Updated 10th June 2022
Whatever cruise line and ship you sail with and whatever destinations you head to, great food is a constant appeal that makes cruising such a fantastic holiday option. From tucking into authentic pizza in Rome for lunch and then a signature chef’s surf ’n’ turf dinner one day to savouring souvlaki in Greece and a romantic dinner under the stars the next, a cruise is a food lover’s dream!
With so much choice, here’s the highlights to get your mouth watering when it comes to:
- Best cruise lines for foodies
- Best cruise ships for foodies
- Best cruise destinations for foodies
Best Cruise Lines For Foodies
Speciality dining as standard. With over 20 dining options on their 4 revolutionary cruise ships, you’ll be able to hit a different venue with a totally unique experience every mealtime, and everything in between, from drag queen brunches to vegetarian delicacies and food truck-style food courts.
Best for Italian favourites. From pizza and pasta to rustic dishes and homely salads and soups - if you want Italian food done right, go with MSC wherever you are in the world! Even better, MSC Cruises also offer British guests on ex-uk sailings little home comforts such as a kettle and tea options in your room and familiar breakfast options so you’ve got the best of both worlds.
Popular for their Food Hero theme cruises, P&O Cruises partner with celebrity chefs and culinary connoisseurs such as original celebrity cook Marco Pierre White and wine expert Ollie Smith, along with their signature dining venues Ocean Grill and The Glass House. The Food Hero line up changes over the years, such as when master patissier Eric Lanlard introduced his famous cake concoctions and the unveiling of Indian fusion restaurant Sindhu, but whenever you sail and with whichever P&O ship, you’re sure of a culinary journey of excellence thanks to the popular Celebration Nights where you can enjoy a 5-course meal as standard, designed and paired by the current Food Heroes, as well as special in-person cookery classes and talks on certain sailings.
With such unique dining experiences as the Magic Carpet, Blu and Le Petit Chef, Celebrity Cruises are the masters of modern twists on fine dining. The Magic Carpet is the ultimate al fresco dining experience in a cantilevered platform on Edge Class ships that becomes a different bar and restaurant on each level. Blu is a clean eating haven exclusively for aquaclass suites guests with vip spa access - for once you might leave the ship in better shape than you boarded Finally, Le Petit Chef is a unique dining experience where the meal is also a show - watch your dish get whipped up right before your eyes by the diminutive cook right on your table.
Alternatively, if black ties, ball gowns and pomp and ceremony are your cup of tea without the modern twists, tradition and luxury are synonymous with Cunard, from grand banquet dinners in the main hall to the exclusive grills restaurant and high afternoon tea taking in the views, every meal is an event with Cunard Line’s white star service.
Best Cruise Ships For Foodies
Anthem of the Seas - they may have left the high street but Jamie’s Italian is still on the high seas aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Arcadia - exclusively on this adult-only cruise ship you’ll find 3-time Michelin Star chef Marco Pierre White’s signature restaurant Ocean Grill. Perfect to book for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, this speciality dining venue serves simple yet refined steak and seafood plates cooked to perfection.
MSC Virtuosa - try Hola! Tacos & Cantina for a tasty twist on Latin America’s most popular dishes.
Celebrity Silhouette - have a picnic on the real lawn grass on the top deck or head to the the Lawn Club Grill where the al fresco surroundings match your options with the ultimate surf n’ turf for lunch and dinner.
Enchanted Princess - Savor casual French bistro-style dining with a modern twist at Bistro Sur La Mer, created with Chef Emmanuel Renaut, who holds the prestigious title of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (Best Craftsmen of France) and Chef of the Year by Le Chef, and whose Flocons de Sel restaurant has received three Michelin stars. Chef Renaut has created a tantalising menu, showcasing authentic French dishes crafted with the Chef’s signature flair.
Carnival Pride - perfect for a busy family who just want to fill up and get on to the next activity and enjoy some tasty dishes all the gang will like. From TV cook Guy Ferrari’s Buger Joint to Dr Zeus-themed Green Eggs and Ham breakfasts, as well as more elegant adult-friendly dining, Carnival pride is a playground for the taste buds.
Queen Anne - all the signature Cunard dining experiences on a brand-new ship! Be the first to dine in the Grills and sample afternoon tea. Here tradition and modernity create the perfect dining concoction.
Valiant Lady - sailing the Mediterranean and with over 20 complimentary dining venues to experience, sample the local delicacies of Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Lisbon and Santorini ashore as well as Asian sushi, Mexican street food, Texan steaks and English brunches aboard!
Best Cruise Destinations For Foodies
Not only can you make the most of all these fantastic opportunities while on your ship, but you’ll also have the chance to explore the local cuisine at your cruise destinations. While just about every port town will have a certain dish they’re proud of, or cocktail to show off, depending on your own taste you might prefer one to another.
If you’re struggling to decide just where to try next, here are some of our own top foodie spots you can cruise to:
• Mediterranean Cruises – From succulent paella and freshly made pizza, to mouth-watering churros and baklava, the countries of the Mediterranean have such a diverse and incredible selection of food that all visitors will struggle not to over-indulge!
• Asia Cruises – Fans of Asian rice and noodle-based dishes will find that Japan offers simple yet stunning food that’s undeniably moreish. Beyond sushi and sashimi, be sure to try a local katsu curry, nikuman (steamed buns), and ramen (noodle broth).
• North America Cruises – many people are guilty of dismissing American food as simply large and easy. In fact, the USA is home to some amazing dishes such as barbecue, gourmet burgers, pancakes, steaks, deep-dish pizzas, clam chowder, the list goes on and on . . .
• Scandinavia Cruises – The cuisine of North Europe is often forgotten, but with such unexpected ingredients and interesting concoctions, it will leave you thinking about what creations you could devise in your own kitchen! The pies and pastries here are especially delicious.
• Northern Europe Cruises – Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium come alive with Christmas cheer during December with their famous Christmas markets. With many sailings departing from Southampton to chocolate-box cities such as Hamburg, Bruges, Rotterdam and even Copenhagen and Le Havre, there’s plenty of Christmas Market cruises to grab all the belly-warming drinks and sweet treats you can, perfect for gift shopping for friends and family.
These are just some of the food-focussed cruising opportunities out there. Research has shown that more and more cruisers believe food to be of the utmost importance on their holiday, and cruise lines are listening to this and constantly upping their game. Because of this you’re likely to find some fantastic speciality restaurants and buffets onboard the majority of ships, and more attention on the culinary aspects of destinations. Take a look at these amazing worldwide food markets for more inspiration about where to see next.