Our Top 25 Specialty Dining Restaurants On Cruise Ships

Dec 24, 2023

Byte Size Cruises here and welcome back! If this is your first time here, we are a small travel agency outside of Philadelphia, PA and we specialize in all things cruises. If you enjoy cruising or would like to learn more about how to craft your best cruise vacation, click to subscribe! Today we are going to run down our top 25 Specialty Dining Restaurants on cruise ships that we have been to, with a focus on our top 10. These will all be restaurants that are not included in the fare of your cruise ticket and will cost extra to go to, but it’s well worth it! Let’s get started.

Our 5 Honorable Mentions:

  • Johnny Rockets
  • American Diner
  • The Campfire Cookie at Playmakers
  • Food Republic
  • Hooked Seafood

At these restaurants we had an okay experience, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. The food was decent, at most of the restaurants the service was fair, but we didn’t leave feeling like we just had an amazing meal. 

Our Top 25:

25 - La Cucina on NCL. This is an Italian restaurant and honestly we think it should be an included restaurant. The food is okay, service is decent, but in our opinion it’s not necessarily worth the extra cost. 

24 - Los Lobos on NCL. This is the Mexican offering on Norwegian Cruise Line. Like La Cucina, it’s fine, it’s just not extraordinary and not something we would regularly pay extra for. 

23 - Kaito Teppanyaki on MSC. This restaurant has decent food and is a fun experience, it just wasn’t our favorite experience in specialty dining. 

22 - Hibachi on Royal Caribbean. Similar to Kaito Teppanyaki, the food here was fine and it was a good experience, it just wasn’t the best hibachi style food we have ever had. 

21 - Tuscan Grille on Celebrity. This is a pasta and steak house and again, this was okay. The food was fine and service was decent; it just wasn’t the best steak we have ever had. 

20 - Texas Smokehouse on NCL. Like the last 5, this restaurant has decent food and service, but might not be worth the extra cost if you’re looking for an amazing dining experience. If you are going to go, we recommend going for lunch.

19 - Port BBQ on Oasis of the Seas. The BBQ here is really good, especially the ribs which we would highly recommend if you visit this restaurant. 

18 - Moderno on NCL. This is a Brazilian Steakhouse and we had a great experience here. There is a wide variety of food and everything we tasted was delicious. 

17 - Kaito Sushi on MSC. Here they have a conveyer belt and you choose the dish you want. The food is delicious; the only reason it’s not higher on our list is because it’s a la carte and it can get pricey really fast. 

16 - Butcher’s Cut on MSC. This is the premium steakhouse on MSC and it was absolutely delicious. Definitely worth the extra cost if you’re on this ship. 

15 - Palomar on NCL. This restaurant is on Prima right now and it will also be on Viva; it is NCL’s Mediterranean offering. The food here is excellent and if you enjoy Mediterranean style food, we highly recommend you check it out. 

14 - Izumi Sushi on Royal Caribbean. If you like sushi, you must try this restaurant. They have a wide variety of options and everything we have had here is delicious.

13 - Giovanni’s Table on Royal Caribbean. This is the Italian offering on some of Royal Caribbean’s ships and it is very good. They have homemade pastas, high quality sauces, and overall just an amazing experience if you enjoy Italian food. 

12 - Ocean Cay on MSC. This is MSC’s premium seafood restaurant and it is excellent. It has a wide variety of unique seafood dishes and we always enjoy trying new things when we eat here. 

11 - Teppanyaki on NCL. This is our favorite hibachi restaurant on any of the cruise ships we have been on. It’s fun, the food is good, and it’s just a great experience overall. Definitely check it out!

10 - Hola! Tacos on MSC. The reason why we love this restaurant is because the food is good and it’s super affordable. It’s just under $20 for all you can eat on their menu and they’ve got all your Mexican favorites.

9 - Wonderland on Royal Caribbean. This isn’t a restaurant we would go on every cruise; this is more for special occasions and celebrations. The atmosphere is amazing; it is whimsical, with unique drink and food options. If you’re looking for a place to celebrate a special event or occasion, look no further!

8 - Cagney’s on NCL. This is Norwegian’s steak house. In short; it is excellent. The ambiance is great, food is great, service amazing, and absolutely worth the premium cost. 

7- Chops Grille on Royal Caribbean. Another excellent steakhouse on a different cruise line, Chops is worth the visit. This restaurant is very similar to Cagney’s and, if you enjoy steak, it's worth visiting.

6 - Sushi on 5 on Celebrity. This is our favorite sushi restaurant on a cruise ship and absolutely worth the premium price if you enjoy sushi. They have unique options as well as traditional sushi rolls so you can try a favorite and discover something new. 

5 - Ocean Blue on NCL. This is Norwegian’s premium seafood restaurant and the food is delicious. It’s not your typical seafood menu and instead they have higher end seafood dishes.

4 - Le Petit Chef on Celebrity. This is a unique restaurant - a little silly in our opinion - but a unique experience nonetheless.  There is animation on the table while you are eating, which makes it a different kind of experience. The food was really good when we went and if you’re looking for a unique dining experience, definitely check out this restaurant.

3 - 150 Central Park on Royal Caribbean. The food here is SO good. The steaks, venison, sides, dessert… everything. This is one of the premium restaurants on Royal Caribbean and absolutely worth it if you are looking for that upscale dining experience.

2 - Le Bistro on NCL. This used to be our number one favorite and it is a restaurant we always return to when cruising on Norwegian. This is French dining at its best on the high seas. We have had just about every dish at this restaurant and never been disappointed; definitely worth the cost.

1 - Jamie’s Italian on Royal Caribbean. The homemade pastas, bread, charcuterie boards… Everything about this restaurant we love. We have eaten at this restaurant on a few different Royal Caribbean ships and enjoyed it equally every time.

THAT is our list of our top 25 specialty dining restaurants! Have you been to any of these restaurants? What was your favorite? Would you add any to our list? We would love to hear from you! Comment below. 


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