We love the sheer variety of venues and cuisine types on offer, and that cruisers are not wedded to the main dining rooms and buffet should they wish to grab a free meal elsewhere -- which is just as well, as Oasis-class ships are known for overcrowding at peak times. On Harmony, you can always find a place to eat, no matter what time of day.
However, we found the quality from venue to venue as well as menu to menu varied; one night, you'll have a great meal, while the next you might be disappointed. That said, the quality and experience are far superior in the ship's additional-fee restaurants. The spaces themselves are comfortable and well-designed. They feel cozy and quiet, in part, because each venue caps the dining capacity to ensure an intimate experience.
* May require additional fees
American Icon (Deck 3) The Grande (Deck 4) and Silk (Deck 5) Restaurants
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) Dinner (D)
Harmony of the Seas has three main dining rooms, though the food is the same in each one. At dinner, American Icon provides set-time dining at either 6 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. (same table, waiter and tablemates every night), while the other two offer the My Time Dining (eat any time between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., though reservations are encouraged). For all meals, vegetarian, no-sugar-added, lactose-free and gluten-free options are identified. Notify your waiter and maitre d' about any food allergies or dietary requirements when you first board to ensure they can accommodate specific needs.
Breakfast is served every day in American Icon, with no set dining times or reservations required. You can eat either a la carte by ordering from the menu or use the space's surprisingly extensive breakfast buffet. Or you can do both.
American Icon also serves lunch but only on sea days. Like breakfast, you can order strictly off the menu, visit the buffet or enjoy a combination of both. This is the best spot to get a salad onboard. Dishes are generally heavy on the salt, and we preferred the quality of the buffet options over items from the menu.
Dinner is always a five-course plated affair no matter which main dining restaurant you pick. All courses include a vegetarian option, beyond simple pasta dishes. Menus vary each night, but there's a small selection of always available items as well. Food was OK; we found the sirloin a bit tough but would be happy ordering the escargot every night.
Windjammer Marketplace (Deck 16)
Meals: B, L, D
The ship's buffet, Windjammer Marketplace is loaded with options at all meals, and it's always busy even at dinner. There are hot and cold stations, made-to-order grills and dessert bars. Wait staff are quick and efficient, which helps combat the high volume of people who move through each day.
Breakfast starts bright and early, with an "early bird" continental option. That's followed by a true breakfast, but sadly, you can't get made-to-order omelets in Windjammer, though you can get custom fried or poached eggs.
Lunch offers a huge DIY salad bar, American favorites, tons of bread (with gluten-free options clearly identified) and a carving station that rotates daily. There is a made-to-order pasta station as well as a rotating custom option that one day might offer paninis, the next German sausages with all the fixings.
Dinner is especially popular on formal nights because, unlike other venues, no dinner dress code is enforced here. In addition to the salad bar, you will find a wide variety of hot items and an exceptional cheese table.
Sorrento's (Deck 5)
Meals: L, D
Located on the Royal Promenade, Sorrento's offers pizza by the slice or made to order.
Cafe Promenade (Deck 5)
Meals: B, L, D
Cafe Promenade offers quick bites 24 hours a day. In the morning hours, grab pastries and doughnuts. Lunch and dinner deliver tasty sandwiches. But the best might be the post-dinnertime sweets. Cookies, tea and coffee are served around the clock.
Boardwalk Dog House (Deck 6)
Meals: L, D
A fun addition to the Boardwalk, this serves up Coney Island dogs, bratwurst or chicken sausage, with various condiments, and add-on peppers, onions or kraut. Dogs are served up fresh and messy.
Vitality Cafe (Deck 6)
Meals: B, L, D
The only "light fare" onboard, the Vitality Cafe is located in the Vitality Spa complex and is open roughly when the spa is.
Park Cafe (Deck 8)
Meals: B, L
With its Central Park location, Park Cafe is a great place to get away from the crowds jamming the buffet and was our favorite spot to people watch. Enjoy a build-your-own bagel sandwich for breakfast and custom-made salads or kummelweck (roast beef sandwich) for lunch, along with hot soups and sandwiches. You can also grab premade items, like egg salad sandwiches or Thai shrimp and noodles for the road.
Mini Bites (Deck 15)
This mini-venue serves mini-foods -- literally, bite-sized treats like pork meatballs, little corn dogs, mini-quiches and tiny empanadas. You also can find single-bite cupcakes and fruit on toothpicks. Mini Bites is tucked away behind a Ping-Pong table on Deck 15.
Solarium Bistro (Deck 15)
Meals: B, L, D
The Solarium Bistro overlooks the adults-only Solarium, a peaceful retreat and another favorite of ours to get away from the crowds; it's completely underutilized by most passengers. For breakfast and lunch, it serves essentially a toned-down version of what is offered in the ship's buffet. But at dinner it really shines, offering a Greek-themed buffet with menu items that include chicken kebabs, skirt steak or grilled shrimp. Lamb chops ($10) and lobster tail ($15) are also available at an extra cost.
Coastal Kitchen (Deck 17): Coastal Kitchen is open only to suite passengers and Pinnacle Club members of Royal Caribbean's loyalty program. All suite passengers can dine at Coastal Kitchen at night, when it serves a fusion of Mediterranean and Californian farm-to-table cuisine.
Pricing was accurate at time of review, but may have changed since.
Izumi Hibachi (Deck 11); a la carte, or $35 or $40 for the Hibachi Experience
M: L (sushi only); D (Hibachi and sushi)
Izumi serves sushi, sashimi, noodle bowls, soups and salads, all priced a la carte; there's also a hibachi grill experience where you'll sit with others in a square around a hot hibachi surface as the chef spends as much time entertaining as he does cooking.
Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar (Deck 6); a la carte
Open: L, D
Located on the Boardwalk, Sabor is the ship's Mexican restaurant. The concept is Mexican food made with fresh ingredients, and the menu promises things like guacamole made tableside. We found the venue to be hit and miss when it came to quality and portion sizes.
Johnny Rockets (Deck 6); $6.95
Meals: B, L
Johnny Rockets is a Royal Caribbean favorite. The 1950s-style diner on the Boardwalk serves up hamburgers, French fries (with toppings like chili and cheese), melts and hot dogs for lunch. This is not the spot for a "light meal," though you can get a salad or grilled chicken breast sandwich.
Those in the know head to Johnny Rockets for breakfast, which has no additional charge. Food is very diner-centric: flapjacks, fried eggs and hash browns.
Starbucks (Deck 6); a la carte
Meals: B, L, D
Head here for a fancier caffeine fix. It also serves a limited food menu (pastries and the like), as you'd find on shore.
Chops Grille (Deck 8); $39
Chops Grille is Royal Caribbean's signature steakhouse, and this one, located in Central Park, is always packed. That's because it sticks with the big chophouse faves, like filet mignon, New York strip steak, braised short ribs and veal chops. Dry-aged steaks and Maine lobster are available for an additional fee.
150 Central Park (Deck 8); $45 or $89
Michael Schwartz's 150 Central Park is located in Central Park and features two dinner options: a standard three-course dinner or a premium four-course (including two appetizers) menu, where each course is paired with wine. This is not a quick meal, as a number of courses and drinks are prepared tableside -- a nice touch.
Jamie's Italian (Deck 8); $20 lunch, $25 dinner
Meals: L, D
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver lends his name and menu to this restaurant, located in Central Park. Dishes are pure, rustic Italian. We recommend the "Anti Plank" appetizers, beautifully prepared with either cured meats or vegetables. The burger entree is outrageous and delicious, with lots of smoky pancetta and gooey cheddar cheese. The Jamie's Italian lunch menu has fewer options than the dinner menu.
Wonderland (Decks 11 and 12); $49
Spanning two decks, Wonderland's decor, inspired by "Alice in Wonderland," is impressive. But it's the dishes that are truly imaginative. This one is for the foodies and fans of molecular gastronomy; if you don't like fussy food, skip it. Innovative offerings include a baby vegetable garden, with tasty bread crumbs that resemble dirt or a reconstructed caprese salad, with a liquid olive and ricotta powder. The open kitchen is a lot of fun; you can see how the chef actually creates these molecular masterpieces.