Looks a little stuffy, yes?
Those of you who’ve been reading this blog know that I love food. I’ve been thinking about cruises lately, how I've never actually been on one, and how they get a usually get a bad rap when it comes to food.
Ship food has always been plentiful, but the idea of it conjures up the image of a giant ballroom with everything laid out buffet style on platters, sitting on top of heating trays, massive in quantity but none of it anything really special. However, after a little reading it seems that things have changed in the past few years. Cruises have changed their tune to embrace the gourmet aspect of fine dining.
On Royal Caribbean, for example, there’s usually at least one top quality restaurant aboard such as the Italian-themed Portofino or the Chop Grille steakhouse. For a more casual meal on-the-go, passengers can grab a pizza at Sorrento’s or a hot dog at the Boardwalk Dog House. The cruise liner is pretty flexible because you can choose what time you want to eat rather than having to book a table. Want to catch a massage before dinner? Having too much fun climbing the rock wall to stop and show up at the dining room at the specified time? No problem. There’s also room service available for the mornings when you feel like having a relaxing breakfast in bed. Can you tell I'm aching to sail away?
Here's a shoutout to my friends across the pond: If you’re keen to board a cruise from a UK dock, ex UK cruises involve no flights and no fuss. Booking a cruise to the Mediterranean makes for a well-proportioned trip: enough time to sample the entertainment (and delicacies!) on board but not so long that you’re ship-crazy before the end of it. If you’re taking the MSC Cruise to Northern Europe, you’ll enjoy the level of choice in the menu and quality of the fine dining ordered and cooked from scratch. They cook with good, fresh produce and bread baked aboard the ship. Italian and Greek are specialties, which is pretty obvious in the deliciousness of the pizza. Almost all cruises are accommodating of vegetarians and others with dietary restrictions, so if you’re a veggie you don’t have to worry that you’ll be stuck eating a plate of bland, flavorless vegetables the entire time. They also cater to late-night snackers with a midnight buffet – perfect for when you’ve got the munchies.
Some cruises, so it seems, are going a step beyond and opening restaurants founded by celebrity chefs. Crystal Cruises have brought in Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa for his inspired Japanese-Peruvian fusion while Cunard Line have tapped Todd English for his Mediterranean flair. Disney Cruises has acquired renowned French chef Arnaud Lallement (fancy, no?) to make cruise dining extra classy. There's also a cute, Disney inspired twist: The restaurant is called Remy, inspired by the film Ratatouille, and has that same gourmet feel.
Is it too much to book a cruise primarily based on which type of world cuisine is your favorite? I wouldn't put it past me.
Keep in mind that most of the fancier restaurants aren’t included in the ticket cost so you may end up paying extra for a meal. My advice (because I'm obviously and expert) is this: If you’re lucky enough to go on a cruise, don't worry too much about your waistline during your trip unless you plan on being at sea for more than a week or so. I would love to be able to travel while having all these delicious options at my fingertips, and I can hit the gym when I'm home. Get out there and try it all!