A ship the size of the Allure of the Seas it’s no surprise that there are many, many dining options that span both complimentary and specialty restaurants. Among the complimentary dining is the Main Dining Room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Park Café, Windjammer Café, Wipeout Café, Promenade Café, Solarum Bisto, Sorrento’s Pizza and room service (there is a fee for room service in the very early hours of the morning). Among the Specialty restaurants, which require a surcharge and reservations to dine in them, are 150 Centra Park, Chops Grille steakhouse, Giovanni’s Table and Samba Grill. The ship also offers casual restaurants for a nominal fee; Johnny Rockets, Cupcake Cupboard, Rita’s Cantina, Boardwalk Dog House and the Ice Cream Parlor.
During my stay aboard the ship, I had breakfast the first 2 days at the Windjammer Cafe. The café had lots of people at regular dining times, but I had no trouble finding a table in spite of the crowds. The café offers great breakfast buffet fare with many food choices. To avoid the breakfast crowds, we decided to try out the Park Café in Central Park and were delighted to discover that there are not many people here, plus we had the added bonus of dining outdoors among the lush gardens. Not as many food choices, but they offered a build your own bagel bar, fresh fruit, muffins, breakfast burritos, McMuffin sandwhiches and a selection of pastries.
I had dinner in the My Time Dining Room 3 times and the food was excellent as usual and they offer a magnificent Crème Brule for dessert. Opting for the My Time Dining allowed me to choose what time I wanted to eat. With it, you can choose to make reservations at a specific time for the dining room, or you can just show up when you are ready to eat. I did not make reservations for the dining room and was able to get right in when I arrived between 5:30 and 6:30pm. If you want to use the My Time dining option but want to eat after 7:00pm, I would suggest making reservations for the dining room.
I also tried 4 of the specialty restaurants: Rita’s Cantina, Samba Grill (a Brazillian steakhouse), Chops Grille and Giovanni’s Table.
Dinner my first night was a Sail Away party at Rita’s Cantina, a Mexican restaurant on the Boardwalk which requires reservations. The meal included 3 margaritas, excellent appetizers, a main course of fajitas, and a dessert of flan and churro’s with chocolate dipping sauce. Audience participation entertainment was provided in the form of dancing along to the Mexican fiesta music as well as dancing instruction outside the restaurant on the boardwalk, familiar favorite songs, and sombreros and blinking light necklaces. My only complaint was the music was very, very loud and I felt I had been at a rock concert after leaving dinner.
The Samba Grill experience begins when you are seated and the waiter brings a warm basket of small round divine cheese rolls. One could really make a meal of these cheese rolls, they are so delicious. The meal begins at a self-serve salad bar filled with a wonderful selection of appetizers, soups, salads, shrimp (one of my absolute favorites). The main course features various cuts of rotisserie-roasted meat carved tableside and traditional Brazilian desserts.
Chops Grille feels like an upscale restaurant and their specialty is, of course, steak. The meal begins with a loaf of warm, crusty bread. Appetizer selections are always hard to make, but I choose the wild mushroom soup which was wonderful. There are several steak choices and I selected the fillet mignon. The steak was wonderfully tender and came with a side dish of broccolini, and my dessert choice was Red Velvet Cake.
Gionvanni’s Table is also located in Central Park and offered outside dining, in fact the same table I had at breakfast. Giovanni’s table is a family style Italian restaurant with many lovely pasta dishes.
There are several types of drink packages offered. I took advantage of the soda package, receiving a refillable drink cup in my stateroom and my shipboard card also had a symbol on it denoting the drink package. I just needed to show my card at any bar or restaurant and received my choice of soda. The ship also has drink machines where you can refill your cup yourself. My friend choose to purchase a 5-bottle wine package which she enjoyed. Each night at dinner, she received a list of wines that she could choose from. If she was not able to finish the wine at dinner, the waiter was able to save it for the next night. They notate the bottle with your room number on it, making it available the next night at whatever dining venue passengers decide to eat at.