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Comparison of Royal Plantation and Silver Whisper

Author: Host DebbieH103 (More Trip Reviews by Host DebbieH103)
Date of Trip: June 2001

On deck 9, they have the jogging/walking track. They set out a cooler of water here. This is very popular. You can sun or shade lounge here, too. On this deck, they also have the golf cage for practice. Clubs and balls are provided. On deck 10, the spa is there. They have nice facilities, and they have tea and reading material if you wait. They also have the beauty salon. I think they have a sauna and steam room,

The fitness center on 10 has two sides, the room with machines and the room for classes. The room with machines had enough to offer for those in attendance, and they kept towels and bottled water. There were headsets provided for the TVs, and I saw an ipod and a few other gadgets laying around for guests. They offered yoga, pilates, weight toning, step, and wellness lectures during my stay, and the setup was very nice. Deck 10 has a large observation lounge. They had pastries and juices or coffee and tea here and a number of games and books. The view here was spectacular, and you could go to the deck outside for photo ops, also. Restaurants

Royal Plantation only serves 77 rooms, but they have several dining choices. You can dine for all 3 meals at Bayside. Sometimes, meals are inside, other times, they are on the restaurant's covered patio, and others, they are out on the patio next to the entertainment gazebo. A flambé option is available most nights. Sometimes this is done indoors, other times it is outdoors. Bayside has a dress code, but it is never fancier than slacks or sundress type wear. Meals at Bayside are almost always a la carte except for a jazz brunch once a month and an elegant bbq once a week.

Le Papillon at Royal Plantation is a fancier option than Bayside, and meals may linger 2 ½ or 3 hours at times vs. 1 ½ to 2 at Bayside. This is dressier, and they have a jacket policy, but it is often relaxed due to the Caribbean heat, etc. There is a Caviar bar here, but it is not included in the all-inclusive plan. Royal Café is a beachside option. They have a la carte lunches for those that do not want to leave the beach. This is no beach grill. Food here is excellent quality. No need to get further than a beach coverup here, and you can get served in your beach chair or at the pool, too. No regular menu items have a surcharge at Royal Plantation, only the caviar bar does, and also, you can have a private dinner at the gazebo for an extra charge.

Silver Whisper has buffets offered for breakfast and lunch in La Terraza. At night, this is an Italian themed restaurant. Reservations are required, and seating is limited. We could not get in. Le Champagne on Silver Whisper costs $150 pp and offers multi-courses paired with premium wines. Royal Plantation offers something similar as an option to any guests that want it. I think this captains table option is still available.

The Restaurant offers a la carte meals at all three meals. Dress code varies on different nights and is posted the night before. Generally, there will be two formal nights a week and two casual nights and 3 informal nights. The informal night is more formal than any night at Royal Plantation. I'll discuss the meals around the venues first and then mention room service as a separate item.

Breakfast at Royal Plantation takes place in the Bayside, either on the terrace overlooking the ocean or inside, as you choose. Menus are always a la carte except for a monthly Sunday Jazz Brunch that is quite extensive. The menu features many items. You can get eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, omelets, potatoes, eggs benedict, steak and eggs, smoked salmon, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit. You can also get blueberry pancakes, French toast, waffles. There are Jamaican specialties, also. Daily there is a resort breakfast special. I've often had either shrimp or lobster scrambled eggs on a toasted bagel. There is a variety of juices, champagne and mimosas. They also have coffee and a variety of teas. They have wonderful pastries, including chocolate croissants. They offer cereal and yogurt.

On Silver Whisper, we only had breakfast in the room or at the buffet. They offer a la carte breakfast, which would have been my preference. The buffet was somewhat small but very good. They had lunchmeat and cheeses, fruits (including berries), scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, Dutch ham, Belgian waffles, potatoes, bagels, muffins, Danishes. They also had hot and cold cereal and eggs to order. They offer fresh squeezed juices. Juices and pastries are also available in the lounges. I particularly enjoyed the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

Royal Plantation's lunches are a highlight of the day.

Many guests choose to dine at Royal Café for lunch. This restaurant is usually open from 11-4, and they have great dishes either at tables by the beach or from your chair. Every day, they start your meal with homemade chips and salsa. There is always a special of the day and always a soup of the day. Soups are usually just great. We've had pumpkin, red pea, broccoli, conch, pepperpot, crème crey, gazpacho and many others. They have great stuff here -- lobster blts, market salads with fabulous mango dressing, seafood in papaya, jerk quesadillas, jerk ribs, salmon croissant. Often they have mussels. Sometimes it is oysters. They have prime beef burgers with a lot of toppings. They also offer things like crab cakes, coconut shrimp, and Jamaican patties. On our last visit, I had them making a lobster Greek salad every day that I'd discovered at the other restaurant. They also have an ice cream menu.

Up at Bayside, we always have a feast for lunch. Sometimes, they have had a fetuccini alfredo with chicken as a special, and most stays, Todd asks for this even though it isn't on the menu. He has been known to order it several days. The menu is multi-course. We usually have most courses. They have gazpacho every day and wonderful soups of the day. They have bruschetta , melon cocktail in port, papaya with seafood, and fried calamari as appetizers. These change from time to time, but you will get the idea. Salad might be smoked marlin with greens, Caesar, greens with mango dressing, Greek with lobster, conch salad, or fruit and cheese. You can get sandwiches such as shaved turkey on Kaiser or crab salad on wheat or a burger. Most will have the entrée type items like English fish and chips, mixed seafood grill (usually salmon, lobster, scallops and shrimp with wonderful veggies and rice or something equally as good), Weinerschnitzel, sirloin steak, a pasta special, seafood crepes (lobster, scallops, salmon, etc), grilled mahi mahi, lamb curry, filet mignon benedict, chicken breast. I left out the soups, which are high caliber, similar to at the beach but not always the same, usually not and always wonderful. Dessert is things like sorbet of the day, key lime pie, almond tulip with rum and pineapple cream, white chocolate cheesecake. Difference in this and the cruise, is most things are offered daily, and then they add specials. There were vegetarian dishes, also.

On Silver Whisper, lunch can be had a la carte at the restaurant or by buffet at La Terraza or burgers and such at the poolside. The a la carte lunch was great. We had salad-Caesar for Todd and field greens with balsamic for me. The soup was cauliflower, I think. Very good. I had grilled flounder, while Todd had a filet. For dessert, I had crème brulee and a cup of fresh mixed berries, while Todd had ice cream. This was one of our best meals of the cruise. Lunch at the buffet was better one day than the other day. This tended to feature some of the a la carte lunch items. They had a small salad bar daily or some beautifully done salads, lunchmeats, beautiful cheeses. They also served smoked salmon and sushi. They had items such as lasagna, beef schezwan style (great), lemon fish, grilled vegetables, gazpacho, pumpkin soup, raspberry chilled soup, carved chicken, crisp and delicious pizzas,. The pool offered things like burgers and hot dogs, onion rings, etc. and some wraps. I thought some more upscale items were needed.

The main restaurant at Royal Plantation is Bayside. Nightly, dinner will either be outside or inside, depending on the entertainment or the weather. Everything here is a la carte and in courses. The menu is extensive, and there are chef specials of the day. We have been through 4 chefs there, and I think they are on the 5th now. Dishes have always been wonderful. Here are some examples. For appetizer, dishes such as smoked salmon and crab timbale, satay trio, melon cocktail with port, shrimp cocktail, proscuitto with tropical fruits, frog legs, pot stickers, duck terrine with tropical fruit salad. For soups, they bring a nice silver terrine. They have gazpacho and conch chowder every day and lovely soups of the day that are thick but not rich, the way I like. Pumpkin is our favorite. You can always get a market salad or a Caesar, and they have had others such as goat cheese salad, etc. The entrees are extensive. I love the veal dishes, with veal marsala being my favorite when they have it. They have tenderloin, lamb dishes, chicken dishes, broiled mahi mahi, grilled tiger shrimp, duck, ostrich, etc. at times. Presentation is excellent. For dessert, there are always several choices.

An often overlooked dining option at Royal Plantation is the Flambé restaurant. This must be reserved in advance but is fairly easy to get into. When you reserve, you pick what you are going to have. It is all show cooking. When we dined there last year, they had beef carpaccio or crab salad for the first course. We had the crab salad. Next, they made a flamed seafood bisque that was very good. The salad was a classic Caesar prepared tableside. For dinner, the choices were shrimp, lamb or beef mignons. We tried the beef and shrimp. The beef was just excellent. For dessert, they offered Italian eggs with marsala mousse, crepe Grande Marnier with vanilla ice cream, bananas foster with coconut ice cream, and very popular flamed coffees.

Le Papillon is the more formal restaurant at Royal Plantation. They have often been jackets required, but sometimes this is relaxed due to the Caribbean heat. A meal here can be had indoors or outside overlooking the Bayside terrace where you can view the show if one is going on. A meal here will take 2-3 ½ hours. Different chefs have had a different emphasis the last 5 years. They have had continental, seafood or French. All are always on the menu, and some chefs feature more of one than the other. Here are some things we've seen for appetizers: Caribbean crab cakes, marinated princess conch, peppered tuna sashimi with papaya salad, smoked salmon in puff pastry, shrimp and saffron risotto, marinated octopus, steamed mussels, frogs legs, shrimp cocktail, escargot. For soup, we've seen Bermuda fish chowder, hot and sour with wontons and shrimp, crayfish bisque, bouillabaisse, gazpacho of ox heart tomato. For salads, we've seen dishes such as Royal Caesar with jerk conch, ahi tuna nicoise. Organic salad with beets and goat cheese, tomato Napoleon wth bammies and mozzarella, baby spinach Caesar with king crab meat, organic greens with walnuts, bacon and boiled egg in red wine vinaigrette. For the entrée, there are things such as roast Caribbean lobster, tiger shrimps grilled Atlantic Salmon with baby asparagus, Dover sole with baby shrimp and asparagus, blackened swordfish with garbanzo beans and citrus butter, medallions of veal, broiled lamb chops with mint jelly, pan seared scallops with capers, pan seared chicken, venison, pan fried black grouper with white truffle sauce, grilled Black Angus sirloin with Café de Paris butter and Portobello mushrooms, Mexican style red snapper, pan seared grouper, and marinated wild pheasant. Dessert is things like Baileys cheese cake, chocolate parfait with fruit, trio of banana with banana mousse, raspberry mouse, banana crème brulee with carmelized banana, liquid center chocolate cake with Appleton rum ice crème, lemon tart with raspberry sauce, poached peach with vanilla ice cream, and also they have petite fours.

Dinner on Silver Whisper is available in The Restaurant a la carte without reservations. You can dine on gourmet Italian regional delights at La Terraza. They have limited seating nightly, and we could not get in during our entire cruise. Le Champagne offers multi-course dining with premium wine pairings per course. This is $150 per guest.

My Silver Whisper dinner review will be all about The Restaurant. Some of the seafood items were cut during our cruise even though menus were placed in our suite. This didn't make me happy, but there were many good things to eat. For appetizers, there were items such as king prawns with Indian spices, melon and pear timbale, fresh berries in Blue Curacao, pan-fried goose liver with poached plum, always a pasta dish a Greek salad inside a tomato, seared salmon with avocado salsa, mango, papaya and pineapple medley, goat cheese ravioli, gnocci, asparagus ravioli. My favorite soup was a celeriac apple soup. We had a celery one, a cauliflower one, pumpkin and carrot, and cauliflower that were fabulous. I had a great gazpacho, and Todd had a couple of the consommés that he liked. I had a red onion and ginger one that was just fantastic. I didnt try the chilled fruit soups, but I hear they are great. They always had mixed greens with balsamic and Caesar with anchovies. There were others, but we stuck with these two. For entrees, I always had fish, and Todd always had a beef dish. Some dishes included beef tenderloin with cilantro dressing, Weiner schnitzel, grilled sirloin steak, poached Atlantic salmon, broiled halibut with red wine reduction, leg of lamb, charred chicken breast, lobster thermidor, pan fried sea bass, roasted prime rib, crispy roasted duck, pork chop in herb butter, poached izumi dai, beef bourgninne, pan fried pompano, beef fillet, veal osco busso. They had a cheese a fruit cart nightly, homemade ice cream, sorbet, various cakes and other desserts and always petit fours.

Wine is always available at meals at both resort and ship, as are premium other drinks. You'll sample a wider variety of included wines on Silversea, but at RP, you will at least get a menu! Both have premium wines for sale. Silversea has a sommelier on board.

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