Which Cruise Lines to Board for Your Next Great Foodie Adventure
If there’s one thing that traveling brings out in all of us, it’s a healthy appetite.
The most novice and seasoned travelers can all agree — indulging in quality food is a top priority when adventuring. But, tracking down top-of-the-line cuisine and thrilling escapades can be tough. Not to mention, it can cost you a pretty penny.
When you’re enjoying a break from the everyday grind, you love taking in as many opportunities as possible to broaden your horizons. And your palette.
So, how do you, the savvy traveler, satisfy your need for delectable foods and exciting adventures?
The continued rise of vacationing via cruise lines has brought a new life to the foodie community. With the vast amount of cruises to choose from, it can be hard to discover who really offers the best food options.
The chefs aboard many of today’s cruise ships ensure you won’t ever have to suffer a bland buffet or struggle to find something you actually like on the menu. On top of this, other staff, like sommeliers, add a special touch with their expertise on wine.
Don’t forget to sprinkle in some thrilling dining experiences and excursions once you hit shore, and get ready to take your food game up a notch. The options are seemingly endless, but we’ve rounded up the best ways you can create your tastiest and most exciting traveling escapade yet.
Indulge in a Celebrity Chef Spread
Sure, buffets are easy, but you’re on vacation, and that means you should allow yourself to splurge, even if just a little bit. From Jamie Oliver to Guy Fieri, there are a number of cruise lines that offer the tasty fares of today’s top celebrity chefs.
This is sure to guarantee an unforgettable meal. Celebrity chefs from all around the world offer a wide range of sophisticated and simple dishes that will leave any foodie traveler happy and content with their experience.
Whether you’re after a laid-back vibe, like Ernesto Uchimura’s gastropub found on Princess Cruises, or an upscale Michelin-rated experience, like Arnaud Lallement and Scott Hunnel’s French-inspired menu found on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, there’s no reason to pass up an opportunity to dine on celebrity-created dishes.
Care for a Glass with a Delectable Bouquet?
There’s nothing like the perfect duo of food and wine.
When traveling, vino is yet another delightful aspect of the foodie experience. While wine has rarely ever been scarce aboard a ship, it can be tough to know just which one to pair with your meal. Save yourself the time trying to decide and be sure to ask a professional sommelier for help.
These sommeliers are trained in all things wine — where it originated, what type of grape was used, even what type of soil it was grown in. When someone can simply sniff a glass of wine and tell you its origin story, they know what they’re talking about.
If you’re dining in a more upscale restaurant, you’re sure to have access to a sommelier. Definitely don’t pass up learning from them as you prepare to dine.
Learn How to Cook Something New While Traveling
One of the more attractive parts of hopping on a cruise ship is the fact that you don’t have to worry about cooking for yourself, or for that matter, the clean-up that follows.
Still, instead of reminiscing about that delicious meal you had while on board, you can learn how to make it at home yourself. Take an afternoon or evening away from dining in and test your culinary skills with a food demonstration or class.
Another bonus, your friends and family will love your new found appreciation for cooking, and may even ask you to teach them what you’ve learned.
Once you’ve mastered the kitchen, sharpen your skills or try out something new.
Artists of all levels can enjoy Oceania Cruises’ Artist Loft, which provides a sprawling workshop space for creators to spread out and hone their skills. All materials are provided and courses are free for passengers.
If you’re after something active, Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider allows passengers to hang 10 right there on the ship. Participants can body surf on a wave simulator stories above the ocean. It may take a little while to get the hang of it, but it’s well worth the effort.
For a relaxed outing on the deck, why not give stargazing a try? The open sea is the perfect place to take in planetary wonders. But, if planetariums are more your speed, Viking Ocean Cruise offers a spectacular Explorers’ Dome, which features high-definition shows about space exploration.
No matter the activity, you’re sure to work up an appetite!
Go Shopping with a Chef
You’ve dined, you’ve mastered cooking, and now, it’s time to hit the markets with a renowned chef. Seabourn Sojourn’s Executive Chef, Guillermo Muro, is now offering a 2-hour tour of popular markets around metropolis cities.
These tours may be best enjoyed after you’ve settled in a bit and found your bearings. Markets in cities like Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) and Bangkok are fast-paced, packed, and will challenge even the best hagglers.
But don’t let that scare you. With Muro guiding the way and showing shoppers the ropes, travelers of all backgrounds are sure to enjoy this market excursion (plus, you can try out those ingredients yourself in your next home-made dish).
This is an amazing opportunity for those of you who want to immerse yourselves in foodie communities abroad and walk away with a truly memorable experience.
Have Drinks Served to You by a Personal Robot
Cruise bars have really upped, well, the bar on happy hour and cocktail culture. Quantum of the Seas is no exception with their “Bionic Bar,” where a robot (that’s right, a robot) mixes your drinks for you.
Living up to its name as “the world’s first smart ship,” Quantum’s technological offering gives customers a taste of the future. Each beverage is ordered through a tablet and is then accurately measured, mixed, and prepared in front of you by the robot.
You can pick a cocktail from their procured menu, or request your own customized drink choosing from their liquors and mixers.
And parents, don’t worry — this robot recognizes underage patrons — this is a safe environment.
Making the Most of Your Cruise Dining Experience
Traveling is all about experiencing new cultures and expanding your perspective on the world. What many foodies will tell you, though, is that food can really make or break the situation, especially when it comes to exploring the world on a cruise ship.
So, with that, it’s important to find the right cruise to suit your unique palate. Even more, it’s imperative to find the right one to suit the adventure you’re seeking. Everyone has a specific journey in mind, and you should have as many options as possible to live out that journey to its fullest.
But what about cruises that are limited in the foods they offer, especially for very specific diets? Don’t worry, you can still create the experience you’re hoping for, including the most devoted foodies out there.
Have a dietary restriction? Here’s how to navigate cruises >
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