By Michael Coleman
The gastronomic journey aboard Oasis of the Seas is befitting the world’s large cruise ship.
No fewer than 24 dining venues and some 20 bars and lounges welcome passengers for their respective 7-day Eastern or Western Caribbean itineraries.
“Oasis of the Seas showcases the evolution of Royal Caribbean dining,” said Royal Caribbean’s president and CEO, Adam Goldstein.
“Both the new concepts and the established Royal Caribbean offerings found throughout the ship are designed to meet contemporary dining standards, cater to individual preferences and schedules and foster epicurean curiosity.’’
That they do. Among the highlights:
150 Central Park — The ship’s most exclusive dining venue provides an intimate experience which combines leading-edge cuisine with modern design creating a trendy upscale ambiance. Look for a tasting menu with customized wine pairings. Dinner only, $35 cover charge.
Giovanni’s Table — This Tuscan countryside influenced trattoria is a casual Italian restaurant featuring both indoor and al fresco seating. Look for toasted herbal breads, pizzas, salads, pastas, Italian sandwiches, braised meat dishes and stews. Open for lunch ($10) and dinner ($15).
Park CafÃ© — A casual, indoor/outdoor gourmet market with walk-up counters. From freshly prepared salads and made-to-order sandwiches, to paninis, crepes and soups, guests order directly from the chefs behind food stations. No charge.
Vintages — The ship’s wine bar, nestled into a cozy corner on the Deck 8 Central Park, features a selection of cheeses and a broad tapas menu to accompany a robust selection of fine wines, from a tropical white Riesling to a mocha-inflected Merlot. Open for lunch and dinner; Ã¡ la carte pricing.
Chops Grille — The line’s signature steakhouse offers premium cut, quality meats. Guests can choose to enjoy the upscale, contemporary setting indoors with views of Central Park or al fresco. Open for dinner; $25 cover charge.
Izumi — Look for a sushi bar and hot rock cooking, as well as other Asian fare in this popular venue. Open for lunch and dinner; Ã¡ la carte pricing.
Seafood Shack — The indoor/outdoor casual family restaurant serves a variety of seafood, as well an extensive beverage menu of non-alcoholic cocktails and over-sized desserts. Cover charge is $8.95.
Johnny Rockets — Burgers, fries and shakes, on the ship’s Boardwalk and just steps from the Aqua Theater, this popular diner also features a breakfast menu. Open for breakfast ($3.95), lunch and dinner ($4.95).â€¨â€¨
Sorrento’s Pizzeria — Look for made-to-order pizzas and slices — at no charge. The best people watching place on the ship as the venue fronts the Deck 5 Promenade. Open for lunch, dinner and late night snacks.
Solarium Bistro — A contemporary bistro offering health-conscious dining for breakfast and lunch, in a casual setting. In the evenings the venue transforms into a romantic and intimate dining setting for specialty healthy-fare dinner and dancing under the stars. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; dinner has a $20 cover charge.
The Vitality CafÃ© — Located at the entrance of the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, the venue features healthy snacks, sandwiches, wraps and fruit, in addition to juices and smoothies. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Passengers, as part of their cruise fare, enjoy no-charge breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Opus Dining Room, a three-level showcase reviving the grandeur of the 1920s complete with French art deco design, and in the Windjammer Marketplace which features multiple food stations offering a variety of casual buffet fare.
Look also for a donut shop, a 1950’s style ice cream parlor, the first cupcake venue at sea and perhaps the ship’s ultimate culinary option: a Chef’s Table. Just 14 passengers per night enjoy excellent food and wine pairings in an intimate setting. Cover charge is $75 per person.
On the Web: www.oasisoftheseas.com