There’s no doubt that one of the best features of a cruise is the food. As a busy mom tasked with providing three healthy meals and who knows how many snacks a day, I appreciate that every meal is provided on the cruise. I don’t have to shop or plan or cook food, I just show up and enjoy it. My husband enjoys the salad bar at the casual buffet dining option and my kids love the number of kid-friendly meals.
And that’s just the traditional dining options. But now many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, are adding specialty restaurants to give cruisers even more options. While on our Royal Caribbean Greek Islands cruise we took advantage of the growing choices and enjoyed two truly special dinners.
When we got on board we originally weren’t planning on dining at Izumi. Instead, we thought we’d only do one specialty dining night so we made reservations at Chops Grille. After a day or two on board when we realized how much our children enjoyed the Adventure Ocean kids’ club we decided to plan another date night with a special meal at Izumi, a traditional Japanese restaurant.
On Splendour of the Seas both Chops Grille and Izumi are on the top floor of the ship, toward the back with great views of the ocean. I was so excited to eat some good sushi, but we started our meal with complimentary Edamame. We shared an appetizer of Gyoza Dumplings and they were delicious. For our main courses, I picked a variety of sushi rolls. My favorite the Box Yellowtail in Garlic Ponzu – it tasted even better than it looks, which is saying something.
My husband had Beef Tenderloin Hot Rock, a fun dish you prepare yourself on a 575 degree hot rock plate. It was served with a variety of dipping sauces and fresh vegetables.
Our total bill at Izumi was about $40, which included a $5 per person sitting charge and individual charges for each dish we ordered. It was money well-spent!
Chops Grille is Royal Caribbean’s signature specialty dining option, serving traditional steakhouse fare.
We started our meal with two appetizers: Beefsteak Tomato & Purple Onion salad for my husband and Warm Goat Cheese and Basil Souffle for me. Truth be told, this was my least favorite of our three course meal. But, it’s hard to compete with the amazing shrimp dish I had for my main dish. I’ve eaten my fair share of shrimp in my life, but the Herb-Crusted Jumbo Shrimp was the best serving of shrimp I’ve ever had. The three shrimp were enormous and the herb topping was absolutely divine. My husband had a flavorful Petit Filet Mignon steak served with great mashed potatoes.
We finished the meal with two of the biggest slices of cake you’ve ever seen. One was Red Velvet and the other was several layers of chocolate deliciousness.
There is a flat $30 per person charge to dine at Chops Grille. Again, it was money well-spent for a truly memorable dining experience.
Thanks to Royal Caribbean for providing on-board credit to cover the cost of our specialty dining experiences.