With plenty of dining options on board, it’s impossible to go hungry on board Mariner of the Seas. I’ll briefly touch on the restaurants and cafes available before my detailed post on our dinners at the Main Dining Room. Prices are in USD.
Windjammer Cafe- Buffet opened for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The signboard is rather misleading; we thought there was a separate restaurant, Jade Sushi somewhere inside. Turns out that it’s just a section that’s part of the buffet spread.
Main Dining Room- Multi-course breakfast, lunch and fine dining dinner.
Room Service-A $3.95 service charge applied for orders between midnight and 2am.
Chops Grille- American Steakhouse with $30 dining fee per person, gratuities included. Dinner only.
Giovanni’s Table -casual Italian trattoria with $15 lunch and $20 dinner dining fee per person, gratuities included
As for complimentary snacks, the ship has Cafe Promenade, Artic Zone (soft serve), Dog House (hotdogs). Ben and Jerry’s come with a charge and Johnny Rockets (burgers) has a $4.95 cover charge which includes gratuities.
The meal we look forward to daily is definitely dinner at the sprawling 3-story Main Dining Room (each level has a different name). It’s all very formal, really. From chandeliers, plush chairs, white tablecloths to stemmed glasses and cutlery placement, the Dining Room exudes an exclusive aura of old world charm.
Service was fantastic, butler-like style. The staff will even help you to de-shell prawns.
Although the food fell short of being stellar, dishes were generally ok and should please most palates. I’ve got to hand it to the kitchen staff for serving up such large quantity of food but yet still maintaining above average quality.
There are 2 seatings. The first starts at 5.45pm and the second at 8.15pm. While booking our vacation online, we choose the second seating. Alternatively, you can make a trip to the Main Dining Room on Day 1 from 10am-1pm to select the time slot of your preference. Do note that bare feet, short pants and tank tops are not permitted in at dinner.
Menu changes daily and you can find out what’s for dinner at the various LCD screens in the ship. It’s an ala carte buffet, you can order as much as you wish, but do refrain from wasting food.
Rather flat Hot and Sour Soup. The Jalapeno-potato soup fared much better, creamy with a touch of heat.
Classic Caesar Salad. Simple yet so satisfying. Better than Chops Grille’s.
Insalata Della Casa. Healthy mixed greens, crisp zucchini, sweet red bell peppers and black olives.
Antipasti with parma Ham, aubergine and garlic cloves
Gyoza filled with firm, tasty shrimp, bok choy, oyster mushroom, shiitake mushrooms, drizzled with ponzu sauce.
Mouth-watering Bay Scallops Gratin with melted garlic-herb butter and olive breadstick. So good I had 2 servings and lots of bread to mop up the appetizing sauce.
Chicken Breast with Seasonal Herbs. Tender chicken breast grilled with rosemary, comes with assorted vegetables and rice.
Preserved Bean Curd Sea Bass with sautéed vegetables and steamed rice.
Grilled Maine Lobster (1 1/4- 1 1/2 pounds, $29.95) with fresh garlic-herb butter and smooth mashed potato. I highly recommend this delectable crustacean main course. Alternative preparation styles are boil or steamed.
Turkey Piccata dressed with potato croquettes, carrots, broccoli and lemon-caper sauce. Meat was too dry. Meh!
After all the western cuisine we have been eating for the past few days, the robust Thai-style Fish Curry was a much welcomed change.
Garlic Tiger Shrimp with steamed rice, seasonal vegetables and herb butter.
Teriyaki Chicken Leg nesting on a bed of vegetable fried rice
Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle with espresso sauce. A scoop of vanilla ice cream would have made this complete.
Sugar-free Chocolate Pot de Creme. Rich chocolate cream with a sugar-free cinnamon stick.
Low-fat Berry Bliss. Berry mousse, low-fat yogurt and strawberry jell-o.
Sugar-free Vanilla-Mango Cream adorned with lush mango compote and fresh mint
Moist and seductive, the Drunken Kahlua Cake with sweet chocolate ganache frosting is something I can have again and again!
Orange Mousse with marinated berries and mango sauce
Tiramisu with a hint of Kahlua liqueur. Creamy mascarpone cheese, but unfortunately, inadequate espresso-macerated lady fingers.
Sticky Bread and Butter Pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream
Sugar-free Strawberries Romanoff. Macerated strawberries with sugar-free vanilla ice cream and coconut crisp
The final night at the Main Dining Room should not be missed. Staff will bid guests farewell with a dance including gangnam style moves XD