Review of Utopia Of The Seas deck 8 (Central Park-Cabins)
Rising Tide Bar (elevator bar / upper level; base level is on deck 5).
Central Park (neighborhood / bar-dining district) is an outdoor relax area with plenty of seating, live park (tropical plants and trees in several gardens), live entertainment (Dreamworks Character meets-greets, guitar performances, wine tastings, art auctions). Central Park shops* (include Coach Store (boutique for leather goods- handbags, accessories, sunglasses, scarves) and Regalia (designer watches, jewelry). Central Park gardens feature a collection of live plants of mostly sub-tropical trees and shrubs, seasonal flowers. There are 5-deck high “green walls” of flowering vines spanning up to 25 ft / 8 m. The cruise ship offers a Central Park guided tour (usually on the itinerary’s last seaday) with duration ~1 hour.
Parkside Gallery displays and sells modern artworks. Art auctions are hosted daily at the Boleros Lounge (deck 5).
Britto is an exclusive art gallery selling pop artworks by Romero Britto (Brazilian artist, painter, sculptor, serigrapher/screen printing). Organized as an interactive space, the art gallery displays artwork, collectibles, giftware, luggage, a limited edition of custom-made (for RCI exclusively) Britto artworks.
Giovanni’s Wine Bar (capacity 80 seats) has an extensive menu selection of fine wines and Champagnes (by the glass and bottle). There is also a la carte tapas menu. Here are regularly hosted wine education classes and wine tasting events with sommelier service.
Park Cafe (100 seats) is a complimentary deli restaurant with both indoor/outdoor seating (on Central Park). Park Cafe is open for Breakfast (7:30-11 am, with hot panini sandwiches and make-your-own bagels) and Lunch (11:30 am - 6 pm) offering delicious sandwiches (incl Kummelweck /roast beef on weck) and custom-made salads.
Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen (menu, 96 seats) is the RCI’s signature Italian specialty restaurant (family-style trattoria) at surcharge per person (US$20 lunch, US$25 dinner). Giovanni’s restaurant is open for Lunch (12-1:30 pm /seadays only) and Dinner (between 6-9.30 pm). Reservations are recommended. Among the traditional Italian dishes served here are focaccia (oven-baked bread), ciabatta, antipasti, salads (Caprese, Caesar), fresh-made pesto sauce, seafood stew, lasagna, meatballs, eggplant parmigiana, pasta (pappardelle, gnocchi, risotto, crab ravioli), veal osso buco, beef tenderloin steak, torta (chocolate cake), cannoli, bomboloni (doughnuts), tiramisu.
Trellis Bar (20 seats) is a Central Park bar (outdoor) - among the best places for pre-dinner or late-night drinks.
Chops Grille (menu) is a premium steakhouse-seafood restaurant open for Dinner-only (between 5:30-9:30 pm). This is a specialty restaurant (at US$39 surcharge per person) with an open kitchen allowing guests to watch the food preparation. Reservations are recommended. Included in the surcharge are bread with butter (first-served), 2 appetizers, 1 entree and desserts. At extra charge from the menu can be ordered soups, salads, prime meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb, poultry) and seafood specialties. Among those are New York strip steak (12 oz), filet mignon (6 oz, 9 oz), veal chop parmesan, short ribs, lamb chops, crusted tuna, snapper Veracruz, grilled branzino, lobster, shrimp, scallops. Steaks are served with a choice of 3 sauces (bearnaise, peppercorn, bordelaise). Among the upsell dishes are dry-aged steaks (16 oz), porterhouse (20 oz), Maine Lobster, roasted organic chicken, shrimp cocktail. Chops Grille menu also has sides/sharables (mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, truffled creamed corn, roasted mushrooms, grilled vegetables) and desserts (chocolate pie, chocolate lava cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, warm cookie plate, ice cream, specialty coffees).
Chef’s Table (menu) is a private dining room (capacity 14 seats) located inside the Chops Grille restaurant. Chef’s Table offers an exclusive gourmet dining experience at surcharge US$85 per person. Reservations are required, as well as formal dress code. The room hosts every night a 3-hours long premium dinner event with a 6-course menu. Each course is paired with premium wine. The event starts with a Champagne “meet & greet” with the fellow diners and the designated for the evening sommelier (knowledgeable wine steward). Each wine is reviewed by the sommelier. All meals are prepared and reviewed by one of the ship’s top chefs (Chef de Cuisine). Menus are different each evening depending on the Chef’s personal choice. If reservations are under 10, Chef's Table could be canceled.
150 Central Park (menu, open between 6-9:30 pm, 76 seats) is a specialty restaurant at surcharge US$40 per person. Reservations are required, dress code is formal. The restaurant has a 6-course tasting menu by celebrity chef Michael Schwartz. Wine pairings are available at extra charge (US$75 PP). The menu has itinerary-based dishes made with seasonal food sourcing. Food ingredients are locally-sourced (produced in small farms in Florida). Among the menu items are tapas, soups (potato leek, butternut squash), homemade (mushroom tortellini, crabmeat raviolini), pan-roasted halibut, grilled tuna, poulet rouge chicken, grilled pork loin, braised beef short rib, vegetarian dishes and desserts (lemon tart, milk chocolate cremeux, chocolate bourbon tart, yogurt panna cota). There are two main (rotating) menus – Shadehouse Menu (Sunday through Wednesday) and Harvest Menu (Thursday through Saturday).
Dazzles Music Hall (capacity 220+ seats, lower level 1 of 2) is the ship’s 2-story Disco Nightclub & Dancing Lounge. It has a large dance floor, bars on both levels, and offers as entertainment daily dance classes (incl ballroom dancing) and nightly themed parties (with DJ programming and often live bands).
Cruise cabins from 8100 to 8734, of which Inside (categories 4V-3V, 4U-Virtual Balcony, CI-Connecting), Oceanview (category 4N), Balcony staterooms (categories 4D-3D-2D-1D, 2C-1C, 2I-1I-Boardwalk View Balcony / aft location) and the rest are Suites (categories J4-J3-Junior, A1-AquaTheater Suite).
deck plan 8 cabins information: All forward-facing (fore-location) oceanview staterooms feature a large slanted window overlooking the ship’s bow. Service closets are located near interior rooms 8153 (portside) and 8553 (starboard) so these areas could be busy during morning/early evening hours. Most of the aft balconies offer views of the Aquatheater. Boardwalk View balcony cabins are located above the Boardwalk Neighborhood, so noise could be an issue. Be advised that all the Boardwalk cabins have “interior balconies”, which are not private (can be viewed from verandas located on the opposite side).