Since I had just gotten off of a non stop, action filled, 8 day party cruise on Allure of the Seas, I wanted to strip it down and simplify for this recent 6 nighter on board Explorer of the Seas. This meant that I would limit my spending as well, so I opted NOT to indulge in 6 nights of specialty dining. As an exception, I found myself with a craving for some sushi on our final sea day, so I made a 5:30pm reservation for Izumi. If you know my style of cruising, you are probably wondering if I was feeling ok. Usually I wouldn’t be anywhere else besides the pool deck for the sun set during this time, but this was the only open time slot. Besides, this was to be my 14th night at sea in just 28 days, so I was fortunate enough to have an adequate fill of my pink sky fix. And, if you like happy endings, you be glad to find out that the location of the venue enabled me to get a front row sunset seat on our final day at sea.
The reservation process was easy. I saw that there was an opening at the FIRST available time slot of the evening, so with the tap of a finger I was in. I considered going up and asking for something later in the evening (very often, in person request can be accommodated and it doesn’t hurt to try), however I ultimately opted to keep my scheduled time.
Oddly enough, I realized I don’t remember ever walking past the venue, which made sense. As I went to find out the exact location, it was all the way up on deck 14 and shared the floor with Dizzy’s Lounge and the exclusive Diamond Club. As I arrived, I was greeted and sat promptly. Fortunately I was put in the exact location of the restaurant that I would asked for if given the choice. The dinner was off to a great start before I even enjoyed my first bite.
Shortly after I took my seat, a very friendly server came over with the traditional, yet always welcomed, warm wash cloth that is commonplace in many Japanese/sushi dining venues. I was also happy to find out that the edamame was a complimentary appetizer item and brought out automatically. All of the above, along with an ice cold Diet Coke and we were off to a great start.
I had not done my research but that was of no consequence since the pricing was simple. There were three ways to enjoy this experience from a costs standpoint. If you paid the overall cover charge, you would be permitted to select an appetizer course, two entrees and a dessert for a total of $34.99. Each item does have price next to it so another option for you to could be to order items ala cart. Lastly, you could opt for the the cover charge and also add items as you wish, but you would just have to pay for the item, at its regular price, as an addition to the cover charge. I chose the latter of the three. I added one appetizer as an addition to the allotted items in the price of the cover charge.
My appetizers were the pork gyoza dumplings and the shrimp firecracker spring roll. Both dishes were as well presented as they were delicious. The dumplings were sweet and savory while the spring roll packed a crunch that stood up well to its heat. The accompanying sauces to both were a perfect pair as they complimented the items perfectly. I was fairly hungry at the time so I will add that they served as a hearty segway to the upcoming headliners.
For the entre course, I opted for the spider roll and the dynamite roll. The spider was an 8 piece signature roll comprised of soft shell crab, cucumber, avocado, asparagus, eel sauce and masago (fish eggs). The dynamite roll featured baked snow crab, salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo, garlic-chili oil, champagne sauce and daikon sprouts. Both of these dishes were as amazing as you might expect and, quite honestly, never stood a chance.
For desert I ordered the chocolate lava cake. If you were wondering if you could get the Carnival Cruise Line chocolate melting cake anywhere else at sea, the answer is yes. Its tucked away nicely on the top deck of any Royal Caribbean ship at Izumi.
From start to finish, this was one of my most enjoyable dining experiences on any cruise ship. From the reservation process, to the magnificent view- From the friendly and attentive service to the absolutely delectable menu I absolutely recommend cruisers book a table at Izumi anytime they sail on a Royal Caribbean ship
ABB Tip: Try to book a time that is approximately half hour prior to sunset. For your appetizers you will enjoy stunning views of the sea. By the time dinner arrives the inside decour will assume center stage and it will not dissapoint.