a cruise ship. 

You will also find live music in other lounges onboard, including Boleros, Schooner Bar, and the Pub. Royal Caribbean puts a lot of pride in their live music onboard, so check out as much as you can.

Pools

Odyssey of the Seas has resort-style pool deck that is not otherwise available on other Quantum Class ships, and it is a great layout.

There are two main pools for all guests on Odyssey of the Seas, along with the adults-only Solarium.

The two pools are separated by a structure in the middle, but it helps break up crowding.  You will find in-pool loungers, and lots of seating all around the pool deck. 

Odyssey of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean integrated the entire pool deck with the Lime and Coconut, which is a multilevel bar venue that evokes a certain level of fun with your pool day. 

On the second pool deck, you will find casitas that you can rent for an additional fee, along with hot tubs that overlook the lower pool deck. There are hot tubs on the lower pool deck too.

Pools will be closed occasionally when they need to be cleaned as well if weather or sea conditions make the pools unsafe for swimming. Otherwise, there is usually a pool and hot tub open for use.

The adults-only (age 16 and over) Solarium is a beautiful space, and it is enclosed which means the temperature is far more manageable on hot summer days.

Kids will find Splashaway Bay a fun place to get as wet as possible without actually jumping in a pool. There are water slides, drench buckets, geysers, and just about every other possible way to get soaked.

Kids programming

If you have children under the age of 18, there is an entire area of the ship reserved just for them at Adventure Ocean.

Odyssey of the Seas features the revamped Adventure Ocean that brings a new focus on activities for kids to do together, along with an infusion of some fun technology.

If you are unfamiliar with Adventure Ocean, programming is divided up into age-appropriate groups:

  • AO Junior (ages 3 to 5)
  • Hangout (ages 6 to 12)
  • Social180 (ages 13 to 17)

Adventure Ocean is complimentary during the day and evening, up until 10pm. After 10pm, there is an hourly cost per child.

Adventure Ocean is open most of the day, but their hours vary depending on if it is a port day or sea day.  On sea days, Adventure Ocean typically opens at 9:00am.  It then closes at noon and re-opens at 2pm and remains open until 5pm.  The evening session then runs from 7pm to 10pm.

In addition, there is a Nursery for toddlers ages 6 to 36 months. The Nursery always has an hourly charge, but is designed for babies and toddlers.

The teen club is known as Social180, and it is like a clubhouse where teens meet before they participate in an activity there or elsewhere on the ship. Often there are teens-only events, such as bumper cars or FlowRider time.

How to plan your Odyssey of the Seas cruise

Odyssey of the Seas to begin her first test cruise today | Royal Caribbean Blog

As with any Royal Caribbean ship, planning ahead of time is very important to ensure you get to do everything you want.

At some point in the future, you will be able to book entertainment and shows ahead of time via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner website. 

For now, you can only book these activities once onboard the ship via the Royal Caribbean app. So be sure to have the app downloaded and ready to go before you get onboard. You can download the Royal Caribbean app from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

Odyssey of the Seas scheduled for delivery to Royal Caribbean on March 24 | Royal Caribbean Blog

The app is capable of providing a digital SetSail pass once you complete online check-in. Just like a boarding pass for an airline, you can show the pier agents your SetSail Pass via the app and get onboard.

Make sure you complete the online check-in for your cruise as early as possible to get an early check-in time. Royal Caribbean enforces their check-in times (they didn't use to care about arrival times), so getting an early time is important.

Read moreTop 10 Odyssey of the Seas frequently asked questions

Everything I ate on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas

In:
18 Sep 2021

Odyssey of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship in 2021, and included onboard are some terrific dining options.

Royal Caribbean has steadily improved its onboard food over the years, and Odyssey of the Seas represents some of the best culinary options you can find on any cruise ship.

In the name of research, I took it upon myself to sample as much of the great food you can eat on Odyssey of the Seas.  I did not manage to eat everywhere, but I tried my best to hit up as many places as possible.

Here is a look at all the food I ate onboard the Odyssey of the Seas restaurants, and which items truly stood out as the best.

Windjammer

No Royal Caribbean can properly begin for me unless I eat lunch in the Windjammer because this is one of my personal cruise traditions. Every cruise I have been on has begun with embarkation day lunch at Royal Caribbean's signature buffet.

The Quantum Class Windjammer is massive, with plenty of buffet stations to choose from. Salads, soups, sandwiches, curries, cheeses, pasta and more.

Lunch on embarkation day would end up being the only time I ate in the Windjammer, but chalk that up to so many good choices.

Ultimately, I had to go with my all-time favorite food Royal Caribbean offers in the Windjammer, and that is Indian curry.

I had a serving of chicken curry and chana masala over a bed of rice.  Combine the two, and you get some excellent flavors.

I was content with just that, until I saw Odyssey has an ice cream station featuring more than just vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.  They had coffee ice cream, which is my all-time favorite flavor.  

Izumi Teppanyaki

Perhaps there is no better crowd pleaser for dinner on any Royal Caribbean ship that the hibachi dinner at Izumi Teppanyaki.

On Odyssey, the Izumi sushi and hibachi are separate restaurants, which allows both restaurants to have plenty of space.

Before we get to the food, the views were outstanding given you can see the ocean behind the chef.

Besides our chef (Orlando) being really good, the food was even better.  Freshly cooked meats, vegetables, and rice served with a heaping amount of garlic is a recipe for success.

I had the chicken option with my meal, and it really hit the spot.

Cafe @ Two70

If you are in a rush, the best place to get a good breakfast and coffee is at the rear of the ship in Cafe @ Two70.

Similar to Park Cafe on other Royal Caribbean ships, Cafe @ Two70 has a good assortment of grab-and-go breakfast, such as bagels, muffins, wraps and more.

Of course, they also have a good selection of coffees, which are valid if you have a Royal Caribbean drink package.

A iced caramel latte is the best way to start any day on a Royal Caribbean ship.

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade

Following a fun day in the sun at Perfect Day at CocoCay, we decided to keep it casual and head to the SeaPlex for dinner at Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.

I love that Royal Caribbean put Playmakers in the SeaPlex, because it perfectly compliments the sports action below, as well as better utilizing space in the upper part of the SeaPlex.

Between our group of friends, we ended up ordering nearly one of everything, and two items really stand out as the best of the best.

First, is the Pile On Nachos.  Personally, I enjoy nachos that are overloaded with veggies, guacamole, cheese, and whatever else they pile on.

And then there is the Campfire Cookie, which is so darn good. 

I know at the end of every meal you are thinking "I'm stuffed, there is no way I can eat dessert", but the Campfire Cookie is worth it.

Main Dining Room

Just like the Windjammer, I only made it to the main dining room once, but I do not regret my visit here at all.

I had breakfast on the first sea day, and I purposefully went here so that I could enjoy the aesthetics of the dining room.  In short, it is a beautiful space and I love how Royal Caribbean altered the look of the dining room on Spectrum and Odyssey so that it fits in more with the flow of the ship.

I ordered an omelet just the way I like it, and it came out perfectly.  The nice thing about eating in the dining room is the slower pace, so you can sip your morning coffee, check the news, and then have breakfast brought to you.

I wish I could have eaten dinner here as well, because of how impressive the space looks. Maybe next time.

Solarium Bistro

An easily overlooked restaurant on Odyssey of the Seas is the Solarium Bistro, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and costs nothing extra!

I think most people are unaware it exists until perhaps later in the cruise, and I love how there is a much greater variety of choices than at other restaurants.

Read moreTop 10 Odyssey of the Seas hidden secrets

Solarium Bistro has long been an excellent choice for vegetarians, but I find plenty I like to eat here too. The Mediterranean salads are what draw me in every time, although the German sausages and bratwurst looked so darn good.

Just like the main dining room, you can have breakfast here and enjoy omelets cooked to order.

El Loco Fresh

I am a sucker for fresh salsa on just about anything, and El Loco Fresh has plenty of it to go around.

Located on the pool deck, El Loco Fresh has quesadillas and burritos, but do yourself a favor and skip the pre-made ones and go right to the made-to-order area.

You are given a fresh tortilla, and you can load it up with rice, beans, chicken, beef and all sorts of toppings.

Giovanni's Italian Kitchen

When I boarded Odyssey of the Seas, I knew dinner at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen would be at the top of my list of things I was looking forward to doing.

I sampled the menu on Freedom of the Seas, so I was eager to get back and try the food out again here.

Luckily, it did not disappoint.  Truly the "problem" with Giovanni's is there are so many good items on the menu to choose from.

I think their pizzas are fantastic, and all their pastas are made fresh daily so it would be a crime not at least eat some.

Let us not forget about the appetizers, which are served family style and just try not to pick at them while it sits on the table.

To that point, I have to confess I just had to try the meatballs, which contain beef and pork. I do not eat pork, but they looked so darn good that I just had to give it a go and it did not disappoint.

This time around, I really liked the margherita pizza the best of all the pies we had.  Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, chicken parmigiana is my go-to order.

Along with the side of pasta, it hit the spot.

Chops Grille

A last-minute decision was to go to Chops Grille, and it is one of those restaurants on any Royal Caribbean ship you can bet on being a solid meal.

Given it is a steakhouse, the steaks are what everyone orders when they visit and it is tough to beat their filet mignon (although I prefer the filet at the Coco Beach Club restaurant).

My personal favorite item on the menu is actually the tuna tartare, which has a lot of raw tuna and guacamole.  Such a great combo.

Giovanni's Italian Wine Bar

Another great change Royal Caribbean made to Odyssey of the Seas compared to her sister ships was to transform Vintages Wine Bar into Giovanni's Italian Wine Bar.

In addition to the selection of wines, you can order food from Giovanni's Italian Kitchen.  There are even two items only available at the Wine Bar: the arancini and lasagna bites.

A good tip to remember is if Giovanni's Italian Kitchen is ever too full to seat you on a whim, go next door to the wine bar for basically the same food.

Just like at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, we also ordered a large sampling of food and got to revisit some favorites from the previous night.

I think Italian food fans are going to really enjoy so many options.

Wonderland

Our final meal on Odyssey of the Seas was Wonderland. We chose Wonderland because there was some friends with us that had never dined there.

Wonderland is a blend of over-the-top decor, odd looking food, and exploration inbetween.  It may never be my favorite restaurant to dine at purely for the food, but I do think it is a fun experience.

Our waiter took us through the entire meal and provided fun entertainment as we went through the various courses.  Nearly all of it looked odd, but most tasted better than it looked.

Top 5 things I ate on Odyssey of the Seas

Now that I have listed all the restaurants I dined at while on Odyssey of the Seas, I wanted to list my top picks of what I enjoyed the most.

There was a lot of good food, so needless to say I did not leave the ship hungry or disappointed.  So I wanted to share which dishes truly stood out as my personal favorites.

1. Pile On Nachos

2. Lasagna bites

3. Hibachi dinner

4. Margherita Pizza

5. Indian curry

Top 10 Odyssey of the Seas hidden secrets

In:
07 Sep 2021

If you've got a cruise book on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas, I've got ten lesser known tips and tricks to share with you about this amazing ship.

Odyssey of the Seas is a Quantum Ultra class ship, and Royal Caribbean has packed her with so many things to see and do, and inbetween are a few good tidbits that might enhance your cruise or give you a heads up on what to expect.

All cruise ships have their own style to them, and you can usually find something unique or hard to find onboard that most other guests easily overlook.

After scouring the ship, I'm sharing my top 10 Odyssey of the Seas hidden secrets so that you can know all about them before you sail!

10. Solarium bridge wings

If you want the best vantage point for a selfie, check out the bridge wings at the front of the ship.

On both sides of the Solarium are viewing areas you can walk to and enjoy a view of the ocean and side of the ship.

To get to the wing viewing areas, go to the Solarium and proceed all the way forward.

9. Zone Zero

Zone Zero is less a secret as much as it is an easily overlooked experience onboard.

Odyssey of the Seas has the SkyPad virtual reality trampoline experience, but there is another virtual reality game you can play onboard in the SeaPlex.

Zone Zero is a complimentary virtual reality experience for up to 4 guests at a time, and it is only available on Odyssey of the Seas.

8. Least crowded restaurant: Solarium Bistro

If you want something different to eat and avoid crowds, check out the Solarium Bistro.

Located in the Solarium (although the entrance is near the stairwell), Solarium Bistro is a complimentary restaurant most guests have no idea exists.

 

Regardless of which meal you want to enjoy, you will find barely any crowds.  

In addition, Solarium Bistro is a boon for vegetarians or just anyone that wants to eat a little bit healthier. There is a large salad bar, as well as a good mix of Mediterranean inspired dishes.

And yes, kids can dine at the Solarium Bistro despite being in the Solarium.

7. Secret Solarium entrance

On deck 13, you will find a door leading to the Solarium without having to go up to the pool deck first.

On deck 13 forward, if you walk all the way forward past all the staterooms, there is a door that leads right out to the lower level of the Solarium.

This is especially helpful if you book a cabin on deck 13 to be able to quickly get in and out of the Solarium.

6. Skypad glass walkway

If you like glass floors, you will find a rather large one on the side of the SkyPad.

Guests can walk around the SkyPad to see the ocean as well as people below jumping on the trampolines.  Half of this walkaway is made of glass, providing a view straight down to the ocean below.

5. See-through floor

Yet another glass floor is found between deck 13 and 14 in the aft stairwell.

Royal Caribbean added this see-through floor for one of the steps, which allows guests to peer down more than 10 decks to the Royal Esplanade.  

Be sure to bring your camera, especially when kids see this for the first time.

4. Comfy outdoor chairs

On sea days the pool deck is a beacon for many passengers, but if you want to enjoy some super comfortable chairs with a breeze, head to the SeaPlex.

Right outside the SeaPlex are day beds, padded chairs, and couches you can enjoy.  Many of these are also in the shade, which makes it a little more comfortable.

You can find these seats by walking to the back of the ship on the upper pool deck, or find the doors that lead outside from the lower level of the SeaPlex.

3. Thermal spa pass

The Vitality Spa on Odyssey of the Seas has a special pass you can purchase to provide you with unlimited access to the thermal suite.

The thermal suite is made up of four areas that you can enjoy all cruise long:

  • Heated stone chairs
  • Rainforest shower room
  • Caldarium chamber
  • Laconium dry heat chamber

The cost for an unlimited pass is $99 per person.

2. The pub has food

While there is an English style pub on almost every Royal Caribbean ship, most do not have food you can order, but there are food options on Odyssey of the Seas.

At the Crown & Compass Pub, you will find a selection of bar bites that includes fried pickles, soft pretzels, poutine, burgers and even deep-fried apple pie.

After a few drinks, you can order food to enjoy without having to leave your favorite table.

1. Giovanni's Wine Bar has a food menu too

Royal Caribbean decided to replace Vintages with a new wine bar concept attached to Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, which includes its own menu.

In addition to the standard Giovanni's Kitchen menu, you can stop in at the wine bar for various platters, antipasta and more.

The menu includes an assorted meat & cheese platter, fried lasagna bites, stromboli and pizza.

The wine bar can be a great alternative if you cannot get a reservation at the main restaurant.

Did I miss any Odyssey of the Seas secrets? Share them in our comments!

How Royal Caribbean reimagined its signature Italian restaurant

In:
23 Aug 2021

Italian cuisine is among the most popular kind of cuisines on land or sea, and Royal Caribbean has relaunched one of its most popular specialty restaurants with an all-new menu that features fresh new choices.

Two of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships now offer Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, which is a refresh of Royal Caribbean's Italian specialty restaurant.

Just like how Royal Caribbean looks to evolve and enhance its cruise ships with new things to do, the Food and Beverage team saw an opportunity to improve on Giovanni's Table.

Royal Caribbean Vice President Food & Beverage, Linken D'Souza, said his team looked at how to amplify this particular restaurant, "it was about bringing something fresh, new, but also something that's traditional to our guests."

"We decided to make them younger and fresher and a little bit more contemporary."

"Giovanni's Italian Kitchen came out of that, and it was this opportunity to to introduce some new things, but also keep the favorites that's guests had."

The first thing the team did was not only look at the existing Giovanni's Table menu, but they actually went back to the Italian restaurant concept that has since been retired from the fleet, Portofinos, to identify what did guests like and not like about each of these experiences.

One missing piece they saw was hand-tossed fresh pizza, and immediately they looked at how to bring that option to cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean worked with Renato Viola, who is one of Italy’s best Master Pizza Chefs in the world. 

Before the shutdown, crew members went to Chef Viola's restaurant to spend a week learning how to stretch and perfectly treat the dough, as well as make the recipe.

Royal Caribbean started out with 42 different pizza recipes just to figure out the right dough to use, and then worked on picking out the perfect San Marzano sauce.  The sauce has no added sugar, and relies on a simple recipe of San Marzano tomatoes, water and herbs.

Mr. D'Souza says they are using the highest quality cheese you can get for pizza, and then added hand selected meats and greens to top it all off.

"My inspiration of that quality of pizza was I want to have a pizza that rivals what you would get in Naples."

Mr. D'Souza went as far to say he believes it is the best pizza at sea right now, "We said let's go out and figure out how to make the best and without bragging, I do believe it is the best pizza at sea."

On top of that, Royal Caribbean installed an electric oven that can heat up to 900 degrees, which is essentially the highest temperatures permissible on a ship.

The result? Chef Viola told Mr. D'Souza the pizza is as good as a pizza in his restaurant. Mr. D'Souza thinks that while it's not quite at that level, it is excellent and very good.

The first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen launched on Freedom of the Seas just before the cruise industry shutdown due to the global health crisis, but that ship is sailing again.  In addition, Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar is onboard Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas.

Giovanni's on Odyssey is an extension of the new restaurant concept, with Giovanni's taking over what used to be the Vintages bar area on other Quantum Class ships and offering a smaller bar menu there, such as fried lasagna bites. These small plates are meant to go really well with a glass of wine.

Mr. D'Souza said they focused a lot on the main menu at the restaurant, "we spend a lot of time really developing American Italian favorites and then going a little bit nontraditional."

Top 3 Giovanni's Italian Kitchen must-try's

Holy Cheesus seven cheese pizza

What should you not-miss when you dine at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen?

I asked Mr. D'Souza for his list of the top three recommendations for anyone trying out the restaurant.

  1. Holy Cheesus seven cheese pizza
  2. Steak Muffuletta
  3. Chocolate raviolis

Calamari & Polenta appetizer

Mr. D'Souza added if someone considers themselves an adventurous eater to try the Calamari & Polenta appetizer and the Truffle & Eggs pizza, which offers a traditional fried egg recipe commonly found in Europe.

"In Europe, you see fried egg on pizza quite often. There's actually restaurants in every pizza they said we'll do a fried egg on it."

Spotted: Royal Caribbean charging to reserve pool deck casitas on Odyssey of the Seas

In:
18 Aug 2021

Ever since Royal Caribbean started offering casita day beds to their pool decks, they have been extremely popular with guests. So much so that the cruise line is now charging for them on at least one ship.

Guests sailing on Odyssey of the Seas now have the option to pre-book a casita on a sea day or port day for an extra cost.

Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site lists the Casita for reservation, with a price of $199 for the day on a sea day and $149 on a port day.

According to the item description, the rental includes towels, a cooler, storage for your belongings and a charging outlet.

You will also get two complimentary Welcome Drinks and four chilled waters with your reservation.

Guests can order more drinks by pushing a button to summon a waiter.

Casitas have been added to the pool decks of other Royal Caribbean ships, including Navigator of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas.  On those ships, the casitas had been complimentary and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is unclear if Royal Caribbean will charge for the casitas on other ships. The option to reserve one on Odyssey of the Seas is the first I have seen pop up.

It is also unclear if all casitas onboard Odyssey are only available if paid for, or if some are still complimentary.

In the past, Royal Caribbean has rationalized charging for select activities and amenities that were previously complimentary as a mechanism to control overwhelming demand, such as with the escape rooms.

Royal Caribbean has also begun charging for the North Star experience on Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas sailings in certain situations. 

In the UK, North Star is only chargeable on Anthem of the Seas for “extended experience” which is 15 minutes additional time where the observational pod goes over the sides of the ship. It’s still free for the shorter “up and down” experience.

Previously, North Star was completely complimentary while in North America and Europe markets.

North Star has had her capacity limited due to Covid-19 protocols, and that could play a role in charging for the experience in order to manage demand.

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