THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN SERIES PART 3- COMPLIMENTARY FOOD ON THE CRUISE
While on the Anthem of the Seas, we were given areas of the ship where food was complimentary. This included certain areas such as the Main Dining Room (or often referred to as "My Time Dining") and the Windjammer Marketplace (an higher regarded version of the buffet). The Main Dining Room consisted of for separately themed rooms with the same kitchen. The be best way to think of it is that they were the same restaurant with four different rooms on two decks. Some examples are pictured below. These photos only show two of the dining rooms as we realized that they all featured the same daily menu and it didn't actually matter which room we ate in.
I do not have any photos of the Windjammer Marketplace. We randomly would go there whether it be for a last minute family dessert or a cup of coffee between meals. It was just a buffet style set up with beverage stations and the occasional server.
MAIN DINING ROOM
The Main Dining Room (My Time Dining) featured menu items that were pretty much all you can eat. In one seating, I ordered two shrimp cocktail appetizers, a salad, two lobster tail dinners and dessert just for myself. Don't get me wrong, I may have ordered a lot, but that was not because the food was overwhelmingly amazing or anything. I was just hungry as the portions were small.
The first photo shows the prime rib I ordered from our first night. To set this up a bit. I had enjoyed a pretty nice piece of roast beef earlier in the day from the Windjammer Marketplace. So I figured I may have some luck for a decent piece of prime rib. Sadly I was wrong. I ordered it medium rare and the piece of meat placed in front of me was no where near it. It was completely overcooked. What also bothered me was when the server gave it to me. He placed it in front of me stating that it was how I ordered it. "Here is your medium rare prime rib sir," as he claimed. I responded only with a sad look. As if my eyes said back to him, "Why do you lie to me?" I was starving and I really didn't want to wait for something else to come out. Worst mistake ever. The meat reminded me of leather. It completely ruined my appetite. I finished my baked potato and ate my dinner at the Windjammer.
Photo two is the Goat Cheese Torte. My wife enjoyed it. The goat cheese, tomato and the pastry worked well together and the dish was well executed. This was a win on the ship. They did nicely here.
Photo three was my personal favorite. When I read the menu and saw the words "crispy pork belly", my mouth began to water. I could not help but try this dish. Thank goodness they did this dish justice. Fried pork belly with mashed potatoes, gravy and sweet dried apple with a sliced red pepper garnish. The best part was the crispy skin on the top. So delicious.
In photo four we see the shrimp cocktail. It's no secret that I love shrimp, it's one of my favorite things in the world to eat and it's one of my favorite proteins to cook with. When I'm given four chilled shrimp I expect them to be be bigger than what seemed like 31/35's. But it's okay, we were on a cruise. I can't expect top quality, or can ? I didn't like how I had to ask for cocktail sauce. I would imagine the whole point of shrimp cocktail would be to get the cocktail sauce with the shrimp.
My wife said she enjoyed the Chicken Cordon Bleu featured in photo five. I don't remember it exactly being her reaction. She did question how I wrote her feelings of the dish in Part One of this series. But when we spoke about it, she responded, "it wasn't bad." In my opinion, if something "isn't bad", that means it's not great.
In photo six, I show the lobster tails. I was so hoping that these would be great. Lobster is one of my other favorite foods. They tasted old. They seemed like they had been in the freezer a little too long. I feel if you are going to serve lobster, it should always be spectacular. If it's not, don't serve it.
Finally, I am going to let the following photo do all of the talking. My wife had a Caesar Salad that she began to enjoy until she found an extra ingredient that should have not been there. The photo is below.
THE WINDJAMMER MARKETPLACE
Like I said earlier, I do not have any photos of the Windjammer Marketplace. I wish that I did. I have some family photos, but no food shots. All I want to say is that some of the more enjoyable food on the ship was there. I actually had some of my best meals there. Keep in mind I do not think the food was really all that great. It's just I knew exactly what to expect there and how to expect it. That way I was never disappointed. I received what I expected. This is also the place I ended up getting my meals after being disappointed elsewhere on the ship. Thank you Windjammer for not letting me go to bed hungry.
There were more food choices on the ship then the ones I will be writing about. There was the Irish bar Michael's Genuine Pub (not included in complimentary cuisine), Chops Grille (not included in complimentary cuisine), Chef's Table (not included in complimentary cuisine), Izumi Japanese Cuisine (not included in complimentary cuisine), Sorrento's Pizza (included in complimentary cuisine), Johnny Rockets (not included in complimentary cuisine) and the Seaplex Dog House (not included in complimentary cuisine). The food provided in the price of the cruise was not anything to write home about. It was pretty disappointing. However I would do the cruise again because I enjoyed myself with everything else. I will give the complimentary food on the ship a 2 out of 5 stars. I think Royal Caribbean can do better in this area of their service.