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Windjammer Buffett Review Aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas

Windjammer buffet

The Windjammer Cafe is one of the main eating areas aboard Royal Caribbean’s Voyager-Class of ships. If you’re sailing on one of these ships (which includes the Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and others), then chances are you’re going to be eating here several times.

The Windjammer is located on the 11th deck, at the back of the ship.

Initial Impressions

Windjammer has a nice feel as you enter. The space is comfortable and appointed nicely, without being stuffy or formal.

The layout of the buffet is ideal. The kitchen and prep area is directly in the center of the space, with the food served in a circle around the kitchen.

All of the seating is situated along the windows, which wrap-around the entire restaurant. That means even if you don’t find a table right next to a window (these are the most popular), you will still have a great view while you dine.

In total, the Windjammer seats 796 people, with another 236 in Jade. Jade is an Asian-themed buffet that is considered separate, but for all purposes is part of the Windjammer.

The Windjammer is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with some closed times as the buffet switches from breakfast to lunch and from lunch to dinner.

Breakfast:

We found breakfast to be the best meal served in Windjammer. It includes a large variety of typical American breakfast fare. Foods include cereal, oatmeal, eggs, french toast, hashbrowns, pancakes, bacon, sausage, and fresh fruit. Drinks include water, milk, orange juice, and assorted fruit juices.

The selection is very good. If you can’t find something you like, then you are definitely a picky eater. The quality of breakfast is average to good. We were never disappointed, however, it is somewhat difficult to mess up fresh fruit and pancakes.

In all, eating breakfast in the Windjammer and taking in the morning from the buffet’s massive windows was one of the highlights of our cruise.

Lunch:

Similar to breakfast, lunch offers a wide variety to choose from. Unfortunately, that selection doesn’t change very often. We were ready for something different by the end of the cruise.

On the buffet you’ll find all of the classics — there is a salad bar, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas, pastas, and more. There are also some decent ethnic dishes from Jade, which included a tasty cucumber salad. Jade also serves sushi. If you want something light, there were sliced meats and cheeses to let you make your own small sandwiches.

There is a nice variety of things to drink as well, including lemonade, tea, water, and fruit drinks.

Overall, we found the quality of lunch to be mediocre. It’s certainly edible (unless you are a pretentious “foodie”), but you won’t find yourself craving the buffet… except for dessert.

Desserts in the Windjammer changed every day and were universally good. We enjoyed some great Boston cream pie and rich chocolate cake that was some of the best we’ve ever had.

Dinner:

We think you’re better off finding somewhere else to eat for dinner. The dinner selection is very similar to the lunch menu, with a few exceptions that change out nightly. In other words, eating here for lunch and dinner is like eating at the same restaurant twice in a day.

What we disliked most, however, was the atmosphere. During the day the Windjammer’s large windows offer plenty of natural light. Combined with the lunch buzz, there is a light, airy feeling to the room.

Much fewer people eat here at night. (If you actually want to have a quiet meal alone, this is just the place). Meanwhile, the windows that let in so much light during the day turn dark as the sun goes down. Combined with dim lighting, this leaves the Windjammer feeling “dead.”

We still ate dinner here several times to avoid the formality of the main dining room, but it certainly left us wanting to eat quickly and get back to some of the more upbeat parts of the ship.

Overall:

Windjammer is certainly satisfactory for what it is — a quick and easy place to grab breakfast or a bite of lunch.

There is always room to sit and never a wait for food. While the food quality could certainly be improved, the buffet offers something for everyone… including a great dessert.

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Photo: Taminator

 

 

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