Gourmet food on cruise ships

There is a common misconception that you’ll leave a cruise ship at least 5lbs heavier than you were when you boarded, and although this isn’t necessarily true, there is a very good reason for it. Most cruise ships have at least 10 different dining options, some up to 20, and what with one of them being an all you can eat buffet, its easy to see why some people do carry a little extra weight after a cruise. But as I said, there are plenty of other options, and we’re not talking buffet style – we’re talking top-notch, lip-smacking gourmet food.

The gourmet food options on a cruise ship are awesome and the varieties that are offered on-board are truly eye-opening!  Let me take you sailing on some of the most well-known cruise ships to discover and indulge in their bounties of mouth-watering tasteful pleasures…

Royal Caribbean International Allure of the Seas

The Allure of the Seas offers more than 24 differrent dining venues, however, only a handful of these could be classified as being  gourmet. One of these is 150 Central Park, which seats around 70 people and can be dined at for a supplement charge of $35 per person (which is pretty reasonable for the food you’ll be served!) Molly Brandt is the resident chef, and along with her team in the state of the art galley, will serve up a set menu with meals such as smoked sweet potato soup (signature dish), crispy duck cigar and chocolate raspberry crunch cake. The Head Chef will often enter the restaurant to talk personally with the guests about the food she has served, and its personal touches like this that can really make the meal feel special (aside from the incredible food!)

Carnival – all ships

The Chef’s Table experience on Carnival has now been rolled out across each of their 24 cruise ships. Depending on the ship, the meal takes place in a non-traditional dining venue like the library, the galley, or the conference centre. With a select group of 12 guests, you’ll start with a glass of champagne and a selection of hors d’oevres. This is followed by a guided tour of the ship’s galley to see it in full flow. You’ll then sit down for your meal – a mind-blowing full-service dinner including many dishes that aren’t found on the regular ship menu. Dishes like Duck Pot Sticker, Avocado Cheesecake, Norwegian Salmol tartar with Salmon Caviar, and Aged Filet Mignon can be found on the menu, and these can be washed down with as much red or white wine as you can manage! The supplement for this experience is $75 per person, but for a once in a lifetime experience such as this, you can’t really go wrong!

Norwegian Epic

With over over 20 culinary dining choices aboard the Norwegian Epic, you’re bound to find one that will tickle your taste buds. The most exclusive of these is Le Bistro, a French Restaurant with a cover charge of $20 per person, but this does exclude your drinks. Le Bistro offers traditional French fayre such as escargot and steamed mussels. Entrees include Bouillabaise, Coq au Vin, Duo de Canard (Breast of Duck) and Carre D’Agneau Rotis (Rack of Lamb). There are a few specials on the menu also which include lobster, shrimps, scallops and a 32 oz Premium Golden Angus Rib Eye Steak, but these do cost an extra $10 per person. So if you like french food, and are looking for something a little different on your Epic cruise, this restaurant is definitely for you!

Neil Page is the Online Manager at CruiseNation.com.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Ben says:

    Yes, gaining weight is a common misconception when taking a cruise. Even though almost everyone eats more, the amount of walking you do around the ship and in port makes up for most of it.

    My advice? Eat up and enjoy the food, and get around and burn the calories by seeing the ports and what the ship has to offer.

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    Do people on a cruise ship really do all that much walking relative to their non-cruising counterparts? I’d be interested in any research that backs up that notion as it’s certainly not something I’ve come across before.

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