During its recent update, the newly amplified Mariner of the Seas received several new dining establishments. Among the new additions to the ship was Jamie’s Italian. This specialty restaurant was first introduced on the Quantum-class ships. We have dined at Jamie’s Italian on several other occasions and found the food and service to be well worth the added costs. So, on this recent cruise, we decided to test out the venue one more time and are back to provide you with our review of Jamie’s Italian on Mariner of the Seas.
Review of Jamie’s Italian on Mariner of the Seas
Inside Jamie’s Italian on Mariner of the Seas
The restaurant is located on Deck 11 aft, right in front of the Plaza Bar. This location is perfect as the newly updated Plaza Bar is a nice place to grab a pre-dinner drink.
Similiar to the design of the restaurant on other ships, the decor is bright with lots of pops of color. The large wall of starboard side windows provides lots of light if you are dining for lunch or early in the evening.
Of all the specialty restaurants on Royal Caribbean ships, Jamie’s is definitely one of the more upbeat and funky places to dine. While we dined here on the ships Dress Your Best night, for the most part, the crowd were dressed business casual at the restaurant.
We had a six o’clock reservation that we made pre-cruise. When we arrived, the restaurant was noticeably quiet. Although, we did hear the host tell individuals that they were all booked for the evening. Throughout our 90-minute dining session, the restaurant did fill-in, but it did not seem crowded.
For this three-day cruise most of the dinners at the restaurant were cruisers who frequently sail with Royal Caribbean In fact, we recognized made of the couples and groups as those we had seen the previous night when we dined at Chop’s Grille.
Dinner at Jamie’s Italian Restaurant on Mariner of the Seas
With our early dining time, we were seated at a table right along the large wall of windows. This was a perfect table for some fantastic ocean views. The only downside to the tiny table was we could only fit so much food on it!
Given we have dined at Jamie’s Italian before, we did a mix of old favorites and new options to widen our palette. This started with our drinks, as the wife tried the with the Elderflower Spirtz and I did the Milano. The drinks were just okay, so later on in the evening I switched to a couple of glasses of wine.
No trip to Jamie’s is complete without ordering the plank. This shareable appetizer is the signature starter, and it comes with a mix of meats, cheeses, and olives. It is certainly a unique twist on the typical antipasti found in Italian-American restaurant.
In addition, I ordered the crispy squid. This popular appetizer was served hot with a light breading that was truly crispy and fresh. I particularly liked the mayonnaise-based dipping sauce. As a New Englander, it reminded me of a tangier tartar sauce and thought it was a nice accompaniment.
On the recommendation of our waiter, we opted to try the Ultimate Garlic bread. While in the bast we have ordered the Bread Basket, he insisted we try this popular side dish. Unlike traditional crusty bread, Jamie’s uses soft buns for this dish rich gives it a unique texture and taste.
For our entrees, we both opted to do pasta, something also different for us. The Princess went with the Silky Penne Carbonara. As described, the sauce smooth with just the right amount of sauce slightly coating the homemade pasta was not drenched in sauce. The rich, buttery sauce was one of the best carbonaras I have ever sampled.
On the other hand, my lasagna was a bit of a letdown. It was a large, warm slice, but the ingredients did not blend well. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was lacking, but it didn’t taste any better than the lasagna you get in the main dining room.
While my main entree was not up to par, Jamie’s Italian saved itself with the dessert selection.
Having sampled the tiramisu before, I opted for the Amalfi Lemon Meringue Cheesecake. Hands down the best dessert on the ship. The light meringue topping paired perfectly with the velvety mascarpone cheese that had just a hint of lemon flavoring. It reminded me of the traditional cheesecake my great aunts would make at the holidays
The Princess’ Affogato was to her linking, but there really isn’t anything you can do with this basic dessert. In addition, we ordered a round of limoncello. You can’t go wrong with the Italian after-dinner drink.
Recap of Jamie’s Italian on Mariner of the Seas
Jamie’s Italian on Mariner of the Seas is a wonderful addition to the ship. This specialty restaurant serving both lunch ($19.95) and dinner ($35) offers great views and interesting twists to Italian-American classics.
This rich comfort food is made with fresh ingredients with attentive service with superb views. The lunch menu (see below) is virtually the same as the dinner menu, so if you want to test out the venue during the day it is a great lower cost option.
Another benefit to the menu at Jamie’s Italian is that you pay one flat fee and can order as much as you like. For this test run, we played it pretty conservative, but we certainly could have ordered additional entrees. If you want to sample the pasta, do know they offer them in half-order portions.
Have you dined at Jamie’s Italian on a Royal Caribbean ship? Drop us an anchor below with your review of this popular specialty restaurant.