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Page 5 of 26

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Page 5 of 26

Radiance of the Seas - Windjammer Café & Seaview Café

Personally, I am a big fan of buffet restaurants on cruise ships. They are ideal for those that want to be flexible in what they eat and when they want to eat it. Royal Caribbean has traditionally offered attractive Windjammer Cafés, but opening hours were always on the short side. Thankfully that is now a thing of the past, because on Radiance of the Seas, the Windjammer Café is open the whole day, every day.

An early bird continental breakfast is typically served between 6:00 am and 6:30 am, followed by a full breakfast buffet until 11:00 am. By that time, half of the buffet tables will already feature luncheon dishes. Lunch is served until 3:00 pm, when the cruise line's popular afternoon snack buffet takes over. The Windjammer Café is closed between 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm for cleaning, after which it reopens for casual dining until 9:00 pm.

Windjammer Café's alfresco aft seating

Windjammer's aft outdoor seating

Windjammer's aft outdoor seating

I think that whoever was responsible for designing the Windjammer Café should win a prize. This buffet restaurant is designed so ingeniously that it seems far less massive than it actually is. Decorated in a nautical look, with sailing memorabilia galore, the place is light, airy and inviting. Seating (in very comfortable leather chairs) is at tables of 4 to 8, and there is always space available, even at the busiest of times. The staff is personable and cheerful and is all too happy to get you another cup of coffee. Tables are cleaned promptly, and the place looks like you eat off the floor - it's spotless! Food quality is excellent, and the selection at both breakfast and lunch is very good. In fact, the breakfast buffet here is one of the best I have ever encountered.

Fresh fruit at breakfast

Buffet at Windjammer Café

Windjammer Café

Directly aft of the main buffet area, a glass-walled semi-open area leads aft to the outdoor area. Called "Windjammer Alfresco", this area features inviting cushioned rattan sofas and has its own little buffet - which I never saw in use. All the way aft is a canopied outdoor section with a generous amount of tables for passengers wishing to have their meal in the sea air.

Seaview Café

Seaview Café

Seaview Café

Midnight buffets are no longer featured on Radiance of the Seas (except for a one-off Gala Midnight Buffet in the Cascades Dining Room), so the Windjammer Café remains closed after 9:00 pm. But passengers craving for a late night bite can nibble away on hot and cold finger food served around Midnight in some of the lounges, or head up to the Seaview Café on deck 12. Here, you will find an utterly delightful seagoing eatery, complete with outdoor terrace seating. Serving up a whole array of popular snack food, soups and salads, plus wonderful shakes, the Seaview Café was a very popular place during our cruise, and opens daily until 2:00 am. My friends and I just loved ordering a shake (and perhaps a small snack...) upon returning on board from a long day ashore. Waiters will bring the cooked-to-order food to your table, and there is no charge for all food items. There is a nominal charge for drinks though (including soft drinks and shakes).

 

Photos and text: © 2001-2006 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

Originally published on February 23, 2002. This enhanced version published on April 9, 2006

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