As a Christmas present to myself, I left the day after Christmas to fly to Miami to board Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas for a three night solo getaway to the Caribbean. I purchased a dining package that included Chops Grill (their steakhouse) and one other to be determined once onboard. On this particular ship, the options are Izumi sushi (not a sushi fan so that one was out.), Jamie’s Italian Table (I’ve eaten here before and enjoyed it.), or Hooked Seafood Grill (a new concept for Royal Caribbean that I have never tried). Since the sushi place was immediately disqualified for being a sushi place, I had to pick between Jamie’s and Hooked. I really do want to try Hooked at some point, but since this cruise was all about me, I chose Jamie’s so I could have my favorite pasta dish at see, Truffle Tagliatelle.

I also purchased the Chef’s Table dinner for the third night. Chef’s Table is a five course tasting menu with wine pairings. I have done this dinner several times before and while the menu hasn’t changed in years, the preparation is always up to the chef so every one is a bit different. In addition, each ship can pair whatever wines they choose, so the pairings are always different as well.

Dining alone at restaurants can be anxiety inducing for some, however it doesn’t really bother me, and I have met so many friendly people that I am never worried about it. If it is something that bothers you, ask to sit at a table facing the ocean, that way you can look all zen and contemplative while dining. People won’t know what’s going on with you…Is she planning her next novel, is she working out complex formulas, the possibilities are endless so don’t ever worry about going by yourself!

My reservation for night one was at Chops Grille. This is Royal Caribbean’s flag ship steakhouse restaurant and it is on every ship in the fleet. The menu has changed once in the decade that I’ve been sailing with Royal, mostly the appetizers, I don’t think that the steaks changed that much, but that could just be because MY steak, the filet, didn’t change.

For my appetizer tonight, I chose the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. I have never had that one before so I thought I’d give it a shot! It was really tasty. Lots of crab, very little filler and the chipotle aioli was really tasty.

I also got the Lobster Bisque…Because Lobster Bisque! I love this dish, and Chop’s Grill does it really well with just enough brandy, plenty of lobster flavor and a good amount of lobster meat as well.

So now I have a question for all you chefs out there…What is with the micro greens on EVERYTHING??? It’s like the new parsley or something…but stringier!

For my entrée, I had the Petite Filet. Now I love me some steak, but I knew I would not be able to finish the larger steak so I chose the smaller. Medium Rare, of course. It is the way. And I apologize that my picture is not pretty, but I wanted to show the cook on the filet as well.

See? A perfect Medium Rare, smothered in Béarnaise! As my side dish, I chose the Gruyere Tater Tots…Its my favorite of the bunch and also yummy with the béarnaise!

For dessert they offer chocolate cake something, cheesecake something, berry something, and an apple pastry something. I am not a big fan of sweets, so I had a Haute & Steamy. Basically a coffee with liquor and whipped cream. A perfect finish.

They have an okay wine list, not much choice by the glass so I went with a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc for my appetizer course.

And the Andrew Peace Cabernet for my entrée course. Both were decent enough pairings, but I do wish they had more on offer by the glass…the one downside to travelling alone is that there is no one to split a bottle with, and since I want white with my appetizers and red with my entrée, that’s a lot of wine to put down at one dinner…even for me!

All in all, it was a perfectly enjoyable meal for my first night on board. A great way to start…but next up is Chef’s Table, and that meal is usually hard to beat! Hopefully this one measures up!

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