The Mason Jar Southern food restaurant review on Wonder of the Seas

The Mason Jar is Royal Caribbean’s newest specialty restaurant, found only on Wonder of the Seas.

The Mason Jar highlights southern cuisine, but does not focus on just one region of the south. Instead, the menu features dishes from throughout the American south, each with their own special touch.

When I first heard Royal Caribbean was opening a southern restaurant on Wonder of the Seas, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A southern style restaurant on a cruise ship? I was skeptical of how Royal Caribbean would pull off the diverse cuisine and flavors of the south.

So when I boarded Wonder of the Seas for the inaugural sailing last week, I immediately made reservations at The Mason Jar. During my cruise, I tried out the restaurant for both brunch and dinner to see what The Mason Jar has to offer.

Location and initial impressions

Stepping into The Mason Jar is like entering a no-frills country kitchen in the American south. The farmhouse decor of the restaurant, which features country-inspired art, checkerboard napkins, and pillows, gives a very homey feel to space.

The location of The Mason Jar is fantastic, as it is located on Deck 15 with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean. Many specialty restaurants on Wonder of the Seas are located within Central Park or in other areas of the ship with limited ocean views, so I especially loved where The Mason Jar was built.

Something Royal Caribbean has been doing lately with its new specialty restaurants is incorporating a restaurant and bar combo. This happened most recently on Odyssey of the Seas with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar, where guests can choose to dine on the restaurant side or enjoy drinks and small bites at the wine bar.

The same concept was added to Wonder of the Seas with The Mason Jar. The Mason Jar Bar is located adjacent to The Mason Jar restaurant. Unlike the restaurant, reservations are not needed to enter the bar and it is open throughout the day.

The bar side of The Mason Jar is designed like a sprawling southern porch, with padded rocking chairs and a large porch swing. A live country band performs at the bar most evenings (and some afternoons) of the cruise.

The Mason Jar brunch review

The Mason Jar is open for brunch on sea days only, from 10am to 2pm, and the menu serves both savory and sweet dishes.

The menu is broken into three sections: Eggs N’ More, Somethin’ Sweet, and Handhelds.

Eggs N' More

  • Meemaw’s Fried Chicken N’ Waffles
  • Smoky Deviled Eggs
  • Spinach N’ Pimento Cheese Omelet
  • Salmon-Avocado Toast
  • Southern Breakfast
  • Breakfast Biscuits
  • Blueberry Johnny Cakes
  • Charred Watermelon Salad

Somethin’ Sweet

  • Peanut Buttery Banana Overnight Oats
  • Sweet-Tooth Cinnamon Roll
  • Stuffed French Toast
  • Red Velvet Pancakes

Handhelds

  • Classic Po’boy
  • The Southern Burger
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich

As this is the first restaurant serving a brunch menu in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, I had high expectations when entering The Mason Jar.

Brunch at The Mason Jar begins with two appetizers: Pimento Cheese and Saltines and Jalapeño Cornbread. Both are served with cajun butter or whipped honey butter. The cornbread is a personal favorite of mine, offering a perfect mix of sweet and savory bites.

For my main course, I ordered a stack of Red Velvet Pancakes, which came topped with a sweet cream cheese glaze. The red velvet flavor came out beautifully with every bite, each having the perfect amount of cream cheese icing.

I would say the pancakes had more of a cake texture than that of a fluffy pancake. In fact, they tasted like a mix between a slice of red velvet cake and pancakes. I did not mind this and thoroughly enjoyed the pancakes, but if someone is looking for a buttery, fluffy pancake this may not be the best choice.

Other members of my party ordered the Sweet-Tooth Cinnamon Roll and Meemaw’s Fried Chicken N’ Waffles. 

The cinnamon roll was perhaps the most picture-perfect cinnamon roll I’ve ever seen. It was quite large, but I probably would not order just a cinnamon roll for brunch. Instead, I think it’s a good idea to order one cinnamon roll as an appetizer (or dessert!) to share with the table. 

The Chicken N’ Waffles is one of the most popular items at The Mason Jar. A golden waffle topped with fried chicken and sweet maple syrup, it offers an ideal mix between sweet and savory flavors.

Brunch at The Mason Jar exceeded my expectations. Both the classic and reimaged southern-inspired breakfast dishes are packed with flavor, and by having a wide range of items on the menu, all guests will be able to find something new to try.

The Mason Jar dinner review

Dinner is the main meal at The Mason Jar and is open every evening. The dinner menu is broken into three sections: Lil’ Plates, Hearty Plates, and Meat n’ Two Fixin’s.

Lil’ Plates

  • Pimento Cheese
  • Lobster N’ Crawfish Gumbo
  • Smoky Deviled Eggs
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Blueberry Johnny Cakes
  • Crab Beignets
  • Caesar Salad
  • Charred Watermelon Salad

Hearty Plates

  • Shrimp N’ Grits
  • Blackened Cajun Catfish
  • Chicken Pot Pie (vegetarian option available)
  • Classic Po’boy
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich
  • The Southern Burger

Meat n’ Two Fixin’s (guests choose one meat and two sides)

  • St. Louis-Style Ribs
  • Beef Brisket
  • Meemaw’s Fried Chicken

The sides at The Mason Jar are coleslaw, sweet potato fries, cajun fries, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and collard greens.

Each dinner at The Mason Jar starts with a plate of jalapeño cornbread and buttermilk biscuits. Served with cajun and whipped honey butter, I found these so delicious I could have eaten the entire plate!

For appetizers, my table shared Pimento Cheese, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Crab Beignets. Some appetizers at The Mason Jar can be eaten individually, but many are made for sharing. 

The beignets, dusted with Old Bay and served with creamy crab dip, were a highlight of the meal, offering a perfectly fluffy and airy texture.

For my main course, I ordered the pot pie. I ordered the vegetarian option, which was stuffed with a creamy filling of potatoes, carrots, and peas topped with a buttery crust. Pot pie is a classic comfort food not available elsewhere on a Royal Caribbean ship, and I enjoyed the hearty flavor, with the flaky crust being especially tasty.

Other members of the table ordered the Blackened Cajun Catfish.

The sides at The Mason Jar may have been my favorite part of the meal, though, particularly the Cajun Fries. These come served in a shareable bag and are coated with a generous dusting of cajun seasoning. Just like the cornbread and biscuits earlier in the meal, I probably could have eaten the entire bag of fries myself!

Meals at The Mason Jar are definitely on the heavier side, so this is not the place to go if you are hoping to have a healthy meal. That being said, I had a fantastic dinner at The Mason Jar and felt it offered one of the more unique dinner menus on a Royal Caribbean ship.

Desserts at The Mason Jar

Like all Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants, The Mason Jar has its own signature dessert menu. The Mason Jar’s dessert menu does a great job incorporating southern-inspired flavors.

The following desserts are available at The Mason Jar:

  • Cherry Pie
  • Warm Bread Puddin’
  • Chocolate Pecan Pie
  • Twice-Fried Oreos
  • Gone Bananas

Ice cream is also on the dessert menu, with flavors including georgia peach, maple-candied bacon, and bourbon butter pecan.

As someone with a huge sweet tooth, I was eager to try dessert at The Mason Jar. Friends of mine recommended I order the Warm Bread Puddin’. Made from croissants and raisin bread soaked in vanilla-bourbon custard, it is served with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Bread pudding isn’t something I would normally order, but I am glad it was recommended to me because it was one of the best desserts I had all week on Wonder of the Seas!

Others at the table ordered Gone Bananas, a layered pudding dessert with roasted bananas, vanilla pudding, and graham cracker crumble. While they thought the flavor was great, they mentioned the ratio of pudding to bananas and graham crackers seemed a bit off. They much preferred the bread pudding.

Matt from Royal Caribbean Blog loved the Twice-Fried Oreos, which are coated in funnel cake batter, fried, and dusted with powdered sugar. If that isn’t sweet enough, they are served with a side of chocolate sauce for dipping.

The Mason Jar Bar review

The drink menu at The Mason Jar Bar has a focus on bourbon and fresh flavors. The drinks are all quite unique, most of which incorporate liquors and ingredients not as common at other bars onboard Wonder of the Seas.

The following signature drinks are available at The Mason Jar Bar:

  • Mississippi Moonlight, made with blackberry moonshine, fresh blackberries, and lemonade
  • Southern Belle, made with bourbon, fresh mint, lemon juice, blueberries, and club soda
  • Mint Julep, made with bourbon, homemade mint simple syrup, fresh mint, and dusted with powdered sugar
  • The Stubborn Mule, made with bourbon, lime juice, and ginger beer
  • PB&J Old Fashioned, made with Skrewball peanut butter whiskey and bourbon, strawberry jelly and walnut bitters, and garnished with a mini PB&J
  • Far From Manhattan, made with brown sugar bourbon and angostura bitters topped with a slice of candied bacon
  • No Joke, Smoke & Coke, a smoked drink made with bourbon on the rocks and Coke
  • Pretty as a Peach Tea, made with bourbon, fresh brewed sweet tea, and ripe Georgia peaches

I tasted the PB&J Old Fashioned, which is one of the most popular drinks at The Mason Jar. It was a little strong for me as I’m not much of a whiskey/bourbon drinker, but everyone else I met could not stop raving about it!

I also tried The Stubborn Mule, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, lime juice, and ginger beer. It was a bit sweeter than the old fashioned, so I much preferred the mule.

Some of the most unique drinks at The Mason Jar are the dessert milkshakes and floats. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic options are available. The floats combine vanilla ice cream with a choice of soda or chocolate milk stout. Non-alcoholic milkshakes are available in chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.

The signature milkshake is the All Shook-Up. Made with Skrewball peanut butter whiskey and Blue Chair banana cream rum, the shake is topped with whipped cream, brown sugar, and caramelized bananas. It’s certainly a unique drink and one that guests with a sweet tooth must try while at The Mason Jar Bar.

The bar also features a late night menu, where guests can order food from The Mason Jar kitchen starting at 9pm. A select number of appetizers, entrees, and desserts are available, which come priced a la carte. The late night menu is included in Royal Caribbean’s dining package.

Should you try The Mason Jar for brunch or dinner?

The short answer is… you should try both! While some menu offerings are the same at brunch and dinner, the majority of the menu is different. To try all that there is to eat at The Mason Jar, I recommend dining there during both brunch and dinner.

If you have to select only one, though, my recommendation is to dine at The Mason Jar restaurant for brunch, but order items from the late night menu at the bar later in the cruise. Because the late night menu features many of the same dishes you will find on the dinner menu, you will have the chance to try both brunch and dinner selections at The Mason Jar.

You should also make sure to visit The Mason Jar in the evening when the band is playing at the bar. The Mason Jar offers a more intimate atmosphere than listening to music in a more crowded area onboard, such as the Royal Promenade. Plus, you'll have time to try all of the venue's new drinks!

How much does The Mason Jar cost?

The Mason Jar is a cover charge restaurant, meaning you pay one price and can taste as much as you want. The late night menu has dishes ranging from $3 to $9.

Brunch comes with a cover charge of $24.99 and dinner $39.99. Kids aged 6 to 12 can dine at The Mason Jar for $10.99, and kids under 6 for free.

I had a wonderful dining experience at The Mason Jar overall, and it is definitely a must-do on your next cruise on Wonder of the Seas.