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Why Royal Caribbean International Might Just Be The Best Cruise Line Of All

The cruise industry loves food. It probably goes without saying, but passengers do as well. A shipping line’s food offering is often the clincher when it comes to making a decision between which cruise company you will travel with – especially as passenger tastes evolve and we crave a more culturally diverse culinary journey.


There’s almost a race amongst cruise lines to announce the signing of the next celebrity chef. And let’s face it, because of the reduced-cost on-board dining pricing structure, for many of us, it could be the only time that we can afford celebrity-chef dining delights.


So who is winning that race to be the best?


According to Food and Travel Magazine, it’s clearly Royal Caribbean International.

RCI was voted Best Cruise Line Overall in the Food and Travel Reader Awards 2015 recently announced in Mexico. It is the second consecutive year that the cruise line was honoured by Food and Travel, a leading tourism and lifestyle magazine that combines adventure, gastronomy and photography with recipes and insider tips for travellers.


So how is RCI getting it so right? By offering an amazing array of dining options and giving passengers a real choice when it comes to dining. The Dynamic Dining program allows passengers to pick and choose restaurants and dining times each day and night. It’s that flexibility that sets RCI apart. Dining options do change from ship to ship, but here’s a sample of what RCI offers.


When the mega-liner Ovation of the Seas comes to Australia this year, there will be restaurants by British food sensation Jamie Oliver (Jamie’s Italian) and James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz whose Michael's Genuine Pub will be the first American-styled gastropub at sea. “Royal Caribbean shares my approach to food and dining, which is to serve simple, fresh ingredients in a warm, inviting ambiance,’’ Oliver said, about the launch of his on-board restaurant.


Then there’s also Chops Grille, the company’s signature steak house that has a distinctly New York feel about it. The menu is very American (pan-roasted jumbo scallops and colossal shrimp cocktails), the waiters are wonderfully attentive and the wood panelling and seating gives a Wall Street feel to the experience.


At a Chops Grille, on any RCI ship in the world, you can order “USDA prime beef raised in Iowa and Nebraska, dry-aged in a climate-controlled room for nearly four weeks to achieve the pinnacle of flavour, tenderness, and aroma”. Now that’s pretty impressive.


Australians have had a long affair with sushi, and Izumi – the traditional Japanese restaurant – serves up an explosion of authentic Asian flavours with every mouthful. Windjammer, the company’s dining mainstay, is constantly reinvented on RCI’s new ships and chefs are now creating meals in an interactive environment. The marketplace style of dining allows them to serve a truly international style of cuisine ensuring that diners never tire of the same menu.


In a new fun twist, there’s a dining option called Wonderland where guests are invited to take a journey down the rabbit hole and determine what is real and what is invented. The menu is designed around themes – Sun, Sea, Earth, Dreams, Ice and Fire – and plays with temperature, textures, portions and flavours to create unexpected, postmodern dishes. It certainly is the wow-factor dining option on Quantum Class ships.



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