What Is Specialty Dining?

Specialty dining restaurants have become a defining feature of modern cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity Cruises. These venues offer an elevated culinary experience that goes beyond the main dining rooms. While there is an additional price, specialty dining allows passengers an opportunity to indulge in a variety of gourmet dishes from around the world.

Variety and Excellence

Cruise lines have diversified their dining options to include specialty restaurants that cater to specific tastes and culinary traditions. From steakhouses and Italian trattorias to sushi bars and French bistros, there's something to satisfy every palate. For example, Royal Caribbean's Chops Grille is renowned for its premium steaks, while Jamie's Italian offers rustic, handmade pasta dishes.

Ambiance and Service

While the main dining room is a special environment nearly every cruiser will love, specialty dining restaurants on are designed to provide a more intimate and upscale atmosphere. These venues often feature sophisticated decor, attentive service and a quieter dining environment compared to the main dining rooms. Tables are further apart and you’re guaranteed a table to yourself. The added cost for dining in these specialty restaurants is often justified by the enhanced quality of food and service.

Plan Your Meals Ahead

Reservations for specialty dining are recommended, as these restaurants are popular and can fill up quickly. Many cruise lines offer dining packages that provide access to multiple specialty restaurants at a discounted rate, thus allowing passengers to experience a variety of culinary delights throughout their voyage. If you don’t want to purchase a package, you can always make a single reservation and pay the fixed menu price. Again, consider booking your specialty dining reservations as soon as possible, either online before your cruise or immediately upon boarding. 

Specialty Dining Tips

Take advantage of dining packages if you plan to visit multiple venues and don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant staff for recommendations to ensure you choose the best dishes. Additionally, be mindful of the dress codes, as many specialty restaurants require smart-casual attire.

In summary, specialty dining restaurants offer you a chance to embark on a culinary journey that complements your adventures. Whether you're in the mood for a gourmet steak, authentic Italian cuisine, or simply a unique dining experience, these venues enhance the overall cruise experience, making it truly unforgettable.

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