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Alternative Dining
  • yardleybates
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    Alternative Dining

    by yardleybates » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:35 pm

    Hail survivors ...

    Has anyone eaten at Chops Grille or Portofino/Giovanni's Table? If so, how would you compare the quality of the food to the main dining room?

    Thanks!
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    DrinkMoxie
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by DrinkMoxie » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:16 pm

    The steak house was really good, and if you definitely want a good steak and are willing to spend a few bucks, I recommend it highly
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    mikijonas
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mikijonas » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:52 pm

    You cannot even compare! They are WWWAAAAYYY better!
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Razor Ramon » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:42 pm

    My wife is vegan so the buffet ends up being my only option..
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    capacitator51
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by capacitator51 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:38 pm

    My husband and I tried Giovanni's Table once towards the end of the cruise last year and it was significantly more impressive than the buffet food. Both of our dishes were surprisingly delicious, especially considering the place was damn-near empty. I'd say definitely give it a try at least once.
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    Yippee38
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Yippee38 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:15 pm

    Yardleybates, General Zod and his wife, and I ate in the dining room and were seriously undewhelmed. Yardleybates and I went on a Celebrity cruise and all of the food was WAY better than on Royal Caribbean. Good food on this cruise would be a nice change.
  • Mark
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Mark » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:30 am

    Personally I'm good with the buffet.
    It really isn't great food but I'd say it's okay for an all you can eat style buffet and I never had any issues with it.
    The special dining takes quite some time that I prefer to spend elsewhere :belly:
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    Pellaz
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Pellaz » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:44 am

    Yippee38 wrote:Yardleybates, General Zod and his wife, and I ate in the dining room and were seriously undewhelmed. Yardleybates and I went on a Celebrity cruise and all of the food was WAY better than on Royal Caribbean. Good food on this cruise would be a nice change.


    I thought the food in the MDR wasn't as good as on Carnival. (!) Don't know if they "back off" a bit on the quality knowing that the 70K audience isn't quite as cruise-experienced as their average passenger load, or if it's just shittier in general.

    Mark wrote:Personally I'm good with the buffet.
    It really isn't great food but I'd say it's okay for an all you can eat style buffet and I never had any issues with it.
    The special dining takes quite some time that I prefer to spend elsewhere.


    Yep, and I will say that the buffet on Indy last year was significantly better than on Liberty the year before...where they had dishes that none of us recognized the name of (and this was a group from the US, Sweden and elsewhere) and with no indications of whether the dish was vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, contained peanuts, etc.

    I might try Giovanni's this year if time permits. Aside from Johnny Rocket's I think it'd be the first time I've ever paid at a specialty restaurant on a cruise, and this will be my tenth.
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    biertroll
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by biertroll » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:53 am

    Fancy dinner rocks. Regular sit down dinner is okay. Buffet is blech.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by macamatic » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:57 am

    Pellaz wrote:I thought the food in the MDR wasn't as good as on Carnival. (!) Don't know if they "back off" a bit on the quality knowing that the 70K audience isn't quite as cruise-experienced as their average passenger load, or if it's just shittier in general.


    It's been a long time since I was on a RC cruise, but most people who have done both agree RC's food is substantially better. Carnival is a more budget-oriented cruise line. This is almost certainly specific to 70k.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Phoenix » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:10 am

    Pellaz wrote:Yep, and I will say that the buffet on Indy last year was significantly better than on Liberty the year before...


    Thank fuck for that, I had a hard time trying to find food I cared to eat as the cruise went on.

    I'd like to try the fancy dining room if I have some time this year, it might be nice to have some better quality food and a little time to relax. Though as I narrow down my choices, I may have a hard time finding free time this year.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by deathmetalpat » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:02 pm

    Compass Deli was my favorite unknown thing about the Majesty,even in 2014 people had hardly found it.Soup,Salad and Sandwich got me over when the buffet schedule conflicted with band schedule.Would not paying for something like that ,typically the nice sit down meal is a hour plus affair and it seems that the buffet hours are back to spotty.From 2012-14 the buffet was opened longer periods of time,2012 was terrible I didn't eat after 2 pm two days of the four.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mooyagi » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:10 pm

    deathmetalpat wrote:Compass Deli was my favorite unknown thing about the Majesty,even in 2014 people had hardly found it.Soup,Salad and Sandwich got me over when the buffet schedule conflicted with band schedule.Would not paying for something like that ,typically the nice sit down meal is a hour plus affair and it seems that the buffet hours are back to spotty.From 2012-14 the buffet was opened longer periods of time,2012 was terrible I didn't eat after 2 pm two days of the four.


    Oh yeah, the Compass Deli was the best spot. I really liked the paninis and there was always a good soup option.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Pellaz » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:02 pm

    deathmetalpat wrote:Compass Deli was my favorite unknown thing about the Majesty,even in 2014 people had hardly found it.Soup,Salad and Sandwich got me over when the buffet schedule conflicted with band schedule.Would not paying for something like that ,typically the nice sit down meal is a hour plus affair and it seems that the buffet hours are back to spotty....


    Oh yeah, I loved the Compass Deli -- after I found it -- when I was on Majesty about 3 months before the first 70K. (It was my first cruise, group deal with family, just $376 for my own stateroom, 4 nights, so I couldn't resist. Don't judge. :lol: ) It had great sandwiches and it was awesome...and free. No other Royal ship has Compass Deli, either.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by broegaard » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:06 am

    yardleybates wrote:Hail survivors ...

    Has anyone eaten at Chops Grille or Portofino/Giovanni's Table? If so, how would you compare the quality of the food to the main dining room?

    Thanks!


    You cannot compare. A so-so food against a good experience.

    99% of the time I eat at the buffet due to the lack of time(You will have to "waste" a good hour/hour and a half on primetime).
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by broegaard » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:13 am

    Razor Ramon wrote:My wife is vegan so the buffet ends up being my only option..


    I was a vegetarian for 8 years or so and my wife still is. I dont eat meat at home.

    The italian place has vegan options, If I am not wrong. But if your wife cannot accept being in a restaurant which serves meat I completely understand.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mbob » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:18 am

    During the last 2 cruises I tried to eat in the dining room as much as I could. I have ended up missing things due to the time involved eating in there. Usually takes well over an hour when I only had a 45 minute window.

    This year I plan on taking advantage of the Windjammer Café buffet, Sorrento's and Café Promenade.

    I did eat at Johnny Rockets one night last year with members of Moonspell in order to get away for a bit. It was nice and quiet back there. Yes there is a cover charge and the shakes are extra but I thought it was all very good.

    I know the food on these ships is not the greatest...I think Carnival has better food...but I do find it adequate enough for my taste. Plus...I am not on this cruise to eat! :bangers:
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Bob » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:35 pm

    I start my day with coffee from the Café Promenade (24 hrs), then eventually up to the Windjammer buffet (6:30 AM – 9 PM) for breakfast. The rest of the day if I’m hungry I’ll eat light at the Café or Sorrento’s (11.30am until 3.00am). I’m not there to eat but to party. Eating just makes me want to take a nap. It’s not that kind of relaxing type of cruise for me.

    I only made it to the Main Dining Room (6:00 PM – 8:30 PM) once. It’s a good way to meet new people and I’d recommend doing it at least once. But the problem for me is that it operates right in the middle of prime partying time.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mooyagi » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:32 pm

    Bob wrote:I start my day with coffee from the Café Promenade (24 hrs), then eventually up to the Windjammer buffet (6:30 AM – 9 PM) for breakfast.


    I've been on every cruise and I think I've been able to wake up for Windjammer breakfast maybe 3 times. How do you do it?
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by deathmetalpat » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:46 pm

    Breakfast isn't my thing in day to day life but no matter where I go on vacation I am up at 7 am for breakfast.I don't know if it is an instinct thing or sleeping in a different bed.Windjammer breakfast is actually fairly good ,fresh fruits some omelet combinations and salmon.Then some cereal with coffee.Overload on breakfast if you can because lunch is crowded and bands are playing.Best shows sometimes can be early pool deck or small venue.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Razor Ramon » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:45 pm

    broegaard wrote:
    Razor Ramon wrote:My wife is vegan so the buffet ends up being my only option..


    I was a vegetarian for 8 years or so and my wife still is. I don't eat meat at home.

    The Italian place has vegan options, If I am not wrong. But if your wife cannot accept being in a restaurant which serves meat I completely understand.


    If she was that nuts we wouldn't even be married, no way I would deal with that shit haha
    I'm a vegetarian at home too, I don't buy meat for the house, but if I go out to eat I'm usually eating meat every time.

    She has no interest in eating a bowl of pasta, it might be made with eggs too, who knows?
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by alex_canada » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:31 pm

    I'm usually too cheap and lazy to eat as much as my metabolism wants. I love all the food on the ship at all venues at all times. It's so delicious.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by UltimoAviso » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:56 pm

    Did anyone notice if vegetarian meals were marked at the buffet last year? Sure would make my life a lot easier as im hyper sensitive to even things cooked in lard.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Pellaz » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:19 pm

    mbob wrote:I know the food on these ships is not the greatest...I think Carnival has better food...but I do find it adequate enough for my taste. Plus...I am not on this cruise to eat! :bangers:


    Me either....but I wish there was a Guy's Burger Joint or a Blue Iguana Cantina or a Mongolian Wok on the boat......and all free, too. One thing Carnival provides is a lot of free (i.e., "included") specialty restaurants.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mooyagi » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:20 pm

    deathmetalpat wrote:Breakfast isn't my thing in day to day life but no matter where I go on vacation I am up at 7 am for breakfast.I don't know if it is an instinct thing or sleeping in a different bed.Windjammer breakfast is actually fairly good ,fresh fruits some omelet combinations and salmon.Then some cereal with coffee.Overload on breakfast if you can because lunch is crowded and bands are playing.Best shows sometimes can be early pool deck or small venue.


    I've enjoyed it the times I have had it. I remember a particularly bacony breakfast one year. I'm impressed that we had enough restraint to not just take the entire tray to the table. Healthy eating. Ah, Cripper's 10AM pool set on the first cruise led to the invention of the Cripper Award. Definitely worth it to wake up early if one can roll out of bed in time. But I do like to grab some extra sleep if I can on broad since it's tough to work into the schedule. :lol:
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mbob » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:21 pm

    Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina rock! I was surprised how good Guy's was. I have never done the Mongolian Wok because there was always a line that I didn't want to wait in.

    Pellaz wrote:Me either....but I wish there was a Guy's Burger Joint or a Blue Iguana Cantina or a Mongolian Wok on the boat......and all free, too. One thing Carnival provides is a lot of free (i.e., "included") specialty restaurants.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Pellaz » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:26 pm

    Bob wrote:...The rest of the day if I’m hungry I’ll eat light at the Café or Sorrento’s (11.30am until 3.00am).


    I think Sorrento's is open 24 hours...which is both a blessing and a curse considering the pizza. :lol:

    UltimoAviso wrote:Did anyone notice if vegetarian meals were marked at the buffet last year? Sure would make my life a lot easier as im hyper sensitive to even things cooked in lard.


    My memory's hazy but I think I saw some signage at Windjammers last year for that purpose.

    I remember on Liberty in 2015 there was no 'content' signage...and that perplexed us. (And then they'd promptly take away the mystery dishes and close the place while we were at the buffet line. Twice. :evil: )
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Razor Ramon » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:16 pm

    Windjammer should be 24 hours for us.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Pellaz » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:21 pm

    Razor Ramon wrote:Windjammer should be 24 hours for us.


    This x 1000.

    It's not as if they aren't making a fortune off alcohol sales onbroad to offset the extra cost of offering SOMETHING on the buffet 24-7.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mooyagi » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:24 pm

    Pellaz wrote:
    Razor Ramon wrote:Windjammer should be 24 hours for us.


    This x 1000.

    It's not as if they aren't making a fortune off alcohol sales onbroad to offset the extra cost of offering SOMETHING on the buffet 24-7.


    Agreed. Sorrentos is horrible. Johnny Rockets stays open fairly late too I think, but of course that comes at an extra charge.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Pellaz » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:29 pm

    mooyagi wrote:
    Pellaz wrote:
    Razor Ramon wrote:Windjammer should be 24 hours for us.


    This x 1000.

    It's not as if they aren't making a fortune off alcohol sales onbroad to offset the extra cost of offering SOMETHING on the buffet 24-7.


    Agreed. Sorrentos is horrible. Johnny Rockets stays open fairly late too I think, but of course that comes at an extra charge.


    And annoyingly, so does room-service...after midnight. <grumble>
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by yardleybates » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:36 pm

    This was my next question :) How crowded were they? Thanks for covering that for us!

    capacitator51 wrote:My husband and I tried Giovanni's Table once towards the end of the cruise last year and it was significantly more impressive than the buffet food. Both of our dishes were surprisingly delicious, especially considering the place was damn-near empty. I'd say definitely give it a try at least once.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by AceHugger » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:58 am

    biertroll wrote:Fancy dinner rocks. Regular sit down dinner is okay. Buffet is blech.


    I'm confused.
    So there's the buffet style AND separate sit down restaurant AND then the supplementary fine dining?

    In all the videos and things I've seen I thought the sit down eating area was somehow just related to the buffet.
    So the 'basic' seated restaurant is included also I gather?

    I really need to pay more attention.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by CFH » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:06 am

    Here's how it goes:

    Main Dining Room = a sit down restaurant which is free of charge
    Windjammer = a buffet, which is free of charge
    Chops Grill & Giovannis Table = speciality restaurants (Chops is a steak place, Giovannis is italian) which have an entry fee
    Johnny Rockets = a burger joint with an entry fee (plus the shakes cost you extra)

    On top of those there is at least a pizza place and promenade cafe which are free to use anytime. All places are separate restaurants, allthough Windjammer also includes Jade, which is basically an Asian food section in Windjammer.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by TPH » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:15 am

    About the free pizza place: I can't remember its name, but everyone agreed that the pizzas were terrible, and must be avoided at all cost.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by AceHugger » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:25 am

    CFH wrote:Here's how it goes:

    Main Dining Room = a sit down restaurant which is free of charge
    Windjammer = a buffet, which is free of charge
    Chops Grill & Giovannis Table = speciality restaurants (Chops is a steak place, Giovannis is italian) which have an entry fee
    Johnny Rockets = a burger joint with an entry fee (plus the shakes cost you extra)

    On top of those there is at least a pizza place and promenade cafe which are free to use anytime. All places are separate restaurants, allthough Windjammer also includes Jade, which is basically an Asian food section in Windjammer.


    Amazingly clear. Thank you.

    Sorry if it was a dumb question, we've never been on a cruise before so literally have no clue.
    I've been researching stuff online, but a few of the things I've taken away from that seem to be inaccurate.
    Thanks for clearing it up so concisely.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by CFH » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:20 am

    AceHugger wrote:
    CFH wrote:Amazingly clear. Thank you.

    Sorry if it was a dumb question, we've never been on a cruise before so literally have no clue.
    I've been researching stuff online, but a few of the things I've taken away from that seem to be inaccurate.
    Thanks for clearing it up so concisely.


    No problem man. A year ago I was the one asking the questions and I agree that some of the info online is rather confusing ;)
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by Solarisshadow » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:21 am

    As someone who survived on mostly a liquid bread diet last year, definitely planning on try to use the sit down restaurant more this year, went there once last year during some down time I had. It is a lot better than the buffet and the cardboard pizza.
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by mbob » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:02 am

    I attempted to have a sit down dinner as much as I could the last 2 years and ended up missing things I wanted to see because it took too long. This year sit down dinners are low on my list.

    I must be one of the few people who don't mind the pizza. When it is late at night and after consuming many drinks I find the pizza hits the spot!
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    Re: Alternative Dining

    by yardleybates » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:51 am

    AceHugger wrote:
    CFH wrote:Here's how it goes:

    Main Dining Room = a sit down restaurant which is free of charge
    Windjammer = a buffet, which is free of charge
    Chops Grill & Giovannis Table = speciality restaurants (Chops is a steak place, Giovannis is italian) which have an entry fee
    Johnny Rockets = a burger joint with an entry fee (plus the shakes cost you extra)

    On top of those there is at least a pizza place and promenade cafe which are free to use anytime. All places are separate restaurants, allthough Windjammer also includes Jade, which is basically an Asian food section in Windjammer.


    Amazingly clear. Thank you.

    Sorry if it was a dumb question, we've never been on a cruise before so literally have no clue.
    I've been researching stuff online, but a few of the things I've taken away from that seem to be inaccurate.
    Thanks for clearing it up so concisely.


    There are some other spots on the promenade which do have an additional fee as well. There is an ice cream place and I think a cupcake place - those are extra.
    There is a cafe which is free - and IMO has really good sandwiches and little snacks - but they also serve coffee drinks and those are extra.
    I think you can also get food on or near the pool deck - I'm not super clear on that one, because I didn't make use of it last year, but I think that is included in the free options as well.

    Obviously, all the liquor is extra as well.
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