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lindya

lunch on boarding day/Liberty of the Seas

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First trip on RCCL and we are wanting to know what options are available for lunch when you board the ship around noon and don't leave until 4p...not interested in the specialty upgrade options, just the "free" stuff

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Posted (edited)

Probably better to ask here (the Royal Caribbean forum) --> https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/51-royal-caribbean-international/

But the answer is:  Buffet (deck 11 aft -- go to the back part of the buffet; the first part is Asian and good but not a lot of selection), Cafe Promenade (deck 5 -- pre-made sandwiches and desserts), and I think Sorrentos (pizza, also deck 5) should also be open, but sometimes it is not. Cafe Promenade is a good choice if you have early dinner and don't want to eat a lot for lunch.

 

On boarding day, the buffet can be crowded --this is true for just about any ship or cruise line. If more than one of you, go find a table first, then one stays and hold the table while the others go to the buffet. When the others return, the person holding the table can go get food. Otherwise you might find yourselves walking around with a plate of food looking for a place to sit.

 

When is your cruise? Also, IMO you should drive instead of fly -- drive down on Saturday (the day before). You can stay anywhere near Houston or Galveston. We usually stay near the north airport because oddly we find the best rates there (La Quinta).

Edited by Jimnbigd

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Thank you so much!...exactly the info I was looking for...We live in Tyler, Tx and will be driving to Galveston Saturday, leaving Sunday, 8/11/19 . We will be staying at Inn at the Waterpark as they allow us to park there free during the cruise and will shuttle us to and from the port..We've done this in the past but have only cruised on Carnival...sounds like the same routine as far as boarding day lunch goes...same scenario with the crowded buffet..glad to know there are a couple options as you have to drag your carryons around.

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22 hours ago, lindya said:

First trip on RCCL and we are wanting to know what options are available for lunch when you board the ship around noon and don't leave until 4p...not interested in the specialty upgrade options, just the "free" stuff

This got me to wondering.  What if you had lunch before boarding and not have to deal with the crowds?

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WE eat a late breakfast before boarding, so we don't have to partake of the feeding frenzy!  We do late seating, so we can get a "snack" around 2 or so, if we need something to tide us over.....most of the crowds have dispersed by then.

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31 minutes ago, cb at sea said:

WE eat a late breakfast before boarding, so we don't have to partake of the feeding frenzy!  We do late seating, so we can get a "snack" around 2 or so, if we need something to tide us over.....most of the crowds have dispersed by then.

An even better idea than mine!

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1 hour ago, cb at sea said:

WE eat a late breakfast before boarding, so we don't have to partake of the feeding frenzy!  We do late seating, so we can get a "snack" around 2 or so, if we need something to tide us over.....most of the crowds have dispersed by then.

 

 I agree. A large/late breakfast to avoid the Windjammer feeding frenzy. Explore the ship while everyone eats, then hit the buffet after most people have left.

 

Also, Sorrento's pizza in the Royal Promenade should be open.  They have seriously upgraded the pizza recipe, it's no longer ketchup on cardboard. It's quite tasty now!  Even when the line is long, it moves quickly. Feel free to take the pizza across the hall and sit at the English pub. No purchase necessary.

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On our last cruise in March, we got a table in the R Bar on the Promenade deck and started to take advantage of our drink package.  When we got hungry, I went next door to the Promenade Cafe, and got us a couple of sandwiches.  

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Whats wrong with going to the Park Cafe in the Solarium or you could take your plates of food from the buffet and sit in the Solarium and get dessert at Park Cafe?  

 

Also we arrive around 11:00 and the buffet is rarely crowded. I always first go to the line and then find a table after getting at least the first course.  A good curry on boarding day is good!
 

On the Radiance Class ships you can sit outside in the back of the Windjammer and not many people know this exists so thats where I will go if the weather is good!

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2 hours ago, cb at sea said:

WE eat a late breakfast before boarding, so we don't have to partake of the feeding frenzy! ...

Exactly what we do. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, travelplus said:

Whats wrong with going to the Park Cafe in the Solarium or you could take your plates of food from the buffet and sit in the Solarium and get dessert at Park Cafe?

Sadly, no Park Cafe on the Liberty of the Seas. The Solarium only has a bar (open sometimes). We often go down to deck 5 for a sandwich or slice of pizza and bring it back to the Solarium. However...The Solarium is very crowded on sea days. Best time to use the Solarium is on a port day when the ship is just about empty. You can get food and then take it just about anywhere on the ship.

 

There are a couple of soft serve ice cream (more like frozen yogurt) machines on the starboard side outside on deck 11. These might be open on boarding day -- not sure.

 

Back to Cafe Promenade (deck 5) -- I think it has the best free coffee (well, other than the cappuccino machine in the Diamond lounge) . Try mixing a packet of hot chocolate with the coffee there for a free mocha. Also the cookies there are quite good.

 

Don't miss the ice show. There should be 4 identical shows, on 2 differerent days.  Shows 3 and 4 are usually less crowded. The ice rink is "Studio B", deck 3 (use the back elevators or stairs, which are more like in the middle of the ship rather than the back). I also like the 70's disco party (probably Tuesday or Thursday night in the Royal Promenade on deck 5 around 10pm or so).

 

Wednesday night (at least on my cruises) there are no theater shows, but instead is ice shows 3 and 4. And around 10:30pm on Wednesday in the theater is the Love and Marriage game show, like the Newlywed Game. Just check your daily schedule and you'll find what's going on -- just like Carnival.

 

You will find the dining room much more elegant than Carnival. I say that Carnival has neon lights; Royal Caribbean has chandeliers.

 

Carnival has free burgers at Guys. Sorry -- only free burgers on Royal are in the buffet -- not bad but not as good and Carnival's cooked-to-order. Johnny Rockets (deck 12) is great but has charge -- I think it is now $10 (give or take) per person for all you can eat (and drinks are extra). No Mongolian grill or made-to-order deli sandwiches either. But then the lines and wait for these on Carnival can be rather long.

Edited by Jimnbigd

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10 minutes ago, travelplus said:

Whats wrong with going to the Park Cafe in the Solarium or you could take your plates of food from the buffet and sit in the Solarium and get dessert at Park Cafe?  

 

Also we arrive around 11:00 and the buffet is rarely crowded. I always first go to the line and then find a table after getting at least the first course.  A good curry on boarding day is good!
 

On the Radiance Class ships you can sit outside in the back of the Windjammer and not many people know this exists so thats where I will go if the weather is good!

 

No Park Cafe on Liberty, unfortunately. Too bad,  as I feel like the Solarium Bar is often underutilized.  Maybe they should convert part of it to a take-out Park Cafe.

 

Or better yet, make part of the Solarium Bar a Johnny Rockets Express and convert the regular JR into Park Cafe.

 

Maybe when she get's AMP'd in a couple of years.....I'll e-mail my suggestion o Micheal Bayley.

 

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2 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

No Park Cafe on Liberty, unfortunately. Too bad,  as I feel like the Solarium Bar is often underutilized.  Maybe they should convert part of it to a take-out Park Cafe.

 

Or better yet, make part of the Solarium Bar a Johnny Rockets Express and convert the regular JR into Park Cafe.

 

Maybe when she get's AMP'd in a couple of years.....I'll e-mail my suggestion o Micheal Bayley.

 

Drats too bad Liberty does not have an express option  I made a promise to myself to never sail on a ship that does not at least have a Park Cafe or Cafe Promenade especially those Wecker sandwiches at Park Cafe.  How could Liberty not have an express option?  I know she is an older ship so at least the Solarium Bar could offer a complimentary Bistro menu.

 

Also I think Royal should open their MDR for their Bistro Lunch on embarkation Day even if its just the Tuttii Salad Bar and three Hot Item Choices with three appetizers and a dessert selection on the upper deck like they do for the Galley lunch.  Another section could be the "Make your Own Gourmet Sandwich Bar" and other Grab and Go items. 

 

No servers the first day MDR lunch but offer drink stations and even some complimentary  wine and beer to make up for no servers.

 

Thoughts? 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, travelplus said:

Drats too bad Liberty does not have an express option  I made a promise to myself to never sail on a ship that does not at least have a Park Cafe or Cafe Promenade especially those Wecker sandwiches at Park Cafe.  How could Liberty not have an express option?  I know she is an older ship so at least the Solarium Bar could offer a complimentary Bistro menu.

 

Also I think Royal should open their MDR for their Bistro Lunch on embarkation Day even if its just the Tuttii Salad Bar and three Hot Item Choices with three appetizers and a dessert selection on the upper deck like they do for the Galley lunch.  Another section could be the "Make your Own Gourmet Sandwich Bar" and other Grab and Go items. 

 

No servers the first day MDR lunch but offer drink stations and even some complimentary  wine and beer to make up for no servers.

 

Thoughts? 

 

 

My Magic 8 Ball says, "don't count on it". 🎱

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33 minutes ago, travelplus said:

Drats too bad Liberty does not have an express option  I made a promise to myself to never sail on a ship that does not at least have a Park Cafe or Cafe Promenade especially those Wecker sandwiches at Park Cafe.  How could Liberty not have an express option? 

 

Liberty does have a Cafe Promenade.

 

And while I know the chances that the Solarium Bar will offer some kind of food option are slim-to-none, it seems that even on the busiest of sea days, the bar is empty while the Pool & Sky bars right around the corner are packed.  I just feel like it could be better utilized.

 

In fact, right on either corner of the Solarium Bar, at the entrance to the Solarium from the main pool, are two table-top structures that look like they were meant to be some kind of food/buffet type station.  They are always empty but maybe at one point in the past, Royal meant to serve food there??

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1 hour ago, travelplus said:

Drats too bad Liberty does not have an express option  I made a promise to myself to never sail on a ship that does not at least have a Park Cafe or Cafe Promenade especially those Wecker sandwiches at Park Cafe.  How could Liberty not have an express option?  I know she is an older ship so at least the Solarium Bar could offer a complimentary Bistro menu.

 

As already said Liberty does have Cafe Promenade... We found the best little shrimp sandwiches at Cafe Promenade on Liberty. I am not sure if they are available every day. We only discovered them on day 3 or 4. I was looking forward to them on our next cruise on Adventure. I checked every day and they did not have them...  

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On 7/24/2019 at 2:06 PM, HBE4 said:

 

Liberty does have a Cafe Promenade.

 

And while I know the chances that the Solarium Bar will offer some kind of food option are slim-to-none, it seems that even on the busiest of sea days, the bar is empty while the Pool & Sky bars right around the corner are packed.  I just feel like it could be better utilized.

 

In fact, right on either corner of the Solarium Bar, at the entrance to the Solarium from the main pool, are two table-top structures that look like they were meant to be some kind of food/buffet type station.  They are always empty but maybe at one point in the past, Royal meant to serve food there??

 

Hello! We were on our first Royal cruise this past 4th of July week - we sailed on the Liberty, because Galveston is not too far from our home, only 3 1/2 hours or so ( not bad in Texan terms, lol.). Anyway, while husband was busy in the casino during  the sea days, I made my way to the Solarium to relax in a hot tub and then read in one of the loungers. I remember seeing those table- top structures! The first time in the Solarium, I think they were empty. During the second and third visits, I noticed people seated next to me were eating small hoagie sandwiches, so I glanced back at those structures, and some one had set out trays containing a couple of different types of sandwiches, plus one or two type of dessert bars. We had already had lunch, so I didn’t try anything. I believe that there may also have been punch on my last visit.  

 

I have no idea if food was available at these stations on sail-away or port days. I do know that our ship was full that week, so maybe food is put out there when the crowds warrant it (Solarium was definitely full of people every time I was there.) 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/24/2019 at 1:26 PM, travelplus said:

Drats too bad Liberty does not have an express option  I made a promise to myself to never sail on a ship that does not at least have a Park Cafe or Cafe Promenade especially those Wecker sandwiches at Park Cafe.  How could Liberty not have an express option?  I know she is an older ship so at least the Solarium Bar could offer a complimentary Bistro menu.

 

Also I think Royal should open their MDR for their Bistro Lunch on embarkation Day even if its just the Tuttii Salad Bar and three Hot Item Choices with three appetizers and a dessert selection on the upper deck like they do for the Galley lunch.  Another section could be the "Make your Own Gourmet Sandwich Bar" and other Grab and Go items. 

 

No servers the first day MDR lunch but offer drink stations and even some complimentary  wine and beer to make up for no servers.

 

Thoughts? 

 

 

 What is a Park Cafe, as compared to a Cafe Promenade? Does it offer more variety of food or drinks? Also, what are Wecker sandwiches? 

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5 hours ago, sushitex said:

 What is a Park Cafe, as compared to a Cafe Promenade? Does it offer more variety of food or drinks? Also, what are Wecker sandwiches? 

Park Cafe located in the Solarium has grab and go items such as Breakfast Sandwiches, the famous Wecker Roast Beef Sandwiches, Salads etc as well as Coffee, Teas and Iced Water. Cafe Promenade is more like a sitdown Cafe with sandwiches, pastries and Coffee/Tea.    I like both and this is a great place to go on boarding day since not a lot of people think to go there and they are directed to the Windjammer.  

 

What I do is start with a sandwich and salad from Cafe Promenade and then go tot he Windjammer if I still want something to eat. 

 

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I know the OP asked about free lunches, but are any of the upcharge restaurants open on boarding day?  We got a good deal on the unlimited dining package and would love a nice lunch to start things off.

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4 minutes ago, ATG said:

I know the OP asked about free lunches, but are any of the upcharge restaurants open on boarding day?  We got a good deal on the unlimited dining package and would love a nice lunch to start things off.

 

Chops is open I don't know about any of the others.  We sailed on Liberty back in May and the only one of the specialty restaurants that was worth the money was Sabor.  The others were mediocre at best.

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18 hours ago, travelplus said:
On 8/5/2019 at 9:54 AM, sushitex said:

What is a Park Cafe, as compared to a Cafe Promenade? Does it offer more variety of food or drinks? Also, what are Wecker sandwiches? 

Park Cafe located in the Solarium has grab and go items such as Breakfast Sandwiches, the famous Wecker Roast Beef Sandwiches, Salads etc as well as Coffee, Teas and Iced Water. Cafe Promenade is more like a sitdown Cafe with sandwiches, pastries and Coffee/Tea. 

 

On Oasis-class ships, Park Cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating (in Central Park).  It has a larger variety of sandwiches - and the sandwiches are larger than the finger size ones in Cafe Promenade - as well as made-to-order salads.

 

Park Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch until around 6 pm.

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Ok, thanks. Our one cruise so far - with Royal - has been on the Liberty of the Seas. We are booked to sail on her again next January and I visited Cafe Promenade at least once daily, usually to get some hot tea, especially when the Windjammer was closed. We are excited about sailing on other Royal ships in the future, and I enjoy learning anything I can about them. 

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