Just when you’ve finally figured out when to dine, now you have to decide where to dine! My recent week aboard the Allure of the Seas was more culinary wanderlust than activity participation.
I found myself eagerly awaiting the next day’s newsletter (delivered at turn-down the night before) just so I could read through and highlight what restaurants I’d go to that day and for which meals.
One comment that was heard early-on when the Allure of the Seas was launched was how small the traditional Lido buffet was compared to other Royal Caribbean ships. There is a method to the madness. You’re supposed to try different restaurants. Not only the pay-per-use restaurants but also the complimentary ones. It keeps people moving, trying different venues and once you get into the rhythm, it’s really quite nice. My favorite place for breakfast (complimentary) was Johnny Rockets. Word of warning: don’t order the fried potatoes. They’re completely addictive.
Onto dinner and which specialty restaurants to sample. There are really five dinner-type, tablecloth eateries: 150 Central Park (created by celeb chef Michael Schwartz), Giovanni’s Table, Chops, Samba Grill and the Chef’s Table. Are they pricey? Not if you compare the dining experience to a land-based operation. Plus, it’s quiet, intimate and there’s very personalized service.
One thing I can’t stress enough; if you want to try a few of these restaurants, your best bet is to make your reservation online as soon as possible. And make sure that you don’t overlap with the shows that you’ll see. I’m pretty jaded about shipboard entertainment and I could not believe the incredible performances across the board. Do not miss any of these live shows: Chicago the Musical, Oceanaria Aqua Show, Blue Planet, Headliners Comedy and Ice Games skating spectacular.
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I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.