6 of the best cruise lines for food lovers
Fine dining with ocean views come as standard with these cruise lines.
Whether you’re an avid foodie or simply a lover of food, a gastronomic experience on a luxury liner is not to be missed. Luxury cruise lines are notorious for their fine dining options and often enlist the knowledge and expertise of a lauded chef to deliver an exciting menu that’ll tantalise your tastebuds and make your imaginations soar.
Salivating? You should be because these are the hottest tables on the water - and yeah, their ocean views are pretty darn good, too.
1. Princess Cruise Lines
You’ll be that much closer to Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone when you dine on his Crafted by Curtis menu.
Princess is flying the Aussie flag for foodies and has enlisted the expertise of Curtis Stone to curate meals in its main dining area. Foodies can opt for the “Chef’s Table by Curtis Stone” experience which includes a galley tour and multi-course meal.
- Top restaurants: SHARE by Curtis Stone, Salty Dog gastropub (developed in collaboration with Ernesto Uchimura), Sabatinis and Kai Sushi. All these are not included in your cruise fare.
- Included in your fare: A variety of fine and casual dining options come complimentary with your fare. This includes Vines, named the Best Wine Bar at Sea by USA Today, the pizzaria on deck, named the Best Pizza at Sea by USA Today, and the Horizon Court.
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2. Celebrity Cruises
Double down with Celebrity Cruises and enjoy fine fare and culinary workshops during your sail.
Aside from the main dining area's 29 sections, let’s talk about specialty dining. From its modern-French Murano restaurant's wild forest mushroom cappuccino to the QSine experience complete with sushi lollipops, your tastebuds are in for an adventure.
- Top restaurants: QSine, Murano, Tuscan Grille and Silk Harvest. All these are not included in your cruise fare.
- Included in your fare: Main dining and casual dining areas such as the Oceanview Cafe and the AquaSpa Cafe.
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You’ll dine in the most opulent surroundings when you book yourself a Cunard cruise.
Few can say they’ve delighted in a traditional afternoon tea inside the Queens Room, but when you board your Cunard cruise, you can be one of them. Board the Queen Mary 2 and you also get the chance to dine on dishes by celebrity chef Todd English.
- Top restaurants: Queens Grill, Verandah, Queens Room, Kings Court and Britannia Restaurant.
- Included in your fare: All restaurants in the main dining area. Alternative dining venues Verandah, Lido and parts of Kings Court charge dining fees.
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4. Disney Cruises
Whether you’re a toddler or a senior, there’s a restaurant onboard your Disney Cruise line that’s just for you.
While Pinocchio’s Pizzeria and Pluto’s Dog House do exist, fine dining does too. Opt for adult-exclusive fine dining adult-exclusive fine dining venues Palo and Remy for a different Disney experience.
- Top restaurants: Palo, Remy, Lumiere’s and Enchanted Garden.
- Included in your fare: All restaurants in the main dining areas. Alternate dining venues such as Pao and Remy will incur a charge.
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5. P&O Cruises via CruiseAway
P&O’s Food Revolution is all about innovative dishes, fresh ingredients and fantastic food.
With over 15 restaurants at your fingertips, you won’t be short on dining options with P&O. The place to be? Salt Grill by masterchef Luke Mangan. It was Australia’s first ever celebrity chef restaurant at sea and is arguably still one of the best.
- Top restaurants: Salt Grill, Luna, Plantation and Chef’s Table.
- Included in your fare: Restaurants in the main dining area such as The Pantry, Angelo, Dragon Lady, Plantation, Waterfront and The Grill are included in your fare. Specialty restaurants such as Luna Salt Grill and Chef’s Table are not.
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6. Royal Caribbean International
Expect variety, high culinary quality and the flexibility to dine when you like on your Royal Caribbean cruises.
My Time Dining puts you and your appetite first, letting you decide when and where you’d like to dine on a daily basis. When it comes to celebrity chefs, Royal Caribbean boasts Jamie’s Italian on its ships.
- Top restaurants: Wonderland, Jamie’s Italian, Izumi, Sabor, Chef’s Table and Mystery Dinner Theatre.
- Included in your fare: Complimentary dining is available at a variety of restaurants including the main dining room, Silk, American Icon Grill, The Grande Restaurant, Sorrento’s Pizza and Solarium Bistro.
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Which cruise lines cater to dietary requirements?
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, halal or gluten-free, cruise lines are generally happy to meet dietary requirements.
During the booking process, be sure to notify the line of any special dietary needs so they can cater for them throughout your journey. When dining, it may also be helpful to meet with the maitre d’ to discuss the best menu options available for your diet.
Top cruise line deals
Up to 41% off Antarctic expeditions with Peregrine
Valid on select tours including 41% off the 11-day Antarctic Explorer, 27% off the 7-day Antarctic Express and 27% off the 14-day Crossing the Circle.
Up to 41% off Antarctic and Arctic trips with Intrepid
Valid on select tours departing until in Antarctica and the Arctic. Sample expeditions include the 11-day Antarctic Explorer for 41% off, 8-day Arctic Watch Lodge for 22% off and the 11-day Antarctic Express for 22% off.
Save up to 50%: Mates Rate Sale
Valid on select sailings until 30 April 2018. Get the second passenger in your cabin for up to 50% off on select P&O sailings. Conditions apply.
Up to 14% off Antarctic cruises
Valid on select Antarctic expedition cruises from Quark Expeditions, Antarctica XXI, Silversea an Hurtigruten.
FREE upgrade to all inclusive drinks package
Book now and get your free upgrade to all inclusive drinks package or have a twin room to yourself without paying a supplement at Fred Olsen. T&Cs apply.
Free drinks during your cruise
Book select cruises in Africa, Asia, Australasia, South Pacific, Europe, North America or South America and get a free All Inclusive upgrade to include drinks.
Up to 30% off rivercruises
Valid on select cruises departing until 30 April on the Ganges, Mekong and Burgundy.
Up to 72% off P&O Cruises
Valid on select cruises in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Islands. Sample discounts include 72% off a 3-night cruise from Brisbane, 85% off a 2-night cruise from Sydney to Melbourne and 56% off a 10-night South Pacific cruise from Sydney.
50% off second passenger on MSC Cruises
Valid on select MSC Cruise booking made before 10 March. Valid on sailings in the Caribbean, South America, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.
3 for Free Sale: Upgrades, Drinks & Credit
Cruise on selected voyages and you can enjoy a free stateroom location upgrade, plus free onboard spending money, plus a free Wine and Dine package T&Cs apply. See site for details.
Up to 30% off + onboard credit on Royal Caribbean Cruises
Valid on sailings departing before 22 April and also includes 50% off deposits when you book select cruises in Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Transpacific and Asia repositioning cruises and more at CruiseAway. T&Cs apply.
Up to $600 onboard credit + free specialty dining
Get up to $600 free onboard spending money per stateroom. Plus book a Balcony, Mini-Suite or Suite and receive free specialty dining. T&Cs apply.
50% off second passenger on Azamara + free internet
Book outside cabins or higher on select Azamara cruises departing 12 June 2017 until 26 April 2018 and the second passenger sails for free, plus get free unlimited internet.
Feature image: Celebrity Cruises