While there are plenty of for-fee dining options onboard, passengers who would rather not pay have enough variety and quality to satisfy. For those who seek tradition, there are the ship's three main dining rooms: Symphony, Allegro and Concerto. Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro, the ship's buffet options, provide a more casual vibe. Those who want to grab lunch in their swimsuits can get a slice at Prego Pizzeria or a burger from Trident Grill on the Lido Deck. Indoors, Alfredo's offers up delicious thin-crust pizza, calzones, pastas, salads and desserts.
One some nights the menus include a "Crafted by Curtis" option from celebrity chef, restaurateur and Iron Chef Curtis Stone. Stone, whose Share specialty restaurant are also found on Ruby and Emerald Princess, is known for creating healthy and inventive regional cuisine, and on our Caribbean cruise the items included mahi-mahi with curried plantains, pork tenderloin with sweet potato puree, and flank steak with black beans.
Another inventive Princess Cruises culinary partnership is with chocolatier Norman Love. On formal nights, don't miss his dessert offerings on the menu.
Regal designates dishes like the fried chicken as "home-style cuisine," and menus offer one such option each night. Other home-style selections include meatloaf, pork shoulder and chili. A number of vegetarian options in each course are included each night, designated with a "V". Frustratingly, healthier options aren't noted as such on the menus, but look for keywords like "low-fat" or "sugar-free" in the item descriptions. Standard items designated as "always available" include shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, salmon, a BLT burger and a grilled chicken breast.
Breakfast starts at 5 a.m. with a continental option. A full breakfast is served from 6 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Options include muesli, scrambled eggs (plain and also with add-ins like shrimp and scallions), pastries, oatmeal and cereal. There's also an excellent international selection, including rice, hot soups, baked beans and grilled tomatoes. Eggs and omelets can be made to order, and it was actually one of our favorite parts about the buffet. You place your order, and the chef hands you a ticket. Once you're seated, a waiter takes your ticket and brings you your order when it's ready. This is similar to the approach used for beverages; you order orange juice or coffee, for example, from a waiter, and he or she will bring it to you. This eliminates lines at omelet and beverage stations. Breakfast items are good, especially the made-to-order eggs. Fruit options change each day, but there's plenty for those looking for something a little lighter.
Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The options at lunch, too, are varied, with carving stations, made-to-order sandwiches, cold salads and salad bars. We especially liked the salad bars, which grouped items together by salad type, so you could throw together eggs, bacon, avocado and greens for a Cobb salad at one station or romaine, anchovies, lemon, Parmesan and Caesar dressing for a Caesar salad at another.
Dinner, from 5:30 to 11 p.m., offers themed options on certain nights. One night, you might get sauerkraut and various sausages for German night; another you might find fried fish and chips for English Pub night.
Teatime takes place each day from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. An elegant tea service is also available on sea days in the Piazza; this one comes at a cost of $10 ($20 if passengers opt for the addition of sparkling wine).
Passengers have plenty of options for spending money on dining on Regal Princess, but the ship really only has two true restaurants: Sabatini's and Crown Grill. Each is a good value when compared with other fee-at-sea restaurants.
Save room for dessert, and give the sampler a try -- that way, you don't have to choose. Crown Grill is open 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.