Coastal Kitchen is the top of the line restaurant on Anthem of the Seas. It operates both as a main dining room for guests staying in the ship's suites (junior suites only have access for dinner) and as a specialty restaurant in its menu, location, décor and service.
Anthem and her slightly older sister Quantum of the Seas entered service with a new approach to cruise dining. Each ship had four large main dining rooms. Each of these restaurants had a different concept that included a different menu and a different décor. Each night, guests could decide which concept they wanted to experience and make a reservation for that dining room. The idea was that guests would move from restaurant to restaurant throughout the cruise to try all the various experiences. Guests staying in the suites had a fifth option, Coastal Kitchen.
The idea did not work out. It depended on the use of technologies that failed to achieve the desired passenger flow. In addition, many guests felt the idea was too radical. They wanted to go to the same dining room each night and have the same staff serve them throughout the cruise. As a result, after a few attempts at tweaking, the concept was dropped and now all four of the main dining rooms use the same menus as each other. As on other Royal Caribbean ships, guests have a choice between a flexible dining system and a traditional fixed time system.
Coastal Kitchen, however, was a hit. In fact, it was so good that guests would not venture out to try the other four options offered under the original system. Therefore, Coastal became the de facto dining room for suites guests and for the top tier of Royal's Crown and Anchor loyalty program.
Located on the starboard side of Deck 14, one wall of this intimate dining room has floor to ceiling windows that offer commanding views. The rest of the room is decorated in a style reminiscent of California wine country with racks of wine and rough stone in between. A row of tables by the windows have abstract shapes and a wood finish. There are some banquettes on the opposite wall but otherwise the tables are pretty much standard. Overall, the room presents a smart but casual ambiance.
The menus present a combination of contemporary California and Mediterranean cuisines. There is a seven day menu cycle for dinner. Thus, if a cruise is more than seven days long, the same menu that was used on day one will be used on day eight. Lunch has a four day menu cycle and the same menu is presented each morning for breakfast.
Each menu includes items that are a bit adventurous as well as familiar favorites. During the course of a cruise, guests will have the option of items inspired by Indian, Asian, and African cooking as well as familiar favorites such as fillet mignon, rib eye, lobster and rack of lamb.
In addition to the items that change, the dinner and lunch menus have “classic” appetizers and main courses that are offered for each meal. For example, you can have escargot as an appetizer each night and broiled salmon as the main course every night if you so desire. If you do not like anything on the menu, the servers will often go to the nearby Windjammer buffet or even to the kitchen for the main dining rooms to obtain a requested item. There is also a kids menu, which guests of any age can order from.
The items offered in Coastal are cooked in its adjacent kitchen. Most items are cooked ala minute and thus are warm and flavorful when they arrive at the table. The presentation is thoughtful although the cutlery sometimes slides off the contemporary style curving dishes.
The service in Coastal Kitchen is quite good. The staff is eager to please and works at a fast pace. This should not be surprising in light of the fact that the guests using the restaurant are the guests paying for the most expensive cabins on the ship and the guests who Royal's most loyal customers. However, the service also comes from the fact that most guests who can use Coastal for all their meals and a bond develops between the servers and their customers.
Coastal Kitchen normally has a capacity of about 125 people. However, as a Covid precaution capacity is temporarily reduced to 72 in order to facilitate social distancing As indicated earlier, access to Coastal is limited to guests staying in suites and to Pinnacle Club members of the loyalty program. Prior to Covid, guests with access to Coastal could invite other guests to dine with them. However, that perk has been suspended.
Although Coastal is an exclusive restaurant, there is no special dress code for Coastal. Guests wear the same attire as in the other dining rooms.
Above: Lobster salad appetizer.
Below: French onion soup.
Above: Lasagna al forno.
Above: Chocolate cake.
Below: Baked Alaska.
Cruise ship review - - Royal Caribbean International - - Anthem of the Seas - - Coastal Kitchen