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Majesty of the Seas Dining

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Majesty of the Seas Dining
Moonlight (Deck 3) and Starlight (Deck 4) are the main dining rooms, and the atmosphere is rich but not pretentious. The only distinct difference between the two is the color of the seat cushions: teal in Starlight and maroon in Moonlight. The food is standard shipboard dining room fare, including shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, roast duck, salmon and steak. Our waiter always made personal recommendations (typically an appetizer or dessert) and brought them out to try, regardless of what was ordered or whether we wanted more food. The additional dishes weren't served to be pushy, but we felt guilty if we didn't finish our dish or make a convincing enough argument that it was excellent. Our favorite entree, the horseradish-crusted Atlantic salmon in beurre blanc, was truly tasty.

A Royal Lifestyle menu offers lighter and healthier items, and vegetarian cuisine is available. Low-salt, low-sugar and other special diets are also accommodated, and Royal Caribbean's fleet is free of trans-fat.

For dinner, passengers can choose between assigned early (6:30 p.m.) or late (9 p.m.) dining or opt for My Time Dining, in which you pick a preferred mealtime (anytime during the assigned settings). Reservations are recommended but can be changed daily. Or, simply walk in when you're hungry. Those opting for My Time Dining must prepay gratuities.

One of the main dining restaurants (usually Starlight on Deck 4) offers open seating at breakfast, providing both a buffet with a granola station and an a la carte menu with eggs done your way, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. daily (excluding embarkation day). The fresh-squeezed orange juice, like most drinks onboard Majesty, costs an additional fee. For lunch (only offered from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the sea day), the restaurant becomes Brasserie 30, an at-sea bistro with a menu featuring slightly upscale salads, burgers and pasta, with one or two meat and fish entrees. Service seemed much slower during this meal than any other. Fries can be ordered, but it might be easier to accommodate any children with picky palates at the Windjammer buffet, located on Deck 10.

Breakfast at the Windjammer (7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) features an omelet station (which usually has a line), fresh fruit, cold cuts, bacon and sausage, hash browns, fruit, pancakes and more hot foods in addition to a cereal counter with single-serve boxes and cartons of milk. Lunch (noon to 2:30 p.m.) and dinner (6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) offer almost too many options, with the center buffet area touting tacos and standard dishes, while outer counters are typically themed by cuisine, such as Mediterranean, Asian and local. We had to laugh at New York City night, featuring a garlic-onion pie claiming to be from a secret "burrow." The local counter is always fun, and while the names of the dishes are off, the food is spot on. Bahamian night offers Royal's take on conch. An eclectic dessert station offers a sweet end to your meal, and, at night, a crewmember is ready, scoop in hand, to dish out ice cream in front of the bar counter.

There are two sides to the Windjammer Marketplace, but the forward area consistently has more seating available and nicer ocean views, even during sea days. For a quieter space to dine, try upstairs in the seating area near Sorrento's or Compass Deli.

Close to the pool deck, Windjammer was a great place to procure a hot cup of tea or coffee to stroll around with at night.

Up a short flight of stairs from Windjammer, on Deck 11, is Compass Deli, which features hand-pressed paninis and wraps made to order, along with a small side-salad bar and an array of hot soups and cookies. The deli is complimentary, but we noticed very few people strolled in while we were there, and many seemed surprised the sandwiches were gratis. The veggie portobello sandwich was delicious, and we wanted to order it again and again. This might be the perfect bite on embarkation day, away from the mad rush at the buffet. Normal hours for the Compass Deli are 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sorrento's Italian Pizza (no charge) is a counter next door to the deli and is almost always open (sometimes until 3 a.m.) for a quick serve-yourself slice on a red, pizza-shaped plate. Reminiscent of Domino's-style pizza, there's always plain and pepperoni, but sometimes you could catch a Hawaiian or margarita pie, as well. An Early Bird Continental breakfast is served daily near Sorrento's Pizza on Deck 12, from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Johnny Rockets, the 50s-style restaurant chain where hamburgers and milkshakes reign supreme, (also on Deck 12) requires a $4.95 cover, and that doesn't include the drinks or shakes. While the old-school appeal of the back-in-time diner might entice on land, we never saw anyone in there during our sailing. Hours for the restaurant are usually noon to midnight. Note: For an out-of-place but strangely Zen lounge area, seek out the sage-colored space to the side of Johnny Rockets (overlooking Windjammer).

Coffee and an array of sweets are available on Deck 5 at Latte-tudes, featuring Seattle's Best Coffee, Tazo teas and Starbucks Frappucinos, all with a la carte pricing. Specialty drinks are in the $3.50 range. Attached to Latte-tudes is 'Onda Gelateria, featuring six to eight tempting flavors of gelato, from pistachio to grapefruit.

Room service is available 24 hours a day, offering a limited Continental breakfast and slightly better main menu. The well-liked honey-stung chicken lived up to the hype and even came with sweet potato fries and ranch dipping sauce. Food is free between 5 a.m. and midnight; late-night orders incur a $3.95 surcharge.

A poolside buffet is scheduled one night on each cruise, and stops at CocoCay include a beach barbecue.
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