A few years back my wife and I decided to go on a cruise to Bermuda for our wedding anniversary. Normally we would take a weekend trip somewhere within a reasonable driving distance, but in this particular year we really wanted to go on a cruise.
We chose the Royal Caribbean cruise line as our means for vacation for this particular trip. We chose Royal Caribbean because they offered a cruise to Bermuda from a local port within an hour drive from our house.
On most cruise vacations that my wife and I take we try to treat ourselves to something special. It could a massage, or an exciting excursion, but you can always count on us doing something as an added piece of excitement for our vacation.
This time we wanted to try something new on the cruise ship. On this particular Royal Caribbean ship they had a specialty restaurant called Portofinos. I understand that they have added this same restaurant to all of their new ships, and after having one dinner there I can understand why.
We considered this a treat because there is an added expense of $25 per person to dine at Portofinos. Some people asked us why we would pay to dine on a cruise ship when the food is included at sit down dinners and of course at the buffet. Prior to us dining there we thought the same thing, but then also thought to give it a try and experience it just once.
Dining in the specialty restaurant is far different than what you will experience elsewhere on the ship. When you walk into Portofinos it is similar to walking into a five star establishment. The waiters and waitresses are dressed to the utmost professional attire. That is not to say that the waiters and waitresses in other dining areas do not look professional, but Royal Caribbean makes the specialty restaurant help go a step further.
When dining you are given a menu of many choices of appetizers, salads, soups and main courses to choose from. Many differ from what you would find at your normal sit down meal, however there are also some familiar choices as well. As with your sit down dinner or buffet, it is still all you can eat, so if you wanted to try a couple different appetizers or entrees they will accommodate your request. The best part is they will scale down your order for the amount of food you eat (if you so wish).
In other words if you order two appetizers, lets say escargot and duck, instead of getting two full appetizer portions they will gladly split each down to a half serving size. I like this option as it makes me feel like I am not wasting food.
The restaurant also has floor to ceiling windows so you can enjoy the view of Bermuda (or wherever your ship is going/docked). Light sounds of classical music plays in the background and because space is limited the conversational noise from surrounding tables is very low.
Overall I would rate our experience at Royal Caribbeans Portofino specialty restaurant, on a scale of one to five where five is the best, a five. We received great food, excellent service and the ambiance was outstanding. Add all of this up and it far outweighs the nominal $25 cost.
We liked it so much that we recommended it to our friends. On their next cruise they tried it and absolutely loved it as well. Give it a shot I am sure you will not be disappointed.