Cruises have become a food-lover’s delight
Shipboard food continues to improve as more lines hire big name chefs to main the galleys. Ingredients are fresher and higher quality. Preparations are more creative and painstakingly presented. Especially in alternative dining venues. No longer does size matter. Portions are little smaller but you can ask for more. Serving top quality has become the mantra of many seagoing galleys.
Here is a subjective sampling of some of the finest food afloat
Celebrity Millennium’s Qsine serves a tasty albeit quirky menu in a gorgeous setting. When you’re seated, the waiter brings you an iPad from which you can select from 20 individual small-plate dishes. For instance, the Vegetable Du Jatour is a half dozen small glass jars, each filled with a different purred vegetable and eaten with small spoons. The dessert menu is on a Rubic’s Cube-like device. That’s pretty quirky.
Feast on Italian, Asian, prime steaks, California cuisine and more
Crystal Cruise excels in the culinary department in its Nobu-inspired, and Prego-Valentino –inspired, alternative dining venues. Meals are also memorable in the special Vintage Room. Free wine, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffees and Champagne enhance the experience.
Guests staying on Penthouse decks can order meals from Prego or Nobu to be served in their staterooms or on the balcony.
Cunard Queen Mary2 serves excellent meals that please passengers during her seven-day transatlantic crossings. Choices include Queens Grill., Princess Grill, Britannia and Britannia Club. There’s also Golden Lion Pub, Kings Court, Boardwalk Cafe, and Todd English.
Princess Cruises recruited celebrity Chef Curtis Stone to create fun, mouth-watering meals for the fleet. The fleet also offers fine food at Sabatini’s, Harmony, La Mer, Crown Grill and Sterling Steak House
Seabourn really raised the culinary bar when Celebrity chef Thomas Keller climbed on board to create some of his signature menus for the fleet’s Grill by Thomas Keller restaurant.(Free wines, spirits, specialty coffees, soft drinks and Champagne complement meals).
Le Champagne is a romantic, special occasion restaurant featuring French fare. But the food throughout the ships is usually fabulous. The al fresco Hot Rocks on the pool deck is a real treat. You can cook your own veal, steak, chicken or fish on a grill at your table. (Wine, Champagne, specialty coffees and spirits are complimentary).
Oceania Cruises Marina’s Polo Grill, Toscana, Jacques and Red Ginger restaurants are about the best at sea. But then this is also the most food-centric cruise line afloat.
Regent Seven Seas, a subsidiary of Oceania, holds the gastronomic award for its cuisine served in restaurants such as Chartreuse, Prime 7, La Veranda, Sette Mari at La Veranda, The Café and Compass Rose on Explorer and other ships.
On the horizon
La Mer, a casual French bistro by Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel will makes its debut on Princess Cruises Sky Princess in December. casual, French bistro-style dining with a modern twist inspired by the flavors and feeling of the French Alps and contrasts from the ocean. The specialty restaurant will be located in the Sky Princess atrium. The restaurant opened to rave reviews on Majestic Princess in 2017 while the ship was based in China.
There is a head-spinning number of restaurants from which to choose on most ships today. Sometimes a seven-day cruise just isn’t enough time to try them all. So if you’re a foodie you might want to consider longer voyagers to satisfy your appetite.