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Westworld of the Seas? A Look at Royal Caribbean’s New Restaurant

Last Updated on February 16, 2024

Royal Caribbean just released some more information about their dining experience that will debut upon the Utopia of the Seas. We’ve only got a select few pieces of information, but we can’t help but think about Westworld when we hear about it. 

Utopia of the Seas 

Utopia of the Seas has been overshadowed by the recent launch of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas. It will be the sixth ship in the Oasis class when it debuts in July. It will feature many upgrades seen on its predecessor, Wonder of the Seas, including a fully enclosed solarium, a dry kids’ play area, and new venues like “The Mason Jar” and “Vue Bar.”  

utopia of the seas
The Utopia of the Seas will be the sixth ship in the Oasis-class.

When Royal Caribbean first announced the Utopia of the Seas, they indicated it would have a new “Immersive Dining Experience.” At the time, they didn’t have many details about it, but we knew it’d be located where Izumi was located on most Oasis-class ships (Izumi moves up to Central Park on Utopia of the Seas). 

The Royal Railway – Utopia Station

Now, we get more insight into this dining experience. In a video, Royal Caribbean called this a “new railway adventure” and revealed the name “Royal Railway – Utopia Station.” 

royal railyway utopia station people boarding
Guests will have cocktails at the station before boarding their train.

Guests will start the experience by having cocktails at the station. Then, the conductor load will lead the 24 guests on board one of two train cars. Fashioned to resemble traditional dining cars from the 1900s, these dining rooms don’t actually move. Instead, large video screens project images to give the feeling of being on a train going through the countryside. 

royal railway utopia station windows
Large LED windows will give the appearance the train is traveling, much like the Hogwarts Express in Universal Studios.

With this technology, they can transport guests to almost any time or place. Royal Caribbean spoke with Stefanie Waldek at Travel + Leisure about the experience. 

“The storylines for the Royal Railway – Utopia Station dining experience are still under development. But Schneider shares that two “itineraries” the team is exploring are an actor-heavy Wild West concept designed with families in mind and a more visual Silk Road journey that lends itself to a romantic date night. “

Boarding a train to travel to the Midwest along with role-playing actors. Actors having “storylines” to give the guests an “authentic” experience. Sound a little familiar to you? Throw in some robots, and you have yourself a full-on West World scenario. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about a robot uprising; the Bionic Bar has been scrapped from Utopia of the Seas. Looking at the renders, it doesn’t look like guests are supposed to dress up according to the theme, so they won’t have to choose a black hat or white hat.

Will Royal Railway – Utopia Station be a hit?

Experiential dining has a history of being hit or miss. It can easily come off as cheesy or cost way more than it’s worth. Disney World just experienced a massive failure with their Star Wars hotel, The Galactic Cruiser, which provided a fully immersive dining and hotel experience. On the other hand, Royal Caribbean just debuted a new venue, Empire Supper Club, which provides a 1920s Manhattan dinner club vibe that has been widely well-received in early reviews, apart from its $200 per guest charge. If Royal Caribbean can provide something truly unique here, they might have a hit. But with only 24 guests per train car and only two train cars, don’t expect this experience to be cheap. 

Royal Railway coming to other ships?

The naming convention, using the ship’s name as the station name, opens up speculation as to whether this restaurant will be rolled out to other ships. So far Royal Caribbean has trademarked “Utopia Station” and “Star Station.” Although Royal Railway isn’t currently on the Star of the Seas deck plans, it may be added as construction progresses. Jason Liberty recently announced Allure of the Seas will be updated in the future. Will this be one of the additions? 

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.