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 first debuted on the Quantum-class ships. We have dined at Jamie’s Italian on a few other occasions now and find the food and service to be well worth the added costs. 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. The newly updated Plaza Bar is a nice place to grab a pre-dinner drink.
Similar to the design of the restaurant on other ships, the decor is bright with pops of color. The large wall of starboard side windows provides lots of light and great ocean views.
Of all the specialty restaurants on Royal Caribbean ships, Jamie’s is definitely one of the more upbeat and funky, yet casual, places to dine. While we dined here on the ship’s Dress Your Best Night, the crowd was dressed business casual at the restaurant.
We had a 6 pm 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 never seemed overly crowded.
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. The only downside to this tiny table was that we could only fit so much food on it! They must not have known that I like to eat.
Given that 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 Princess tried the Elderflower Spirtz, and I did the Milano. My drink was just okay, so I later switched to wine instead.
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 restaurants.
For additional appetizers, I ordered the crispy squid. This popular appetizer was served hot with a light breading that was crispy and fresh. I particularly liked the mayonnaise-based dipping sauce. As a New Englander, it reminded me of a tangier tartar sauce and was a nice accompaniment.
On the recommendation of our waiter, we also opted to try the Ultimate Garlic bread. While in the past 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 which makes it a bit unique.
For our entrees, we both opted to do a pasta dish, something different. The Princess went with the Silky Penne Carbonara. As described, the sauce was smooth with just the right amount to provide a slight coating on the homemade pasta. The rich, buttery sauce was not overwhelming. In fact, it was one of the best carbonara dishes that I have ever sampled.
On the other hand, my lasagna was a bit of a letdown. While it was the perfect presentation, a large portion, and served at the ideal temperature, the ingredients just did not blend well. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was lacking, but it didn’t taste any better than lasagna that I would make back home.
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 to try the Amalfi Lemon Meringue Cheesecake. This was 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 family makes around the holidays.
The Princess’ Affogato was to her linking, but there really isn’t anything you can do to mess up this basic dessert. To round things out, we ordered some limoncello. You can’t go wrong with this 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 on Italian-American classics.
This rich comfort food is made with fresh ingredients and paired with attentive service. 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 dining experience, we played it conservatively, but we have been known to order more than one entree. If you want to sample the pasta in addition to an entree, they offer the dishes in half-order portions as well.
Have you dined at Jamie’s Italian on a Royal Caribbean ship? What are you favorite dishes? Drop us an anchor below with your review of this popular specialty restaurant.