After checking out our room, we headed back up to the deck to check some things out. First stop…the ice cream machine! We stopped here no less than twice a day…
We checked out some other areas of the ship:
The stairs in the Centrum:
We headed to the muster drill. We were supposed to be on Deck 5 outside, but major storms were rolling in. So instead we were inside the theater. It was a little bit chaotic since multiple stations were located inside, but at lease we could sit down!
From following different message boards and researching, I knew that we were going to:
- Pass under the Key Bridge (and be able to see a red, white and blue buoy, which is the location where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner)
- Pass under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
- Pass over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (which we drive ON every summer to go to the beach!)
I also had seen different times when these were supposed to be happening. I knew the Key Bridge was coming up soon, so we headed outside on deck 5 and could see it coming in the distance! It was perfect timing. Just off camera here to the left is where the red, white and blue buoy is.
It was also perfect timing for us to head back and get ready for dinner. Our luggage up to this point had not been delivered yet. Once we got back to the room, our little suitcase was there, but not our big one! I talked to our room steward and he said I should have had it by now, and said to go down to deck 1, which I knew was the “naughty room.” A few different things can make you end up in the naughty room…alcohol, power strips, irons, crock pots…anything on the banned item list. I knew I had none of these, so at this point I was just hoping my suitcase WAS there!
Yep. It was. I was too scared to take a picture because there was security…and luggage, everywhere! I was amazed at some of the items that were being pulled out of the suitcases. I claimed my suitcase and they told me I couldn’t have a power strip. I didn’t have one and tried explaining. They opened the suitcase and then ran it through the machine again. I was fine! So away we went with the suitcase to get ready for dinner.
Dining on Royal Caribbean
- There are 3 different dinner options when booking your cruise.
- Assigned time of 5:30 p.m.–This is located in the Main Dining Room on the Grandeur, Deck 4–Great Gatsby. You will have the same wait staff for the length of the cruise.
- Assigned time of 8:00 p.m.–Also located in the Main Dining Room on the Grandeur, Deck 4–Great Gatsby. You will have the same wait staff for the length of the cruise.
- My Time Dining–This is a great option if you don’t want to be tied to a set time. If you want more flexibility with your evenings and days when you are in port, this will work great for you. You CAN make reservations through your Cruise Planner online, or you can just show up during dinner hours posted in the Cruise Compass. By just showing up, you may have a wait depending upon how many other people are doing the same thing as you! This is located in the Main Dining Room Balcony on the Grandeur, Deck 5–Great Gatsby. You may have different wait staff throughout the cruise.
- Another option is to eat in the Windjammer buffet up on deck 9. You can choose to do this any evening you wish, even if you choose one of the above three choices. It’s a courtesy to alert your main dining room wait staff so they know not to expect you.
- There are also a few dining locations on the Grandeur that you can pay an upcharge to eat in. I didn’t eat in any of these so can not share any tips or advice! I will say, I didn’t really want to pay additional to eat when the Main Dining Room is included in your cruise fare!
We arrived at about 5:25 p.m. on deck 4 (just one above where our cabin is…super convenient!) The entrance to the Main Dining Room is next to the main “hub” of action…the Centrum. This is where they play live music, and have other entertainment. This area was PACKED! And there was a line that wrapped around to get into the Dining Room doors. I think this happens on the first night on almost any ship because no one knows where their table is! After the first night, it’s a breeze.
We were escorted to our table, and to my surprise, we were seated with 2 other groups! I thought for sure we would have our own table because there were 5 of us. But we were at a table for 11! A family of 4 from Australia, and 2 friends from England (1 lives in US now). We absolutely loved meeting these people!
I had already browsed some menus prior to getting on the ship. There was a big hubbub a few months ago when Royal changed their menus!
Night 1 Menu:
You can see the Starters, Main Courses, and Desserts. Some of these were standard on the menu and served every single night.At the bottom are a few “Premium Selections” that you can order and be charged the amount shown next to the entree.
Kid’s Menu (same every night):
We met our waiter, Austin from India, and our assistant waiter, Kevin from the Philippines. They both were very good and very efficient. They did expect our entire order, including dessert, right off the bat.
I mentioned earlier that during the muster drill we were having thunderstorms. Well they didn’t stop! They continued the entire way down the Chesapeake! I was glad we were wayyyyyy out to sea yet. The lightning was non-stop! This was the Chesapeake Bridge while we were eating.
I ordered the Caesar Salad and the Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup.
The Caesar Salad was okay. Not the greatest, not the worst. I particularly liked the shaved Parmesan cheese. The soup was amazing! And I don’t really love mushrooms.
My daughters both had the Seasonal Fruit Plate. My youngest only eats watermelon, and my oldest eats everything except cantaloupe.
The fruit was very fresh! And between the 3 of us we ordered at least 2 plates each evening.
Chicken Waldorf Salad:
These were eaten by others at our table. I’m assuming they were good because no one complained!
Kid’s Pizza with French Fries:
She deemed this one of the best pizzas she ever had! And she would continue to have. Every.single.night.
My oldest daughter ordered this. And she ate every single last noodle. We were supposed to share, and I had one bite. I LOVED the sauce! It was so good that I would order this later in the week for myself.
New York Strip Loin:
I realllllly wanted to love this steak. But it was just okay. I prefer Filet Mignon so this was just eh. I’m glad I got it cooked medium. The potato and vegetables were great!
Here are a few dishes others at our table ordered:
(This may have been the fish of the day?? Or the Horseradish Crusted Salmon?)
Aged Prime Rib of Beef:
Next up was dessert!
Warm Hazelnut Chocolate Cake:
If you like hazelnut, you will love this! It was so delicious! Very warm, and perfect with the whipped cream.
My oldest daughter got this every single night! It was SO GOOD. I’m picky about cheesecake! And the strawberries were perfect with this.
Royal Chocolate Cake:
I think this was very good, because there was none left!
Overall we loved our experience in the Main Dining Room, and were stuffed to the gills when we left.