Grandeur of the Seas Dining

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4.0
Very Good
Dining
Melinda Crow
Contributor

Food on Grandeur of the Seas is served in a main dining room on two decks offering traditional early and late dining times as well as “My Time” dining. In addition to the main dining room, there is a buffet, plus three paid specialty restaurants, a chef’s table experience for fee, a solarium pizza, sandwich, and snack eatery, plus snacks at the specialty coffee shop. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream serves scoops for an extra fee (in addition to the complimentary soft serve machine near the pool). Room service is available around the clock for a fee, other than continental breakfast.

Free Restaurants on Grandeur of the Seas

The Main Dining Room: Great Gatsby (Decks 4 and 5): Passengers choose between traditional early or late dining times or My Time Dining when they book their cruise. Upon boarding, each stateroom sea pass card will show the chosen dining option, along with the deck they have been assigned to. Traditional diners will also be assigned a table number. My Time guests can reserve a set time for each evening either via the cruise line app once onboard or in person with the maître ‘d.

On our cruise, Deck 5 catered primarily to My Time diners, with two lines at each entrance, one for those with a reserved time and one for walk-ups. Table sizes range from two-person tables to larger tables seating up to twelve.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served most days in the dining room. Breakfast hours vary depending on the port schedule. The breakfast menu includes a “quick start” option of scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, toast and hashbrowns. It was strongly recommended on port days for those with early excursion times. Beyond that, the menu features a la carte options of pancakes, waffles, eggs, omelets, and cereals. Assistant waiters take drink orders and bring around trays of assorted pastries. Group seating is the primary method of filling tables during breakfast service.

Lunch is served on sea days. It’s a leisurely affair and guests may choose between a shared table or something smaller and more intimate for only their party. The menu leans toward soups, salads, pasta, and sandwiches. It’s easy to have a light lunch of soup and salad. We loved ordering only the fried cheese sticks and the scrumptious wedge salad – saving plenty of room for dinner.

The dinner menu is divided into daily and classic options, with “classic” consisting of items available every day. Daily items change each day. Guests choose from appetizers (soups, salads, shrimp cocktail, escargot, and small plate specialties), entrees (meat, poultry, fish, pasta, and vegetarian dishes), and desserts (cake, cobblers, cheesecake, crème brulee, fruit, and ice cream). The waiter takes orders for all three courses at once. The assistant waiter takes drink orders (other then bar drinks) and brings a bread basket.

Dinner menus include optional steak and seafood selections that incur an additional charge (shown on the menu), providing the opportunity to enjoy the filet mignon normally served at Chops, for a much smaller price tag.

Tip: Menus are always available in the Royal Caribbean App. A neat pre-cruise trick is the ability to see all main dining room menus for your ship, including, for the current and future sailings, whether you are onboard or not.

Windjammer Café (Deck 9, forward): Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are served daily in the Windjammer. Though a quick meal is often necessary on port days, Grandeur’s buffet service was not our favorite option. The space is small and crowded, and food quality often suffers from steam-table-mush syndrome. The one thing we missed most in the Windjammer was pizza – which we only found at Park Café during our cruise. On a sailing with hundreds of children, that seemed like a definite misstep, when most ships these days offer easy access to pizza almost around the clock.

Breakfast service includes an egg station preparing omelets and fried eggs, with central islands serving scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, pancakes, waffles, and assorted sides. Pastries and breads have their own station, as do cereals, fruits, juices, milk, and yogurt, the latter situated along the sides.

Lunch is a variety of salads, soups, sandwiches, and hot buffet items. We particularly enjoyed the hot dog station, which had grilled onions, sauerkraut, and spicey chili. Dinner service includes carved meat beef, pork, or turkey and also rotates through ethnic themed menus, available on the app. During dinner and lunch a bar waiter often services the buffet area, but the nearest bar is at the pool if you want to do a grab-and-go rather than wait.

Park Café (Solarium, Deck 9): Park Café serves the kind of cruise ship food you want to nosh on between all your big elaborate meals: sandwiches (including the line’s famous Kummelweck roast beef sliders), pizza, wraps, salads, breakfast burritos, cereal, pastries, cookies, fruit cups, and yogurt parfaits.

The problems are a bad location (the far back corner of the adults-only Solarium) and it isn’t open all day. Because most of the food is snacky, a straight 7a.m. to midnight plan would seem logical, but it opens and closes at odd hours, always right about the time kids (and cruise writers) get hangry. Having said that, we’ve got to confess it serves the best pizza we’ve had on a cruise. It was light crispy perfection, but you’ll need to coordinate your timing with the hours on the cruise app, because they varies from one day to the next.

What Restaurants Cost Extra on Grandeur of the Seas

Chef’s Table $$$$ (Inside Great Gatsby Main Dining Room Deck 4): On Grandeur of the Seas, Chef’s Table is hosted in a private room at the aft starboard side of the main dining room on Deck 4. It features a six-course tasting menu for an intimate gathering of diners, complete with wine pairings selected by the chef. In addition to an appetizer, soup, and salad, the menu includes a fish course and a meat course, often grilled filet mignon. The goal of the evening is to tease your tastebuds and expand both your social circle and your wine knowledge.

Chops Grille $$$-$$$$ (Deck 6, port side aft): The food and atmosphere at Chops on Grandeur were both delightful. While steaks hold a prime spot on the menu, the appetizers and sides are a stunning complement to the main course. Our favorites include the jumbo lump crab cake, the wedge salad, gruyere cheese tater tots, and creamed spinach. And for those who do not eat steak, there are ample poultry and seafood choices on the menu as well. Chops is also open for lunch on sea days, with a smaller menu (including a hamburger) and lower price tag.

Giovani’s Table $$-$$$ (Deck 6, behind Schooner Bar): Grandeur’s Italian food restaurant is tucked into a hallway behind the Schooner Bar on Deck 6, with a view of the water on one end. Our service was exceptional, and the food was well above average, but that has always been our experience at Giovani’s across the fleet. It’s nice to see the standards upheld on even the smallest ship. Open for dinner each evening, and lunch on sea days, the menu includes soup, fresh bread, fresh pasta dishes, and main courses of meat or seafood. The vegetarian baked eggplant was a tower of crispy perfection. Be warned, dinner portions are enormous, so bring an appetite or ask for the slightly smaller lunch portions. For the steak eater in your crew, Giovani’s menu includes a filet mignon, making dinner there a lower priced option for scoring a premium steak when compared to Chops.

Izumi Sushi, a la carte (Deck 11, aft): With stunning ocean views from the highest point on the ship, and a menu that includes small and large plates of sushi, sashimi, and hot dishes like shrimp wonton soup, vegetable fried rice, and shrimp and vegetable tempura, Izumi provides a nice break from the heavier meals in other specialty restaurants. It’s definitely an Americanized version of Japanese food, but particularly on seven-night sailings, it’s wonderful to have the option.

Room Service, $: Continental breakfast is included in the cruise fare and can be ordered by phone or using the hanging door tags found in your stateroom. All other orders incur a $7.95 delivery fee, including a full American breakfast. The room service menu is available on the TV in your stateroom and in the Royal App. It includes snack foods like hot dogs, pizza, chicken wings, and quesadilla’s as well as sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and grilled salmon.

Cruise Critic Restaurant Picks on Grandeur of the Seas

The winner onboard Grandeur for our sailing is Chops, primarily because the menu has enough variety to make dining there on multiple nights a possibility. It is definitely not all about steaks. Giovani’s comes in a very close second with Italian food that warms the belly with the best service we encountered anywhere on the ship. Our third place perhaps surprisingly, goes to the main dining room. We have not encountered a mainstream cruise line MDR execution done as well as Grandeur’s recently. Food quality exceeded expectations, dining room staff were well trained and seemed genuinely happy to serve guests – including the ones with ill-behaved children.

Dietary Restrictions on Grandeur of the Seas

Every server at every meal asked us if we had food allergies or sensitivities that needed to be addressed. While gluten-free buffet and grab-and-go items in other areas were clearly labeled, less common sensitivities like soy were easily addressed by asking any server behind the counter, who then brought a chef from the kitchen to advise whether the dish did or did not contain the allergen.

Restaurants

  • Café Latte-tudes - Coffee Bar*
  • Chef's Table - Gourmet*
  • Chops Grille - Steakhouse*
  • Giovanni's Table - italian*
  • Great Gatsby Dining Room - American
  • Izumi - Asian*
  • Park Café - pastries
  • R Bar - Atrium Bar*
  • Schooner Bar - Nautical bar*
  • Viking Crown Lounge - Iconic Bar*
  • Windjammer Café - Casual
  • * May require additional fees

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