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Opinion15 Most Popular Cruise Ship Restaurants (According to Our Readers)

15 Most Popular Cruise Ship Restaurants (According to Our Readers)

A few days ago we asked our readers on Facebook and X to name their all-time favorite dining venue on a cruise ship.

After sorting through all the comments and compiling the responses into a spreadsheet, we have listed these favorite cruise ship restaurants by the most common answers.

Eden Restauran on Celebrity Edge
What is the best restaurant on a cruise ship? Here are the 15 top picks from our readers. (Photo Credit: Cruise Fever)

We will update this article after a week or so, based on the social media comments that come in as a result of this post as well, so stay tuned and let your voice be heard on our Facebook page.

The top results were selected according to the most named onboard cruise ship restaurants and dining venues.

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They are listed in ascending order from 15 to 1.  And remember, this is by popularity not necessarily by best quality of food.

It should be noted that some of the most common responses were the main dining room and the buffet.  In fact, the main dining room was the top response, closely followed by the buffet.  Since these are found on every ship and some didn’t specify which cruise line, we have filtered out those results and only mention specific food venue names below.

Of these 15 dining options here is how often each cruise line has a restaurant in the list:

  • Carnival Cruise Line: 4
  • Royal Caribbean International: 3
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: 3
  • Celebrity Cruises: 2
  • Princess Cruises: 1
  • Holland America Line: 1
  • Disney Cruise Line: 1

Here were favorite cruise ship dining venues according to our followers at Cruise Fever:

 

15. Big Chicken

Shaq's Big Chicken on Carnival Celebration
Shaq’s Big Chicken on Carnival Celebration. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Carnival Cruise Line’s partnership with Shaq has been great for the company, and Big Chicken has been a huge hit.   It’s only available on a handful of ships right now, including Carnival Celebration, Carnival Radiance, Mardi Gras, and soon to be on Carnival Jubilee.  The fact that it’s included in the fare price and is open for almost every meal makes this food venue a popular place to eat.

 

14. Wonderland

restaurant on harmony of the seas cruise ship
Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas (Photo Credit: Cruise Fever)

Royal Caribbean cruisers enjoy the unique and culinary experience that Wonderland brings.  It really isn’t just a place to eat but more like an onboard excursion that allows you to enjoy all kinds of fine cuisine that is displayed in an almost magical way.  The Alice-in-Wonderland inspired restaurant is available on Anthem of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas.  This restaurant carries an extra cost of about $60 before tips.

 

13. Pinnacle Grill

Pinnacle Grill on Holland America
Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

Holland America Line’s Pinnacle Grill offers an upscale dining experience, and passengers who sail with Holland America a lot love this venue.  With a menu featuring quality steaks and seafood, it’s an option for passengers seeking an elegant and memorable meal on their cruise.  You can expect premium cuts of beef and expertly aged steaks to mix or match with a assortment of seafood options.  Pinnacle Grill carries an extra charge of $39 to $46 for dinner.

 

12. JiJi Asian Kitchen

jiji asian kitchen
Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

With authentic Mongolian-inspired décor and Asian prayer rolls to set the ambiance, JiJi Asian Kitchen is a favorite among Carnival fans who crave some exotic Asian food.  Only available on select Carnival ships (Horizon, Panorama, Sunshine, and Vista) the experience starts with a roll of the die to see who orders first (JiJi means “lucky” by the way).  The food is served family style and the cost is $18 for adults and $5 for the kid’s menu.

 

11. Teppanyaki

Teppanyaki on Norwegian Cruise Line
Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Teppanyaki on Norwegian Cruise Line is very popular with NCL fans.   It can be found on almost every cruise ship in the fleet.  It’s like dinner and a show rolled into one. You sit around a hot griddle while a talented chef cooks up a storm right in front of you. It’s all about sizzling and flipping as you enjoy Japanese cuisine, from perfectly seared steak to mouthwatering shrimp. The chefs add some entertainment to your meal with their impressive knife skills and tricks, making it a fun and delicious experience. So, it’s not just about the food; it’s the whole teppanyaki show that makes it a must-try on NCL cruises.

 

10. Giovanni’s Table

Giovannis table on Allure of the Seas

For some fine dining of Italian food on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Giovanni’s Table is the place to be.   Often replacing Portofino on Royal Caribbean ships, it offers a wide range of Italian dishes, including appetizers, soups, pasta, main courses, and desserts, as well as lots of wine options. It’s a great place for family-style Italian dining that’s different from other ship restaurants.  There is an extra charge for eating here.

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9. Palo

Palo restaurant on Disney cruise ships
Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line fans were raving about Palo, the adult-only steakhouse that features Italian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere.  You have to make reservations to eat here and there is an additional fee.   You can visit Palo for brunch or dinner if you want to skip the main dining room on one night.  The menu covers a variety of dishes, starting with antipasti, followed by options like eggs, soups, waffles, pancakes, pizzas, and entrees. It also showcases Italian-inspired offerings, including Lasagna Bolognese and Calzones, in addition to steak, fish, pasta, and more.

 

8. Murano

Murano restaurant on Celebrity cruises
Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Murano is a Celebrity Cruises speciality dining venue that offers a new take on French cuisine.  In other words, you can order classic French dishes but with a modern twist.   Only available on some Solstice-class cruise ships with Celebrity, the dining venue has a cult-like following of cruisers who can’t get enough of the place.

 

7. Crown Grill

This premium seafood and steakhouse restaurant is a Princess Cruises staple.   It has been named atop the “Best Cruise Ship Steakhouses” by USA Today.  The venue has a classic steakhouse vibe, with notes of mid-century wood tones and open views into the kitchen.   Whether it’s the 14-ounce ribeye or New Zealand double lamb chops, our cruise fans truly love this Princess favorite.

 

6. Chop’s Grill

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean’s Chop’s Grill is another fan favorite steakhouse that has been around for quite a while with the cruise line.  Hand cut steaks and prime beef lure cruise passengers into this iconic food venue.  It’s open for lunch on sea days and every day for dinner.  The tender filet is among the most popular choices on the menu.  As an icon of Royal Caribbean, this extra charge restaurant can be found on every ship in the fleet.

 

5. Farenheit 555

Farenheit555 steakhouse on Carnival Cruise Line

More steakhouses are rounding out the top 10 in our list, as Carnival’s beloved steakhouse, Fahrenheit 555 comes in at #5 in votes.   You can order a Cowboy Steak, New York Strip, or Filet Mignon, on top of the seafood offerings available at this fine dining venue.    You can even pick out what salts you like to be used on your steak to make you feel like you’re eating like a king or queen.

 

4. Le Bistro

Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Le Bistro is a Norwegian Cruise Line restaurant, offering elegance and sophistication to pair with classic French cuisine.  Whether you want a romantic date or a taste of the finer things in life, Le Bistro offers French dishes like escargot and coq au vin to tantalize your taste buds.   This food venue is offered on a myriad of NCL cruise ships and has an a la cart pricing system on the menu.

 

3. Cagney’s Steakhouse

Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Also featuring an a la carte pricing model, Cagney’s Steakhouse is a very popular choice for cruisers, especially NCL fans who put this onboard restaurant at #3 in votes.    Cagney’s is a classic steakhouse with a cozy, elegant atmosphere.  This is a very popular place to eat on a Norwegian ship, so make reservations as soon as you can if you plan to eat here.

 

2. Eden Restaurant

Eden Restauran on Celebrity Edge
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Another unique food venue from Celebrity Cruises, Eden Restaurant has both great food and a great location on the ship.  With aft views through a huge window, Eden has earth, wind, and fire décor themed throughout the vibrant space filled with plant-life.  Dinner offers a 5-course meal with some of the most eye-appealing dishes you will ever see.  It could cost you around $65 or more per person to dine here and that’s apart from gratuity.  Celebrity cruisers absolutely loved this dining option.

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1. Guy’s Burgers

Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival Celebration
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Not far into the comments it wasn’t hard to see that Guy’s Burgers was going to be a top contender.  Even though this is more of a casual dining restaurant and there are some elegant dining options in this list, the simple fact of the matter is that cruisers love those Guy Fieri burgers.   More followers mentioned Guy’s Burgers as their favorite food venue on a cruise ship than any other venue.  On top of that, it’s all included in the cruise fare as well, so what’s not to like?

 

Final Thoughts

Did your favorite restaurant make the list?  There were more than 50 dining venues mentioned and there were some great choices listed.  Of course a main stream line has an advantage of having more mentions than an all-inclusive luxury line, so this is more of a popularity contest than a contest of who has the best food.

Read more:  12 biggest cruise dining mistakes to avoid on your next cruise

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on dozens of cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 9 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
Opinion15 Most Popular Cruise Ship Restaurants (According to Our Readers)

3 COMMENTS

  1. Both Holland America and Royal Caribbean have very good food, amazing variety, and good service, overall, across their ships in both the buffet-restaurant, the Windjammer for Royal Caribbean, and the main buffet on the Lido Deck for Holland America. Likewise, the Main Dining Rooms in both fleets have similar advantages plus the fact that the menus change every night of the week! The Holland America’s newest ship, Rotterdam, ticks all these boxes plus wonderful decor and artwork. One footnote: the mega-ships (both within Carnival’s fleet and within Royal Caribbean’s fleet) have had many lukewarm reviews for the buffet-quality and the service (or lack of it) in the Main Dining Rooms. The mid-size and smaller ships (e.g., around 2,000 passengers) in both fleets have the best service, food-quality, and overall experience, especially as numbers of passengers are much more comfortable and manageable.

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