People go on cruises for different reasons. For some, the cruise itself is just a way to see new sights and places; for others, it might be all about the on-board experience, trying new things and meeting new people while on the ship itself. Others still might see cruises as a unique dining opportunity, a chance to eat from five-star restaurants while sailing across the sea. While not everyone can afford to go on a luxury cruise to sample Michelin-starred meals, everyone can read about these restaurants and salivate over some food fantasies. So, join us in a review of some of the best food that cruise lines have to offer, and maybe find some inspiration for a future trip!
Lauded as one of the best restaurants on cruise ships, the Ocean Blue is a restaurant currently run by Geoffrey Zakarian, someone you may recognize from various Food Network series like Chopped. You can find it on two of Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships, the Getaway and the Breakaway. The menu offers mostly local seafood with delicious-sounding lobster risotto, a refined surf-and-turf, and some nice appetizers like fried squid with aioli. While seemingly basic, the key to Ocean Blue’s food is perfect preparation and tasteful presentation.
A mainstay of a handful of Celebrity Cruises, QSINE is known for quirky dishes that subvert the expectations of typical cruise fare. A quick Google search will offer some pictures and write-ups of the trademark sushi lollipops, which are undeniably fun and unique, but the menu has even more to offer. Gleefully named disco shrimp and lava crab dishes, crab and lobster soups, a variety of Indian dishes, lobster escargot and “popcorn” fish ‘n’ chips…. We could go on listing, but we’re getting hungry.
Offering an Italian spin on the common cruise ship seafood dishes, Sabatini’s is a renowned restaurant found on Princess Cruises. Depending on which ship you’re on, the decor ranges from gold and glass to a darker leather and wood oriented look. There are two different menus, the classic and the new, with both offering complimentary bread to start. It’s a multi-course meal with courses as wide-ranging as beet risotto, thinly sliced chilled veal roast, marinated shrimp with truffle oil, baked striped bass or chicken stuffed with eggplant and tomatoes. Honestly, the entire menu looks delicious.
While these three restaurants are recommended highly by those well-versed in cruise cuisine, it’s only scratching the surface of the some of the incredible food offered on cruises. Next time you’re booking a trip, check out the dining options on board and see if anything as crazy as sushi lollipops are being offered!