Is the food your favourite thing about a cruise? I am sure for many the answer is yes and for those who say no, I have a feeling you might change your mind after reading this blog.
Dining has always been a vital element of a cruise, but even more so now than ever. With cruise lines taking a major focus on its cuisine, some of the best food in the world is now said to be found at sea. With Michelin-star chefs, five star restaurants and unique ingredients from around the world, a cruise truly takes you on a culinary journey like no other. It is not about the quantity of food onboard that makes it so appealing, it is the quality.
Whether you are passionate about food or not, there is no getting away from the fact meal times will be the most memorable part of your cruise holiday.
Although every cruise ship has something for everyone, I have narrowed them down to the five ships I think are the ultimate foodies paradise…
Celebrity Eclipse - Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises focus significantly on their own cuisine, even to the point they have exhibited at the prestigious 'Taste' food festivals for the last couple of years. There award-winning restaurants have been recognised not only by industry officials but food experts around the world.
Celebrity Eclipse built in 2010 was the third ship in the Equinox Class. Built with food in mind, there is a wide choice of culinary suprises to choose from from, even for the most challenging taste buds.
The main dining room showcases modern décor with a unique twist. Spanned over three levels with blue and white coloures it represents the 'modern luxury' style Celebrity are famous for. Available for breakfast, lunch and dinner it presents exciting dishes unlike any other cruise dining rooms. With a different menu every night, you can expect to find meals such as lobster, roast chicken and unique soups.
Murano is a specialty restaurant like no other at sea, as timeless as it is modern it takes a different approach to French cuisine. Exploiting the intense French passion for food with a unique twist, this menu captivates you in every way.
Qsine is a restaurant that took the industry by storm with its completely offbeat edge and unordinary meals. This experience is far from normal, even from the moment you order your meal on an iPad. Award winning chefs will then muster up an array of heavenly dishes including sushi lollipops, popcorn fish and lobster escargot.
No dining experience would be complete without a good old steak house and Tuscan Grill is definitely up there with the best steak houses at sea. Although a classical steak house it has an Italian twist that brings out exquisite flavors in every dish.
Other dining options include the Oceanview café, Blu (an exclusive restaurant for suite guests) and room service.
Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International
With a ship the size of Oasis of the Seas it is no surprise it holds the largest amount of dining options than many other ships. With over 27 different venues to eat, this ship really does take you on a gastronomic journey guaranteed to set all of your senses alight.
The three tiered dining room exposes the traditional fine décor Royal Caribbean are known for, with grand chandeliers, immaculately laid tables and assertive waiters all around. With a different menu presented every night, each meal time betters the last.
Giovanni’s Table is one of the best Italian restaurants I have dinned in, including ones I have experienced in Italy itself. With the option to dine Al Fresco in the serene atmosphere of Central Park, you will experience Italian cuisine at its finest. From tantalizing anti-pasti, fresh pasta and flavor infused breads, this is no place for anyone on a diet.
Chops Grille is Royal Caribbean’s signature steak house that is a meat lover’s dream with succulent steaks, fresh fish and melting lamb.
For an up-scale experience, 150 Central Park is the most premium restaurant onboard that treats guests to a set seven course meal with accompanying wine and condiments. Featuring a celebrity chef who explains every dish, it offers an experience best enjoyed by those who like the finer things in life.
Chefs Table is an exclusive dining experience offering guests the chance to dine intimately with the Chef himself. Set in a private venue, you will not only indulge on the delicious food, but learn about it too.
For those who prefer healthier options, the Solarium Bistro presents an exciting menu with every dish having no more than 500 calories.
For the casual diners there is the Windjammer Buffet, Sorrento’s Pizza and The Seafood Shack and for times when you need a snack there is a Tapas Bar, Café Promenade and Central Park Café (serves the most delicious roast beef rolls!)
Oceania Marina - Oceania Cruises
The luxury lines are known for offering the finest cuisine at sea and Oceania are no exception. These small, intimate ships are home to flawless dining venues that gracefully present sumptuous dishes throughout the day.
The Grand Dining Room has been designed with elegance in mind and no details are left out. With neutral décor and striking gold features, the serene atmosphere compliments the menu perfectly. Serving incredible cuisine along with the finest wine, you can expect to try dishes such as steamed Main Lobster, Duck a l’Orange and Fresh Red Snapper.
Renowned Chef Jacques Pepin brought his passion and talent to sea at Jacques where he re-creates impressive dishes and infuses them with crisp flavours.
Red Ginger is an enchanted restaurant with intense red décor and a striking masterpiece that sets the ultimate scene for a meal to remember. With a menu as striking as the décor, you can expect to experience Asian-spiced Lamb, Nutty Braised Beef and Green Tea Banana Cake.
The timeless Polo Grill transforms you into an old fashioned New York Steak House. With signature Ralph Lauren tableware and premium table linen, eating your 28 day dry aged prime beef is a matchless experience.
Step into a classical countryside eatery at Tuscan, as you indulge on authentic Italian favorites and desserts to leave you feeling more than satisfied.
Other dining venues include The Terrace Café, Waves and La Reserve.
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Seven Seas Voyager - Regent Seven Seas
Although being a smaller ship, there are over six different dining venues to choose from. Using only the finest ingredients and local produce, the cuisine onboard Seven seas Voyager can only truly be described in taste.
Prime 7 is a classic steakhouse with a contemporary atmosphere that redefines that which we typically love about steak. A glamourous evening will be had as you indulge on distinct melt-in-your-mouth steaks.
Signatures showcases everything loved about France, from unusual art décor to delightful cuisine. Feel like you are in central Paris as you spoil yourself with exotic wines and dishes so unique you cannot even read them on the menu!
Compass Rose, the flagship restaurant for Regent Seven Seas serves European-inspired dishes in a romantic setting. From steamed lobster tail to Alaskan Halibut, and Roasted Rack of Lamb to Broiled Cornish Hen, choosing what to eat will be the hardest decision of your cruise.
Being at sea offers the ultimate setting to breathe in the fresh sea air as you dine outside so La Veranda and Pool Grill present the perfect venues to enjoy fresh gourmet ingredients such as Gnocchi, Lasagna, Seafood Platters and Grilled Meat Feast.
Norwegian Epic - Norwegian Cruise Lines
With over twenty different dining options you will have the opportunity to try new tastes, indulge on old favourites and experiment with new ingredients. Whether you want to grab a snack or celebrate a special occasion with a six course feast, Norwegian Epic will take have you making memories every meal time.
La Cucina is a traditional Italian restaurant, Le Bistro reflects all things French and Moderno is an impressive Brazilian steakhouse.
Shanghai’s Chinese Restaurant serves up a cocktail of Asian treats including noodles, wok fried dishes, dim sum and dumplings. All prepared in an open kitchen, the sweet aromas oozing from the open kitchen are only the beginning.
Teppanyaki guarantees to surprise every visitor and offers a dining experience like no other found at sea. Sat around a lively shared table you will watch as a Chef prepares meats, seafood and unique grills in front of your eyes. Tip: Try the Wasabi Cocktail!
Grabbing a sweet treat has never caused such a stir as a visit to Carlo’s Bake Shop. Located in the Atrium and featuring TCL’s Cake Boss, this is where you will find some of the most mouth-quenching treats you have ever laid eyes on.
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