We can all agree that cruise lines have some amazing food. All you can eat buffets, main dining rooms that will knock your socks off and smaller cafes to pick up snacks in between your meals; these are all pretty standard places to eat on a cruise ship and are available for no extra charge. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me, but what about all the specialty restaurants that you hear about…the specialty restaurants that are not included. Are they really worth the extra cost? Is the food really that much more spectacular that you would be willing to pay an extra fee per person for a single meal?
During our last cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, we took the time to check out a few of the restaurants and see what all the fuss was about.
Izumi is a specialty sushi restaurant that is located on the 14th deck and offers incredible views of the world passing by while you enjoy your meal. We decided to take the sushi class that was offered on one of the sea days. The class will set you back $25 per person but considering the amount of food that you get and that you get the knowledge of how to prepare some of the most popular rolls…I think it was worth it. We had a lot of fun and left completely stuffed!
Sabor is a specialty mexican restaurant that doesn’t feel like a mexican restaurant. Contemporary and bold colors on the walls and a darker, intimate dining area that makes Sabor feel like you are in an upscale restaurant in a downtown environment instead of the middle of the ocean. The restaurant was only open on certain days for lunch and dinner. It is strongly advised to make a reservation or you may miss out. Separate from lunch or dinner, Sabor offers a guacamole class that is during lunchtime on at least one of the sea days. I thought we would get to make our own guacamole…I was wrong. Instead, you sit at a table and listen to someone talk about the history of the guacamole and how it is made. You get to eat the guacamole (which is amazing!!) and also get some other food. We also got a small history lesson around the various types of tequila and how it is made. All in all, it was a fun time and really great food.
The guacamole class was so good that we had to get a reservation to try out their dinner menu and see what else they had to offer. I am glad we took the opportunity because they didn’t disappoint for dinner either. They make the guacamole table side and even have a table side margarita bar.
Giovanni’s Table is located on the 11th deck next to the WindJammer Cafe. Amazing food and amazing views…best advice is to come hungry and listen to suggestions from your waitstaff. Our waitress encouraged us to get many different plates because the portions were small but it was still very filling. It is a very formal dining experience and for a special occasion it would be a perfect location to celebrate!
Overall I thinking trying some of the restaurants is a great opportunity to have a more intimate dining experience. Probably not necessary for every night because the Navigator of the Seas has some really great dining options in the main dining room as well. The biggest winner for me was Sabor. I am a complete sucker for really good Mexican food and they did it right. Even with the all the amazing options that you pay extra for, Royal Caribbean has amazing staff that make every dining experience amazing! Check out “Coffee Man” from the Lido buffet!