ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS – At first glance, I thought Alfredo’s was one of those pay-extra-to-eat-here restaurants on the Regal Princess. But it isn’t.
Alfredo’s is a surprisingly quiet dining spot with great ocean views and delicious food. If the menu changed a couple times during my cruise, I might have eaten lunch here every day. However, it is the same menu for the entire cruise.
As it is, I have eaten lunch here my first two days at sea and am now beginning to see other passengers choose Alfredo’s as well. Perhaps, they also had thought Alfredo’s had an additional charge or maybe they were happily dining at the huge Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro on an upper deck by the swimming pool.
Located near the Piazza on deck six midship, Alfredo’s is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The décor is elegant but casual and comfortable. Circular booths and tables and chairs are spaced far enough apart for a bit of privacy.
When I walked up to the entry desk, the hostess asked if I would like a table by the window. As a solo passenger, I have often found that some cruise lines don’t want to waste a premium table on one person. So, this was a pleasant question. And the view of the ocean outside my window was a wonderful complement to my meal.
The menu, of course, is Italian and you can see the chefs working behind a glass partition at one end of the dining room. The menu offers a small choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts. The appetizer, entrée and dessert I chose were so good that I enjoyed them again the next day.
The Antipasto Assortito di Magro was a yummy combo of mozzarella cheese, grilled zucchini, tomatoes and roasted red and yellow peppers, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and basil sauce.
Named Rollata di Merazaone, my entrée was baked rolled eggplant stuffed with angel hair pasta, mozzarella, grana Padano and topped with cherry tomatoes and basil sauce. It was great. In addition, Alfredo’s offers a nice variety of thin-crust pizza. Two of the most popular, my server said, are the Pizza Hawaiian with ham, pineapple and chicken, and the Pizza Regal Princess with ham, Parmesan and cherry tomatoes.
The Regal Princess also serves pizza at Prego Pizzeria from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Deck 16 near the swimming pool. I’ve seen passengers enjoying that pizza from the time it opens to the time it closes. I’ve had the pepperoni pizza there at movie time and am sure I will have it again.
As for the extra fee restaurants, I’ve heard passengers say the experience is worth the price but I’m going to pass. Open from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Sabatini’s on Deck 5 costs $25 per person for an Italian dinner in a Tuscan atmosphere.
Also open from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Crown Grill on Deck 7 costs $25 per person and specializes in meat – steak, veal, lamb and pork chops. Diners also get to choose gourmet salt such as Himalayan Mountain Pink, Hawaiian Black and Smoked Applewood.
For $40, per person, passengers can enjoy the Winemaker’s Dinner at semi-private spaces in the main Symphony and Concerto dining rooms. Symphony is my dining room and I have seen the curtained-off nook where the Winemaker’s Dinner is served.
For $115 per person, the Chief’s Table Lumiere is labeled a dining experience rather than just a meal. Located in the Allegro Dining Room on Deck 6, the Chef’s Table has crystal privacy curtains of light and a marvelous Murano glass table centerpiece. As part of the experience, the maître d’ and executive chef take diners on a tour of the main galley to sample appetizers and have a champagne toast. A specially created menu and wine pairing are part of the Chef’s Table.
I already know that, regardless of where I eat on the Regal Princess, I am going to go home with some extra weight that seems to be a souvenir of every happy voyage.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch