Today’s article is might ruffle some feathers among my fellow cruisers but I wanted to write this since I am frequently about it. Oasis of the Seas added additional specialty dining options and one of them is even new to the fleet. I used to be a naysayer about specialty dining because I always liked the Main Dining Room. In recent years I have come over to the dark side and I’m not going back. So here is my opinion of Oasis of the Seas Speciality Dining Venues Ranked.
- Playmakers Sports Bar: I first tried Playmakers on Mariner of the Seas because I had to see what everyone was talking about. There was so much buzz about the food. On my Oasis sailing, I just about sampled everything on the menu with friends and can honestly say there isn’t anything I disliked. I love how casual this venue is and how you can get a quality meal in a fraction of the time. Still not sure it is worth it? Check out this review post from my Mariner of the Seas Sailing. My favorite dishes are the burger and ahi tuna nachos!
- 150 Central Park: This is hands down my favorite specialty dinner venue from Royal Caribbean. The food is elegant and the presentation is always on point. I love the table side service as they make you their delicious signature cucumber martini. The menu has changed since my original Oasis sailing 2 years ago but I am happy to report the it is still fabulous. My favorite dishes include the braised short ribs and roasted organic beet salad for an appetizer, the lobster thermidor for an entree, and the fried cheesecake for dessert. I recommend booking this venue for a formal night. It is a nice break from a noisy main dining room. Check out my review vlog of the new menu.
- Giovanni’s Table: I really enjoy this venue. It is nice for an intimate dinner and is great for a large party since they serve family style. We ate here with a large group in December and it was fun sampling all the different pasta dishes. The pasta is made on the ship so you are getting a fresh product. The dishes that stand out to me are the charcuterie board, grilled octopus, and the filet of beef. The filet from this venue is the best steak on the ship! This is a nice semi-casual dining venue for dinner. Here is my vlog review of this venue!
- Portside BBQ: This new venue on Oasis of the Seas is a first for the Royal Caribbean fleet. I am not the biggest bbq fan but I loved this venue. This is a great casual venue like Playmakers. You are in and out very quickly. I recommend the burnt ends, pulled pork, brisket and wings. I really enjoyed all of the sides as well. If you have the Ultimate Dining Plan, this venue is a great bang for your buck too. I have a vlog and blog post for reviews.
- Chops Grille: This venue is Royal Caribbean’s constant. You can find one of these on any of their ships. This steak house venue is either loved or people can take it or leave it. I happen to be the latter. I fully believe that the best steak is at Giovanni’s as previously mentioned. I think Chops best selection for appetizers and is unique with its seafood towers. Here is my vlog from Vision of the Seas. I recommend the crab cake, seafood tower, and bacon. You are not going to have a bad meal at Chops Grille. It is something that you should try at least once.
- Izumi: There are two parts to Izumi on Oasis of the Seas. The first is the restaurant side with a sushi bar and the other is the hibachi. I’ve eaten at the sushi side a few times on Oasis and different ships and it has always been good. I’ve never had a bad roll but it isn’t necessarily mind-blowing either. My most recent trip in December led me to try the hibachi for the first time. I don’t think the hibachi is worth the money and it was mediocre at best. Here is my vlog from hibachi.
The main reason I have hopped on the specialty dining train is quality. Royal Caribbean does have good food in its complimentary venues but since I am blessed to cruise more than I used to, I like having the change up of specialty dining. The other reason I love specialty dining is that I am usually in and out of a venue faster than the complimentary sit down venues. It gets me back to enjoying my trip faster.
Are you interested in specialty dining? I highly recommend checking out the Ultimate Dining Package!
Which restaurant is your favorite?