This spring break, I traveled on the Independence of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise ship to Mexico with my college friends. I truly had low expectations for the amenities and food on the ship since the package I got was so cheap, and unfortunately, the ship met my low expectations. Everything was, at best, mediocre and nothing exceeded exceptional. Even though the food was bland and the events were cheesy (cheesier than the food :( ...), I still had a great spring break with my friends. Besides, what says "college spring break" more than a low budget, shiesty, but fun trip?!
I'll begin this review with the foods I actually enjoyed, which were few. Each passenger gets free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and pool side soft serve. As a soft serve lover, this was probably the best part of my trip. There's nothing like sitting poolside, watching drunk people nearly drown while eating a cone.
Then, after taking a shower in our room's shower the side of a coffin, we headed to the dining room for our only a la carte meal. The dining room is fancier than the breakfast and lunch dining room and the menu is escalated. The weirdest thing about dinner is that you can literally order every item from the menu and you still don't have to pay! So, each night, we would order a few appetizers, entrees, and desserts just for ourselves and pig out. Each night, without hesitation, I would be sure to order the French onion soup, which is by far the best appetizer on the menu. My friends said the escargot were pretty good too, but you'll catch me dead before seeing me eat Gary the Snail.
On the other hand...................... most of the food was disappointing. Which, I have come to terms with since everything was all you can eat and I definitely ate 18x the amount I paid for the entire trip. Each morning, the breakfast buffet had normal breakfast foods, like eggs, bacon, toast, but a limited amount of specialty foods, like fruits and pastries. Most of my breakfasts were just cold poached eggs, English muffins, and hash browns like from a college dining hall. Lunch was similar. There were class items, like burgers, fries, and pastas, but fresh vegetables and salads were scarce.There really was a lack of fresh fruits and veggies, which got old after a few days of only eating salty carbs. It's all about balance!!!
Also, while the cruise was very accommodating to my nut allergy, they were not very accommodating to vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free diets. Most of the buffet foods were just dairy, wheat, and meat in every form possible. Usually I would rejoice, but my cruise was during Lent and I couldn't eat meat on Fridays and Sundays. Even though I would never expect this cruise to follow this Catholic tradition, I was stuck eating bread rolls for breakfast and lunch since hardly anything else was suitable.
Not only were the options bland and boring, but the taste of all the foods were bland and boring. I almost as if it's illegal to use seasoning in international waters????? So, if you are a picky eater who hates the taste of herbs and pepper, buy tickets to a cruise IMMEDIATELY!
Although the majority of the food was mediocre, I do want to spend a moment sharing how special the food service workers made me feel. Not only did they take care of my nut allergy with precision, but they also celebrated my birthday (which was a week after the cruise ended) each day. Whether it was sending champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to my room or singing Happy Birthday in front of the entire dining hall with a special cake, the staff transformed this boring food to make it meaningful. The food staff was so so sweet and completely attentive.
Overall, the food should not stop you from hopping aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise. Even though the food was generally boring and limited, the fun events and friends made up for it. When you do go on a Royal Caribbean cruise, be sure to focus on your friends and family rather than the food. Take my review with a grain of salt (because I am a foodie), then share it with the cooks because they need more seasonings!!!!