Popular fast food chain Johnny Rockets debuted in 1999 on the Royal Caribbean ship Voyager of the Seas. Offering burgers, hotdogs, milkshakes and an array of other delicious fried food it’s a real change to try something different when onboard.
I will be the first to admit, back in 2014 when we took our first cruise my opinion was always “we don’t pay for food on cruises” why would we? We get delicious food included in the cruise fare and the cruise cost enough in the first place. So why on earth would we pay even more?
Ahh how things have changed… After our third cruise of eating the same “free” food we started exploring the speciality dining restaurants. Johnny Rockets being one of these, and honestly every time we are on a Royal Caribbean ship which has a Johnny Rockets we cannot resist at least one visit.
In this post I will share our experience of Johnny Rockets with information about the menu, cost and lot’s of photos.
What Is Johnny Rockets?
Johnny Rockets is a 50s style diner, most famous for its apple pie, milkshakes and delicious burgers. Johnny Rockets is currently available on 14 of Royal Caribbean ships. The layout of the restaurants change depending on which ship you are sailing on.. Some of the older ships have a smaller style diner with outside seating on the top deck, whereas some of the newer ships you will find the restaurant on the boardwalk.
Johnny Rockets was originally founded on June 6, 1986, by a chap called Ronn Teitelbaum of Los Angeles, California. The first restaurant was established as a 20-stool counter operation on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. This location permanently closed on October 26, 2015. Ronn Teitelbaum died on September 11, 2000, at age 61.
Johnny Rockets are mostly found in the USA with 136 restaurants across the country. But also they operate restaurants in Australia, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, Nigeria, Northern Cyprus, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
How Much Does It Cost?
Breakfast: Only available on Oasis class ships. Complimentary, but get there early it gets busy!
Lunch & Dinner: One off charge per person, ranges between $6.95 – $12.95. Price is dependant on the ship you are sailing on. This may seem expensive but food is unlimited.
Do You Need To Reserve A Table?
There is no need to reserve, Johnny Rockets is a first come, first serve basis. It can get busy especially at lunch time or sea days. But port days or mid afternoon is usually very quiet. We also find that the older ships are much quieter as I believe people tend to forget about it.
The Menu Choices
The menu is a slightly condensed version of what is on offer in a standard Johnny Rockets restaurant. But if you have never visited one of those (like myself) you wouldn’t have a clue!
If you are nosy and a bit like me, you can view the original menu here for comparison.
The menu is broken down into 5 sections: Starters & Sides, Burgers, Sandwiches & More, Beverages and Desserts.
I have always been pretty impressed with the menu choices. The only thing I would like to see is more dessert options, but hey there’s always the Windjammer!
The Dancing Waiters and Music
The dancing.. hmmm do I like it? Not particularly! Don’t get me wrong I am not boring, I love to have fun! But what I hate seeing is the already pretty stressed waiters forced to drop whatever they are doing to dance to YMCA. The first time you see it you clap and dance etc. But after a few visits you realise it’s actually pretty degrading. But kids enjoy it and it does help to build the 50’s diner style atmosphere.
We usually order a small array of items to share. Here you can see we had Chilli Cheese fries, standard fries and onion rings. All very tasty and I love the fact Johnny Rockets give you a smiley face of tomato ketchup (despite the fact I hate the stuff).
I don’t really class the choices on the Starter menu as “Starters” to me these are sides and usually I would eat them with my burger. But they are tasty… just a tip from me… don’t be tempted to fill up at this stage, the burgers are HUGE!
For mains we both chose a burger (as we usually do). They are really tasty and absolutely massive. I am not sure I managed to finish mine.
As I mentioned before, the dessert choices are fairly limited. So we always tend to opt for the Apple pie. Do I like it? I am still not sure! I find it kind of salty, but hubby loves it. So I guess its a winner…
In my opinion the best bit about Johnny Rockets is the milkshakes! We often visit just to grab one when we are sunbathing on deck. At one point Royal Caribbean included them in their Drinks Packages.. but I am not sure that is still a thing! It seems to vary from ship to ship or who is serving you! The staff will allow you to mix flavours too! But my favourite is still Oreo.
There are plenty of other drink choices available to enjoy with your meal. They are chargeable unless you have a drinks package.
Newer Vs. Older Restaurants
As I mentioned before the designs of the restaurants differ between newer and older ships.
Ships such as Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas etc will have an older style (more like a diner) up on the top deck with some outside seating. I actually prefer this style because it’s far quieter with less foot fall.
Newer ships (Oasis Class) have this newer style which is available on the Board Walk. I found it to be very busy and did not enjoy the experience as much. But the complimentary breakfast is fab!
My Final Thoughts
Would I recommend Johnny Rockets?
Absolutely! I love the place, the atmosphere and the food. There is only so much main dining room I can take and sometimes it is just a nice change to eat something quick and greasy. It makes a great stop if you have had a hard day and just need to relax too. The chargeable rate is not excessive for the amount of food you can enjoy.. it really is small fry compared to the cost of the cruise.
If fast food isn’t for you, there are plenty of other speciality dining restaurants available onboard Royal Caribbean ships. Check out my article: Speciality Dining Restaurants Onboard Royal Caribbean Ships