Royal Caribbean Cruise – Food and Penang (aka more food) (Part 2)

We had heard Good Things about the food on the Royal Caribbean. Whilst having no allusions that it’d be finessed on the scale of a michelin star restaurant, we did look forward to a good spread. And for the most part, the food lived up to our expectations!

There was a fancy dining room called the Romeo and Juliet, where each table had 1-2 dedicated waiters providing prompt and pleasing service.

For breakfast, we could choose to order a full English breakfast, or a few other selections.  There was also a semi-buffet with muesli, dried fruits, various seeds, fresh fruits, meiji yoghurt tubs, as well as apple or orange juice.

Bircher Muesli breakfast – how healthy is that!

full works at breakfast

For lunch and dinner, the selections (starter, main, dessert) varied at every meal, and were not bad indeed!  Will let the photos do the talking.  I only took a few though.

Generous portion of steak
Nut parfait – very yums

Chocolate cake!

On the final evening, all the waitstaff performed a mandarin song, and a few danced “Oppa Gangnam Style”.  What a hoot!

Romeo and Juliet dining room – very fancy

Although the requisite gratuities were already included in our cruise fare, we gave our main waiter an additional tip, for seeing to the many needs of our party so well.

We enjoyed the full service at Romeo and Juliet so much that we ate as many meals there as we could.  They are pretty strict on dining times, so if you could not make your usual seating (there are two – ours was 6pm as pre-booked before we set sail), you’d have to dine elsewhere.  For some meals, the room would be closed too, so the remaining option was the Windjammer cafe, a buffet-style large dining area, which was preferred by some of my relatives because it served more Asian fare.

Buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Windjammer Cafe

 It can be challenging to find seats during lunchtime, or when the Romeo and Juliet was closed.  There’s always the option of room service (complimentary again!), which would be nice for those with larger rooms.

What the kids enjoyed particularly was the soft-serve ice-cream, available almost all hours, right outside Windjammer cafe, near the outdoor pool.  However, the machines weren’t working well the first day we boarded, so the ice-cream came out as ‘soup’ instead.

Soft serve ice-cream
Serving (non-complimentary) Ben and Jerry’s

As a treat, Papa brought the girls to this cosy cafe (with bookshelves lining the walls) for some Ben & Jerry’s (USD$2.50 a cone).  It was nice to lounge about and dig into the quality ice-cream…

Overall, there was simply too much food.  The cafe next to the indoor pool even serves supper!  That’s dim sum or freshly baked pizza at 9pm.  Other times, that cafe serves fresh fruit on yoghurt, a variety of sandwiches, or tailor-made salads.  All for free! Which is why we were sated 99% of the time.

View from the ship – docked at Swettenham Pier
One of the reasons why I chose this cruise was its Penang stopover.  I have never been to Penang before, not for the lack of desire to! Although we only had about 6 hours to spend on land, we managed to eat some famous Char Kuay Teow, Chendol, visit 3 stores selling local products (we bought loads of Tao Sar Pheah) and have a taxi ride around town. 
We didn’t join the local tours offered by the ship – instead we chose to hire a 7 seater from a local driver whom we found as we walked out of the Pier.
Famous two sisters Char Kuay Teow
We made it just in time for this – some other customers had to be turned away because they ran out of ingredients! 
Giant prawns – wasn’t cheap though, prices start at RM 7 a small plate. This was RM 10.

Powered on charcoal (and an electric fan hur hur)
This stall was churning out chendul like there was no tomorrow – machine-gun speed, to meet the demands of a long snaking queue. The hubs was slightly disturbed by how they were preparing it (let’s say NEA wouldn’t have given them an A, or… even a C) but we ate it (to no harm) anyway.  Quite yummy, though not spectacular per se.
decrepit charm
Overall, I enjoyed the brief visit to Penang.  As with most of Malaysia, there are still enough old places left untouched for it to feel very historical and charming.  However, there were many parts of Penang we passed by that looked too much like Singapore.  From the large spanking white Gleneagles Hospital, to condominum after condominum rising to the sky… apparently land prices have shot up in recent years, to rival Singapore’s.  We caught a quick glimpse of the Blue Mansion, a historical peranakan home… perhaps on another trip we can explore more of Penang’s culture, and sniff out the house where Glen Goei filmed his movie.
With full bellies (again), it was back to the ship…
This post has gotten too long already, but I still have more to share! Looks like we need a Part 3.  Stay tuned.

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  6 comments for “Royal Caribbean Cruise – Food and Penang (aka more food) (Part 2)

  1. John
    January 5, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Hi, may i know how much did u guys pay for the rental of 7seater service in penang ?

    • January 6, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Hi, it was more than 3 years ago so I can’t recall… and prices might have changed since then. If you walk out the Pier and ask a few drivers, you will probably find that the prices are very similar between drivers…

  2. Snowy
    November 10, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Hi, could u advise where is the location of the famous Chay keow teow u Hv ? Is Chedol locate same place or nearby?

    • November 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      It’s Sisters Char Kuay Teow at this address I think.
      Sister’s Char Koay Teow, 185, Jalan Macalister, Georgetown, 11400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

      The other one is ‘Famous Teochew Cendol’ at Jalan Penang, Georgetown.

  3. Ah Boy
    November 23, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Hi, do you still recall what time do you reach Penang? Understand that the time stated is around 2.30pm but may be like 4plus pm. Wan to know in advance so I can plan my itinarery with my family. Thank you!:)

    • November 23, 2017 at 8:59 am

      It was so many years ago… really can’t remember…

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