Royal Caribbean’s Windjammer Cafe Buffet Guide

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Royal Caribbean’s Windjammer Cafe is the cruise line’s premier buffet option and a popular choice for many guests throughout the day. The Windjammer serves food for all meals and offers a casual experience with enough variety to satisfy almost any palate.

Here’s what you need to know about Windjammer coffee on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Atmosphere

The look and decor of the Windjammer depends on the ship you are sailing, but in general it features a classic nautical look with lots of deep blues and woods throughout. After all, the word “windjammer” refers to a merchant sailing ship.

Most Royal Caribbean ships have two entrances to the Windjammer, one on either side of the elevator benches closest to the Windjammer.

When you walk in, in most cases the Windjammer is a split mirror, where buffet stations on either side of the restaurant offer the same food as a way to divide the crowds.

You’ll find plenty of seating in the Windjammer, with tables, booths, and even high tops on some ships. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and there are waiters who roam the restaurant to help clear tables, serve drinks and answer any special requests.

All Windjammer locations have plenty of ocean view seating. On some ship classes (Quantum and Radiance classes), there is seating outside towards the rear of the Windjammer. No matter where you sit, it’s usually pretty easy to get a good view of the ocean.

How it works

If you’ve ever been to a buffet-style restaurant, the Windjammer Cafe should be no different in its approach. Upon entering the Windjammer Cafe you pick up a plate and utensils which are rolled up in the napkin. You then head to any buffet station you like and wait your turn to serve yourself.

There’s no limit to the number of servings or visits you can take at the Windjammer, and the Windjammer Cafe is a free dining choice on all ships.

Good protocol for helping yourself in the Windjammer is to always take a new plate when you go upstairs to get more food. Reusing plates is a health hazard on a cruise ship, so just leave used plates and utensils on your table and one of the Windjammer servers will collect them.

Royal Caribbean generally divides the cuisines offered through each Windjammer buffet station. For lunch or dinner, there is a salad station, an international food station, a soup area, etc. You can easily walk around the Windjammer to “evaluate” the choices, then queue for the station you like.

For breakfast, you’ll find a myriad of traditional breakfast options, including eggs, bacon, cereal, sausage, yogurt, fruit, and more. With the exception of Oasis class ships, there is a custom egg order station which is a really popular and fabulous choice. Breakfast food choices rarely (if ever) change while you’re browsing.

There are also coffee and tea stations set up near the entrance to the Windjammer for easy access to a cup of coffee to start your day.

At lunch and dinner you will find a wide choice of dishes, with dinner offering the greatest variety of choices. Meals at these times combine typical American cruise fare (burgers, hot dogs, salads, and sandwiches) with plenty of international fare.

The exact menu will change daily, but there are usually a few choices consistently offered which will form the basic options.

In the evening, the Windjammer Cafe usually has a menu theme, where a special menu is offered in addition to the usual fare. Some examples are Mongolian Grill, Mexican, Pasta Station, etc. The great thing about these stations is that the food is prepared just for you and that means you get exactly what you want in your dish.

The Windjammer is also home to many vegetarian and gluten-free choices. Signs for each food will indicate if it meets a particular need, but you can always speak with the Windjammer’s butler for special requests.

As for drinks, the Windjammer regularly offers milk (chocolate and regular), lemonade, water, flavored waters, iced tea, coffee, tea and juice (in the morning).

In addition to the usual food, the Windjammer always has a wide range of desserts to choose from. You will find ice cream, cakes, gelatin, fruits, cookies and just about everything necessary to satisfy the sweet tooth.

Windjammer Hours

Exact times vary from ship to ship, but the Windjammer is open for most, but not all hours of the day. Your Cruise Compass will show the exact times, but plan for breakfast, lunch, midday snacks and dinner.

The Windjammer will offer the widest range of meal times, which is ideal for those sleeping in or looking for meals outside opening hours. The Windjammer is also open for all meals, whether your Royal Caribbean ship is in port or at sea.

By far the busiest time for the Windjammer is breakfast, peaking at 9am. There are times when seats can get full, but the Windjammer crew members do a great job of helping clear tables quickly and encouraging guests to leave their tables when they’re done. If you are having difficulty locating a free table, ask a member of the team for assistance.

For those wondering, no, Royal Caribbean does not offer a midnight buffet option at the Windjammer or elsewhere on board.

Windproof dress code

The dress code for meals at the Windjammer Cafe is always stated as casual, regardless of the dress code in the main dining room.

This means you can wear shorts, t-shirts are all acceptable. The only real dress restrictions in the Windjammer are bare feet and swimsuits will not be permitted at any time.

Windjammer Cafe Tips and Strategies

  • When entering the Windjammer, you will need to wash your hands and/or sanitize your hands. Yes, it has to be done and yes, it is worth avoiding getting sick.
  • You can take food from the Windjammer at any time. Feel free to take the food back to your cabin, to the pool deck, or wherever your family is.
  • If you have trouble finding a table, ask for help from the waiters who roam the restaurant.
  • The Windjammer waiters will be happy to bring you drinks, straws, booster seats and anything else you might need.
  • If you have a dietary requirement, ask to speak to the butler. They’re good enough for most needs, but keep in mind that they may need some notice to cook something in particular.
  • If you want eggs of any kind for breakfast avoid the eggs at the buffet as they tend to be powdered eggs. Instead, head to the Custom Egg Station and have them crafted there.
  • On Oasis-class ships, the Windjammer does not have a custom-made egg station, but you can find them in other places on board.
  • Try to go to the Windjammer at least once for dinner when they open for the evening. We usually find the crew members welcoming the guests with applause, singing and/or dancing. It’s a fun display!
  • If there are outdoor Windjammer seats, take advantage of them for the good atmosphere. The Windjammer often offers some of the best views on board.
  • If your Windjammer has a Jade section, it means that area of ​​the Windjammer regularly serves Asian food. On some nights this may include sushi.

Have you had dinner at the Windjammer Café? Tell us about your experience and share your favorite tips in the comments!

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