Royal Caribbean is renowned for being innovative and family-friendly, and Anthem of the Seas is no exception with its bionic bar and bumper cars. It also boasts 18 dining venues – including Jamie’s Italian restaurant which takes pride over its authentically-sourced and accessible to all cuisine.
So, how does it compare to a land-based restaurant? Is it worth trying onboard Anthem or Quantum of the Seas? For full disclosure, this was not an anonymous review, I paid for the meal myself but the drinks were provided complimentary.
The Anthem of the Seas speciality restaurant is currently open twice a day with a set $20 coverage charge for the lunch menu, and $30 for the dinner menu. The cover charge means you can enjoy all the menu’s offerings (excluding beverages) – great value if, like us, you arrive with an appetite.
It’s located on Deck 5 just off ‘The Via’, an atmospheric lounge area with comfortable sofas and rocking chairs to while away the hours or have a cheeky siesta.
We were both intrigued from the title of ‘Famous Planks’ on the Jamie’s Italian menu and ordered a cured meats plank to share – a seasonal vegetable plank is also available. Our waiter was very attentive and told us all about the components, such as where they’re sourced and why its quality is so good.
For example, we were told that the finocchiona is aged for many months in Italy (in the region of Tuscany) and the company’s mission was to produce the best quality salami.
Founded by the Levoni family over a hundred years ago, Levoni are so sure of their sky-high standards their logo is a flying pig – meaning pigs would fly before they’d ever compromise on quality.
The olives are grown in Puglia, a sunny region in the south of Italy (the “heel”, so to speak) and they are very distinct to look at.
For my main, I enjoyed a baked lasagne containing slow cooked beef and pork that was flavoured by roasted pumpkin, herbs and wine.
There’s a healthy selection of pasta dishes on the Jamie’s Italian menu too, like this prawn linguine for sea-food lovers.
Celebrity Chef Gennaro Contaldo is a driving force behind the menu at Jamie’s Italian, having been a mentor Jamie Oliver and regularly visiting the restaurants.
For more insight and recipes about the delicious pasta dishes, save for later my masterclass with the chef himself by clicking here. If a member of your party is not really in the mood for pasta, there’s a range of alternatives on the Jamie’s Italian menu like; baked salmon, rib-eye steak and a mouth-watering Italian burger.
The sound of the ‘epic chocolate brownie’ on the Jamie’s Italian dessert menu was far too tempting for a self-confessed chocoholic like me.
You could also start or finish your meal with an Italian coffee or digestif like limoncello, a zesty liqueur that’ll boost your digestion. I’ve never had limoncello but I was assured before the flavour-explosion ensued that many Italian’s regularly enjoy it after a large meal.
The relaxed ambience and mood lighting is an ideal setting for a wholesome meal with your nearest and dearest. You can also dine outside and enjoy the sea view and sunshine, here’s the area ready to be prepped for dinner…
We enjoyed our dining experience so much we didn’t wait long to visit our local Jamie’s Italian in Cardiff…
Our meal there (three courses and three people) cost around £66 before drinks, still very reasonable all things considered… but if you’re cruising on Anthem or Quantum of the Seas in the near future, £13/20* each is amazing value! Want to see more of Anthem of the Seas? Take a look at my ship tour blog and video by clicking here.
*Approximate conversion $=£.