Ultimate Balcony Dining Dinner
The Ultimate Balcony Dinner includes a gourmet 4 course meal, served elegantly on your private balcony by your very own waiter. The dinner menu includes steak and lobster dishes, although menu options can be substituted for preference and dietary restrictions.
Also included, is a glass of champagne or wine to start, and a decadent dessert to finish the meal. Youll even have some fresh flowers to set the mood.
Price: $100 USD per couple
How To Snag A Free Drinks Package
Most big-ship lines offer one or more drinks packages for an extra charge but you might be able to get one of the packages for free. Some big-ship lines will throw in drinks packages for no extra cost as a perk during limited-time booking promotions.
The line perhaps best known for throwing in free drinks packages as a booking perk is Norwegian. Norwegian seemingly always is running some variation of its Free at Sea promotion that brings a choice of a free drinks package, free specialty dining, free excursions and other perks. Depending on the cabin category you book, you can get one or more of the freebies thrown in.
Other lines that sometimes run promotions with free drinks packages include Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America.
Regent Seven Seas Cruise
Unlimited port visits at over 450 ports are part of the Regent Seven Seas Cruise fare. Formal nights are optional here and are only held on longer cruises, making them suitable for those who prefer to pack lightly and focus on sightseeing. In fact, many choose this route for relatively remote itineraries, such as ports in South America, the South Pacific, Bermuda, and Arabia. Due to the high ratio of space to passengers, these ships feel bigger than they really are, especially with a sense of tranquility that appeals to couples and singles.
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Virgin Voyages: Buffet Was Never Part Of Our Plan
Virgin Voyages‘ first ship, the Scarlet Lady, has yet to sail;with passengers. But when she does, there will not be a buffet on board. And that was the plan all along.
“This was part of the design from the start, which was about creating a more elevated on board experience and has worked in our favor as a result of safety measures for COVID,” Michelle Estevam, spokeswoman for Virgin, told USA TODAY.
The cruise line’s;”Sailor App” offers virtual queuing at all specialty restaurants onboard to avoid any chance of crowding. Estevam said it also allows passengers a contactless way to have food delivered to their cabins.
Top 6 Cruise Lines With The Best Food
Claiming to serve the best food on the sea might seem like a bold proclamation, however, these six cruise lines are consistently part of the best cruise cuisine conversation.
Whether it’s famous Chefs inspiring the menus, locally sourced ingredients or unique dishes and dining experiences onboard, these foodie-friendly cruise line aims to offer unique memories and experiences you cant get anywhere else.
AmaMagna’s chefs are culinary masters.While incredible views of exotic destinations and cheerful company enjoying great service can help make a meal unforgettable, its the food itself that cuisine-loving cruisers consider the difference between good and truly gourmet.
Here are the six best cruises for foodies, as recommended by our CruiseInsider experts.
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Royal Caribbean Anthem Of The Seas/quantum Of The Seas
Oceania Cruises often claim to have the best cuisine at sea , and with master chef Jacques Pépin as the lines executive culinary director, its hard to argue with them. And the best part? Oceania has open seating so guests can sit wherever and whenever they would like, and there are absolutely no dining surcharges at any restaurant on the ship. Period. Whether guests choose continental cuisine in the Grand Dining Room, Italian specialties at Toscana, steaks at the Polo Grill, French fare at Jacques, semi-private vintage wine and gourmet food pairings at Wine Spectator Magazines La Reserve, or any of the other dozen restaurants aboard , they can expect a top-notch experience without needing to bring their wallets or keycards except, of course, to get back into their staterooms, where theres also complimentary room service.;
The Best Food On Every Major Cruise Line
Cruise travel used to be all about quantity over quality when it came to dining and other culinary experiences, but thats most definitely not the case today when it comes to eating and imbibing at sea and on the worlds rivers. Celebrity chef-helmed onboard restaurants, cooking classes, food-centric shore excursions and themed culinary cruises mean shipshape culinary experiences abound.
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If You Want To Keep Things Casual & Kid
Windjammer is also the better bet if youre trying to grab a bite without getting all dressed up. While Royal Caribbean doesnt require a formal dress code in the Main Dining Room, Windjammer is still the more casual complimentary dining option of the two and a perfect choice for both adults and families with small children. But though you might be dining comfy in a t-shirt, the food is still dressed to impress no matter what time of day you choose to stop by. Come breakfast, lunch or dinner, youre in for a sprawling buffet of tantalizing and beautifully displayed global flavors.
Disney Cruise Line 453 / 5
Yes, kids can get chicken fingers and mac and cheese at just about every meal if they so choose. But theres no denying the service on Disney is unforgettable, even for the smallest travelers. After the first night, everyones drinks are waiting on the table when you arrive at dinner, with kids drinks in plastic, lidded cups bearing their names. Waiters entertain small travelers with magic tricks and call all the little girls onboard princess at all times. Made-to-order requests for picky eaters are met with the kind of can-do attitude we wish all cruise lines had. And did we mention that the main dining room changes each night? Passengers rotate through three dining rooms throughout the cruise, and best of all, your waitstaff rotates with you.
Palo We consistently hear high praise;for Palo, with passengers raving that its well-worth the $40 price tag. The northern Italian-inspired venue is named after the long poles that gondoliers use in Venice, and serves up authentic Italian cuisine in the evenings. Dont miss Palos brunch either, which is arguably more popular than dinner there. In addition to a short menu, brunch includes a buffet with choices such as a wide variety of fresh seafood, a selection of international cheeses, and assorted meats and pastries.
Fantastic service and menu! Comparable to Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian! – ddsteuck
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Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Seven Seas Explorer
As the flagship of this cruise line, the Explorer boasts a range of exquisite cuisine to satisfy any foodies taste bud. Every restaurant onboard excels with their menus, offering both buffet and a la carte. Complimentary restaurants specialize in Asian-style food, gourmet French cuisine, and an exclusive steakhouse.
The Best Luxury Cruise Line
Luxury cruise lines make it easy for travelers to float from one destination to another. Whether youre embarking on a world voyage or embarking on a weekend party cruise, you only need to unpack it once. Enjoy excellent service with a view while navigating some of the worlds most exotic and iconic sights. The Grand Canal, Sydney Opera House, Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Etna are just a few of the landmarks that international liners routinely pass through. With a wealth of entertainment and activity options, you can enjoy gourmet cuisine and do as much or as much as you like. Read on to find out more about the best luxury cruise lines in the world, from large and flashy to intimate and elite.
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Sterling Steakhouse Princess Cruises
Serving premium, grass-fed beef, Sterling Steakhouse is a popular choice for Princess cruisers. The cruise line bills the restaurant as a classic steakhouse experience with staple cuts like the New York Strip, Porterhouse, Rib-eye and Filet Mignon. The restaurant on board Princess Cruises shipsalso caters to surf and turf lovers with options like chilean sea bass and grilled tiger prawns. Just make sure you leave room for raspberry crème brulée!
Sterling Steakhouse | Photo: Princess Cruises
Letting One Problem Ruin Your Cruise
There’s way too much to enjoy to let a few issues bog you down. – Photo by Antonio Guillem
Why It’s a Problem: Sometimes, everything that can go wrong on a cruise does go wrong, and only the most upbeat among us can maintain a positive attitude. Still, we cant tell you how often we read reviews where a cruiser let a single problem loom over their heads for the rest of their vacation.
At the Port Canaveral , workers at checking point took my daughter’s water bottles, my daughter was so sad at the beginning. Then a man gave us attitude… made my daughter cry. He even said “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY, DON’T GO ON SHIP ” What’s wrong with him???? We don’t like to spend money on a company that has worker treated us bad again. We will never cruise with CARNIVAL again.;
How to Avoid It:;Sure, no one likes dealing with rude crew members, but are you really going to let a bad interaction ruin your entire vacation? In this case, this cruiser wasnt even interacting with a Carnival crew member, and yet it still led to a 1-star review. Stay upbeat and remember a cruise is what you make it.
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Best Cruise Lines For Foodies
Its fair to say that food is not the main reason why people go on cruises. Most often, many people choose a cruise for its ample amenities, beautiful destinations and weather, and amazing entertainment. Food is often a secondary priority, usually provided in the form of buffetswhether all-you-can-eat or all-inclusive, or something else. So, in this seemingly under-saturated market, you might wonder: which cruise line has the best food?.
Those of you who like both cruising and eating well, dont have to worry. There are, perhaps surprisingly, actually quite a few cruise lines with ships that focus on cuisine as well. As the societal focus shifts toward locally sourced, sustainably produced and ethically grown ingredientsorganic food, and farm-to-table restaurants cruise lines have no choice but to follow that trend. And they do so with rather remarkable success.
Many cruise lines now cater toward foodies. They feature things like specialty niche restaurants, cooking classes, excursions to local farmers markets, cuisine-focused itineraries and dishes made with popular ingredients from specific ports of call. Additionally, pretty much every cruise line has a chef who has a Michelin star nowadays. If thats not proof that modern cruise lines take cuisine seriously, we dont know what is!
What Does The Cdc Say
“CDC;guidance calls for cruise ships to eliminate self-service dining,” Caitlin Shockey, spokeswoman for the CDC, told USA TODAY.;
Served buffets, though, are acceptable by CDC standards as long as social distancing standards can be upheld.
“We still are learning about the virus, and fomites ;;may play a role in transmission,” she explained.;”It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.”
Because surfaces are still a risk, the cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces is an important practice, as is avoiding the sharing of items, like food.
She;said the CDC gave cruise lines the same;advice it gave;shoreside dining facilities: buffets are a bad idea right now.
“A self-service operation would be considered a high-risk practice as customers touch shared tongs and serving spoons and this could play a role in COVID transmission,” Shockey said.
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Guys Burger Joint Carnival Cruise Line
When youre really hungry, theres something special about a cheeseburger. At Guys Burger Joint on board Carnival Cruise Line, eating well comes with a casual atmosphere and plenty of donkey sauce! The brainchild of celebrity chef Guy Fieriand frequently named one of the best burgers at sea, this joint offers guests a number of specialty burger options like The Ringer, a burger with brown sugar BBQ sauce and an onion ring. The Pig Patty features a burger made entirely from bacon!;
Guys Burger Joint | Photo: Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line
Alfredos Pizzeria On Princess Cruises
How can you go wrong with some of the best pizza at sea? Alfredos Pizzeria is found on Princess Cruises, including the lines Royal-class ships. This restaurant has been consistently rated as having the best pies at sea. This casual sit down restaurant serves up authentic Neapolitan pizza with freshly made dough. This makes for a thin, crunchy crust that will delight even the most critical pizza lover.
There are over a half-dozen individual-sized pizzas on the menu. In addition, the restaurant features salads, pasta, and even tiramisu for dessert. The best part is that they are all included in your cruise fare!
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Best Mainstream Foodie Cruises
Mainstream cruise lines tend to have larger ships , cheaper cruise prices, and action-packed activity and entertainment programs. Most also boast a cornucopia of dining options, from poolside grills to 24-hour buffets to room service to upscale specialty restaurants. These cruise lines cater to families, budget cruisers, large groups, and younger cruisers, and are bright, colorful, boisterous, and vibrant cities at sea.;
These cruise lines offer some of the best value cruises on the market, but foodies should be aware that many specialty restaurants and the accompanying beers, wines, cocktails, and spirits cost extra, and could add a significant amount to the final tab. If youre sailing with one of these cruise lines, check out their available drinks packages or specialty dining packages in advance to save yourself some serious sticker shock later on.
Now, lets get into the rankings. In the spirit of fun, were saving the best for last.
Teppanyaki On Norwegian Cruise Line
When it comes to a memorable specialty dinner experience, look no further than Teppanyaki on Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Found on many of the brands vessels, this Japanese-style steakhouse consistently delivers delicious freshly prepared food coupled with an entertaining and interactive cooking experience.
While not the fanciest restaurant on the ship, it is by far the most gregarious and entertaining. Song, laughter, and positive vibes emanate from this restaurant.
Of course, the food is stellar too. The dinner normally consists of several courses, including a salad, soup, entrée, and dessert. The real focus though is the custom grilled options and the side of fried rice.
Whether you opt for steak, shrimp, calamari, chicken, or some combination of them, the chef prepares the meal right in front of your eyes. With just the right seasoning and sauce, you are served your selections hot and fresh from the hibachi grill. While your chef is cooking, there is sure to be a display of cooking tricks, jokes, fancy knife work, and plenty of fun.
This hibachi restaurant is the perfect place to dine with a large group, or to make some new friends!
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Best Cruise For Foodies Try Oceania Cruises
Posted on Last updated:
Please follow local guidelines to keep yourself and others safe. Also double-check whats open before your trip, as things are constantly changing.
Come on Confess
Its important that food on a cruise be really really good, right?
It is for us and weve sailed on more than 60 cruises now.
At the end of the day whether exploring ancient ruins, shopping for souvenirs or curling up with the latest bestseller on your ship balcony theres nothing nicer than sitting down in refined surroundings, sipping a fine glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir and savoring a delightful, artfully presented dinner.
When we heard that Oceania Cruises claims to serve the finest cuisine at sea, we were intrigued.
Would they offer the best cruise for foodies? If youre looking for the cruise line with the best food, is Oceania the answer?
Oceania, as you might know, is a casually elegant cruise line with six mid-size ships sailing to Asia, Tahiti, the Med and elsewhere around the globe.
So we did a little digging .
Heres what we learned
Park Cafe On Royal Caribbean
Located in the Central Park area on Oasis-class ships, Park Cafe is now found on many Royal Caribbean ships. For breakfast, the venue offers a variety of hot breakfast sandwiches and wraps. Also, it features cereal, yogurt parfaits, and a made-to-order bagel counter.
As a great alternative to the buffet, Park Cafe makes our list of top cruise ship restaurants for its lunch and afternoon snacks, including the signature royal kummelweck sandwich. The sandwich features freshly sliced roast beef on a crusty onion roll. Add hot mustard and au jus, and you have the best casual sandwich at sea. Also, you wont want to pass up the impressive custom salad bar and other freshly pressed paninis on the menu.
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Best Cruises For Vegetarians And Vegans
Let’s face it: Cruise ships love meat-eaters. Restaurants so often are meat-themed, from celebrity-chef-helmed burger and BBQ joints to steakhouses of all nationalities, from American to Brazilian and Italian. Amid the plates of bacon piled high and formal nights showcasing lobster tail and surf-n-turf, what’s a vegetarian or vegan cruiser to do?
The good news is that pretty much every line offers vegetarian cruise food without special request. Main dining room menus have at least one meat-free starter and entree per night. Pasta and pizza bars are omnipresent. Vegans can also be accommodated on cruises, but with a bit more advance planning.
Here are a few important things to know before your first vegetarian cruise:
- Be forewarned: Not all cruise lines understand the concept of vegetarian proteins. Often, meat-free dishes are heavy on the cheese and the pasta.
- While vegetarians can generally get by with the regular offerings on the ship, vegans will be disappointed if they don’t plan ahead. Be sure to contact your cruise line’s special needs department to alert the ship to your dietary needs and to see if you can request special foods .